Theo Walcott: Big match preparation

Play with a smile and success will follow, says Arsenal and England speed demon Theo Walcott

Pressure is a debilitating force. The best players revel in, others, regardless of their ability, crumble.

It's not something that can be ignored, but it can be managed, according to Arsenal's speed merchant Theo Walcott.

More after the break

Having made the switch to north London from Southampton for £9.1 million at the age of 17, Walcott has had to deal with the pressure of big games from a young age.

The England international often rises to the occasion when it really matters. You just have to look at the devastation he wreaked in the Champions League against Barcelona in 2010 and Liverpool in 2008 for evidence of this.

The 22-year-old has a simple formula for shrugging off expectations and enjoying his football. Play with a smile and remember it's a team game, you're in it together.

For more football tips see:
Wayne Rooney: Big match preparation
Gary Neville: Become a master of mentality
Clint Dempsey: Mental preparation

Promo sitewide