Tuesday, 8 May 2012

What Assou-Ekotto Actually Said... The Full Interview

Reports today are quoting Benoit Assou-Ekotto as saying that he is looking to move on from Spurs. As always, a bit of context is required. The questions below are from two interviews that Benny has given recently that the British media has jumped on. Benny has been praised for his honesty during his time at Spurs and we shouldn't be surprised when he says he may need to move on if his career isn't progressing.

Even though he does say the things he is reported to have, he does talk about how he loves the Premiership and doesn't want to move out of London, the past, present and future of Spurs as well. I've provided the full interview (at least the footballing bits) below for a bit of context around the reported quotes.

Tottenham may not qualify for the Champions league, it seems that the team is having trouble qualifying for the competition?
The core of the team was in place when Redknapp arrived. People can expect too much too quickly. As one says “Rome was not built in a day” and I think that the more years pass, the more powerful we'll be. This year we began the season at full speed but we have struggled to manage recently.  We started the season at 200% but the problem is that we are ending it at 80%. Next year, for the players who are there and if I am still there, we'll need to be more consistent

If you're not winning titles with your club, do you want to move?
During the season, I had a discussion with my president (Daniel Levy), he said to me that if a large club made me an offer, I could sit down to discuss it.  Of course, he added that the transfer would not be cheap! But he has not closed the door. I do not know what will happen in the future. For me, to gain titles is cool but I'd prefer to earn money (laughter).

You've been at Tottenham since 2006? 
Yes. When you know everyone in a club you have made it your home but you do want to acheive things and evolve. For two or three years, Tottenham have roughly finished in the same position (fourth in 2010, fifth in 2011). If there is a change in Tottenham, like additional resources, I will not be against the idea of staying. Otherwise, I will try to evolve as I did moving from Lens to Tottenham.

Where would you go? 
Spain, Italy, Germany, the grass is always greener!

Is there any club you dream of playing for?
Frankly no. I prefer to focus on the city and it is really very good in London. And plus I'm spoilt for choice with the London clubs.

Arsenal have problems with left-backs....
(Interrupting) They mainly have problems with Tottenham (laughter). This transfer is not possible.

Would you return to France to play football?
Imagine while playing in England, you have derbies against Arsenal, Fulham, Chelsea, and West Ham if they are promoted. You have games against both Manchesters, Liverpool and even Aston Villa who are a good team. That's already 16 big matches in the season. In France you go to Ajaccio and to have bananas thrown at you and are called a dirty black? Seriously, you play against Marseille, Lyon, Montpellier and Paris. There are four teams in France. And even if there are clubs at the moment that are trendy and could make me glad to sign there, it'd be shit to play in Ligue 1. League one does not make me dream.

Is the idea is to play for a club that regularly participates in the Champions League? 
Yes. All players want to play this competition. A few months ago, I said I never wanted to participate in the Europa League, because this competition is useless. Clubs are desparate to compete in the Champions League, not the Europa League! If I have to leave Tottenham, is to join a club that makes the CL. With my president, it was a gentleman's agreement. He is a man of his word, if it's a big club, I hope he makes it easy.

The recent scandal at the News of the World and the Murdoch trial showed how much the British tabloids have influence. Does it shock you that the press interfere with the lives of celebrities this much?
Murdoch, the guy who was in MacGyver? (Laughs) No, seriously, the tabloids are important for those who like to read that kind of crap. Look how many guys go to hookers and just because you're pro football player you don't have the right to do that and your face should be in the headlines? As long as it is not with a child, he can do what he wants with his time.

Noel Gallagher is a well known fan of Manchester city, are there any stars in the Tottenham changing room?
Apart from the Tottenham no.32 , I do not know any…

p.s. As yid407 pointed out in the comments below, Benny tweeted the following message today...
"I heard that i gonna leave the Spurs? LOL COYS"

...don't believe everything you hear in the media. Context people. Context.

Also..."Apart from the Tottenham 32".... Classic Benny...

Interview Sources:
Rage Mag 
France Football

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