Walker behind the rest in terms of fitness

Kyle Walker certainly looked behind the others in terms of fitness in the heat and humidity of Toyita Park as Tottenham took on and beat Chicago Fire.

Walker behind the rest in terms of fitness


He missed the first game, not wanting to risk his groin on an artificial surface and played the second half against Jermain Defoe's Toronto RC, after which he spoke to the media.

“It was good to get 45 minutes on the pitch again pain-free. It is a step in the right direction. Being injured for so long and missing out on the World Cup has been the most difficult part of my career. 
“Roy just said he couldn’t really take a risk with me. It was hard to hear. But I knew I wasn’t playing for my club at the time, so I had to take it on the chin. It hurt a lot, but hopefully that pain can help me develop even more as a player. This has taught me that things do not always go your way in football. 
“Sometimes you are left down in the dumps. And there is nothing you can do about it, other than get back in the gym, or on the training field to work hard on trying to get fit again. 
“It was the manager’s decision and you have to respect it. I will try to get back into the squad and then on that team-sheet again. I hope to be England’s right-back for many years to come.”

The first step was the Toronto game and then the Chicago Fire game where he again has 45 minutes. He clearly looked rusty and out of breath, having to time his runs and take defensive rests when he could. The season is three weeks away so he should have fitness levels OK by the season opener against West Ham.

Having seen Pochettino's system it looks as if he will have a new player in front of him with Aaron Lennon deployed on the left on this tour. Erik Lamela looks the favourite to be playing in front of him with Andros Townsend, also returning from injury, failing to impress.

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Lamela however also looked comfortable on the left and Lennon showed he is a better player than some Spurs fans realise, adapting to a new role in the inside left channel rather well. It's Walker back fit though wed like to see with Naughton looking no more than a competent understudy at the moment.

His decision making is often poor, Walker can make mistakes too but he is better than Naughton in defensive situations and he has the added bonus of speed allowing him to get up and down the flank.

Next up for Walker is Celtic in Finland on 2nd August.


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