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

Villas-Boas yesterday.

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

Real Madrid.

“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.”