Kyle Walker: England defender takes ‘full blame’ for Iceland red card

5 September 2020 0 By Total Football News
Kyle Walker
Walker was only the 14th player to be sent off for England

Kyle Walker says he takes "full blame" after being sent off for England and hopes it does not mark the end of his international career.

The Manchester City full-back, 30, returned to the side having missed the last six internationals, but received a second yellow card in the win against Iceland for a lunging tackle.

Walker said he will talk to boss Gareth Southgate about his England future.

Southgate said the red card put his team "in a really difficult situation".

Already on a yellow card and with the ball running loose, Walker recklessly jumped in on Arnor Traustason to become only the 14th player to be sent off for England.

He is now banned for Tuesday's game against Denmark in Copenhagen and faces a tough task to get back into the side as he competes for a right-back spot with Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold and Atletico Madrid's Kieran Trippier.

City team-mate Raheem Sterling earned England a late win in their opening Nations League game with a 90th minute winner from the penalty spot.

A distraught-looking Walker told Sky Sports: "To get sent off for your country is never a nice moment especially after being out of the team for so long and being on 49 caps.

"I have to take the full blame. To make a rash challenge like that is not acceptable. I don't blame the pressure, I am a seasoned professional and I should know how to manage a game.

"You have to say fair play to the lads for digging in and fighting and getting the win.

"Hopefully I will be back. I have to talk to the boss and see what he wants to do. I am more than happy to say I want to be around the team. I have missed it."

Southgate in no mood for niceties

Walker was the first player sent off in Southgate's four-year reign, with Sterling the previous red card for the Three Lions in a friendly against Ecuador in 2014.

England were fortunate to escape with all three points after defender Joe Gomez conceded an injury-time penalty, which Birkir Bjarnason blazed wide.

Southgate was clearly unhappy with Walker, saying after the game: "We all have to learn from that incident in the game because we have gone out of tournament before when we have been down to 10 men.

"That is not the situation I have had in the time I have been in charge so the response to it from the rest of the team was good. It put us in a really difficult situation. I liked the character to respond to the setbacks that we had.

"The obvious lessons are the red card, you can't make challenges like that. Kyle has spoken about it and held his hands up in the dressing room but being down to 10 men makes life so difficult to win matches.

"To win with 10 was commendable for the attitude of the players and coping with a that situation."

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Analysis

BBC Sport chief football write Phil McNulty:

Walker was a surprise selection by England manager Gareth Southgate for the Nations League games with Iceland and Denmark when it looked like his international career was behind him.

Southgate reinforced his renewed faith in the Manchester City defender by handing him a starting place in Iceland - his reward was an unwise challenge and second yellow card that must ask old questions about Walker's international career.

Walker's second challenge on Traustason was reckless in the extreme with 20 minutes left and England struggling to break down a typically stubborn Iceland.

Southgate was clearly unimpressed.

Walker will know he has blotted his copybook when he could least afford it, with Trippier still a trusted member of Southgate's squad - selflessly working on the left side in Iceland - while Liverpool's Alexander-Arnold is edging back towards full fitness and is widely regarded as one of the best young right-backs in world football.

Manchester United's Aaron Wan-Bissaka provides further competition so Walker will have know he needed to be more or less faultless to take advantage of an unlikely chance to rekindle his England career.

He wore the look of a man who may have damaged that opportunity and must hope Southgate is in a benevolent mood otherwise his sending off could prove very expensive when measured against his England future.

Former England winger Chris Waddle on BBC Radio 5 Live:

Overall you have to say England, with the possession they had, did not create enough and they did not move the ball quick enough. They were not positive enough.

It's a good three points for England. They look a bit rusty and hopefully they will improve on that performance on Sunday.

England fell short in terms of breaking Iceland down. Iceland will probably think they deserved a draw and England have to improve. It just wasn't good enough tonight.


This news item was provided by the BBC Sport - Football website - the original link is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/54044520