Is Ledley King going to South Africa?

Today’s Daily Mirror is running an article claiming that Fabio Capello wants to take Ledley King to South Africa despite his dodgy knee.

Capello is apparently ready to take the chance on King, and wants confirmation of King’s recovery times between matches.

I personally hope he does take King as I think he is the best centre-half in the country at the moment with proven international pedigree. Some will argue that Michael Dawson is in better form, that may be true, but King is proven at international level and playing well.

If Capello decides against King, then Dawson is the other form defender in the country at the moment, so his inclusion would also be justified.

Of the regular three centre-half squad members, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry and Matthew Upson, none of them are in any sort of consistent form.

Terry has been awful lately, his decision making on the pitch is starting to replicate his decisions off the pitch. Ok, he has had plenty of decent performances since his alledged affair was exposed, but there has been some shockers mixed in with them.

Rio is injury prone at the moment, his back is giving him far too many problems. It is starting to look like a ‘Ledley King style injury’, one where it needs to be permanently managed, rather than one he will fully recover from. As a result he is in and out of the United team, and that has prevented him from getting into any kind of consistent form.

Matthew Upson (like Rob Green) is a struggling player in a struggling team, it has long been debated as to whether or not he is international class anyway. Surely on current form he isn’t. It is unlikely that Capello will dump him now though as he has been in most of his recent squads.

The only thing that I would worry about with King is obviously his fitness. Can Capello afford to have a not fully fit Ferdinand and King in his squad? If neither can play two games in a week, is it a risk too far?

As far as talent goes, I would have King ahead of both Terry and Rio at the moment. I think Capello should gamble on King, as you have to take risks to win the World Cup. You also need all your top class performers in the latter stages of the competition, and Ledley King is a top class player.


Dean Etheridge - Owner, Editor and Writer of

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