Spurs star eyeing operation and contract talks
Tottenham captain Ledley King is uncertain what the future will hold as he prepares for a knee operation and enters the final days of his Tottenham contract.
The 31-year-old suffers from a chronic knee problem which restricted him to just nine appearances last season.
It was thought that the skipper needed to play 20 games this season to earn a new deal – and he has featured 23 times in the 2011/12 campaign.
However, King’s performances dipped after a training ground injury in February, and he was absent for the last four games against Blackburn, Bolton, Aston Villa and Fulham.
The defender is set to go under the knife this week in a bid to clean out his knee, and he is expecting talks over a new contract to begin soon - but he admits that his future is unsure.
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“I will have a little clean out [of my knee], maybe in the next couple of days,” he said. “It’s something I had earlier in the season. I missed the first few games and it felt a lot better, but halfway through the season I had a bit of an accident in training and after that it was never really the same.
“I’ve been carrying it for a few months now, and it got to the stage where it was more and more difficult.
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“I tried to hang in there but I was always going to have the operation. I tried to leave it until the end of the season and I more or less have done so hopefully that’ll be it. Hopefully it’s not something serious, and it won’t set me back too much.
“To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what’s going on with my contract. I’ve just wanted to concentrate on trying to play and getting my knee right and the rest will take care of itself. Now I will sit down and see what happens. I’m sure there will be some talks.”
King was not in the squad yesterday, but was sitting behind the bench alongside the injured Scott Parker and Michael Dawson as Spurs beat Fulham at White Hart Lane to finish fourth.
The captain admits that the lack of silverware, and the inability to sustain a title challenge, has taken the gloss off the campaign - but he feels Tottenham should be pleased about finishing in the top four for the second time in three seasons.
“It’s been a long, tough season, but I suppose that’s what makes the Premier League such a great league - when it comes down to the last day like that,” he said.
“Overall I think it’s been a good campaign for us really. Obviously we’re disappointed to have fallen short of winning anything but, on reflection, the top four is a good achievement considering the number of top teams there are in the league.
“It’s a long haul. Looking at it, it’s tough to go from where we were the season before to trying to win the league. It’s a tough ask. We had a go but it’s a long season.
“We’ve learned some lessons from that - about what it takes to compete at the very top, week in and week out.
“You can’t really afford to have too many off days. We’ve had a few patchy spells through the season that have stopped us from being title contenders - but overall we have done well to hang in there.
“We had to come out fighting, and we managed to show our character and resilience in the end and hang onto our place in the top four.”
Spurs’ inability to overtake Arsenal on the final day of the season now leaves them with an anxious wait for the result of Saturday’s Champions League final.
Should Chelsea beat Bayern Munich in Germany, they will steal Tottenham’s Champions League qualification spot, and render the Lilywhites’ fourth-placed finish meaningless.
“It took a while for us to remember again that we have to wait for Chelsea to lose,” said King. “Obviously you want English teams to do well but in this case, well, you would be cheering for Bayern Munich. It will be a tough game, a good game, and we are hoping that Bayern Munich will win.
“Is it fair that they could take qualification away from us? I suppose we knew that at the beginning of the season, we knew what we were playing for, but this is an unusual case, finishing in the top four and not getting the place [in the Champions League].
“It would be a little bit hard to take if that happens, but we are aware of the rules and there is nothing we can do now.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs