McGrath: Leave Ledley to his own devices

Former Republic of Ireland defender Paul McGrath has pledged his support to stricken Spurs centre-back Ledley King amid the club versus country row surrounding the Tottenham skipper. King was caught in the middle of controversy this week following his call-up to Fabio Capello’s England squad for the Three Lions’ upcoming internationals against Slovakia and Ukraine. His selection led to an angry reaction from, Spurs boss, Harry Redknapp, who criticised the Italian for picking his man, despite it being common knowledge that King – continually blighted by knee problems – is unable to play two games in a week, and is barely able to train in between matches. But ex-Aston Villa and Manchester United centre-back McGrath - whose own career was blighted by knee complaints - believes that, in Redknapp, King has a manager that fully understands his predicament, and can therefore glean the maximum output from his captain. “I almost joined West Ham when Harry was there so he knew my situation... he knew I couldn't train too much. I think he'll give Ledley the benefit of the doubt and in return Ledley will give him everything he has,” said McGrath, who managed to play in two World Cups despite his cronic injuries. “He’s a great player if it means he doesn’t train as hard or as regularly as the other lads then if I was Harry I’d be happy with that. “I had a very understanding physio at Villa in Jim Walker. In my time there I had a few different managers and it had to be explained to them that I couldn't do a lot of the training systems they had. “It worked out a treat for me. I'd go in and do a little bit of bike work for 20 minutes, have a bath and then head home. “Because of the way Jim explained it, telling them they had to leave me to my own devices during the week but I'd be OK for Saturday, it was OK.”

VILLA FANS! Check’s ever-expanding interviews archive for more stuff to read: Boy's A Bit Special  Gabriel Agbonlahor, Isiah Osbourne Ask A Silly Question Peter Crouch Perfect XI Graham Taylor

Plus! Rate Villa players (and others) on Talentspotter

SPURS FANS! Check’s ever-expanding interviews archive for more stuff to read: Web Exclusives Les Ferdinand, Paul Gascoigne, Gary Lineker, Glenn Hoddle, Frederic Kanoute One on One Paul Gascoigne, Les Ferdinand, Ossie Ardiles Boy's A Bit Special Chris Gunter, John Bostock Ask A Silly Question Garth Crooks Perfect XI Ossie Ardiles My Secret Vice Neil Ruddock

Plus! Martin Peters on Weekend Wonders and Spurs on Talentspotter