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Walker studying hard for the future
Published : 09 Aug 2011 08:30:13Rss feed
Kyle Walker admits he studies the cream of defensive talent past and present to help him become a better player.
Tottenham right-back Walker could make his senior England debut in Wednesday evening's friendly international with Holland at Wembley. He is renowned for his attacking runs but knows he has to improve the defensive side of his game and takes tips from the best to help him achieve that goal.
He said: "I liked Gary Neville, the way he played, before he retired. He never got beaten. There is Ashley Cole here in the England squad. As he goes forward, he rarely gets beaten. I try to take a leaf out of many players. Look at Daniel Alves (Brazil and Barcelona). Going forward, he is like a right midfielder when he plays."
He added: "But first and foremost I need to work on my defending.
"I watch videos of players, mainly on YouTube. You can go on the web and look at each and every one of them so it is good. I look at all of them."
Walker will owe a debt of thanks to his Academy bosses in Ron Reid and David Fogg when at Sheffield United if he makes his debut against the Dutch.
Walker was a 16-year-old striker with the Blades when Reid and Fogg converted him into a full-back - and sparked a rapid upturn in fortunes.
Two years ago Walker was sold with Kyle Naughton to Tottenham in a joint £9million deal and, after a successful season on loan at Aston Villa, is now poised for his senior England breakthrough.
Walker said: "When I turned pro I signed as a centre-forward for Sheffield United. My academy bosses, Ron Reid and David Fogg, converted me (into a defender) when I was 16 and I have to thank them for that.
"I wasn't a bad striker, I'd say above average. I think my goal ratio was something like one in three games. But, to be fair, I wasn't the biggest. I was quite small then. I think that was a big issue. I learned how to defend and it all fitted into one. The change definitely benefited myself."