Ledley King on the upcoming season, Harry Kane and his toughest opponent.
Despite a relatively short playing career, Ledley King is a Tottenham Hotspur legend who’s widely regarded as one of the best defenders to ever grace the Premier League. Former manager Harry Redknapp called him “an absolute freak” for being able to perform at Premiership level despite not training due to a chronic injury.
Tottenham had a good season, finishing in top 4 and reaching the Champions League finals, despite not bringing in any new faces. Do you think they can do better this season now that they’ve made some transfers?
Ledley King: Well, that’s the aim. Every season you want to improve on last season. We know all the other teams will be strengthening their squads and it’s important that we do the same. At the same time, the manager only wants to bring in quality players that he feels can help the squad.
So far we’ve brought in two top quality players. We’re not sure what will happen between now and the start of the season but we’re quite happy with what we’ve got. We look forward to the start of season but before that there’s a lot of hard work and that starts here in Singapore.
In your opinion, which team is best placed to win the Premier League title.
LK: You have to look at Man City who were the champions last year. Liverpool only lost one game and still didn’t win the league which shows you how difficult it is. But I think Man City will be the team that everyone is gunning for.
If there’s a current player in the Spurs team that you would want in your team back in the day, who would it be?
LK: (chuckles) There’s quite a few to choose from. Goalscorers are vitally important to a team and when you have someone like Harry Kane who can score 30 goals a season, I’d have to pick Harry.
How does the departure of Kieran Tripper affect the team for next season?
LK: Kieran enjoyed some very good seasons at Tottenham and England but that’s the nature of the game – players come and go. You have to be ready to fill the space that they leave. At the moment we have Kyle Walker-Peters who’s a young talent and fans will get the chance to see that he’s a very good player this season.
Whether Kyle will play more games, or we bring someone in, the manager will be aware of that position and he’ll already have in his mind who he wants to play in that position.
Son Heung Min’s enjoyed a couple of good seasons in Tottenham so far, what do you expect from him for the upcoming season?
LK: Son’s been brilliant. He’s a big fan favourite. Last season was a difficult one as he had a lot of travelling to do but he was unbelievable. He brings a lot of energy to the team that we need. When Harry missed some games through injury last season and Sonny really stepped up and filled that space. We look forward to him having a big season this year.
Spurs has improved quite a lot over the past few seasons but they’ve not won any trophies yet. If they don’t win something next year, will it be considered a failure?
LK: No no no. It’s more difficult than ever to win trophies. I’ve mentioned Liverpool who won the Champions League, but if they hadn’t, they’d have ended the season with no silverware, but they still had a great season.
I think you judge each season individually. The team has been close on numerous occasions over the last few seasons and you learn from each experience. You hope that if you get there again, you make it count. I have no doubt that the team will do a good job and of course everyone wants to win trophies.
Who was the toughest or the most skilled striker that you played against in the Premier League?
LK: I mean there’s been some great great players over the years. For me, I’ve always found Thierry Henry to be the ultimate striker.