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Harry tips King to rule with England
Published : 03 Apr 2009 14:45:00
Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has tipped Fabio Capello to lead England to World Cup glory - and Ledley King to play his part in the success.King's international recall sparked a club-versus-country debate as he cannot play matches in quick succession, meaning he would have been ruled out of Saturday's Premier League match at Blackburn if he had featured against Ukraine on Wednesday.Redknapp, despite initially describing the call-up as "mad" and "pointless", insists there is no rift with Capello - and he backs the Italian to guide the country to victory in South Africa next year."I never stopped Ledley going, I never said anything about the manager picking him," insisted Redknapp."No-one has more respect for Fabio than me as he is a fantastic manager and he will be a great manager for England - he has already proved that."We have a group of players that is the best this country has had in years and has a massive championship win in it."With this man in charge, I don't see why we can't do it. So there is no way that I disrespected him or England."Redknapp has repeated his view that King, Tottenham's club captain, could still play a part in England's World Cup campaign despite his chronic knee problem that prevents him from playing matches in quick succession.If he was at a major tournament, Redknapp feels the 28-year-old would be the ideal man to deputise for John Terry or Rio Ferdinand if cover was needed."I would love to see him at a World Cup and see him play," said Redknapp. "He is well worth taking as he can play and you might need him for a semi-final if someone injured or suspended. You could not pick a better man."If you used him right and there is a break between the games, then fine. You have to make sure that you nurse him through. The medical people here have got that down to a fine art."Last year he played just four league games and this season it could be 30 if he continue playing Saturday to Saturday. So that is a massive improvement."Redknapp has called for changes in the international calendar that would give players more time with their clubs - and also help King's return to the international fold.Redknapp could only assess his squad on the eve of the Ewood Park clash due to World Cup qualifiers last weekend and on Wednesday, but that would not be the case if the first game of the double-header was played midweek."I just wish that they could play the games on the first Wednesday and then the other on Saturday as you can then get your important players back for the week," he said."Whereas now everyone has got massive games all around the country and the players won't get back until the day before a game. So clubs can't do anything with the players, they come back tired, some have been halfway around the world, so it becomes a farce really."Redknapp, however, admits it would be difficult if King were to play for England on a Wednesday if there was a big game for Spurs the following weekend."You hope that they understand that and look at that and at the end of the day this club does play his wages," he said. "It is a difficult one as he wants to play for England and I would never stop anyone doing that."I have not stopped any of the players going. And I have not told anyone that 'you don't need to go, it is only a friendly'. It is a honour."