Benoit Assou-Ekotto: One of Harry’s great success stories!

Assou EkottoHarry Redknapp has done some pretty good things for Tottenham since his arrival at the club last season – turning them from off-form relegation candidates to European candidates and now into challengers for a Champions League spot is no small feat – plus he’s managed to bring back the likes of Jermain Defoe whilst also signing important players for the club like Wilson Palacios who’ve proven essential. Another feature of his reign is the improvement of players in the squad and none have improved more so under Harry than Cameroon full back Benoit Assou-Ekotto who has gone from being a shoddy reserve to being an important first team player whose place in January’s African Cup of Nations will hurt Tottenham more than anyone would’ve imagined prior to this season.

Assou-Ekotto’s form improved over the course of last season under Harry but it’s this season where he’s really getting plaudits – an opening day stunner against Liverpool gaining him acclaim and his defensive performances also having proven impressive and he’s now highly rated. Prior to Redknapp’s arrival Assou-Ekotto was a French reject who was in danger of losing his place in the Tottenham squad to Gareth Bale despite the latter’s injuries and reputation as being a bad luck omen for the club. Since then Assou-Ekotto has become a Cameroonian international who has a strong chance of making this summer’s World Cup in South Africa and who is admired by all areas of the Premiership.

Assou-Ekotto has proven impressive both defensively and going forward, helping out the attacks to make up for Vedran Corluka’s inability to make his way past the halfway line and getting back to block as many wingers off as possible. His pace and determination have proven assets and have helped Tottenham to a pretty good defensive record to date whilst he helps himself to assists as he forays forward. Redknapp may get praise for his getting the best of top talents like Aaron Lennon or confidence players like Jermain Defoe but his changing of Assou-Ekotto from a player who didn’t look good enough for the league into a player who most sides (perhaps all aside from the Top 4) would be happy to have in their first eleven.

Whilst Tottenham have had plenty of quality defenders in recent years their full backs have often left lots to require and the signing of Bale was meant to deal with the problem left back position which had plagued the club but Bale failed to meet expectations which made the position open for competition and Assou-Ekotto, defying all Spurs fans beliefs, has proven himself good enough to seal the position and become something of a fan favourite – though that may also have something to do with that impressive afro!

Redknapp wasn’t particularly known at Portsmouth for his ability to completely change the fortunes of players, though he was unafraid of giving chances to those who were out of favour, but he is now being recognised as a fine man manager who can get the best of his players – better than even those players realised they could achieve. Prior to his appointment as Spurs boss lots of Tottenham fans were adamant that Harry was not the right man for the job – he has proven them wrong and won pretty much all the fans over. So has Assou-Ekotto, a player reborn and one of Harry’s greatest successes at the club. The French-turned-Cameroonian has Redknapp to thank for the fact that he has a future at the club and a possibility of being at the World Cup in South Africa this summer – what a transformation!

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NEW Soccer AM IIII DVD OUT NOW – Order your copy now