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Are you worried about Walker?

It seems to me that Kyle Walker hasn't quite hit the heights that many fans expected this season, but is this fair to be critical of a player that is still so young and developing?

Kyle returned to the England side last night, but was viewed as being wasteful and one of the bigger negatives in a dominating, if not inspiring England display. Since the latter stages of last season, I have noted a rapid increase in negativity towards Walker, and last season put his dip in form down to the ankle injury suffered in the build up to the Arsenal game and subsequent 5-2 humiliation. Walker like many struggled in that game, and perhaps due to a managers stubbornness or a lack of cover, it seemed that Kyle played when not 100% and his form suffered as a result.

This season and the appointment of a manager who loves attacking full-backs seemed to be a dream fit for Walker, but for me, though he hasn't been poor, he hasn't seemed to quite embrace his dual role between defence and attack and sometimes his decision making could be better, and only for his great pace has he saved the day on many occasions. Today, we ask so much of our full backs. One minute we demand they are over-lapping their midfield and five seconds later we expect then to be 100 yards back, doing their defensive duties.

Sure Walker hasn't quite been himself, for whatever reason and perhaps that is just that usual dip in form so many players get after a rapid rise up the ladder. At twenty-two, Kyle has already played just over 125 senior games for club and country, but we easily forget that he is still learning and developing and perhaps with experience he will make better decisions and for me realised that doing everything at 100 mph isn't always the best and most effective option, but I also believe he has the dedication and intelligence to understand where and what he needs to work on and sort out any deficiencies in his game.

Perhaps as a club, we need to also show him that his place isn't guaranteed and that in the other Kyle we have a player that can compete for the right back slot, but also allow for Walker to step back and take a breather instead of looking to play 50 + games a season and also occasionally playing when not fully fit. To date, AVB hasn't really had the luxury of being able to rest Walker, due to injuries to every other potential full back, but perhaps with no misgivings over Walkers quality or contribution, sometimes allowing a young player a little time to take stock, you allow him to catch his breath and become a better player as a result...




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The journalist

Writer: OxfordSpur Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday October 13 2012

Time: 2:16PM

Your Comments

He's not the first player I've been worried about and won't be the last.
jvd
personally I think he is just having a minor dip in form, and who knows might not be 100% fit, but is ok to play. for me he remains a player of huge ability and potential and we need to work on the premise that form in temporary etc..
oxfordspur
The England game was worrying generally in terms of width. You had Lennon and Oxlade Chamberlain plus Walker and Baines and only Baines was looking to hit the by line and put in dangerous crosses. To my mind Walker is charging forward but when he gets to the edge of the opponents area he stops and looks to get rid of the ball. He very rarely attempts a cross or tries to use his pace to get to the by line. This is mental not physical, maybe the coaches should be showing him videos of Baines as an example of how it should be done. Defending his positional sense is still not great, although rather like King used to do he uses his pace to get out of trouble. Giving Naughton a few games at right back, his proper position, would probably be a good move.
jod
I think others have stolen his limelight for Spurs this season for Spurs especially and we may expect too much from Walker. I actually think he has been solid for us defensively but hasn't been his usual force going forward.
gazzalegend
Sorry to go off topic but I've been tempted to write an article on Livermore, does anyone think it is no coincidence that we are now winning games now that he is out of the team? I honestly don't think this is being harsh but a true fact, the guy should never start for us.
gazzalegend
I personally have been very harsh on him whilst watching the game, not in written form so much. However I believe he is very talented but hes going through a patch where his feet are faster than his brain. His attacking runs often end up in losing the possession even before he can cross and then he's caught out of position and having to scramble back which limits his defensive options.

IMHO he needs to realize that in Lennon he already has a speed demon in front of him and should be playing a little further back and off of Lennon allowing Lennon to make the runs. His overlaps should be dummies to take a defender off of Lennon giving him more room and options. Basically he needs to slow down and THINK!
jvd
Agreed with OxfordSpur, have absolutely no worries. Its typical over-analysing, over-critical garbage. Its the slight temporary dip in confidence of a young player who should be England's right-back for years to come. Well actually i do have a worry, its Spurs fans getting on his back - that definitely won't help him get back to his best.
StillRickyVilla
Just a little short on confidence imo. The quickest player in the PL, has a rocket of right foot as shown with the freekick against Everton and another weapon of his, which we do not use to its fullest potential are his throw ins. Still a work in progress, but his individual potential is enourmous. Not worried at all.
thenuge
One of my, I think justified, concerns with Walker is that he thinks he can dribble and is always turning in to the last defender trying to beat him. I really haven't seen him accomplish it yet, almost always results in loss of possession. If he just learnt to cross on the run (which has proven difficult for not only him but Lennon also) he would be much more a threat in attack.
jvd
King never ever relied on pace to get out of problems he very rarely ran flat out. I can think of only the Robbben tackle which was not his error. He was the best positional player in the EPL right up until last season.
spurdon
Sorry my post was aimed at Jod. Regards Walker he needs to work on the defensive side of his game a lot.
spurdon
Thenuge you just mentioned something that is getting me really upset for the last few games. That is it seems that Bale has taken over from VDV and is taking ALL free kicks and corners. Why can't they share it according to the strengths of each individual. Walkers right foot from the right is much more effective than Bale's left from the right! There are others who can also contribute. I hope this gets sorted soon.
jvd
Time to start the booing. typical so called Spurs supporters!!!!
camper
Agree with those saying sometimes the balance is not quite right down the sides. I always thought the Corluka/Lennon combo was terrific - and Charlie was always a great option in some circumstances - until Harry treated him like sh**. Perhaps Naughton/Lennon might turn out to be a better combo, along the lines of BAE/Bale. But that's no slight on Walker who is a fantastic young player in his own right.
StillRickyVilla
There should be no cause for concern regarding Walker, every interview he gives he states that he's always wanting to learn, improve and become a better defender. The minute he thinks he's arrived is when we should be worried, thankfully that hasn't happened yet. I was surprised he won Young Player of the Year last season, for me it would have been Aguero all day long, but I'm still happy for the lad and hope he sticks around to become a Spurs legend in his own right.
Crissybwoy
Walker form has dipped now it could just be a learning curve or adjusting to what AVB wants but in fairness I never thought he was brilliant especially with Lennon unlike Corluka for me was a much better pairing with Lennon.

walker relies on his pace to get him out of trouble defensively but his attacking is woeful at the moment. I think we need to rest him and show him he is not automatic first choice give him some focus in his training but have we got cover yet?

He will be fine as long as AVB using his head and drops him when he can (when we have cover) if AVB keeps playing him when he is under performing then he will not be doing the lad any favours. Sometimes one has to understand we learn from challenges not from being in a comfort zone of being picked when your under performing. He is another Lennon I feel as soon as Lennon's place was under thrat from Bentley he upped his game same with Defoe see how Defoe performances are dropping once he gets comfortable being first choice for a few games.

AVB has dropped Siggy for under performing imo he needs to do it with Walker and another other player no matter how big they think they are and if he does that we will see improvement from Walker and others.
thfan
Walker form has dipped now it could just be a learning curve or adjusting to what AVB wants but in fairness I never thought he was brilliant especially with Lennon unlike Corluka for me was a much better pairing with Lennon.

walker relies on his pace to get him out of trouble defensively but his attacking is woeful at the moment. I think we need to rest him and show him he is not automatic first choice give him some focus in his training but have we got cover yet?

He will be fine as long as AVB using his head and drops him when he can (when we have cover) if AVB keeps playing him when he is under performing then he will not be doing the lad any favours. Sometimes one has to understand we learn from challenges not from being in a comfort zone of being picked when your under performing. He is another Lennon I feel as soon as Lennon's place was under thrat from Bentley he upped his game same with Defoe see how Defoe performances are dropping once he gets comfortable being first choice for a few games.

AVB has dropped Siggy for under performing imo he needs to do it with Walker and another other player no matter how big they think they are and if he does that we will see improvement from Walker and others.
thfan
The fact is, he is just not as good a footballer as we thought. A lot of huff and puff but limited ability in a confined space.
kotk45
^ Troll? He's one of the youngest RB's in the Prem, get off his case and get behind the team, time is on his side to improve.
Crissybwoy
http://www.haringeyindependent.co.uk/news/9983469._/? -Nice to hear some wise words from AVB. Certainly beats the "yeah Crouchy is a good player" soundbite that used to pull out my eyeballs and f*** their vacant sockets repeatedly.
Crissybwoy
Slow news day? What's to worry about? He is a young player learning his trade all young players have dips in form. I don't feel he has been playing badly at all. He gets much less protection in the new system than he did when he had Lennon constantly tracking back, while playing 4,4,1,1. Why does there always have to be negative articles / posts about our players? There are far more inconsistent players if you want to continue this trend than Walker.
judge
That's much to harsh on Jake, Gazza. Sure, he and Sandro were a poor match up but he'd look better alongside Dembele. His problem now is that he has Sandro and probably Scotty ahead of him for that holding role, but I'm sure he would do a job if needed in some games.
Love totty
Yes Walker has dipped in form.. as i said on previous threads... he just needs time on bench, appear as subs... but we cant do this till kabul is back, and playing as RB or either naughton returns as RB. While he is off the team sheet, he has to work with the coaches of AVB, and Listen to BAE explain how he and Bale work.. also to listen to Leadley n defensive positioning..
Block D Spurs
Think he should be rested if possible (Adam Smith or Kyle Naughton?) He will come good with the right coaching. He really does need to concentrate (think) more on his positioning. Time is on his side.
the_cockerel_crows
There always has to be a "fall guy"
HuddersfieldYiddo
He has been sloppy & responsible either for poor decision making or being out of position when defending. It's cost us about 3 goals so far this season & his form when defending is a cause of concern atm. However, he has been severely over played (many thanks 'Arry.....) & is still required to play due to injuries to others. He obviously needs a rest & would benefit from healthy competition, also some words from a certain LEDLEY KING in his lug holes !

Walker has a great career ahead of him, sadly he's been relied upon heavily since returning from Villa. If only 'Appless understood the fundamental importance of NOT selecting players when NOT fit to play... Lets hope Naughton recovers in time for Chelsea as Walker is in some serious need of rest after along previous season then summer.

Too many highly talented youngsters get relied upon/over played & it shortens their potential coz their career are rushed & injuries are the result every time. I'm not concerned with this dip in regards I know he has a great talent, but I wouldn't play him again until he's ready.
Tot-Nam Vet
I'm not worried about Walker but sort of glad the band wagon about him being the best English RB is over. No doubt in my mind that Glen Johnson wears the number 2 shirt for England. Walker might end up with it eventually but he needs to earn it first. If he keeps listening to AVB he will get better and better.
muttley
As an issue of an individual, yes, I am concerned about Walker and his apprent lack of development. Just hope we are not still waiting for him to develop in another two years!. However, in the context of the team, I am not overly concerned, as we have (or until Ade's returm had) more pressing problems in trying to breakdown stubborn defences. Back to the as an indivdual issue,we could lo say the same about Bale and Lennon. They are no longer the wing threats that tore teams apart. It is also about partneships as many have cited before. I used to love watching the Ekotto/Bale and Corluka/Lennon partnerships. Just as much as AVB is a work in progress, so is the team and individuals under the new system. Once the injury list shrinks and team gels further, it would be premature to make an individual a scapegoat. However, I can't but note his poor form against a non-existant oppostion (San marino) last night. He is being given a lot of opportunites (Spurs and England) and he should really be building on that. COYS!
Critical_Spur
Might also be worth everyone reading "Walker Watch" on Spurs website. They have reported EVERY bit of his involvement in last night's match.
Critical_Spur
I think the system we play is part of the problem. With Lennon playing a bit higher up the pitch then it does not leave Walker much room to over lap. I would personally like him to work on his defensive skills more than his forward ones. I do think that both him and Lennon need to work on the final ball. Can someone tell me has Roy not watched Lennon play before. He struggles crossing to his own players if they are ten foot away from him and yet England let him take corners. I still see AVB moving Lennon out before Walker. Then maybe bringing in a player who Walker could link up with. A player who can bring him into the game and play him in when he over laps.
nothappyharry
Walker's just not the type of RB that fits Lennon's game. Lennon wants to hug the wing, send in a cross or dribble along the line to near-post. Which is kind of what Walker wants to do too, and he seems glum not having the freedom or positional chance to do that. Still, what everyone said, he's young, we're only 6 games in the season, AVB will be working on these things amongst countless others. Walker will be an important part of England's stature in the years to come.
tengboon
@Block D Spurs: Hi, when will you be here in Manila, Philippines? Write me at: maderalifestyleconcepts@yahoo.co.uk Hope to hear from you soon. As for the article, I say give hime sometime maybe when Naughton recovers and if Walker is still "under-playing" then bench him for a couple of games. Sometimes watching from the bench, you see a different view of things. IMO! COYS!!!!!
Phil-Spurs
I think it's time for him to rest, take a breather, and bring in Naughton and Smith to show them what they can do. They might impress more, and who knows, they might be a better talent than Walker, thus give him more competition, and let him knows he has to improve his game.
what_sux
gazzalegend spot on about livermore,a poor version of jenas.!!!! and walker has been our worst player by a country mile,but its only 6 games and we are seriously looking good,i aint missed a game yet and the optimism amongst supporters at the grounds is great ..in A V B I TRUST..
darrel999
Emile Heskey, has scored 2 goals in 2 games for his new Newcastle team over here in Aussie. please can someone help me get a ticket home to UK to get away from this nob, who is now the poxy mecca of this crap A league over here they have 10 teams and the has beens like jeffers, Heskey, Michael bridge only decent they have is the ex spurs player Ian crook who manages Sydney FC!!!
E17YID
Emile Heskey, has scored 2 goals in 2 games for his new Newcastle team over here in Aussie. please can someone help me get a ticket home to UK to get away from this nob, who is now the poxy mecca of this crap A league over here they have 10 teams and the has beens like jeffers, Heskey, Michael bridge only decent they have is the ex spurs player Ian crook who manages Sydney FC!!!
E17YID
oh on the subject of walker, I think he needs to be dropped his form is a tad poor and could be burnt out a bit would like to see naughton have a run out on the right behind Lennon.
E17YID
oh on the subject of walker, I think he needs to be dropped his form is a tad poor and could be burnt out a bit would like to see naughton have a run out on the right behind Lennon.
E17YID
Walker is rapid, big and strong, but technically he is very poor, ive lost count the amount of times he runs down the wing over lapping Lennon, then just runs into someone then loses the ball, also this season he seems to misplace so many passes, i hope he finds his form again but for me Naughton is not as quick or strong but technically much better, i think Naughton should have a run at right back when his fit !
LOcE1980
In a word "NO", the guy is still a baby, he is a regular first choice RB in a top 4 PL side, he is a full international with 4 England caps and counting, he is the quickest and most powerful running FB in the league, and he is, and admits to be, still learning, whats to worry about. Our only worry re. Walker, should be the battle to keep him in a season or two, when the big guns come calling, as they surely will.
Frank
I see no difference in Walker from last season. Positionally poor, gives away silly free-kicks around the box, can run fast but to no good effect and, in short, doesn't yet have a footballing brain. Naughton is better but maybe Smith is better still.
Harry-Kari
He's a player I've never quite understood all the fuss about. He's got poor positional sense, limited passing range, doesn't poses the ability to deliver decent crossed, in fact, if you took away his pace, what would he actually have? Most importantly, he has a hugely negative sway on the impact Aaron Lennon can have on a match. I'm not really that surprised at how he is playing and personally can't wait for Kyle Naughton to get back to give us a little more balance at the back
dave the yid
I remember a couple of years back there were a a fair few articles like this about Bale. Walkers still a kid, he had a great loan spell at Villa and them a good season for us but being young means he doesn't have everything nailed down yet. This season he'll, by his own admission, be working on the defensive side of his game so I expect his form to dip. It's a shame Naughton picked up an injury. Watching the Fantasy Football show t'other day and Ehiogue picked him in his all time 11, said the kid was outstanding at such a young age. He could be giving Walker a run for his money this season to help bring him on. Walker will be fine regardless.
Himwhatwhats
He's been pretty poor, and really has only had one decent 6 months with us but his talent is obvious. When u hear him speak u realise he's thick as two short planks, so maybe this new tactical regime is making him over think. Once he gets back in the swing he'll be fine. Next time u watch Kyle, look at his first pass, if its crap his head goes and he'll be poor, if he starts well he'll have a good game.
liamyid
Malcolm Allison used to say, if a lad has pace and an engine I'll teach him the rest, that was, and still is, a profound statement particularly where defeners are concerned.
Frank
I see some are falling into the trap of deciding that if somebody's accent suggests he comes from north of Watford he is thick. This is a generalisation that is rarely true, and is regrettable.
Frank
To add to my previous comments I see Walker having to fight for his place in the future. With Naughton and Smith around he will have a fight on his hands unless he improves. AVB will not drop him immediately too many changes too soon is what he is trying to guard against but wait until players are injury free and one of the other guys put in a good performance in a league cup match or Walker gets a knock. I think those other players will take their chance and give Walker a run for his money. I can see it coming which is healthy competition however this does not mean the end of Walker it means the beginning of knowing what he has to do to stay in contention for first choice RB. He is young and still learning and competition is healthy. I like the comments about partnerships as well - Lennon and Corluka. Imo we are still work in progress and we haven't gelled yet. Will we see the attacking threat on the wings from Lennon and Bale with overlaps probably not so much with the new system, Bale and Lennon will be cutting in but we will see more of a unit imo. Whether it is better time will tell.
thfan
He will need to be at his best against the Chavs for sure
spurdon
 

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