Assou-Ekotto reveals Harry shock
Spurs chairman Levy took a huge gamble this summer by sacking
Redknapp – a man who had delivered fourth, fifth and fourth place
finishes during his time as White Hart Lane boss.
Levy replaced the 65-year-old with Andre Villas-Boas, who has
made a disappointing start with one loss and one draw.
Assou-Ekotto appears convinced Villas-Boas has the credentials
to succeed at the north London club – but conceded it was
surprising to hear Redknapp had been dismissed.
“I was very surprised,” Assou-Ekotto said. “I was surprised
because I don’t think there are a lot of managers who finish fourth
and they are sacked.”
Assou-Ekotto offered two almost contrasting viewpoints on
In one interview the Cameroon international, who scored
Tottenham’s opener in the 1-1 draw against West Brom on Saturday,
hailed the Portuguese’s tactical nous and described him as “like
the son of Mourinho”.
But then in another interview when Assou-Ekotto was asked
whether he liked working under the new manager, he said with a
smile: “Hmmm, I play, so yeah, he is good for the moment.”
Jermain Defoe, Rafael van der Vaart, Gareth Bale and Aaron
Lennon all spurned chances for the home side on Saturday before
Assou-Ekotto broke the deadlock with a deflected half-volley.
Villas-Boas packed the midfield shortly after, hoping to stifle
a resurgent West Brom, but his efforts proved in vein as James
Morrison swept home from inside a packed box to steal a point for
Steve Clarke’s men.
Despite the club’s faltering start, Assou-Ekotto is convinced
Spurs can finish in the top four this term.
“Yes we can finish in the top four because we finished fourth
last season and we haven’t changed much from then and maybe we will
have one or two new players in too,” he added.
“We also have new players with (Gylfi) Sigurdsson, (Jan)
Vertonghen and (Emmanuel) Adebayor, and we know Adebayor.”
Fourth would have normally been good enough for a place in the
Champions League but, unluckily for Spurs, Chelsea’s triumph in the
2012 final in Munich meant the north London club had to settle for
Europa League football this season.
Assou-Ekotto admits it was agonising to watch the Blues come
from behind to beat Bayern Munich on penalties, but accepts Spurs
should have finished third after throwing away a 13-point lead they
had over Arsenal.
“I was about to make a prayer that (Didier) Drogba would miss
his penalty,” Assou-Ekotto said.
“But I was happy for him. In the season we were 13 points in
front of Arsenal and we can’t think that we missed the Champions
League because of Chelsea.
“I think we made a few mistakes in the league last season
because it is obviously not normal to finish behind Arsenal when we
were 13 points ahead of them.”
There is a feeling Villas-Boas will be more content when he
finalises the make-up of his squad by the end of the week.
Renowned for doing last-minute deals, Levy will be busy trying
to seal agreements for the likes of Willian and possibly Leandro
Damiao while also aiming to complete the sale of Luka Modric to
“The market can be frenetic in the last few days so anything can
happen,” Villas-Boas said.
“We are still looking to strengthen our squad with a midfielder
so let’s do the deals that we have to do.”