King surprised as Fabio calls on Tottenham defender for England double-header
23 March 2009 09:47
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Ledley King has expressed his surprise at his call-up to the England squad for Saturday's friendly with Slovakia and the World Cup qualifier with Ukraine on April 1.
King's chronic knee problems mean that he can play only one game a week for Tottenham and that he is unable to train with his team-mates.
Following another excellent display in Saturday's 1-0 win over Chelsea, King appeared resigned to the fact that he was unlikely to play for his country again. His last cap came in the 3-0 win in Estonia in June 2007, during Steve McClaren's reign.
Yet the 28-year-old's outstanding recent form for Spurs - he has arguably been the key factor in their six-match unbeaten run in the Barclays Premier League - convinced Fabio Capello to give him another chance.
After the victory over Guus Hiddink's team, King revealed that Capello had been in touch with Spurs officials to check on their former captain's progress.
'I've not spoken to him personally,' said King. 'It is a difficult situation. There are not too many players who play internationally and don't train. It is a unique situation, and something we will have to talk about.'
England have not played since they were out-classed by Spain, but David James believes they will use their defeat as motivation to qualify for the 2010 World Cup.
The Euro 2008 winners thoroughly outplayed Capello's side as they eased to a 2-0 victory in February with goalkeepers James and Robert Green both conceding a goal each.
Both were named in last night's 24-man squad for the two games at Wembley and Portsmouth stopper James insists England have learned valuable lessons from the match in Seville as they look to solidify their position at the top of Group Six.
'Spain proved why they are the best team in the Europe at the moment,' he said. 'Despite the fact they didn't actually create that many chances, there was a big learning curve there because of the talent we were up against.'
James and West Ham's Green were joined in the squad by Manchester United
goalkeeper Ben Foster, who had never previously been picked by England's Italian coach.
Aaron Lennon was also included while Everton full back Leighton Baines earned his first senior international call-up.
Lennon last won an England cap two years ago but faces competition from David Beckham - who could surpass Bobby Moore's record 108 outfield caps - and Manchester City's Shaun Wright-Phillips for a starting berth on the right of midfield.