Ledley King

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Ledley King
Ledley King.jpg
King in 2008
Personal information
Full nameLedley Brenton King[1]
Date of birth(1980-10-12) 12 October 1980 (age 32)[1]
Place of birthBow, England[2]
Height1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)[3]
Playing positionDefender
Club information
Current clubTottenham Hotspur (Club Ambassador)
Youth career
1996–1999Tottenham Hotspur
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
1999–2012Tottenham Hotspur264(10)
National team
2002–2010England21(2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22:00, 22 April 2012 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 17:00, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Ledley King
Ledley King.jpg
King in 2008
Personal information
Full nameLedley Brenton King[1]
Date of birth(1980-10-12) 12 October 1980 (age 32)[1]
Place of birthBow, England[2]
Height1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)[3]
Playing positionDefender
Club information
Current clubTottenham Hotspur (Club Ambassador)
Youth career
1996–1999Tottenham Hotspur
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
1999–2012Tottenham Hotspur264(10)
National team
2002–2010England21(2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22:00, 22 April 2012 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 17:00, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Ledley Brenton King (born 12 October 1980) is an English former footballer who played for Tottenham Hotspur. He retired from football in July 2012. In March 2009 an article in The Times named King as Tottenham's 25th best player of all time.[4]

King was plagued by chronic knee problems, for which no effective treatment or remedy was found, which prevented him from playing more than one game a week.[5] Instead of training with the rest of the squad King undertook fitness exercises on his own.[6] His former manager Harry Redknapp called King "an absolute freak" for being able to perform at Premiership level despite not training.[7] King has also received praise from former team mate and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp, saying that “He is like a magnet for the ball, a thoroughbred of a defender, the best centre-half in the country.” .[8]

King is also considered a legend of the club by Tottenham Hotspur fans. His loyalty, leadership and high quality performances whilst experiencing the aforementioned persistent injury problems have endeared him to the Spurs crowd. King announced his retirement from all forms of football on 19 July 2012 as a result of the chronic knee injuries that plagued much of his career, although it was confirmed he would continue to represent Tottenham Hotspur on an ambassadorial level.[9] Ledley is respected for his reading of the game, coolness under pressure, timing, pace, passing, dominance in the air and his professionalism.

Contents

Club career

Tottenham Hotspur

1996–2001

King joined Tottenham as a trainee in July 1996 and progressed through the youth system. His debut came in May 1999 at Anfield ending in a 3–2 defeat to Liverpool. When breaking into the first team under former manager George Graham he was often used as a midfielder. It was with a performance in central midfield during Tottenham's 2–1 win over Liverpool in November 2000 that he established himself as a regular in the Spurs side. His first goal for Tottenham was scored in December 2000 in a 3–3 draw away to Bradford City which was scored in 10 seconds, setting a new Premier League record for the quickest goal.[10]

2006–2012

After injuring his knee in training before the start of the season, King did not start his season until mid-September. Then after breaking his metatarsal again, he did not feature for Spurs from Boxing Day until the UEFA Cup quarter-final clash with Sevilla in mid-April. Spurs played 59 games in all competitions that season, but King featured in less than half of them. Tottenham only managed 3 clean sheets against top flight opposition without King in the side. In a Premier League clash with reigning champions Chelsea at White Hart Lane, Spurs went on to win the game 2–1, meaning King had captained Tottenham to their first league win over Chelsea since 1990, and the first at White Hart Lane since 1987.

King underwent surgery in the summer, meaning he would miss the start of the season. Manager Martin Jol had been sacked and replaced by Juande Ramos. But on Boxing Day 2007, King made a surprise return to the starting lineup against Fulham, playing 73 minutes before being replaced by Adel Taarabt. He appeared sporadically for the rest of the season, but captained Tottenham to a 2–1 victory over Chelsea in the 2008 League Cup final, the first major honour of his career.

On 3 April 2008, it was announced that he would be rested for the remainder of the season, Spurs having been knocked out of the UEFA Cup, FA Cup and unable to qualify for the Champions League through the League.[11] King had featured in just 10 games all season, with just 4 Premiership games under his belt.

On 12 August 2008, Ledley picked up the trophy for the cleanest team in the Premier league for the season. He received the award at the 'Get on with the Game' programme which was shown on Sky Sports News.[citation needed]

It became clear at the start of the 2008/2009 season that King's injury problems meant that he could not play in every game. Ramos picked him in all 5 of the cup games he managed the club for that season, but only two of the eight league games. With Spurs rooted to the bottom of the league, having picked up just 2 points from those 8 games, Ramos was sacked and replaced by Harry Redknapp, who chose to prioritise the league and only play King in those games. On 26 October 2008, King made his 200th league appearance for Tottenham Hotspur as they defeated Bolton Wanderers 2–0. He captained the club in the League Cup final yet again, this time against Manchester United, keeping a clean sheet after 120 minutes of play, but Tottenham lost on penalties.

Harry Redknapp said of King's knee injury:

"There's no cure. There's no cartilage, nothing to operate on. It's just bone on bone. So it's just a question of managing it. It swells up after games and it normally takes seven days to recover but having played on Monday night he's had less time than usual. He rarely trains, he mostly just goes to the gym to keep himself ticking over. But not running or anything like that. But even if he only plays 20 games a season, he's worth having because he's so good we have a much better chance of winning."[12]

King won his first game ever against Arsenal in the league on 14 April 2010, with a 2–1 win, which he played 90 minutes of. Exactly three weeks later, on 5 May 2010 King captained Tottenham to a 1–0 away victory at Manchester City, thus guaranteeing Tottenham's highest ever finish in the Premier League and securing entry into the qualification round of the UEFA Champions League for the first time. King had been a major doubt for the match having played against Bolton just 4 days earlier, however his performance in this game and many other games in early 2010 look to have secured his place in Fabio Capello's England squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. On 16 May 2010 it was reported that King had signed a new two-year contract extension with Spurs which would keep him at the club until 2012. It was rumoured that King had been released by Tottenham after The Premier League released a list of players who would not be staying at their clubs; with Ledley King included on the list. This was confirmed to be incorrect by Tottenham, who said they were still in the process of offering King a new deal.

On 19 July 2012, King announced he was retiring from football. He will continue at Tottenham as a club ambassador. Many fans and fellow professionals[who?] believe that King would have gone on to become one of the best centre backs to have played the game if it wasn't for his knee injury, many[who?] drawing comparisons to Paolo Maldini. Professionals such as Thierry Henry, Jamie Redknapp and Rio Ferdinand all hold him in high regard, with Thierry Henry stating he was the best defender he had played against.[citation needed] Throughout the whole of his career Ledley only received 8 yellow cards which is unusual even for a relatively short career, and in particular for a centre back, this was due to his immaculate timing and intelligent reading of the game. [1]

International career

King's England debut came in a 1–2 loss to Italy in March 2002.[13] He was called into the England squad for the friendly against Portugal on 18 February 2004, and netted his first goal on his third appearance.

King received his England call-up for Euro 2004 deputising for the injured John Terry in the opener against France in Portugal.[14] He also made a substitute appearance in midfield in the final group game against Croatia.[15]

After featuring regularly in the qualifiers, King looked a likely participant in the England 2006 World Cup squad before fracturing a bone in his foot on 15 April 2006. Although not as bad as a similar injury affecting David Beckham, Gary Neville and Steven Gerrard, King's injury prevented him from being named in Sven-Göran Eriksson's squad.[16]

"Ledley King is injured and he can't train. If you talk about centre-halves we are very well covered, so taking another one half-injured when we have so many good ones it is not a good idea."

King played in the Euro 2008 qualifier against Estonia on 6 June 2007. King played 90 minutes and England won 3–0. Although he featured in Fabio Capello's first squad, he had to pull out through injury. Due to a chronic knee condition which preventing him holding down a regular place in the club side he was also not selected for England games for the rest of 2007 and during the whole of 2008.

On 22 March 2009, King was given a recall by head coach Fabio Capello to the England team to play Slovakia and Ukraine.[5] However, two days later he was removed from the squad after being assessed by England's medical staff, who thought it was in his best interests to continue his personal training regime at his club, due to the chronic knee condition that he has.[17] Fabio Capello later said, in response to Harry Redknapp's objection to King's call-up, "Without doubt, King is one of the best central defenders in England. If he was fit, Redknapp would not need to make the journey. King could come with us." He later promoted King's cause again, saying that "We hope (he has an international future), because he's a very interesting player – one of the best centre-backs. But I don't know the future."

On 11 May 2010, King was named in the 30-man provisional squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup alongside fellow Spurs central defender Michael Dawson. He went on to score a headed goal against Mexico in the first preparation friendly on 24 May.[18]

King made it into England's World Cup 2010 squad. On 12 June 2010, King played 45 minutes for England in their opening match against the USA, before picking up a groin injury which kept him out of the rest of the tournament.[19]

Honours

Tottenham Hotspur
Individual

Career statistics

Club Statistics

ClubSeasonPremier LeagueFA CupLeague CupEuropeTotal
AppGoalsAppGoalsAppGoalsAppGoalsAppGoals
Tottenham Hotspur1998–991000000010
1999–20003000000030
2000–01181510000232
2001–02320317100422
2002–03250100000260
2003–04291313000352
2004–05382514000473
2005–06263001000273
2006–07210000060270
2007–0840103020100
2008–09241002030291
2009–1020210----212
2010–116000--3090
2011–1215000--00150
Career Totals2621019420114031515

International statistics

[20]

England national team
YearAppsGoals
200210
200310
200491
200540
200620
200720
200800
200900
201021
Total212

International goals

[21][22][23]

GoalDateVenueOpponentResultCompetition
118 Feb 2004Estadio Algarve, Algarve, Portugal Portugal1-1Friendly match
224 May 2010Wembley Stadium, London, England Mexico3-1Friendly match

2009 arrest

On 10 May 2009 at 2:30 am, King was arrested on Soho Street on suspicion of assault and causing actual bodily harm outside a London nightclub. He was subsequently bailed until mid-July while the police investigated the incident.[24] King later issued an apology to his club, saying:

"I sincerely regret that a night out with friends went too far. I have apologised to Harry and I fully appreciate that, as a professional footballer, I have a duty to behave in a responsible manner," King said in a statement on the club's website. "I am assisting the police with their enquiries. Anyone who knows me, knows that much of what has been suggested is totally out of character. I am keen to resolve this as soon as possible and concentrate on my football."[25]

This prompted his manager at Tottenham, Harry Redknapp, to promise a ban on alcohol for Tottenham players:

"I'll implement a strong rule next season that drinking is a no-no here. Footballers should not drink. You shouldn't put diesel in a Ferrari. I know it's hard but they are earning big money, they are role models to kids. We wouldn't get these problems if the players weren't drinking. There's still too much of a drinking culture in English football but it's not as bad as it used to be. At Tottenham we do a lot with kids, a lot of them underprivileged. We have to set an example. Too much drinking goes on in this country. Too many people are not happy unless they have had a drink." [26]

Despite his arrest, Harry Redknapp later stated that King would start Tottenham's next league game. Regardless of this incident King is respected in the game for his modesty and professionalism, and is seen as an ideal role model for any young footballer.

King was later cleared of all charges.

Accolades

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Jamie Redknapp
Tottenham Hotspur F.C. Captain
2005–2009
Succeeded by
Robbie Keane
Preceded by
Robbie Keane
Tottenham Hotspur F.C. Captain
2010–2012
Succeeded by
Michael Dawson

References

  1. ^ a b Hugman, Barry J. (2005). The PFA Premier & Football League Players' Records 1946–2005. Queen Anne Press. p. 350. ISBN 1-85291-665-6. 
  2. ^ Rollin, Glenda; Rollin, Jack, eds. (2012). Sky Sports Football Yearbook 2012–2013 (43rd ed.). London: Headline. p. 543. ISBN 978-0-7553-6356-8. 
  3. ^ "Player Profile". Premier League. http://www.premierleague.com/page/PlayerProfile/0,,12306~6040,00.html. Retrieved 6 April 2011. 
  4. ^ Phil Myers (17 March 2009). "The 50 Greatest Tottenham Hotspur Players". London: Times Online. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/premier_league/tottenham/article5920090.ece?token=null&offset=72&page=7. Retrieved 13 September 2009. 
  5. ^ a b "Capello awards King shock call-up". BBC Sport. 22 March 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/internationals/7957460.stm. Retrieved 13 September 2009. 
  6. ^ Amy Lawrence (14 March 2009). "Bone tired of talking about the joint". London: The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2009/mar/14/ledley-king-interview-tottenham-hotspur. Retrieved 13 September 2009. 
  7. ^ James Dall (15 March 2009). "Harry hails King Ledley". Sky Sports. http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_5055932,00.html. Retrieved 13 September 2009. 
  8. ^ "Sky Sports pundit fears for "the best centre-half in the country"". Sport.co.uk. 8 May 2010. http://www.sport.co.uk/news/Football/37943/Sky_Sports_pundit_fears_for_the_best_centre-half_in_the_country.aspx. Retrieved 08 May 2010. 
  9. ^ "Tottenham Hotspur defender Ledley King announces retirement". http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/18902734. Retrieved 2012-07-19. 
  10. ^ "Bradford deny Spurs happy awayday". BBC Sport. 9 December 2000. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/1061819.stm. Retrieved 26 October 2009. 
  11. ^ "King to miss rest of Spurs season". BBC Sport. 3 April 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/t/tottenham_hotspur/7329238.stm. Retrieved 13 September 2009. 
  12. ^ Paul Doyle (12 December 2008). "Spurs hope King can swing balance against United". London: guardian.co.uk. http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2008/dec/12/tottenham-hotspur-harry-redknapp. Retrieved 13 September 2009. 
  13. ^ Alan Hansens Verdict BBC Sport Accessed 25 May 2010
  14. ^ France 2-1 England BBC Sport, Accessed 24 May 2010
  15. ^ Croatia 2-4 England BBC Sport Accessed 24 May 2010
  16. ^ "Walcott & Lennon in England squad". BBC Sport. 8 May 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/world_cup_2006/teams/england/4983618.stm. Retrieved 13 September 2009. 
  17. ^ "Injured duo miss England training". BBC Sport. 25 March 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/internationals/7960392.stm. Retrieved 13 September 2009. 
  18. ^ England 3-1 Mexico BBC Sport Accessed 24 May 2010
  19. ^ Ledley King's World Cup could be over Accessed 14 June 2010
  20. ^ http://www.national-football-teams.com/v2/player.php?id=2213
  21. ^ Sven Goran Eriksen's record - The FA, 3 July 2006
  22. ^ Rivals content with close contest - UEFA.com, 18 Feb 2004
  23. ^ Portugal 1-1 England - BBC, 18 Feb 2004
  24. ^ "King 'regrets' nightclub incident". BBC News. 10 May 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/8042312.stm. Retrieved 13 September 2009. 
  25. ^ "Sorry King looks forward". Yahoo – EuroSport. 11 May 2009. http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/11052009/63/sorry-king-looks-forward.html. Retrieved 13 September 2009. [dead link]
  26. ^ "Premier League – Redknapp bans the booze". Yahoo – EuroSport. 12 May 2009. http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/12052009/58/premier-league-redknapp-bans-booze.html. Retrieved 13 September 2009. [dead link]

External links