Former England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson has handed a sensational World Cup lifeline to jilted England starlet, Theo Walcott, by selecting him in his 23 man Ivory Coast Squad for the upcoming tournament in South Africa.
It gives Walcott the chance to link up alongside Premiership stars such as Didier Drogba and former teamate Kolo Toure and is said to be delighted at the prospect after being ditched by England boss Fabio Capello.
Walcott was quoted as saying 'At first I thought It would be a bit strange playing with a load of foreigners, but then I realised I've had plenty of practice at Arsenal, so I should feel right at home. When I got the call from Sven I had no hesitation in linking up with him again. He's such a good man and always let me have lots of crisps and fizzy pop the last time we were away on holiday together in Germany, as long as I had my all Biology homework done on time. He's much nicer than Fabio anyways, he never used to let us stay up late playing computer games or see even our girlfriends.'
Our initial research has shown that Walcott doesn't actually hold a valid Cote d'Ivoire passport and there is no evidence that he's ever been to the country or has any relations who have so the decision may prove just as controversial as Theo's last World Cup call up back in 2006, when the then teenager was picked by Sven despite having only just broken into the first team at his local Newbury boys club.
Despite this Sven-Göran Eriksson is confident the call-up will be cleared by Fifa. The Swede said "Well, I thought about it long and hard and discussed it with Nancy, of course, and she said she'd sort it out by having a quick word with Michel Platini. We're going to tell him that he we think he looks a bit like Félix Houphouët-Boigny, who was the first president of the Ivory Coast, especially when he's got his lovely Marks and Spencer grey England suit on, therefore they must be related somehow. That should do the trick I think. In any case, it just wouldn't feel the same being at the World Cup without having Theo on the bench beside me. I’m not even sure If I'll give him a game, because as everyone knows he’s a bit overrated, but I’ll have his favourite cushion ready for him to sit on the bench."