On Sky Sports’ ‘Fantasy Football Club’, there’s an interesting little feature called ‘One2Eleven’ where professionals - current and former - name an XI of the best footballers they played alongside.
And one of the most selected players over the years has been Ledley King, the former Tottenham and England centre-back whose career was plagued by injury problems.
Whenever King’s selected, Paul Merson - one of the show’s hosts - always says the same thing: “He’s in everyone’s team.”
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When Harry Redknapp named his ‘One2Eleven’, he explained what made King such a special defender.
“He was just amazing,” the veteran English coach was quoted as saying by Sky Sports. “He wouldn't train, he would just have a little jog with the fitness coach and say 'I'm OK' and he'd play the next day. It's such a shame about his knee because it finished him in the end.”
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King could perform brilliantly without training
That King didn’t train throughout the week makes his commanding performances for Spurs even more remarkable.
Few top-level footballers - if any - could perform without intense, regular training sessions leading up to matches.
It’s a crying shame that King wasn’t able to conquer his knee problems. Had he done so, there’s no doubt he would have added to his 21 England caps and 321 appearances for Spurs.
This clip sums up King
For those who didn’t see the Bow-born defender in action, this brilliant clip of him in action against Chelsea shows the immense quality he possessed.
Arjen Robben, with a 15-yard head start on King and one-on-one with Paul Robinson, looked certain to break the deadlock.
But King somehow recovered and performed a heroic last-ditch tackle on the Dutch winger.
Watch the footage here...
King possessed all the attributes of a top-class defender
It was a remarkable piece of defending - surely a contender of the best tackle of the Premier League era - and shows that King was blessed with all the attributes that top centre-backs possess.
King was tall, rapid, powerful and read the game extremely well. He was comfortable in possession and never allowed himself to be bullied by opposition strikers.
It’s just a shame that injuries robbed him of any even better career.
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