I had to quit Twitter, it put me off my game, admits Spurs defender Walker
22:01 GMT, 26 October 2012
Kyle Walker has admitted that he
stopped using Twitter after criticism and abuse from fans began to
affect his performances for Tottenham.
The England right-back revealed he
was taking a temporary break from the social media site in the wake of
last week's defeat by Chelsea.
Walker, 22, finally decided enough was
enough when several followers questioned his work ethic.
Fall guy: Kyle Walker came under fire from some fans after Chelsea defeat
'I told my missus that I was coming off it,' he said, 'I thought I needed to concentrate on my own performances for a few weeks.
'I'll keep working and doing the extra that I need to. Hopefully, my form will come back. I want to concentrate on my football again instead of tweeting.
'I have probably come off at the wrong time. People are saying it's a problem with Spurs' fans – it definitely isn't that.
'When 250,000 people follow you, not everyone is going to be happy. And it's hard to keep everyone happy, so you have to be thick-skinned.
Focused: Walker insists he works hard on his game
'Genuine supporters have been fully behind me. I appreciate that and I'm thankful for it.
'But some people were just having a bit too much to say. They don't
know how much work I'm putting in, not just on match days but throughout
the first one in and last one out every day. If that means doing gym or
extra swimming, then I'm going to do it to make me a better player.
'I don't know why this started. I don't know if they want to provoke a reaction and get a tweet back off me – it could be a million different things.'
Walker, who became a father for the first time last year, said he did not want to become caught up in a slanging match with his followers, as he realises that children can access what he says.
'I've seen what has happened with Ashley Cole and Ryan Bertrand and I don't want this to be put in that category,' he added.
Danger: Walker is wary of making the same mistakes at England team-mates Cole and Bertrand
'I mean it has turned into something massive. To start with, it was just banter with Kyle Naughton and it's gone from there.
'But it's turned into a difficult one. You don't know what you can and
cannot say. I don't think you can say much to people – you have to make
your own comments.
could be kids following you, so I don't want to swear. I want to be a
role model. So it's difficult what you can tweet. Obviously, though, you
don't want to be abused, either.
'So, I'm cautious in what I say. I've chosen my words wisely. When I didn't have anything good to say, I've just come off it.
Walker's menace from right-back has led to several Premier League teams marking him down as a real attacking threat. His performance in Slovenia against Maribor was one of the better ones.
'I feel I'm getting there,' he said. 'Last year was a good one for me. I got off to a flyer and I think people want the same this time around.
'But when people know what you are about, it's difficult. They know your game. Last season I was a bit of a surprise to everyone.
'People have been doubling up on me. It is a compliment. I take everything as a compliment. I got the young player of the year award last year and you don't get that as a defender without doing something well.'
Apart from an unsightly ball of cotton wool that was stuffed up his nose post-match in Slovenia ('My nose just started bleeding in the shower,' he said) life is going pretty well for the Yorkshireman as he insisted he was happy and settled.
'If I've had a bad and one or two things have been said on twitter, it really doesn't matter,' he said.
'I go home to my son, Roman. I've just bought two French Bulldog puppies – Ike and Tiny – so it's like having three kids in the home. It's a bit manic.
'But it's better than going home to a boring house. It's perfect now. Life is pretty good.'