Assou-Ekotto accepts Euro sub
Benoit Assou-Ekotto insists he was happy to take one for the team against Young Boys last week.
By Elliot Ball
Last Updated: 21/08/10 11:52am
Tottenham Hotspur defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto insists he was happy to take one for the team against Young Boys last week.
The Cameroon international was subbed after 36 minutes of Spurs' UEFA Champions League play-off after suffering a nightmare in Bern.
The 26-year-old left-back saw yellow in the early stages as the Swiss side ran riot, racing to a 3-0 lead.
But a tactical switch by Harry Redknapp saw Assou-Ekotto sacrificed and it paid off as goals from Sebastien Bassong and Roman Pavlyuchenko allowed the Londoners to head to the return leg at White Hart Lane with the contest still alive.
"Of course I wasn't happy to come off. Nobody would be," Assou-Ekotto, who joined boss Redknapp in lamenting the plastic pitch they played on, told The Mirror.
"But I realised it was tactical. I saw what the manager was trying to do and I understood.
"I had a yellow card and if I'd made another foul and it was ten against eleven it would have been even worse for us.
"To dwell on it would be pointless. We still have a second game to come.
"The biggest problem for us was the pitch. Football has to be played on grass and not synthetic surfaces. It gives them an advantage.
"I have been a professional for seven years and I have never played on a pitch like that. The second leg game will be very different on grass."
Tuesday night's scare has seen Redknapp step up his attempts to land experienced defender William Gallas to beef up Tottenham's backline.
While the recruitment of the 33-year-old former Arsenal star may infuriate some fans, Assou-Ekotto has no qualms with the Frenchman's arrival.
The former Lens defender added: "Look, Darth Vader could come to Spurs. I don't care.
"If he does his job well I am happy for Spurs.
"Gallas can help us. Even if he is from Arsenal. They haven't taken the chance to keep him so he is a free agent. He can go wherever he wants.
"If he was under contract at Arsenal and then chose to go to Spurs then I would understand the supporters at our club not being very happy. But Arsenal don't want him. So why not take him?"