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Why Ledley will forever remain King at White Hart Lane

Described as the best central defender he has ever seen in his career by Martin Jol

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What can you do in ten seconds? There isn’t really much a mere mortal like you or I can do in such a short space of time. However, a 21 year old Ledley King took it upon himself to score the Barclays Premier League fastest ever goal after his deflected effort against Bradford City back in 2000 nestled into the far bottom corner of the Bradford net. It took a little over ten seconds from the kick off for King to score in a thrilling encounter that ended 3-3 between the two sides.

The Tottenham captain officially announced himself to the Spurs faithful of what was to come in his years at White Hart Lane. Having shifted from midfield to defence to replace the outgoing Sol Campbell, King really began to showcase his tremendous ability as an athlete and a player and was held in high regard by his peers and fellow professionals.

Described as the best central defender he has ever seen in his career by Martin Jol, the only player to ever get the better of Thierry Henry without fouling the Frenchman, a statement made by Henry himself, and an absolute freak, in regards to his ability to play at the highest level without training, by current manager Harry Redknapp, King is certainly a favourite by many in the game today.

Where did it all go wrong?

Despite all the praise being sent King’s way, he never really established himself as the country’s best. A serious knee injury had led to the Spurs man missing substantial chunks of recent seasons while many have predicted retirement is soon to follow suit.

With the knee injury comes a lack of training between games. King is forced to follow his own exercise regime away from the first team which often includes swimming and a lot of gym work. At first, his natural ability and fitness allowed this to happen but with age, this lack of showing is beginning to show.

A groin strain suffered in October against Fulham led to the Spurs defender missing the past seven months of the season through injury. It was the same groin strain King picked up in England’s World Cup opener against USA last year and it is becoming more and more apparent that the lack of training King goes through, the more injuries he is going to pick up.

Still able to show his class

However, any plans for retirement have once again been shelved. King made his long awaited comeback in the 2-0 win over Liverpool last week and went on to pick up the man of the match award after a superb defensive display stifling the likes of Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll in the Liverpool front line.

He has the ability to step in to the defence with minimal ease and put in performances of the highest quality when called upon. Contracted until the summer of 2012, and having just played a full 90 minutes unscathed, it is unlikely that King will be looking to hang up his boots anytime soon.

Sunday will bring about the end of the Premier League season and it is one game that the Spurs man will be hoping to play in. A starting spot will see King play consecutive matches for the first time in over a year and with defensive partner Jonathan Woodgate looking likely to be shown the exit door in a matter of months; it is King that will be hoping he has done enough to persuade manager Redknapp that he still has a part to play Tottenham’s upcoming campaign.  

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