Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Benoit Assou-Ekotto appreciation society

He looks like he should be shifting crack vials on The Wire, but you will only find forwards in Benoit Assou–Ekotto’s pocket. The only product he deals in is world class performances.

Benoit was simply magnificent against Arsenal, replicating his outstanding display against Real Madrid last week with a display of pace, timing and guile. His exquisite throughball released football whippet Aaron Lennon for the crucial equaliser.

When Spurs’ pedestrian backline was caught flatfooted by the pace of headless chicken Theo Walcott in the first half the nimble Cameroonian was always there to cover. He grew in stature in the second period, adept in defence, incisive in attack; the complete defender and, without question, the best left-back to play for Tottenham during my tenure as a Spurs fan.

We used to fold like origami against Arsenal, but no more. They are a psychologically brittle outfit, flat-track bullies who excel when a game is tipped in their favour, crumble at the first sign of resistance. Tottenham have gobbled up three two-goal deficits in 2.5 years against the red and white infidels from around the corner and I always felt we could claw the game back at 1-3. An eel has more backbone.

Our latest revival was aided by the renaissance of Rafael Van der Vaart. For the first time in months, the Dutch master was fully fit and he conducted Spurs’ attacking forays with swagger and verve. Only a superb display by Polish builder Szczesny in the Arsenal goal staved off another stirring Spurs victory like November’s 3-2 triumph at the Emirates*.

When Arsenal fail to win the league in May by a handful of points, it will be these games they remember. Theo....shhhhhh.

*The Emirates is the nation’s designated quiet stadium (please refrain from using mobile phones, personal stereo equipment or talking loudly when seated).


ModjoSpur said...

My Favorite Spurs player...Man of The Match Performance Last Night!!!

Anonymous said...

Pleased to see 3 Spurs players' performances last night rated by the fans at 7.0 and above on the Telegraph's player rater. Modric, Van der Vaart and wait for it... BAE.

Martin said...

I agree with the lust doctor Benoit was outstanding at the back and despite a few hiccups here and there over the season he stands prominently above most the left backs I've seen in my time at the Lane, including my former vets team-mate Terry Naylor. It was a thrilling exchange of London rivalry which almost resulted in a win for us albeit for the magnificent close range acrobats of the Arsenal keeper. But you have to stand back in awe and applaud the manner in which we fought back after gifting them two early soft goals, our heads never dropped once as we remained focussed on claiming the pride of North London's crown for the night.