England news

Walker pulls out of squad

February 27, 2012
By ESPN staff

Tottenham defender Kyle Walker has become the latest player to withdraw from the England squad to face Netherlands this Wednesday.

Tottenham Hotspur's Kyle Walker scores against Arsenal
GettyImagesKyle Walker has blossomed into a first-team regular at White Hart Lane, and is on the fringes of the England team

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Walker, who played the full 90 minutes for Tottenham in their 5-2 defeat at Arsenal on Sunday, becomes the fourth player after Tom Cleverley, Darren Bent and Wayne Rooney to deplete caretaker boss Stuart Pearce's options.

The Football Association confirmed on Monday that no replacements would be called up for the absent four players, meaning Pearce has a squad of 21 to pick from at Wembley.

Concerns over midfielder Gareth Barry's fitness have also been raised by Manchester City coach David Platt, although the player has reported for duty with England.

The midfielder did not feature for City in their 3-0 win over Blackburn on Saturday, having been substituted off during the Europa League victory against Porto last Wednesday due to a back problem.

Barry will undergo tests on the injury, and Platt said: "We were a bit loath to put Gareth on again at half-time in the Porto game on Wednesday and we dragged him off very quickly in the second half.

"He had a little problem in the first half when he felt very tight in his hamstring. The indications were that it was coming from his back. It was almost like a spasm in his back.

"Gareth was available for selection but we just didn't want to run the risk. I'm sure he will report with England."

Rafael van der Vaart has been ruled out of the Netherlands' squad.