King wary of Tottenham hangover

Ledley King has told his team-mates it is time prove they are not "the same old Tottenham" by following their Champions League thrashing of FC Twente with victory over Aston Villa on Saturday.

Spurs captain King admits the club have too often allowed their standards to slip in Barclays Premier League games in the immediate aftermath of their European matches.

But the England defender insists enough is enough and is demanding the same level of performance this weekend as he witnessed at White Hart Lane last night.

"This is what we've struggled to do in recent years," said the 29-year-old, who shook off a groin injury to help Tottenham beat the Dutch champions 4-1 and join Inter Milan at the top of Champions League Group A.

"When we've been in Europe in the past, our league form has suffered, so that's what we want to put right this season."

Spurs followed last month's Champions League play-off hammering of Young Boys by losing to Wigan and also struggled to beat Wolves after their 2-2 draw at Werder Bremen.

King added: "We slipped up against Wigan and losing that game gives us an incentive not to let it happen again.

"People are now looking at us after we've played our European games.

"The spotlight is on us and teams are waiting for us to slip up, saying we're the same old Tottenham.

"We don't want to be like that. We're at home to Villa and those are the games that we need to take three points from.

"We needed to bounce back against Twente after losing to West Ham and we didn't dwell on that and got the result we wanted. Now we will think about Saturday's game."

King could find himself once again cheering from the stands on Saturday if manager Harry Redknapp decides his skipper's notoriously fragile knees cannot handle two games in four days.

The centre-back's fitness is now a constant talking point but he pays no heed to speculation over his game time.

"I'm used to reading a lot about myself about whether I'm going to play or not," he said.

"I'm know when I'm going to play or when I'm not, so it makes me laugh sometimes."

King's return for Tottenham's first home game in the European Cup proper for 48 years proved a timely one last night.

He made a number of vital blocks and interceptions as Twente threatened to make Redknapp pay for an adventurous line-up that left his defence all too exposed.

Yet, Spurs were exhilarating going forward, while King believes the game witnessed the beginnings of a productive understanding between playmakers Rafael van der Vaart and Luka Modric.

"They could be brilliant," he said. "I have seen them work together. When they're in training, it's tough to get the ball off them.

"They're so small, their touch is so good and they play little one-twos - they're just brilliant players.

"The more they play together, the better it will be. They can open any defence, and we have players who can score.

"Rafael also has the ability to take the team by the scruff of the neck.

"You can see he wants the ball and wants to make things happen and that gives everyone a lift."

Last night witnessed a Jekyll and Hyde performance from Van der Vaart, who missed a penalty, broke the deadlock and was then sent off for a second bookable offence.

It means he will miss next month's mouthwatering game at European champions Inter - a match King cannot wait for.

"It's what we dream of," he said.

"We've been wanting to play Champions League football for many years and you want to go to places like the San Siro and test yourself.

"So we're looking forward to that."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Extras
indybest
Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum