Tottneham defender in spotlight

Walker plays down Carlos comparison

June 17, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Tottenham right-back Kyle Walker has been dubbed the new Roberto Carlos by some sections of the Spanish media after impressive performances at his position for England during the European Under-21 Championships in Denmark.

Kyle Walker Aston Villa
PA PhotosTottenham's Kyle Walker spent time on loan at Aston Villa last season.

The 21-year-old defender, who is currently on loan at Aston Villa, has been one of the few positives at the tournament for Stuart Pearce's squad, and was perhaps the Young Lions' star performer in Sunday's opening 1-1 draw with Spain.

He set up Danny Welbeck's late equaliser in the match and regaled onlookers with multiple overlapping runs, both instances of which likened him by a handful of Spanish reporters to the legendary Carlos.

Walker was pleased with the somewhat surprising comparison, saying: "It's a compliment, isn't it? It's not bad to be put in the same sentence as him!"

No matter the flattering similarities between the England youth and the Brazilian retiree, however, Walker maintained that he and his international teammates are focused on their must-win clash against the Czech Republic on Sunday.

"We've always got to be confident with the players we've got in there," he said. "They're all Premier League players. They can always be a threat, whoever we are playing against. We proved it against Spain, we proved it the other night."

"There's a good togetherness and team spirit in the team. Not every game can go as well you want it to or plan it to. But hopefully we can improve in the next game and get the three points."

The Young Lions have scored only once in their first two matches, drawing successively against Spain and Ukraine, and will have to improve on Sunday if they are to avoid crashing out of the tournament.