Tottenham legend launches defence of Arsenal striker Theo Walcott

Garth Crooks isn't surprise Theo Walcott excels for Arsenal but struggles in an England shirt

Garth Crooks has defended Arsenal striker Theo Walcott’s poor performances for England during the international break.

The 27-year-old scored twice in the first half of the north London side’s 3-2 win against Swansea City at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Walcott has now found the back of the net five times and made two assists in eight Premier League appearances in the 2016-17 season so far.

However, the England international struggled to replicate his Arsenal form during the Three Lions’ recent games against Malta and Slovenia.

But former Tottenham forward Crooks isn’t surprised that Walcott finds it easier to score in the Arsenal side given the world-class talent feeding the club’s longest-serving player.

“Arsenal should have scored a hatful against Swansea and Walcott should have netted most of them. In the end, it didn’t matter as the England international scored two goals and the Gunners won the match,” Crooks wrote in his BBC Sport column.

“However, the notion that Walcott should do for England what he does for Arsenal is a real misunderstanding of the situation.

“Seldom do you see international teams defend like Swansea and adopt such an alarming inability to defend set pieces – and neither does the England team have world-class players like Santi Cazorla, Mesut Ozil or Alexis Sanchez to call on every time there is a crisis.

“In the meantime, Walcott can wallow in the luxury of genuine, world-class talent and England will just have to cope.”

Walcott has also scored two goals in two Champions League group-stage games after the England man netted twice in a 2-0 win against Swiss side Basel last month.

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The Gunners are in second place in the Premier League table and level on points with leaders Manchester City ahead of next weekend’s home clash against Middlesbrough.

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