Ledley King has admitted that the experience he gained while being a part of Jose Mourinho’s coaching staff has considerably fast-forwarded his development as a coach.
Given the ability that King had to read the game during his playing days and the leadership qualities he displayed, it seemed like the transition from playing into coaching would be a natural one for the Spurs legend when injuries forced him into early retirement.
However, the former Tottenham captain did not take the coaching route after hanging his boots and initially chose to continue his association with Spurs as a club ambassador.
It was only towards the end of last season that the former defender made his foray into coaching after it was announced that he had joined Mourinho’s staff.
King, who was the only one of Mourinho’s coaches to survive after the Special One and his assistants were sacked by Spurs on Monday, admitted that he learned a lot from the time he spent working with the former Tottenham boss.
He told The Evening Standard: “I spent a hell of a lot of time with those guys. Every day for the past seven or eight months. You do form a bond.
“To work alongside one of the greats was as good as it can get in terms of an experience. I’ve gained a lot of confidence throughout the season in terms of having an understanding of what it takes to be a manager one day. It’s been great.
“Making that transition [to coaching] was something that I had to do. I’ve been thrust into it, ended up in the deep end and that’s given me a whole new confidence.
“Now I’ll have to go back, retrace my steps and do the badges to enable me to continue on this path. I’ve learned so much this season that it’s probably taken me way past the badges stage, but I’ve got to do them, of course.”
King will now help new Spurs interim boss Ryan Mason in the quest to end the club’s 13-year trophy drought when they take on Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final today.
The former England centre-back, who was the last Spurs captain to get his hands on silverware when he lifted the League Cup at Wembley in 2008, has stated that Mason’s footballing philosophy is in keeping with the club’s traditions.
He added: “Mase’ wants his team to go out and express themselves, play a style of football that is a joy to watch for the fans. That’s how we were brought up. That’s how we came through the youth set-up. That’s what he wants from his teams. He has an identity.
“We have many players who have not won anything and they’re hungry to do so, so hopefully it will work out the same way it did for us in 2008. To have that understanding of what it means to be a winner, I do believe it improves you as a player.
“We’ve had a group of lads together for many years and I think they deserve it. It would be great to see them win it for the fans who have waited so long. The players have given everything.”
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