Kyle Walker eyes Premier League title charge with Tottenham

 

Kyle Walker thinks Tottenham can challenge for the title next season, but acknowledges their chances of success will be reduced if they lose their top players like Luka Modric and Gareth Bale this summer.

Spurs kept pace with both Manchester sides for the first two thirds of last season, but a dramatic slump towards the end of the campaign meant they finished fourth in the Barclays Premier League.

To add further misery for the north London club, they were denied a place in the Champions League as rivals Chelsea, who finished sixth in the table, won the European Cup, meaning Spurs will be playing in the Europa League next term.

Bale, who starred in the Champions League for Spurs two years ago, said at the start of this month that he would consider his future if the Londoners failed to make it in to Europe's top club competition while Modric, hotly pursued by Chelsea last summer, will decide whether to leave after Euro 2012.

Walker, who has made the right-back spot his own, has high hopes for Spurs next season, although he admits they depend to a degree on keeping hold of Modric and Bale.

"I think it's vital (we keep them)," Walker told Press Association Sport at an event to promote Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Grudge Match against Manchester United's Tom Cleverley, where the players were going head-to-head on the all new frantic 'Face Off' levels from the Content Collection 2 maps for the game.

"The chairman showed last season that we are not a selling club.

"We can challenge next year for the title, definitely. We will be up there.

"We can achieve anything with the squad we have got. When I look around the changing room there's Gareth, Aaron Lennon, Rafa van der Vaart, Emmanuel Adebayor and even the likes of Louis Saha, Brad Friedel. There are world-class players there, experienced heads and they have helped me a lot this season.

"It's only upwards for Tottenham."

Tottenham looked certain qualifiers for the Champions League following an impressive 11-match unbeaten run towards the end of 2011 - a sequence Walker played a big part in putting together.

Ultimately, their efforts proved in vain, however, thanks to UEFA's rules that state only four teams from one country are allowed to compete in the Champions League.

Knowing some members of the Chelsea squad, Saturday was a night of mixed emotions for Walker, but he insists Tottenham must move on quickly from their unfortunate disappointment and not spend their time wondering what might have been.

"Obviously Saturday is football. That's what happens in the game," the 21-year-old said.

"I had mixed emotions as I know Ryan Bertrand, he was making his debut and Chelsea are an English team, but I want to test myself at the highest level so I favoured Bayern a little.

"It didn't work out as we would have liked but we just have to pick ourselves up now, dust ourselves down and challenge next year."

Last Saturday's outcome was a disappointing way to end a season full of success for Walker.

The youngster, signed from Sheffield United three years ago, was expected to play second fiddle to Vedran Corluka in the Spurs defence but he ousted the experienced Croatia right-back after a number of stunning displays early in the campaign.

The Yorkshireman won his first England cap against Spain in November, clinched the PFA Young Player of the Year award and also became a father for the first time.

He suffered heartbreak at the end of a draining 49-game campaign, however, when a broken toe ruled him out of England's Euro 2012 squad.

"It was difficult to take," the defender said.

"It could have been my fault. I had injections for the last three weeks of the season but I just wanted to play for Tottenham.

"I just wanted them to get in to the Champions League.

"But footballers have these setbacks in their careers and otherwise it's been like a dream for me this season, a perfect year."

Call of Duty(R): Modern Warfare 3 Content Collection 2 is out now on Xbox LIVE Marketplace for 1,200 Microsoft Points. The Collection is open to all; a premium Call of Duty(R) Elite membership is not required. The DLC pack will be available on other platforms at a later date.

PA

VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
Strange 'quack' noises could be undersea chatter of Minke whales
science
Voices
voices Furore is yet another example of shameful Westminster evasion, says Nigel Farage
News
weird news... and film it, obviously
News
peopleThis time as he’s awarded the Freedom of Stirling and handed an honorary degree
Arts & Entertainment
tv
Sport
sport
News
Matthew Mcnulty and Jessica Brown Findlay in 'Jamaica Inn'
mediaHundreds complain over dialogue levels in period drama
Voices
voicesMoyes' tragedy is one the Deputy PM understands all too well, says Matthew Norman
News
peopleJay Z and Beyoncé to buy £5.5m London townhouse
Voices
voicesMoyes' tragedy is one the Deputy PM understands all too well, says Matthew Norman
Arts & Entertainment
Rocker of ages: Chuck Berry
musicWhy do musicians play into old age?
News
Jilly's jewels: gardener Alan Titchmarsh
peopleCountry Life magazine's list of 'gallant' public figures throws light on what it means to be a gentleman in the modern world
Sport
John Terry goes down injured in the 70th minute
sportAtletico Madrid 0 Chelsea 0: Blues can finish the job at Stamford Bridge, but injuries to Terry and Cech are a concern for Mourinho
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home

It's not always fun in the sun: Moving abroad does not guarantee happiness

Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home
Migrants in Britain a decade on: They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire

Migrants in Britain a decade on

They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire
Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

The 'Thick of It' favourite thinks the romcom is an 'awful genre'. So why is he happy with a starring role in Sky Living's new Lake District-set series 'Trying Again'?
Why musicians play into their old age

Why musicians play into their old age

Nick Hasted looks at how they are driven by a burning desire to keep on entertaining fans despite risking ridicule
How can you tell a gentleman?

How can you tell a gentleman?

A list of public figures with gallant attributes by Country Life magazine throws a fascinating light on what it means to be a gentleman in the modern world
Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

The duo behind Asos and Achica have launched a new venture offering haute couture to help make furry companions fashionable
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: The mutiny that sent a ripple of fear through the Empire

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

The mutiny that sent a ripple of fear through the Empire
Hot stuff: 10 best kettles

Hot stuff: 10 best kettles

Celebrate St George’s Day with a nice cup of tea. Now you just need to get the water boiled
Sam Wallace: Why Giggs is perfect fit as Manchester United boss... in the longer term

Sam Wallace

Why Ryan Giggs is perfect fit as Manchester United boss... in the longer term
Renaud Lavillenie: The sky's the limit for this pole vaulter's ambitions

Renaud Lavillenie: The sky's the limit for this pole vaulter's ambitions

Having smashed Sergei Bubka's 21-year-old record, the French phenomenon tells Simon Turnbull he can go higher
Through the screen: British Pathé opens its archives

Through the screen

British Pathé opens its archives
The man behind the papier mâché mask

Frank Sidebottom

The man behind the papier mâché mask
Chris Marker: Mystic film-maker with a Midas touch

Mystic film-maker with a Midas touch

Chris Marker retrospective is a revelation
Boston runs again: Thousands take to the streets for marathon as city honours dead and injured of last year's bombing

Boston runs again

Thousands of runners take to the streets as city honours dead of last year
40 years of fostering and still holding the babies (and with no plans to retire)

40 years of fostering and holding the babies

In their seventies and still working as specialist foster parents