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Entries in Ledley King (23)



It's astonishing to think that on Ledley King's first full start back in 1999 against Derby, he was clattered and picked up an injury that led to surgery on his left knee and a footballing life time of heartache and pain and yet still managed to be the colossus he will always be remembered for. That incident thirty seconds into a match, aged 19, defined the rest of his career of non-training, injections, swelling and the very best of the Premier League's opposing strikers tucked comfortably into his back pocket.

Imagine that. Right from the start you're anchored to the depths and yet still find a way to swim to the top and find yourself on land. Yet how ironic and frustrating that what was probably a run of the mill innocuous challenge set Ledley on this road to only find himself staring back at the depths.



Retire the 'retire the number 26'

Evening. Some stuff. Below.


Retire the number 26. No.

Ledley King is a club legend. I'd argue that based on the fact he's not only one of the finest defenders of his and my generation but also because he's one of the finest based on playing football without having to train and with one fully functional knee. He could have quit the game years ago. Having to endure injections and swelling and pain, before during and post-match makes the bloke a little crazy to have persevered. But he did. He wanted to. He kept on playing. When he took the field he was a colossus. A freak of nature. I've already blogged all the plaudits. The point is, he gave everything to wearing the shirt. He loves football and loves Tottenham. Almost to the point of cripplingly himself in future life. That is more than enough for him to go down as one of our great players. Sure, he didn't win the silverware his talent deserved. Wasn't capped as often as he could been. But if you're struggling from one season to the next you're not going to have your dream path played out before you. This is what makes it all the better. He was the one reliable constant in his fourteen years in the first team and he led by example, with dominant performances. He was proud to wear Lilywhite.

But retiring a shirt number? Ledley King is more than just a shirt number. He's Ledley King. How about letting someone else fill it and do it justice. A testimonial and his name sang forever will do just fine.


Not fussed about these games aside from enjoying any goals scored by us and that Villas-Boas is content with the players fitness and preparations. The performances and results mean next to nothing (as long as players remain fit and no serious injuries are picked up). Allow me to remind you the season we stormed through pre-season, demolishing Roma on the way, and then ending up with two points from eight games. You remember that right? Got a few soundbites I could play you if you need your memory jogged. I'm actually far more hyped up for the players when they finally get to move from the Lodge to Enfield. Comprehensive set of photos leaked (since removed) of the new training centre looked knock-out. Stunning state of the art equipment and facilities, right down to details such as the walls displaying the likes of Blanchflower, Hoddle, Gascoigne and even King.


It's gone a bit quiet. The speculation between the media and the supporters continues. No one is quite sure what is going on so people are guessing. Luka to Madrid, Adebayor to Spurs, the on-off saga concerning Lloris. US tour not that far off so expectancy is high. The collective suggestion is that it would be good to have all our deals done by then but that isn't likely and it's not a necessity. Your guess is as good as mine. Plenty of people looking to attach themselves to time-stamps of info shared as this will somehow give them credence. Particularly delicious are the people that slate others and their desperation to share information about 'certain done and dusted' signings and then share info themselves with similar authority. It's a dick waving competition in desperate need of a magnifying glass.



Ledley King. A superman with a knee made of kryptonite.

Ledley King has been in a perpetual state of retirement for years. The piece below is poignant, something I wrote for 2Hal/ves, a one-shot fanzine released on the day of the North London derby in October, 2009.


Ledley will always be our King

Henry Percy (otherwise known as ‘Harry Hotspur’) acquired a reputation as a warrior supreme. Unfortunately he was cut down in his prime – struck by a fatal arrow in the midst of battle. The greatest Hotspur warrior of the modern age, Ledley King, is proving rather more difficult to best - no fatal arrow to the face, just plenty of kicks to the knee.

Ledley remains a colossus in defence, always unnerved and influential. He is strong, fast and wonderfully talented. More than all these things, he is loyal - to the bone.

Thankfully, there’s no chance of him befalling the same fate as the esteemed Percy. On the field of play the only thing he might get struck by is an opposition elbow or a water bottle. In spite of the relative safety of the football pitch, a disconcerting nod from the club doctor has become an unavoidable hazard in recent years.

He might now be a one game per week player, but such is the quality he possesses it remains worth retaining his services on a full time basis. Pound-for-pound, he is arguably one of the very best England has to offer. Some of the more cynical amongst you might even argue that if he didn’t have his knee troubles he’d probably be a Man Utd player. But injury is not the only reason why we have yet to be graced by a Daniel Levy announcement justifying a £30m transfer of King to Old Trafford (along with a generous donation to the Tottenham Foundation). Ledley has remained unquestionably loyal to the core throughout his time at the Lane.

Ledley is a loyal committed servant who gets wrapped up in cotton wool more often than not. A servant who (out of necessity) doesn’t spend much time training, and yet displays effortless class on the pitch with athleticism befitting someone who does train all week long. He’s a millionaire and yet persists in having injections in his knee so he can continue to play the game he so obviously loves. For all we know he could be exacerbating the damage and running the risk of serious problems in later life. And yet his commitment remains unparalleled.

He wears his heart on his sleeve and he positively runs it out for us every time he starts, home or away. He brings stability at the back and although he’s not a shouter, his mere presence inspires his team mates to excel, mainly by virtue of the air of confidence he oozes rubbing off on others around him.

King is deserving of Champions League football and yet has never turned his back on us and looked for it elsewhere – unlike another centre-back who falsely professed loyalty. King has so much quality that if he had asked his agent to go looking he would not have been short of suitors.

If Fergie is happy to take a risk on Owen, there is no doubting that he’d gamble on Ledley. And yet here we are: one contract with Spurs followed by another. He’s never even considered another club’s colours. Now before you all accuse me of sentimentality and exaggeration and suggest this article is nothing more than a press release for a forthcoming Spurs Shop DVD, understand this: In this day and age, there are few players a football fan can genuinely respect and admire. And Ledley is someone who is respected and admired by all, regardless of the colour of the scarf. He’s a class act. Plain and simple. Every fan would want a player like King in their team.

Ledley King is not just a warrior. He’s not just a loyal Spurs fan that remains committed to the club and its fans as player and captain. He’s one of us. Tottenham through-and-through. Lilywhite blood. The tenacity of a Mackay or Roberts without the need for bullish growling. Ledley the gentle giant quietly sticks forwards into his back pocket and goes about his business patrolling the backline making sure nobody knocks over the ‘You shall not pass’ sign.

We are stronger when he pulls on the shirt. His composure brings calm to the backbone of the side. He’s no pretender. He’s the real deal. All this with one knee. Ledley King IS Mr Tottenham Hotspur. The spirit of Harry Hotspur lives on. And long may he dodge that final concluding arrow.



A graceful footballer, a gentleman on and off the pitch (excluding any excursions to Faces nightclub) and the one magnificent constant when surrounded by so many inconsistencies. The finest defender I've ever seen. Easily the best of his (and my) generation in Lilywhite. Inspirational. Calm and composed. He could read the game with supreme intelligence with no necessity to tackle half as often as others might do, prefering to throw themselves at an opposing player. When forwards pelted towards the ball, he'd breeze past them, comfortably jogging before nicking the ball tidy as you like. With one knee he ruled Tottenham, with two he'd have conquered the world twice over. Overboard with the sentimentality and plaudits? Probably, but then what's the likelihood of us doing this for another Spurs player in the next twenty years?

I have been here since I was a boy, I have always considered it my Club and have always found it hard to imagine wearing the shirt of another team

Thank you Ledley for seventeen years service (fourteen years in the first team). Over three hundred appearances, scored more goals than yellow cards received, no red cards and countless strikers sat firmly in your back pocket. You played football with one knee and yet you were still comfortably better than most. You didn't even have to train, that's how easy you made it look. The travesty is when you spend a little time considering what you might have achieved with no injury plight to fragment and puncture every season. Yet you have still imprinted yourself on our club, iconic forever. You could have quit the game years ago, didn't, but it's the right decision for you to now abdicate your throne. The time for a new hero is now upon us.

Onwards Ledley King, club ambassador.



Testimonial confirmed.


Hot Spurts

Quick run-down of today's 'news'.


1st of July. Not so Super Sunday. The main Tottenham related highlight was Under Armour releasing the launch date of the new Spurs shirt. So basically the big news was an announcement being announced. The 2012-2013 kits will be unveiled on Thursday 12th and available to order to purchase from Spurs shops the next day. Yep, that's right, on Friday 13th. You just can't make this ilk of PR up.

The new era is still waiting to make its grand entrance. Pick any day this up and coming week and you might strike lucky. We all know it's going to happen, we all know what's going to happen so there's very little to say until after it's happened. But to reiterate, I'm positively beaming with encouragement and excitement.

Khumalo is set for PAOK in Greece. A season long loan. It's signings like this that make me question some of Levy's ethics in the transfer market. What was the point of him joining Spurs in the first place only to be sent out to the Championship? When Harry spoke about the lad was he just doing so to raise the profile of the player and if so why? Just so Reading can sign him? This smells of raising another type of profile in South Africa. That's football. Anyone know where Toda is these days? Then again, you could argue what was the point in signing the likes of dos Santos and Bentley. That's also football. Mistakes happen regularly.

The Times were the first to break the story linking us to Brazilian starlet Oscar who plays for our buddy club Internacional. I don't know much about him (do any of us unless you follow South American football?) but do remember similar stories about our interests in him from last year. Mainly because I signed him in Football Manager soon after reading about it. Tasty attacking midfield pixels that might translate well in the real world. Although if this is something that pans out to be true, along with Sigurdsson and our current central mids, we have a plethora of talent to visually taste cometh the new season. AVB was in Brazil scouting recently, so this one might be a possibility. Leandro Damiao (for now) does not look like one based on recent speculation and price tags.

Cracking teasing, flirting quote from Moutinho (FC Porto) saying, "I'd work with him again tomorrow" - re: AVB. Obviously meant as compliment of how highly regarded a coach Villas-Boas is. But pretty much more meat to sink our teeth in to what will be a feast of targets that will be cited post-press conference (tune in on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, maybe Thursday or Friday). We'll be looking for a Luka replacement. Oscar or Moutinho?

From one question to another. Theo Walcott to Spurs? Yeah sure, why not. For £4M he'll do well to come off the bench for the final 15 minutes of games. Give Lennon a rest.

Redknapp was in the press a couple of days back talking to Sky Sports wasn't he? Who cares.

Ledley King retirement imminent? We know something will soon be announced as we've already been told King is considering his options. The man is so much part of the club that there is little chance of him being potentially discarded when the new manager arrives, in terms of a coaching position. Unless King is looking for a more ambassadorial role at Spurs. Ledley retiring is possibly for the best, for his own health and future. A brilliant and majestic footballer, a legend. Whatever his decision he'll remain Tottenham forever and if he wants to be involved the club have a duty to make sure he is.

Investment on the cards? According to Graham Roberts on the radio. According to the ITK news from the past few weeks. Although this seems to be mostly guess work (i.e. I know someone who knows something), from directors supposedly told to remain in the country and not go on holiday to rumours about funds being made available to aid in breaking the wage structure or perhaps naming rights for the new stadium. Surely any investment would go towards the latter?

Bale out of the GB team. Meh. Pre-season is upon us. Don't care for much else other than my club. The whole Stratford affair has burnt me out and I have little interest in the Olympics.

Thoughts on that Daily Express article here.

In other news: Euro Final. In summary, Spain play possession football to ease into the final, get called boring, up their game by a notch, destroy Italy.



Time for the King to abdicate his throne

We won't know Ledley King's decision until pre-season when he decides whether to finally hang up his boots and take one of the options Spurs have offered him, hopefully a coaching role. You don't have to do much reading between the lines here. It's obvious the club and the player believe it's time to hang up the boots. However, the last sentence from the official club update is the one that manages to help retain a smile on my face.

"Tottenham has been the only Club for me and if I can’t play here then I shall look to be involved in another capacity."

Ledley might not reappear in a Lilywhite shirt on the pitch (aside from a testimonial please) but his heart will always be Tottenham off it. Keeping him on at Spurs is imperative. The man lives for the club and we love him for it so it's a pretty obvious way to continue the affair. Quite simply the best defender of his (England) generation. The most obvious thing to echo here would be the what ifs. You know, what if he had two working knees. I was looking back at the archives of this blog and found an article from 2009. An article that could have been written for any one of the past five years.


Ledley will always be our King

I'm a bit bored at the moment. There's a slight lull in stories worthy of commentary. Other than maybe the news that Ledley King could play in the remaining 10 fixtures for Spurs. According to our oracle of football, Harry Redknapp. This following on from the recent lack of contract talks that won't be taking place just yet between club and player.

King (with Spurs no longer having midweek games to concern themselves with) can now look forward to Ledders being available once per week with plenty of recovery time in-between. As long as the old knee doesn't give way. Is he prolonging the inevitable? Is he sustaining long term permanent damage to his knees every time he plays for us? How long will he persist with this? Equally important to ask whether Spurs will have to make a decision on King's future based on his availability. You can't build a defence around a part-time player. But when the player is this good, do you allow for a concession? Heart says yes. So does the head, but more so the heart.

As for the potential of a new contract, that really depends on whether this is it for the rest of his career. This being 'play when injected with magic' but only half the time and never twice in a week. It's sad. A fully fit Ledley King would be a fully fledged England international. And probably a Man Utd player. But there's no doubt he'd be a defender at the top of his game with countless clubs courting him - in a world with no knee trouble. He's still capable of exceptional performances for us - but still in a part-time capacity. Which is why we are probably not reading a Daniel Levy club announcement justifying a £25M transfer of King to Old Trafford.

What we have instead is a loyal committed servant who gets wrapped up in cotton wool more often than running out in Lilywhite. As long as he is not aggravating his knee problems with the injections and continuing to play professional football then I'm happy to have him at the club and the club should make sure he remains there till he hangs his boots up. I hope there is not a single ounce of truth that doctors advised him to quit or risk serious damage.

Also, I'm not suggesting Ledley is still with us only because of his injury plight. The bloke is no Sol Campbell. Ledley is honest and loves the club. He wants to be at White Hart Lane and in the past possibly could have flirted with a Champions League club if he wanted to. But if he was 110%, he'd be tested, along with the chairman. That's a sure thing. But he'd never walk the way Judas did. Personally hope he does start the big big away games we have at Villa, Everton, Man Utd and Liverpool. Dawson is a fine understudy to have on current form. I'm still staggered by the fact that King never trains.


Machine, right?

It dawned on me that it almost feels like his entire career has been dominated by his plight. I can't remember when he didn't have a dodgy knee. Every season it's the same struggles and yet aside from the difficulties experienced this past year, he has been majestic and graceful with the sublime ability to read the game seconds faster than those around him. He went beyond the usual blood-and-thunder-feet-in grunting of the more obvious centre-halves. Didn't need to tackle as much as others either, he just got to the ball before the attacker did. His back pocket rarely empty. His pace was like lightning dancing on a sea of electricity. You know what I'm referring to. Stuff like the Robben tackle. A piece of defending as great as any goal scored. That was King all over. The impossible made easy. You'd run, he'd jog right past you.

When he didn't play well, you couldn't quite believe it, such was the rarity of such a performance. Listen to me, talking about him like he's no longer with us. Still, we knew this moment was coming. He's got to do the right thing for himself. He's a club legend. So it's good to see the club actively seeking to retain his services. They failed to do the same with Stevie Perryman (get well soon).

I don't think it really matters, the what ifs. Fact is, he could have so easily given up years ago, lost focus or allowed his fitness to fade away due to lack of game time. There he was though, never having to train and yet playing like he hasn't stopped training. Every single season he's pulled on the shirt and he's been a colossus at the back. Such an influence, a true club captain. For the good of his own well being and Spurs going forward, it's time for new blood. Kaboul, Caluker, perhaps even Vertonghen could probably do with having someone of King's stature at the club as a nod towards what you can achieve as a player in the most purist form. That's unequivocal commitment to the Cockerel. If they get within 50% of what Ledley has given through sheer guts and heart then both will be very successful at Spurs.




In our defence

End of season review. An attempt at one. I have to be honest with you, I’m struggling a touch at the moment. I’m spending most of my available time online (when not working) musing on Twitter, slagging off the In The Know community simply because I default to this obvious caricature of hate because there is very little else to discuss at the moment.

I could perhaps talk about what’s-his-face and the delightful twitch his face displays when someone on Sky Sports mentions the Chelsea job. Then again, no.

A letter is due to the chairman, but I’ll wait another week or so before I drain blood and dip feather.

As for the ITK community, I’ve already spotted one Spurs fan on a forum make up some s*** about a player only for a supposed well known ITK to then post about it on the forum he frequents, giving the impression he heard about it from a club insider.

Even funnier is the fact that ESPN are obviously connected because they published a news article about Cristian Ceballos (even though they jumped the gun suggesting he had signed) without a single citation in the day(s) before from any of the esteemed ITK’ers. A Barca reject kid on trial at Spurs and none of the countless self-proclaimed messengers had anything to share other than providing updates post-ESPN exclusive.

Yes, yes. I hate it all with a passion and here I am talking about it, unable to turn away. But for the moment, I will.

So this is me skipping onwards with the end of season chit chat.

Before I do I just want to say goodbye and good luck to @drwinston001 who is ‘retiring’ from blogging and handing over his site ( to a couple of other top lads to continue its coverage of all things Spurs. His final article covered off an assessment of our squad, which is well worth a read. If you’re wondering, a baby is on it's way. Good luck Tom, look forward to your guest-blogging over at thfc1882 in the not so distant future.

So, player reviews up first. The defence.

To follow: Prem / The Cups / The Progression of Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham / Summertime High Jinxs.



From shot stopping genius to calamity clown. If Gomes was a centre forward he’d be of the ilk not too dissimilar to the ones we have at the moment. Very good when there is no time to think. Remember Robbie Keane during his better spells at the club? Stick Robbie in a one on one situation and his brain farts and the ball either goes wide or straight at the keeper. Gomes, when he has a similar pocket of time for his grey matter to rub up against each other, can only ever result with a haemorrhage of haplessness.  

He completely losses the ability to control his physicality, body going one direction with mind left behind between the woodwork, whilst we all witness the implosion in slow-mo.

What is Gomes? Is he a good keeper prone to mistakes and lapses of concentration? Or is he an average keeper, one that is always prone to errors, but masks the negatives with moments of unparalleled reflexes and super-saves? It’s a fallacy to suggest all keepers are loopy. By virtue of the fact they are the only ones wearing gloves to handle the ball with hands during the game, their mistakes will always stand-out more. Conceding a goal thanks to an avoidable mistake can change the whole course of a game and the psychology of the teams focus. Much like missing a sitter.

No doubting Gomes has given us moments of stupendous plot. Giving away a penalty in the last minute, then saving it (Chelsea at home) and saving a pen only to give one away and concede seconds later (Blackpool at home). We’ve been treated to a master-class of excellence too (AC Milan away) as well as insanity (Inter away). He was incredible at the back of last season. That wasn’t him over performing. That was him at the top of his concentration. Gomes strikes me as someone who is fragile with self belief and confidence and when one mistake or a moment or uncertainty plays out, like domino's, all layers of his mind collapse.

He makes wonderful saves but when he makes mistakes, they are epic (and at key moments). He can flap too and when mistakes don't lead to goals they lead to Keystone antics across the whole of the backline, infecting his team-mates with a dizzy virus and it's side-effect of momentary panic.

Personally, I don’t want to detach my faith from supporting him. People who prefer him to be replaced by someone with a more steady head might be forgetting that a keeper who retains concentration might not necessarily be capable of match winning performances and when they conceded, it might not be thanks to a lapse of concentration but simply lesser skill.

If there’s a keeper out there that’s capable of brilliance but has the cool composed calmness of a Cech, then the vast majority of us would not complain if he was signed and the Brazilian was sold on.

Sort your head out Gomes.



He’s ex-Chelsea, he’s ex-Arsenal. He’s a trouble-maker. He’s a melter. He’s too old. He’s too slow.

Wish someone has pre-warned me he would be an absolute gem, a steal...a stolen gem. With King and Woodgate hardly involved, having someone of Gallas experience in the side has played a major part in retaining strength and organisation at the back. It took a while for him to regain full match fitness and settle in with his new team mates, but his almost nonchalant ‘doesn’t give a **** other than just performing well’ attitude proved that sometimes there is nothing wrong with wheeling and dealing. I can remember feeling mixed emotions and displeasure when he was made captain. Kudos to Harry. Gallas has been imperative in the absence of King, if not a pound for pound replacement. Interestingly, he's yet to score for us.



Step up, step up. Everyone knows Daws excels when he has Ledley King by his side. He’s been equally impressive with Gallas playing next to him but Daws is best positioned to the right of King. Regardless, he gets on with it and defends with royal passion. Just that, what with his age and with Ledley missing for large chunks of the’s time this prince became a King.

Mixed season, inconsistent at times and brilliant on occasions. You love Daws because of his relentless desire to do well. He might not be the quickness and he might lack the assured presence a Gallas or King possesses  but you can’t question his work rate (and his distribution ain’t too shabby).

If he can replicate the form he is capable of when he plays alongside King, then he’ll have grown into the player that we all wish him to be. At the minute, we’re just wishing. Dawson needs to believe in himself, just a notch more and take each game by the scruff of the neck. Which he does already, just not in every game.



Not one of his better seasons. All over the shop early on, replaced by Alan Hutton whilst we all wondered what had happened to the always reliable Croat. His positioning, key to make up for his lack of pace, had deserted him completely. I like him. I like the way he works the flanks with Lennon. I think, on form he offers more than our other options. He’s intelligent on the ball and can play football rather than perhaps just knock the ball ahead of him and run onto it. Hopefully it was a blip. I doubt Hutton will be with us next season. Kyle Walker will. So you can’t help but feel content that competition at right-back will be tight.



Everyone huddles, except for BAE. I mean, he’s there. You can see him, but his back is straight and his head is facing upwards and looking away whilst all the other soft-hearted lads are bending down to listen to the rallying speech. Simply put, Ekotto is too cool for skool. A modern day footballing anomaly. He doesn’t follow the game as a spectactor. Although it’s slightly stretching the persona of coolness to perhaps suggests he doesn’t care. He’s a model professional without the superstar add-ons.

His consistent, he’s drilled. He plays for the team and he does exactly what he’s expected to do at the back. More kudos to Harry for solving this conundrum as there was a time before his arrival when we were not quite sure he was the answer to our left-back headache.

Excellent player, excellent season...lets Bale rampage whilst he sits back and defends and never appears to lose focus. Hopefully Danny Rose will continue his impressive cameos into next season and give Ekotto a rest now and again (won't be too presumptuous and say 'competition' just yet).



Okay, so he’s offensive and he runs forward with intent and can impact the game but he can’t perform at the back as an individual or as part of a unit. He doesn’t fathom the concept of positioning and he has no astuteness in the art of defending. Had a period this season where some of us thought we’re be proven wrong, mainly down to the fact Charlie was so awful. Alas, we were not proved wrong in the end.



When Comolli signed him he stated he was ‘one for the future’. In true Tottenham fashion we threw him into the first team and ruined him. Well, we thought we had. Quite surreal that he was sold and then signed back. He’s grown and matured, he’s still raw in places but I can’t help but believe he has a strong future at our club. Development of his defensive abilities on the back foot need to match his awareness going forward with the ball. He possesses the right attributes to be a beast and hero status for the third goal to complete our famous win over at the swamp.



Who? Oh yeah. The forgotten man. Thought he was more than decent for us last season and yet this season he’s hardly figured. If Harry doesn’t fancy you, then you don’t get a look in. Shame because he is more than capable.



The discussion about whether it’s worth retaining him if he’s only going to appear in a handful (if not less) games per season will continue throughout the summer. He’s one in a million with the one knee, and yet he can do more than most are capable with two. Galvanises Dawson and improves our defence every time he plays. Statistically, we lose less games and concede fewer goals when he plays. If he had two knees, we’d still be where we are King would probably be playing for Barca or Madrid.

Might as well mention Woodgate. Depending on what you read he's either going to be let go or given a pay-as-play contract.

We certainly need to decide on our back-line in preparation for 2012. Fullback positions are fine, it's the centre pairing and the backup(s) that need attention. Preferably not the type that involves ice packs and cotton wool.


Overall, we've done well in defence. Just not scored enough goals down the other end to relieve them from pressure which has resulted in loss of shape and conceded goals. Confidence with the keeper/defender relationship another required fix. It's not just four at the back, it's five.

Across the season, as a unit (ignoring moments of madness in the CL and in the cups) I can't complain more than I have above, which isn't a lot.


Midfielders and attackers to follow...





In the wake of the rather disgraceful photo of Ledley King and Ashley Cole (Laughgate) walking off a jet 'aving it, laughing, waving a massive banner stating 'who gives a shit, we're rich' and flashing their willies, someone has managed to grab and share a photo captured by King (he's blatantly the ring-leader in this, compensating for only having one knee I reckon) in the Hotel Marang in Rustenberg (photo snapped on his Blackberry, leaked thanks to a function that allows selected friends to share photos) of the England players sitting around, lounging, smiling and laughing (they sicken me with their constant Jokeresque grinning) along with Aaron Lennon puffing on a big fat cigar. Presumably because he's now free to return home to oversee the sale of his mansion. The mansion that you and I have paid for. To which he has shown his gratitude by aiding England's World Cup to go up in smoke. Keep on puffing on that cigar Azza. Which by the way, was lit. The cigar. Not just sitting perched in his mouth for show. The cigar was in full working order, unlike England's formation. Who the heck has ever heard of someone smoking a lit cigar? Who the hell does think he is? Smoking, a lit cigar, in a hotel? Aaron Che Guevara Lennon? And if that wasn't enough, their mentalist party also included beer, beer and ice buckets for more beer, champagne and wine. Hedonism at it's very worst. See how the table is untidy, no regard for the maids that. It's what money does to you. That's the level of respect they have for the little people.

The photo was tagged by the hapless King with the title 'Home time then holiday time'. Because the photo was taken before they left South Africa, to return to England, to then leave again no doubt for more sun and probably more kicks of a beachball than they've had of a football in the past couple of weeks. Surely the title 'Larding it up with the England massive, off our tits' would have been far more suitable commentary. Who the f*ck do they think they are anyway? Two summer holidays in one working year? WTF? Hapless indeed. I mean who sends a picture message these days and doesn't expect a dishonest friend to forward it onto the paragons of justice, the national tabloids? One knee. And half a brain. Guilty as charged.

Football is in ruins. I have never witnessed such debauchery in the wake of defeat when the expectancy was for us to win the whole damn thing. The players should have sat reflecting on their early exit, had tea and fizzy drinks, wore black suits, and quietly prayed for forgiveness.

I blame Fabio. This wouldn't have happened had he taken the job.



Ashley Cole and Ledley King, laughing together. Sharing a laugh and a joke. Sorry, I meant a LAUGH and a JOKE. The shame. The shame of these two uncaring millionaires more interested in champagne than football who dare to dance on our World Cup grave. Cole was awful at left-back wasn't he? Wasn't he? He hasn't exactly hogged the headlines on the pitch. And King quite obviously bottled it and refused to reappear for his country after a brief cameo. One knee? He's only got one working knee? That's how bothered he is. One knee equates to half the required commitment. He can't even be bothered to train properly the lazy git. Laughing and joking, because he was no doubt too busy trying to work out where dirty jokes originate from so he can find the perfect one to share with his partner in crime. Neither of them are comparable to the likes of Gerrard; Liverpool's engine, England's saviour.

Astonishing that the guilty two have managed to forget about the 4-1 drubbing so quickly whilst the rest of the nation continues to drown in sorrow.

I say, hung, drawn and quartered and then once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George'! And let's not fret because we can build our future on our youngsters like Andy Carroll and Theo Walcott and Micah Richards who won't let us down, who will grow  together and will be blessed with our complete support and win us the next World Cup, yes win us the next World Cup. Because it's in our blood.

Rule Britannia.


Anglo-Spurs backbone

King. Dawson. Lennon. Defoe. Crouch. Huddlestone. Six of the best. All called to the provisional England squad by Fabio. Out of the six, I'd say two are certain. Two deserve to go. One of the remaining two should be awarded with the honour of being part of the final 23. Leaving just the one who will miss out, but might well be a candidate for the future.

Rewards for all regardless for a fantastic season. Tottenham Hotspur, the club with the English backbone. And bionic knee. It's a bit early doors, what with the season only just ending (well, almost - still the FA Cup to play out and Pompeys certain win over Chelsea) but I'm beginning to get the itch for the World Cup. I always do. Not that I'm ever obsessed with qualifying matches, but when we're involved in the main show it's fairly difficult to ignore it. As much dislike as I have for the likes of Terry, Gerrard, Lampard etcetc, I'm hoping the Tottenham contingent do us  proud, to prolong the wide smile on my face through the summer and into next season.

King - Utterly deserves an England swansong. Proved his knee can survive 4 consecutive games on the trot. Colossus of a player and the best we have at the back.

Dawson - No pace. But makes up for it in the way of determination and bravery. A sort of raw version of John Terry. Just without the **** qualities. Proper 110 percenter is our Daws.

Lennon - Only just back. Has to go because he's best at what he does. He's no speed merchant (unlike Theo). He can pass and cross (unlike Theo). He doesn't have a book out and doesn't have his photo plastered over the celeb pages of tabloids (unlike Theo). He's a player who has improved and developed and terrorised sides prior to his injury (unlike Theo). And now he's back, granted he's only had a couple of appearances, but rather than be nothing more than an option asked to run directly at tired legs (Theo) in the final stages of a game, he can start and be used effectively over 90 minutes. Does concern me though, this nations obsession with Walcott. Johnson, SWP, Walcott, Lennon. Decisions, decisions, hey Fabio?

Defoe and Crouch - The best of the rest that England have available to them. Which isn't a lot. Heskey? Rather Crouch. Bent? Okay, let's repeat ourselves again - he feeds off scraps and counter-attacks, loose balls in the box. Ask him to play as part of a cohesive unit, inter-linking, intelligent chance. So yeah, JD and Crouch are far superior options. Even if JD has gone off the boil, and tbh lacks the ability to play himself onside at times.

Huddlestone - Mobility. Lack of adaptability. He'll only be able to play one way and we'd have to accommodate him. In the right game though, he could ping the ball about Hoddlesque. And he has proven more than capable at times, but arguably lacks the top level experience and 'testing' to be worthy of a risk in a high-pressured game. Does deserves his place in the final 30 though. Just think he's the most obvious to be left behind.

Good luck to all of them. In Fabio we trust, right?

Brings me nicely onto the below youtube clip. New Carlsberg advert. I must be more easy than a Sunday morning, because the hairs on the back of my neck stand up watching this. And I can't be the only person who gets a little choked up with the lovely Bobby Robson touch.


Caption time

             King: "Hey?? Did someone just poke me in the back?"


Is the wrong way the right way?

For arguments sake (we all know it's fantasy) let's say someone outside the current Top 4 manages to gatecrash one of the CL positions, sneaking in and remaining there not just for a single cameo season but for several years. Cementing their place as one of the Sky Sports favourites.

Obviously, with this new-founded success comes various welcoming bonus additions courtesy of eager to please referees, the suddenly soft-hearted FA and the usual drivel from the media that aids their stature further.

Let's say it happened to us (stop laughing).

Do we start to embrace a team of c*nts, justifying every obvious cringe-making cheat ethic as something that's a necessity? You need to be arrogant and you need to be hypocritical. Add to the mix thousands of glory hunters joining the ranks doing their utmost to prove they are loyal fans and have been since the beginning of time by wearing various assortments of club merchandise including three scarfs and a tracksuit, preferring to savour the moment via snapshot on their mobile than share true emotion that comes with a goal celebration.

I'm wondering, is there any hope of bucking the trend?

There was another stand out moment for me in the Chelsea v Spurs game, other than that penalty decision that did not go our way. It's a two-parter, with the first part starring Drogba. You might know him from various football incidents such as 'My losing battle with gravity' and 'Losing Gravity II - Gravity wins again'.

The Drog, dying on the ground, is left there while Spurs move forwards with the ball. Chelsea fans protest at their crippled brethren who is desperate for treatment meaning the good attacking position attained results with the ball kicked out of play. Keane doing the 'right thing' even though it's up to the ref to stop the game. Play resumes and Spurs do not receive the ball back. Part two sees Ledley King turn and fall to the grown in agony, pulling up knowing full well he wont be getting back up again to take part in the game. So what do Chelsea do? They continue with their attack and almost steal in with a goal.

Of course, some might point out the goal scored in the 2006 season at Highbury where two gooners crashed into each other and Spurs played on with Davids playing in Keane for 1-0. Play acting on the part of both of the Arsenal players. But a true wannabe Top 4 reaction from Spurs.

"Fuck 'em"

More of the same please in future. No point waiting to get into a CL position. Just play like you're there already.



Happy with Bassong?

He's big, he's French, he's sitting on the bench, Seb Bassong, Seb Bassong...

Might have paid Newcastle a little too much for the lad, but it's a good solid signing, one that's a requirement to our steady progression. We signed Wilson Palacios last season (substance over style) and we've done the same in acquiring the signature of the French defender (or should that be Cameroonian?) to give us some much needed bite at the back. I've heard one or two Spurs fans bemoan the signing, suggesting Distin or Dunne as better alternatives - both of which are not exactly players with their careers in front of them. Bassong will no doubt grow in stature, thankfully (hopefully) for having better quality players around him rather than the utter dross he had to carry on his shoulder at St James Park and although he's cover for the moment, for the £8M we've spent, he has to be nurtured into a long term solution.

Ok, so we might lose him to the African Nations Cup early next year (Fulham, Birmingham and Villa are the games he might potentially miss) but Woodgate and Dawson should be there to aid King at the back. Corluka (not always convincing at CB) and possibly even Huddlestone (gulp, bit slow innit) can cover if we are really really (REALLY) desperate, but I don’t think it will come to that.

No doubting the masterplan is to have Woodgate and King as our first choice pairing and Dawson and Bassong to cover when we rest one or both of them. Daws (bless him) was possibly one of our most consistent performers last at the back, always doing his utmost to impress when called upon. Only concern is that he's yet to stand up alone in the big, bad scary world of the Prem, as he's confidence and belief is reliant on just how good the person standing next to him is. Which is why Dawson paired up with King tends to be so bloody good.

So, with all players fit, we have a strong and resilient selection of defenders to pick from. Considering this is Tottenham, it's nice to see as have such a strong spine to the side. Not quite perfect yet, but it's getting there.

Forgetting the over-priced transfer fee which is now a given with most Prem signings, this is a good move from Redknapp and Levy. Now all we need is a CM and we're fixed up for the season.