Every football fan always thinks they know best. “Darren Bent is better than Wayne Rooney” my one ‘know-it-all friend’ insists. Another would have the rest of us believe that he has always said Dimitar Berbatov was one of the worlds best, when really he was as fickle about the Manchester United striker as everyone else. I’m no different. I have opinions which others think are completely ridiculous. One of those which I’m now only starting to admit my ignorance to is that of Benoit Assou-Ekotto. I’m sure I’m not the only one either. The Tottenham full-back has been (with the exception of last night’s blip) in excellent form of late and is now proving all of his doubters wrong.
Even though his form has been improved for quite some time, I still couldn’t believe I saw him lining up away at AC Milan. It just seemed as though he was way out of his depth and that he would be a weak link exposed by the most talented of players. But he gave a polished performance in the San Siro – one which hasn’t been out of the ordinary given his recent form.
Maybe the reason people don’t really appreciate the Cameroon defender’s ability on the field is because he doesn’t exactly cover himself in glory. His quite frank and open style didn’t really go down too well with the average football fan. We want our players who play for our beloved club to want to – for the collective good of the team. So when Assou-Ekotto admitted he isn’t the biggest fan of football and that he does it for the money – as a job, well it’s safe to say that not just Tottenham fans were a little taken back.
But really, who cares? If I were a Spurs fan, I can’t say I’d be too bothered if he wanted to be a footballer or a fireman, just as long as he carried on putting in performances as he has been this season. The Cameroonian international has featured 34 times this campaign – the same amount as he managed in the whole of last season.
So this is my apology to the 26-year-old. I got it wrong. You’re not that bad, in fact you’re actually quite good. Okay, I don’t really like the fact that you don’t love the game, but so what? You have also admitted a hatred towards divers and cheats, so at least we have something in common.
I don’t often admit I’m wrong quite so easily – this is probably why this article is a little overdue. But whilst Tottenham continue their unlikely assault on the top four and Champions League, the big names will carry on grabbing the headlines. But spare a thought for one of the most underrated players at White Hart Line. Benoit Assou-Ekotto will be quite happy to let everyone call Gareth Bale the best left-back around, but for now, he isn’t doing a bad job there himself.
Like my apologies? Follow me on Twitter @joino