Kyle Walker wants to be 'part of history' as Manchester City bid to become invincibles

Kyle Walker
Updated 14 January 2018
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Kyle Walker wants to be 'part of history' as Manchester City bid to become invincibles

MANCHESTER: Six years ago Kyle Walker caused much surprise when he was named the PFA Young Player of the Year.
Despite the right-back impressing in a Spurs side that finished fourth, Sergio Aguero — inspirational with 23 goals as Manchester City won the title that season — was favorite.
“I don’t know how I beat Aguero to that award because he had a fantastic year,” Walker told Arab News.
Yet it remains a rare honor in his career, whereas Aguero has enjoyed title and cup triumphs while carving his name in City folklore as their record scorer.
Having made a £50 million ($68 million) summer switch to join the Argentine striker at the Etihad, Walker, 27, is now eager to share in similar success and history.
After 22 games, leaders City visit Liverpool today still on course to match Arsenal’s 2004 feat of going the entire Premier League season unbeaten.
Walker, who grew up on a Sheffield council estate, dares to dream and insisted it is not impossible to be become ‘Invincibles’.
“We’ve seen Celtic went on last year and did it, so listen, it’s possible, but in the Premier League it is going to be difficult,” he said.
“No disrespect to the Scottish Premier League, but the Premier League is tough and we have got some tough games coming up. We need to just keep approaching every game as we have done in the last four-five months and hopefully that will see us over the line.
“Of course I’d like to be part of history. I’ve got three little boys myself and if they can look at me and say daddy was a part of that then that would be fantastic. It would be a pat on the back, not just to myself, but to my mum, dad, missus and everyone who has supported me to get where I am now.
“I’ve had a difficult upbringing, but it’s all a learning curve and I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have that childhood and that learning.
“It would be fantastic if we could do it, be remembered like Arsenal, but it’s going to be difficult. We have played so many games this season and that maybe showed a little bit in the league game at Crystal Palace. We went there and got the draw, but it was so close to a loss.
“We are in all competitions we can win, so that’s a positive. But we just need to attack and keep treating every game as we have done. I think that should be enough because of the quality we have got in the dressing room and especially the striking force. I believe it’s a force to be reckoned with.”
With the chance of an unprecedented quadruple of trophies, City have become a fearsome force as a team and Walker is flourishing under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola.
“I think you have to strive in your personal terms to be the very best and play at the highest level possible,” he added. “That season, 2011-12, was a great year for me, but after that people found out I was new to the Premier League. You get that, when the first season you do well and the second and third was more difficult.
“But I think it improved me as a player mentally, that I had to adapt to different situations that I wasn’t comfortable in or that happened in the first season.
“The big thing about joining City was I wanted to have a new challenge and test myself further. No disrespect to Tottenham, but I needed something different.
“This club was the right decision for me. The manager, and how he wants his team to play and how he could develop me as a player was key, having worked with two of my favorite right backs since I was growing up in Dani Alves and Philipp Lahm.
“I’m not at their level yet, I’m still improving. I’m 27, probably at my peak now and for the next three years. But I am keen to learn and the gaffer is always showing me ways I can improve and I am taking it on board every day. Every day is a school day really.”


Mickey Arthur calls on Pakistan to prove India defeat was one-off

Updated 20 September 2018
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Mickey Arthur calls on Pakistan to prove India defeat was one-off

  • Pakistan coach wants improved performance when side next face big rivals India on Sunday in the UAE.
  • Asia Cup now down to Super Four stage.

LONDON: Mickey Arthur is confident Pakistan can bounce back from their big defeat against India in Dubai on Wednesday.
Arthur’s side lost by eight wickets to their arch-rivals in the final clash of the group stage at the Asia Cup, taking place in the UAE.
It came less than 24 hours after India struggled to beat Hong Kong, but Rohit Sharma’s side hit the disappointment of that performance for six to easily beat Pakistan.
Despite the defeat Arthur is sure his side can turn things around in the Super Four stage and go all the way and win the tournament.
“Whenever we go head-to-head with India, I am comfortable that we’ve got a dressing room of players who can stand up to it,” the Pakistan coach said.
“I am comfortable we’ve got a dressing room of players who, on any given day, can win. So I still think it’s a 50-50. Lucky this game was inconsequential in the tournament.”
Pace spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar (three for 15) and part time off-spinner Kedar Jadhav (three for 23) sent Pakistan, who won the toss and batted, collapsing to just 162 all out in 43.1 overs at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Skipper Sharma then struck three sixes and six boundaries in his 39-ball 52 while fellow opener Shikhar Dhawan hit a six and six fours in his 54-ball 46 as India romped home in just 29 overs.
Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik both finished on 31 not out as India exacted some revenge for their humbling 180-run defeat against their arch-rivals in the final of the Champions Trophy in London last year — the most recent match between the teams until Wednesday.

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur was not a happy man after watching his Pakistan side soundly beaten by India in Dubai. 


Both Pakistan and India had already qualified for the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup and will meet again in Dubai on Sunday. When they do Arthur will doubtless be looking for a response and for his side to stick to the set plans.
“On a wicket like that you need to strike really if you’re going to defend it. We didn’t strike early enough,” Arthur said.
“We went away from our plans too quickly. We said that our batters batted outside our roles and that wasn’t acceptable. With our bowling, we went outside our plans far too quickly. We wanted to bowl hard lengths, hit the top of off stump.
“It was tough to score then. We did that in the first six, and then (Usman Khan) Shinwari decided to come around the wicket and bowl a bouncer with fine leg up. And from there it just tumbled.
“We’re going to sit down and talk about that. It’s not good enough. We went outside our plans.
“That’s not acceptable. I think there was a bit of panic when they didn’t strike early.”
Also of concern to the Pakistan coach is the form of Mohammad Amir. The side’s main bowler has looked out of form recently and has struggled for wickets since last year’s Champions Trophy win.
“I’d be lying if I sat here and said there wasn’t (any concern about Amir),” Arthur said.
“I had a really good, long hard chat with him last night and I thought he came out and bowled really well. He hit the crease really hard. He ran in well. He’s been decelerating to the crease, but he didn’t do that today.
“He seemed more fluent, there was a little bit more pace there. And I was comfortable (with what he did), he bowled well. 
There is pressure on him, of course there is.”
There was much hype surrounding the clash, as there always is with any India vs. Pakistan match, but once Pakistan’s unpredictable batting crumbled, Wednesday’s showdown turned into a damp squib for a near-capacity crowd in the UAE. They will all hope that Sunday’s rerun will dish up more drama and entertainment.