Ledley King has been at Tottenham for 14 years. With a decent defence lawyer you can get less than that for murder. Having played football in front of Heurelho Gomes, it’s easy to see how Ledley might have been tempted.
Like the far less likeable and morally sound English central defensive stalwarts John Terry and Sol Campbell, Ledley earned his Spurs (ahem) at Senrab, London’s premier football production line. Unlike with those two, it’s hard to imagine our club captain fucking someone he shouldn’t – whether that’s another player’s ex-partner or his team’s supporters. That may seem like a naïve statement. It’s true that everyone has a price, whether it is financial, emotional or sexual. Yet, something about Ledley suggests nobility.
We’ve a man who has battled tirelessly and incessantly with a knackered knee. Our longest-serving player and biggest hero since Gary Mabbutt, Ledley is the man Martin Jol thought was the best centre back he’d ever seen. Ledley King, a man who doesn’t even train because his knee takes so long to heal after each game. It’s impossible not to wonder how things might have been different if Ledley had always been able to play every game.
A football team should always have at least one squad member who can upset the opposition like a Robbie Savage or a Joey Barton, but more importantly a team should have at least one person who is the opposite. Who calms his team-mates and smooths out the creases with his skill, man management, organisation and ability. The man who relaxes Spurs more than a Radox bath and a handful of home-grown? You know who. Spurs are always better with Ledley on the pitch.
His contract is up in 2012 and It’s entirely possible this will be Ledley’s final season in N17. We may have to rely on flakey Gallas and brilliant but inconsistent Dawson (when they’re fit). Meanwhile, Bassong and Kaboul are decent defenders, but neither of them seems to be a true leader.
At the time of writing, there’s much to be positive about at the Lane, from Parker and Adebayor’s immediate impact, to the emergence of Kyle Walker and Jake Livermore. But where is our next King coming from?
By Lou Thomas – Follow Lou on Twitter, http://twitter.com/London_Lou
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