Date: 16th October 2012 at 11:30am
Written by:

Good afternoon.

The excellent PhysioRoom.com has Kyle Naughton due back on the 20th of this month.The reason I share this piece of fascinating piece of information is that it might prove to be of sudden relevance dependent upon what happens when England play Poland tonight.

From today’s Mirror:

Hodgson has taken Walker to Poland, despite him having a scan on his calf. The Spurs star missed training here on Monday and is unlikely to be involved against Poland. Hodgson added: “Walker has a very slight calf strain. He’s got a tender spot.”

With the Chelsea game looming it is of course another reason to make a reticent grunting noise when asked if you know the England game is on tonight. 

Taking Walker to Poland like this really is putting club before country and makes you wonder what communication system is in place between the player’s employers and the FA when it comes to situations such as this?

Thinking ahead – as the boy clearly needs to achieve match fitness and so it might be ambitious to suggest him for this weekend – but is it time to see if Naughton can do a job at right back in place of Walker?

The boss knows best he is the guy who makes the assessments in training. But if Naughton were showing some positive signs then it would be interesting to see what he might offer defensively.

I’ve been banging my ‘lack of confidence’ drum about Walker for some time. As I’ve said on the podcast, this ‘he’s good going forward’ line is largely an urban myth. He doesn’t really achieve much with his runs and as a defender all I see is him getting skinned endlessly. As an athlete he’s great, but is he anywhere near as good defensively? I think the answer is a firm ‘no.’

ODM tells me, ‘You don’t like him!’ which implies there’s something personal or irrational in my critique. This isn’t the case. Any issues with players positive or negative stem solely from their game play. Walker’s a defender who doesn’t do that job very well and his attacking play is hit and miss. 

What’s after the Blue Racists? The Bubbles Part2 then a trip to Southampton. Perfect. I’d like to see Kyle Naughton given a go for that one.