Kyle Walker.

Why Kyle Walker took the free-kick during England vs Slovenia

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Football News

England were desperately poor against Slovenia on Thursday night, but the important thing is they won and are now through to the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.

It took until second half stoppage time for the Three Lions to finally break the deadlock and, surprise surprise, it was Harry Kane who stepped up.

Kyle Walker bombed down the right channel before crossing for his former Tottenham teammate, whose delicate touch was enough to beat goalkeeper Jan Oblak.

England's players can now relax knowing they've secured a place at next year's tournament - but that doesn't mean to say they can completely take their foot off the pedal.

From defence to attack, Gareth Southgate's men underwhelmed at Wembley, especially so going forward.

A complete lack of creativity meant England rarely tested Oblak in goal, while a number of silly mistakes at the back almost resulted in Slovenia scoring.

These are the kinds of flaws Southgate and his players must iron out before next summer if they're to have any chance of progressing far.

One aspect of England's game that must improve - or rather needs sorting out - is free-kicks, because no one knows who the designated taker is.

Kane and Marcus Rashford both fancy themselves from 25 yards out and yet, to the bemusement everyone, it was Walker who stepped up in the 35th minute.


The Manchester City right-back blazed his effort over the bar, to which England fans responded by asking why on earth he took it in the first place.

Well, there might just be a reason.

As a couple of fans pointed out on Twitter, Walker actually has a decent strike on him and once scored a stunning free-kick for Tottenham against Blackburn.

Back in 2012, Walker curled a beautiful strike into the top-right corner from 25 yards to earn Tottenham a 2-0 victory. Check it out.


Even Gary Neville, who was commentating on the game, couldn't believe what he had just seen from Walker, saying: "I didn't know he possessed free-kicks like this."


So there you have it, perhaps this is why Southgate allowed Walker to take the free-kick against Slovenia.

It's unorthodox, but if the 27-year-old produces something similar for England, fans will have no problem with him being on free-kick duty going forward.

Kyle Walker
Marcus Rashford
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