June 2, 2012
Ledley King makes Tottenham fans proud to support the club. Injuries have robbed him of the extended career he should have had, but this is a player who has quite literally run himself into the ground for the cause.
King is an example of something rare in football: a player who genuinely loves a club. Not in the sense of badge-kissing, bluster, or rhetoric, but in to the genuine definition of the phrase. He has the same affection for the club that the supporters do.
As his body has begun to creak, and his performances have succumbed to the inevitable, the club and the fans have had to acknowledge a difficult truth: even a defender with such imperious understanding of the game can’t exist on nous alone.
Not that a few isolated below-par performances could tarnish a legacy as rich as the one built by King, but nobody wants to see him go on longer than he should. This goes beyond what a player contributes to the team – the fans don’t want to see King struggle, and nobody in the game wants him to risk further harm to his long-term health.
You’ve done enough now, Ledley.
The jarring part of the reality here, is that King should’ve captained his country. When you see the success that’s been had by a player as technically-inferior as John Terry, how can you not feel for Tottenham’s captain? Terry is all brawn and no brain, whereas King has both in abundance – the sky should have been the limit.
What shouldn’t be understated, is that even in his lessened state, their captain was until very recently consistently Tottenham’s best player. Is there a better example of a physically damaged player getting more out of his body? No, regardless of the discomfort, he was a shining example to every other player on the pitch.
If this is the last we see of Ledley King, then nobody will remember the hesitancy of the season gone by, he’ll have secured the legacy he deserves. Remember the performance he turned in at the, then, City of Manchester Stadium the night Spurs qualified for the Champions League? The Spartan-resistance, throwing himself in-front of everything, and even scoring an – incorrectly – disallowed goal. Those are the moments and the games that everyone wants to remember – a fabulous body of work, achieved under considerable physical duress.
A true captain, and thoroughly deserving of his place amongst the club’s immortals.
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