Kyle Walker won his eighth England cap last night as the nation won what could prove to be a vital point in the race for Brazil 2014. The Spurs defender played the full 90 minutes for the second international in a row and while it may be fair to say that the right back is now England’s first choice in that position, his performance drew plenty of criticism at the end of the game.
“Kyle Walker looked out of sorts,” said former Arsenal full back Lee Dixon.
“He’ll look at it and work out how to improve.
“Konoplyanka caused him a lot of problems. Why was he often out of position? He goes chasing when didn’t need to.
“As a defender you must make sure everything is in front of you. Walker got a bit carried away.”
Further flack came from another former Arsenal man, (can you see a pattern emerging) as Martin Keown twisted the knife.
“Kyle Walker had a torrid time against Ukraine winger Yevhen Konoplyanka,” Keown told another Tottenham favourite the Daily Mail.
“The 23-year-old Dnipro man is incredibly fast and Walker struggled with that. The Tottenham defender is used to relying on his pace to get him out of trouble but Konoplyanka was faster than him.
“He has to read the danger earlier, otherwise he’ll give more free-kicks away in dangerous positions like in the second half.”
Despite all the abuse, Kyle has an enviable record whereby he hasn’t appeared on a losing England side in those eight games. Overall however, it’s not been a happy week for the 23 year old either on or off the pitch and he may be grateful to return to domestic action after being under the media spotlight for all the wrong reasons.