Walcott defiant despite England exit

Arsenal winger Theo Walcott has revealed his sorrow after England’s elimination from Euro 2012 but has insisted that the national side has a bright future.

Roy Hodgson’s side lost 4-2 on penalties after a goalless 120 minutes as the Italians advanced to the semi-finals of the tournament.

Belief had been growing among media and sporting personnel regarding England’s performance at the European Championships after they won Group D against the odds.

But their dreams of a major tournament success were shattered on Sunday and Walcott admits that it hurts to lose on penalties once again.

“It’s a very cruel way to go out in any competition but someone was going to go out and luck did not go our way,” said Walcott.

“The two Ashleys are strong enough lads to come back from this and the lads will be with them.

“They are two of the most experienced players in that dressing room and they will bounce back from this even better players. I do not worry about that at all.

“We have got to look forward to the future. It is going to be bright, I am sure of that.

“The World Cup qualifiers are going to be tough. We have to learn some lessons from tonight as that is important for the young players – me being one of them.”

Walcott’s future with Arsenal still hangs in the balance as he has yet to sign a new deal with just one year remaining on his current contract.

Matt Cotton

@FindingCotton

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