Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp described Ledley King as "one of the best centre-halves in the world" after his performance against West Ham.
Tottenham moved back into the top four of the Premier League with the 2-0 victory at White Hart Lane courtesy of an opener from Luka Modric on his first start since fracturing his fibula and a second from former Hammers striker Jermain Defoe.
It was also a fourth successive clean sheet for Spurs and Redknapp was delighted to have King back from a hamstring injury.
Article continues below ...
"What a player he is," Redknapp said. "He’s one of the best centre-halves in the world. You go round the world and try to find too many better centre-halves than him.
"We’re very lucky in this country with John Terry and Rio Ferdinand, and he’s right up there with the very best of them, when he’s fit and playing."
Aaron Lennon also made an impact, along with Tom Huddlestone, who was playing on his 23rd birthday after being on the bench with Defoe for the Boxing Day draw at Fulham. Huddlestone said: "We felt sharp. Some of the lads who played on Boxing Day said they felt a bit stiff and fatigued so for me and Jermain to be rested or dropped, or however you like to say, we were fresh."
Defoe, meanwhile, believes Spurs have the quality to remain in the top four this season and earn a Champions League place.
"We’ve got a fantastic squad, great players and I think we’re good enough to compete up there," he said. West Ham not only lost the game but also saw Scott Parker and Herita Ilunga limp off with hamstring problems, although Gianfranco Zola is hopeful neither will be out for long.
"Parker shouldn’t be too bad," the Italian said. "He had a tight hamstring but he said it felt better and he shouldn’t be too long and we’ll see in the next few days.
"Ilunga is the same thing, he just felt his hamstring a little bit so he shouldn’t be anything serious."
Zola feels Spurs could aim higher than the top four, adding: "Tottenham have such a good squad, they have everything to be competitive and it will be down to them. In my view they could be one of the possible surprises for the title.
"The championship is telling us that it hasn’t got an owner. Even Chelsea, who is top of the league, is struggling a little bit to get results so it’s open for everybody."