Walking the walk...
02 December 2015|Tottenham Hotspur
Kyle Walker endured an injury-hit, frustrating season last term, but he put that time on the sidelines to good use and believes he is now benefitting from those months out of the game.
The Sheffield-born defender has suffered more than most from injuries over the last 18 months, an abdominal problem causing him to miss the end of the 2013-14 season and England’s World Cup campaign in Brazil along with the opening five months of last season.
No sooner was he getting back into his stride and finding his form again, than he was struck down once more, this time picking up a foot injury away to Burnley in April which brought a premature end to his 2014-15 campaign.
As we’ve embarked on a fine 13-game unbeaten run in the Premier League this term with a number of our players picking up the headlines for their performances, it’s been great to see Kyle back in the side, fully fit and quietly going about his business as he looks to recapture the form which saw him win the PFA Young Player of the Year in 2012.
He’s certainly played a key role in this team, featuring in a fairly settled defence which has seen himself, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld play every league game and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris miss just the one.
And Kyle says that his enforced and prolonged absence last term afforded him the time to sit back and take stock of his role within the team and study the game from the touchline to learn more about the intricacies of playing his specific role.
Below: Kyle strikes against West Ham - a goal now up for November's Under Armour GOTM
“I think the modern-day full-back tries to get forward and support the attacks as well as defends,” he said. “You can also start moves off from that position and things can build-up from there, but you have to manage yourself depending on how you feel the game is developing.
“Sometimes you can get the feeling that it might not be the right game to keep bombing forward, that it’s a time to sit back and concentrate on defending for the team. Other matches lend themselves more to pushing on and adding to our offensive options, but it’s about knowing when to do the right thing.
“When I was injured I was able to take a step back and think about my game more, because it’s very difficult to do so when you’re playing week in, week out and the focus is always on the next match. It gave me the chance to watch and learn more and get a better feel for my own role within a game.”