Theo Walcott says England can match world's best teams

England winger Theo Walcott takes on Jordi Alba of Spain in the friendly at Wembley
Walcott (right) was replaced at half-time against Spain

Theo Walcott says England's 1-0 victory over Spain proves they have the depth to compete with the world's best teams.

England were without first-choice players Wayne Rooney, John Terry, Steven Gerrard, Jack Wilshere and Ashley Young in Saturday's friendly.

But winger Walcott, 22, believes their young replacements proved the quality of Fabio Capello's squad.

"Players who came in all took their chance. We've got so many great players in each position now," he said.

"In tournament football it's very important to have 23 very physically fit players and the players that came in did that and everyone's got to stay on their toes now."

Walcott, who was substituted at half-time to be replaced by Liverpool's Stewart Downing, admitted that Spain dominated the game for long periods.

But he praised an England back four missing captain Terry, who will return on Tuesday against Sweden.

"Any Spanish team is always going to have the ball for periods of time," added the Arsenal player.

"So you've just got to make sure that you don't switch off and try not to get frustrated as well.

"You started to see a bit of frustration getting to the Spanish players - a couple of bookings. It wasn't quite happening for them because we kept on breaking them down.

"Obviously, we were limited going forward but the most important thing was that we got the win and there were a lot of positives to take out of it.

"Our back four was absolutely fantastic - but not just them. The players who came on fitted straight in.

"Sometimes, it changes the flow of the game when you make substitutions but everyone took their chance."

Walcott singled out Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker for special praise.

He said: "Everyone was fantastic but especially Scott.

"That's what Scott does. That's the sort of player he is. He's so experienced and he does help us out a lot."

Top Stories