Walcott: Arsenal is the best place for me

He told the People: “You always wonder when things happen so quickly how you will cope, but this year has been an incredible learning experience.

“To be able to work for a manager like Arsene Wenger is fantastic and to go into training every day with Thierry Henry, Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas and the rest is a revelation.

“The World Cup is something I will look back on as amazing. I can understand why people were asking about my place in the squad, but all I say is that it was better for me to be there than to be on holiday.

“I watched David Beckham crossing a ball and saw how technically perfect he was. I learned about finishing from Michael Owen. Gary Neville and John Terry taught me how to lose defenders and I saw from Wayne Rooney how important it was just to be in love with the game – you can’t buy that experience.

“Every time I’ve gone into a new situation I’ve been nervous but as soon as I’ve found my feet I think I’ve done well. I’ve spoken to Steve McClaren and he’s told me to spend a bit more time with the U21s, get more experience with Arsenal and see how my game develops.

“For me, that’s the important thing. To keep learning, to work hard and try to become a better player every time I train or set on the pitch.”