Search

Spurs boss: Bentaleb needs the time and patience that Ledley King had

12:19 07 April 2014

Nabil Bentaleb

Nabil Bentaleb

EMPICS Sport

Tim Sherwood says Nabil Bentaleb needs the same time and patience that Ledley King got when he first broke into the side.

Ledley King in action for Tottenham in 2012Ledley King in action for Tottenham in 2012

Former captain and club legend King is the last player to come through Spurs’ youth system and become a permanent member of the first team for a number of years.

However, Sherwood has shown his faith in Bentaleb, fielding the 19-year-old in 19 of his 22 games in charge. And, as the Lilywhites prepare to host Sunderland in the Premier League tonight, he believes the Algeria international is only showing a small glimmer of his potential.

“He’s a good player,” said the head coach. “We did that when Ledley King first got into the side. He wasn’t the best player and he wasn’t expected to be.

“It comes in time when you develop. What you are seeing at the moment is nothing compared to what he can actually give after playing a few games.

“Kids need time. When you are throwing them into sides, they need time to develop. Everyone should take a step back and not expect too much, too early. He’s certainly got a good future ahead of him.”

Tom Carroll, 21, and Jake Livermore, 24, are both out on loan at QPR and Hull respectively, while Harry Kane, 20, has been on the fringes of Spurs’ first-team squad this season - and Sherwood also feels they have good careers ahead of them, if they are given a chance.

“Irrespective of whether I’m here or not, those players are Premier League footballers and deserve a chance to play at the highest level, whether it’s here or elsewhere,” said Sherwood.

“I think, given time and being brought through the right way with the right experienced players, they have certainly got a future in the Premier League and at a top club.

“I know what it is all about. I was developed at Watford. Giving someone the opportunity is not putting them on when the fourth official sticks the board up with four minutes on and say ‘change the game’. It’s not like that.

“You need to be put in and then brought out and get the opportunity to be poor. You need to be better and better again. You can’t write them off because they are not the best players [at the start]. You need to have equal opportunities.”

Spurs announced on Friday that King will be given a testimonial match at White Hart Lane on May 12, and Sherwood feels he is the best player to emerge out of Tottenham’s academy.

“It’s fantastic,” he said. “He’s a one-club man and I don’t think you will see too many of them in the future in the game.

“He’s the best home-grown player this club has ever produced - someone that has had some chronic injury problems. He was a freak of nature, Ledley. He hardly trained.

“I saw his development from the start, I played in his debut and he was so calm and collected in possession. He knew when to speed it up, knew when to slow it down.

“He’s a real credit to this football club and he deserves all the support he gets from our supporters at the end of the season.”

Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs

0 comments

Latest Sport Stories

Friday, July 3, 2015
Monaco defender Ricardo Carvalho(left) challenges Olivier Giroud during the 2014 Emirates Cup

Arsenal return to action on English soil for the first time since their FA Cup triumph when they host the annual Emirates Cup later this month.

Thursday, July 2, 2015
Middlesex's James Franklin

Hapless Middlesex remain rooted to the foot of the table after a seven-wicket thrashing by Sussex Sharks – their sixth straight NatWest T20 Blast defeat.

Thursday, July 2, 2015
James Ward in action against Jiri Vesely at Wimbledon

Camden’s James Ward has reached the third round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time after overcoming the world No45 Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic in four sets at Wimbledon today.

Thursday, July 2, 2015
Middlesex's Ravi Patel (right) celebrates a wicket with one-day captain Eoin Morgan

Spinner Ravi Patel is eager to make up for lost time after returning from injury – and halt Middlesex’s horrific nose-dive in the NatWest T20 Blast.

Most read sport

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our monthly newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Good times with Greenall's!

Good times with Greenall’s, a Great British gin sponsors Great British racing.

Escape to the picturesque sights of Cornwall

Summer is finally here, and what is the number one holiday location in the UK during the warmer months? Cornwall, of course!

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder