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Kyle Walker: Stop that, twinkle toes!

“When I’m up against skilful attacking players I often get found out. Is there a way to stop them?”
James Mason, via email

Kyle Walker says:

“The trickiest player I’ve faced is West Brom’s Jerome Thomas. He’s a right-footed player on the left, but he’s also good on his left foot, which makes him hard to mark.

As a defender you want to show a winger onto his weaker foot, but if you do that he’s going to get the cross in. And if you show him onto his right foot, he’ll have a pop at goal and could score.
You have to get tight and physical, but don’t overcommit in the challenge because they’ve got the skill to beat you.

Try not to let them turn because they’re going to run at you and can go either way. Ultimately you want to steer the player clear of your goal.

If I’m up against someone who isn’t as quick as me I show them down the line and give them that bait. If they take it, I can use my speed to take them, but against someone like Theo Walcott you can’t give them that extra yard because they will punish you.”

Walker wears the Umbro GT II boot – built for speed and agility through colour, material and graphic detail. For further details

For more football tips see:
Ashley Cole: How to handle every opponent
Ryan Bertrand: Be ready for any challenge
Aymeric Laporte: The art of being a modern defender
Chris Smalling: How to be the complete defender