Walker welcomes RC comparison

17 June 2011 07:28
England Under-21 star Kyle Walker has been dubbed the new Roberto Carlos and has admitted he now needs to deal with being targeted as such.

Tottenham right-back Walker has been one of the stand-out players at what has been a largely disappointing European Under-21 Championship for Stuart Pearce's Young Lions in Denmark.

Walker was arguably England's star performer in Sunday's opening 1-1 draw with Spain, setting up Danny Welbeck's late equaliser and bombing forward to good effect.

His display saw him hailed by some sections of the Spanish media as the new Roberto Carlos and his performance certainly worried Wednesday night's opponents Ukraine, who doubled up on the 21-year-old at almost every opportunity in a 0-0 draw.

"You could see in the game they stuck two on me, which is a bit frustrating," said Walker, who also described the tactic as "flattering".

"But it's a team game. There are 10 other players.

"It can't all revolve around a right-back getting forward."

Walker was pleased with the Roberto Carlos comparison, adding: "It's a compliment, isn't it? It's not bad to be put in the same sentence as him!"

Unlike some of his team-mates in Denmark, Walker has an innate attacking instinct.

"I used to play for England Under-16s at centre-forward, so it's probably come from there," said the defender, who was converted from striker by former Sheffield United academy director Ron Reid.

"I started going right-back at scholarship level," he said.

"Ron Reid at Sheffield United put me there against Nottingham Forest and that was it.

"It was only one game but it stuck. I'd never played there before. I liked it. It was different. I enjoyed it.

"It's just gone on from there, really. It's been four or five years now.

"I've forgotten about my history of being a centre-forward and concentrated on being a right-back."

He added: "I like to get forward but my job's defending. It's only a bonus going forward.

"If I can help my team going forward, I will."

England will need more than Walker playing well to avoid crashing out of the European Under-21 Championship on Sunday.

They must beat the Czech Republic in Viborg to reach the semi-finals following draws in their opening two matches.

Walker said: "We've always got to be confident with the players we've got in there.

"They're all Premier League players.

"They can always be a threat, whoever we are playing against. We proved it against Spain, we proved it the other night."

He added: "There's a good togetherness and team spirit in the team.

"Not every game can go as well you want it to or plan it to.

"But hopefully we can improve in the next game and get the three points."

Source: Team_Talk