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Sensational Walcott keeps feet on ground after England super show

PUBLISHED: 10:56 11 September 2008 | UPDATED: 15:22 07 September 2010

Arsenal s Theo Walcott takes on Blackburn Rovers tomorrow as the new star of English football. The teenager s hat-trick against Croatia in Zagreb on Wednesday evening earned England a 4-1 win - and earned Walcott praise from all quarters, writes Jem Maidm

ARSENAL'S THEO WALCOTT TAKES ON BLACKBURN ROVERS TOMORROW AS THE NEW STAR OF ENGLISH FOOTBALL.

THE TEENAGER'S HAT-TRICK AGAINST CROATIA IN ZAGREB ON WEDNESDAY EVENING EARNED ENGLAND A 4-1 WIN - AND EARNED WALCOTT PRAISE FROM ALL QUARTERS, WRITES JEM MAIDMENT.

"I HOPE HE DOESN'T GET INJURED," LAUGHED ENGLAND HEAD COACH, FABIO CAPELLO, "HE IS A VERY IMPORTANT PLAYER FOR US ... HE IS SO FAST."

FORMER ARSENAL STRIKER PAUL MERSON WAS ALL SMILES.

"IT IS UNBELIEVABLE - TO SCORE A HAT-TRICK IN CROATIA IS FANTASTIC. TO DO IT AGAINST, SAY, JAMAICA IS EXPECTED, BUT AGAINST CROATIA AT THEIR PLACE... AMAZING," SAID MERSON, CAPPED 21 TIMES BY HIS COUNTRY.

"NOW ARSENAL FANS WILL BE WAITING FOR HIM TO DO MORE OF THE SAME AT BLACKBURN ON SATURDAY."

THE 19-YEAR-OLD BECAME THE FIRST GUNNER TO SCORE A TREBLE FOR THE THREE LIONS SINCE IAN WRIGHT NETTED FOUR IN A 7-1 WIN IN SAN MARINO IN NOVEMBER 1993.

WALCOTT, THOUGH, REFUSED TO GET CARRIED AWAY WITH HIS ACHIEVEMENT.

"I'M NOT GOING TO GET AHEAD OF MYSELF," HE SAID, "I'M JUST LOOKING FORWARD TO THE PREMIER LEAGUE NOW. I TEND TO CROSS THE BALL A LOT BUT I THOUGHT I'D BE A BIT MORE GREEDY. I AM GRATEFUL THAT FABIO CAPELLO HAS GIVEN ME THE OPPORTUNITY AND I HAVE TO TAKE THAT AND KEEP ON IMPROVING."

CAPELLO ADDED: "I'M HAPPY FOR THEO, I'M HAPPY BECAUSE I CHOSE THEO. HE IS A VERY IMPORTANT PLAYER FOR THE NATIONAL TEAM AND FOR ARSENAL.

"WHEN HE PLAYS LIKE THIS IT'S FANTASTIC. HE WAS VERY DANGEROUS FOR THEIR DEFENDERS - WHEN YOU ARE FACING SOMEONE LIKE WALCOTT IT IS NOT EASY, WITH HIS PACE."

ARSENAL STRIKER NICKLAS BENDTNER SCORED DENMARK'S FIRST GOAL IN THEIR IMPRESSIVE 3-2 WIN IN PORTUGAL ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT.

MEANWHILE, CESCFABREGAS SAYS HE WILL NOT BE ENTICED BY MANCHESTER CITY'S NEW FOUND MILLIONS.

THE GUNNERS MIDFIELDER REPORTEDLY HEADS A WISH LIST OF TARGETS FOR CITY MANAGER MARK HUGHES' NEW BOSSES, THE ABU DHABI UNITED GROUP, AFTER THEIR SHOCK ACQUISITION OF THE CLUB LAST MONTH.

THE SPAIN MIDFIELDER STILL HAS SIX YEARS TO RUN ON HIS EMIRATES CONTRACT, WILL NOT FOLLOW HIM, SAID HE IS HAPPY AT ARSENAL AND IS CONVINCED THAT HE WILL WIN SILVERWARE WITH THE GUNNERS.

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