Kyle Walker will probably be aiming to win his eighth main trophy when Manchester City line up against his former membership Tottenham Hotspur in Sunday’s Carabao Cup Final. The next extract is a part of a protracted learn which explores Walker’s key function in City’s current success. With feedback from the man himself and a host of former players and coaches, it’s obtainable to learn on mancity.com and the Official Man City app now.
Walker is closing in on 500 video games as an expert, throughout which he has established himself as one of many best right-backs in world football.
The constructing blocks have been put in place at Spurs the place, in his phrases, “Mauricio Pochettino helped me tremendously”, however it’s under the stewardship of Guardiola that Walker has taken his sport and the place itself to the subsequent level.
At Spurs, he was a serious attacking outlet tasked with creating possibilities within the final third, however the Yorkshireman is extra defensively minded lately, influencing the team in a myriad of how, whether or not that be as an auxiliary midfielder or when his trademark turn of tempo is required to snuff out a counter-attack.
“The way in which Pep desires to play is exceptional in England,” he explains.
“You don’t practice for that rising up. Once I was at Sheffield United, it was about getting the ball out of my feet and clipping it into the channels. At Tottenham, it was utterly completely different once more.
“Once you get a new manager, they bring a new philosophy. It’s about adapting. Without any consideration-back, you must adapt to completely different conditions and completely different wingers. That’s what makes the place so thrilling.
“Since my first season at City, the manager doesn’t prefer to be overloaded in midfield, so he likes bringing one of many full-backs inside. He likes to utilise my tempo to make positive I management the counter-attack, so I’ve turn out to be a bit of bit extra defensive.
“The calls for are unimaginable. If the opposition play with a two up-front, my place modifications. In the event that they play with a one up-front, my place modifications. In the event that they play with a winger slicing off the cross, my place modifications.
“I’ve bought to adapt greater than anybody else on the pitch to the opposite team. Each sport is a new challenge.”
Difficult couldn’t be a extra apt description of the right-back function at City.
It’s a far cry from the times when full-backs in even probably the most dominant of teams centered primarily on stopping crosses, with the flexibility to overlap in attack merely a bonus.
They’re each duties Micah Richards perfected.
Like Walker, he was a fearsome one versus one defender blessed with exceptional tempo which made him equally efficient on the different end of the pitch, however he’s in little question that City’s present No.2 has taken the place to new heights.
“Kyle Walker is good. He is likely one of the most constant performers I’ve seen for a protracted time.
“This season, Kyle has been one of many best players within the team and that’s uncommon for a full-back. He has been capable of adapt to no matter Pep has wished to do. He has handed each test.
“It’s been staggering and I don’t assume Kyle will get sufficient credit score for having the ability to adapt his sport for what the team wants. He has taken full-back to the subsequent level.”
Click on right here to learn the full Kyle Walker characteristic by John Edwards.