Carlton Palmer insists Theo Walcott needs to sort his game plan out.
The former England midfielder admits he gets frustrated watching the Arsenal star because he doesn’t utilise his main asset - his searing pace - to best effect.
And Palmer believes Walcott should worry less about a long-term future as a central striker and concentrate instead on being the best winger he can be.
The 23-year-old has been deployed as a striker at the Emirates this season and favours a long-term switch from out-wide to a central forward role.
The Gunners star was back in his traditional role for the Three Lions during a 2-1 friendly victory over Brazil on Wednesday night, and had a hand in both goals for Roy Hodgson’s side.
But former England midfielder Palmer claims the former Southampton man must learn how to play the wing position properly - instead of worrying about a striker berth.
“I’m a little bit frustrated with Theo Walcott,” he told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast. “I know the first goal [against Brazil] came from his run inside but it took him 58 minutes to go outside the full-back. He still runs inside all the time.
“I’d like him to stay outside, on that touchline, then he can receive the ball and use the grass in behind [the defender]. Speed, that’s his asset. Then, when they shut him off, he can come inside.
“He’s got so much ability but he’s so frustrating. It looks like he doesn’t understand where he should be running to utilise his pace.
“If Theo Walcott gets the ball and knocks it past you, I don’t care who you are in the world, you don’t live with him. He just needs to sort his game plan out.”
Palmer, who played in a central midfield role for England and Sheffield Wednesday, went on to state that Walcott’s Arsenal team-mate Jack Wilshere, who put in an impressive performance against the Samba Boys, will be running the Three Lions side for years to come.
“He’s a class talent,” he added. “His first touch is so good. He’s built like the Spanish footballers are, which is small and with a low centre of gravity. He picks up the ball and he takes people on. He’s a terrific talent.”
Palmer also claims Hodgson should look to Manchester United star Michael Carrick to partner the Gunners ace in midfield.
“I can’t understand why Carrick can’t get a kick for England," he said." He’s the best forward passer of the ball in the country at the moment. I’m surprised he doesn’t get into the national team.”