Fabio Capello and Harry Redknapp fall out as Ledley King England career in doubt

24 March 2009 08:33
The Tottenham defender was eventually withdrawn from Capello's England squad on Tuesday shortly after the Football Association had issued a statement outlining the Italian's desire to see the defender in 'the team environment'.

Capello had even accepted that the 28-year-old could only train or play after being monitored by Spurs. Redknapp, though, still protested furiously at King's selection, openly describing the decision as 'ridiculous' and 'mad'. He also said that it would be 'disrespectful' to Tottenham for King to play the World Cup qualifier against Ukraine next Wednesday.

 Related ArticlesKing out of England squadWeiss's City family valuesWembley's pitch problemRichards 'hurt' over England snubPapers: Fabio Capello and Harry Redknapp go to war over Ledley King selectionPete Doherty wins 2008 Tour de FranceCapello is angry that Redknapp made such a public outburst and, in a clear indication that their relationship has virtually broken down, the Italian's management team have been conducting talks over King with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy.

Redknapp and Capello clashed last August when the former Portsmouth manager said that England were 'killing' Steven Gerrard and then described the draw with the Czech Republic as one of the worst England performances he had even seen.

Although King's withdrawal from the squad can be interpreted as a victory for Redknapp and a climb-down for England, the Capello camp do not feel embarrassed at how the saga unfolded. They selected 24 rather than 23 players to cover for King's likely unavailability and deliberately picked an additional five centre-backs.

Capello is also pleased to have had the chance to speak directly with King and is encouraged by the fact that he still wants to play for England. Although well aware of King's severe knee problem, the Capello camp also do not regard his England career as over and he remains in their thoughts for the 2010 World Cup campaign.

King had arrived with the England squad for training at Arsenal's Hertfordshire base but played no part ahead of a joint statement from the FA and Tottenham.

'Both parties agreed the best interests of the player are served by continuing his individual training programme at the club,' said the statement. 'Ledley King has returned to Spurs Lodge to continue his rehabilitation over the course of the international break, following discussions and assessments overnight by the medical staff of both the club and the England national team.'

King's knee had swollen up after playing in the 1-0 win against Chelsea on Saturday, yet that was nothing unusual. The Tottenham captain generally does not train between league matches but, with around one week's rest, he is often then capable of playing. The decision, therefore, to rule him out of both England matches, including the game against the Ukraine some 11 days after his previous Tottenham match, does place his England future in significant doubt.

King, himself, is understood to be considering his international future and will meet with his advisers next week to discuss his next move.

There are also doubts over Peter Crouch for the Slovakia friendly on Saturday after he missed training on Tuesday with a calf injury and underwent a precautionary scan while Shaun Wright-Phillips was also sidelined with a back complaint.

Peter Shilton, meanwhile, would be surprised if David Beckham went on to beat his all-time record of 125 caps. 'I don't think I would want him to break my record coming on as a super sub for the last five minutes of each game,' he said. 'When he came on a substitute with just one minute to go against Belarus was a diminishing moment in the record.'


Source: Telegraph