Four years after earning a sensational selection for the 2006 World Cup, Walcott has been left out of Fabio Capello's England squad for this year's World Cup in South Africa.

Walcott has endured an injury-troubled time since scoring his memorable hat-trick against Croatia to launch England's qualifying campaign in September 2008.

Shoulder, back, knee and hamstring problems restricted Walcott to just 15 starting appearances for the Gunners this term.

But after being parachuted back into the England fold for the March friendly against Egypt and then keeping his place for the recent wins over Mexico and Japan, it appeared Walcott had put fears about his form to bed.

summer holidays

Yet Capello delivered his own verdict on the 21-year-old on Tuesday, leaving him out of a 23-man party that includes Manchester City's Shaun Wright-Phillips instead.

Walcott said: "I am very disappointed not to be included in the squad going out to South Africa, but completely respect Mr Capello's decision. I would like to wish the team the best of luck and hope they have a really successful tournament."

Tottenham Hotspur duo Tom Huddlestone and Michael Dawson, Manchester City's Adam Johnson, Sunderland's Darren Bent, and West Ham United's Scott Parker were not expected to be involved and can now start booking their summer holidays after Capello confirmed they would not be part of his squad.

Aside from Walcott, the one unexpected decision involved Aston Villa's Stephen Warnock's selection ahead of Everton full-back Leighton Baines, whose discomfort at committing himself to being away from home for six weeks eventually counted against him, even though he featured against Egypt and Mexico while the Aston Villa man did not.

With scans on Gareth Barry's ankle injury confirming that he was on track to recover in time to play a full part in training immediately after the Group C opener against the United States on 12th June, Capello was able to formulate the rest of his squad largely as predicted, with all 23 remaining players hailing from the Barclays Premier League.

England World Cup squad

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Manchester City), David James (Portsmouth), Rob Green (West Ham);

Defenders: Jamie Carragher (Liverpool), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Ledley King (Spurs), John Terry (Chelsea), Matthew Upson (West Ham), Stephen Warnock (Aston Villa);

Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Manchester City), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Aaron Lennon (Spurs), James Milner (Aston Villa), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City);

Forwards: Peter Crouch (Spurs), Jermain Defoe (Spurs), Emile Heskey (Aston Villa), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United).