1st Season at the Lane, a no.32 please – 2006/07
Benoît arrived at the Lane in July 2006 from Lens costing a cool £3.5 million in our first year back in Europe since 2000. In the 06/07 season he made 16 appearances in the league and played 9 cup games without any goals to his name under Martin Jol. Benoît along with many other players suffered with long term injuries. The signing of Assou-Ekotto created competition with the hard working and fellow hyphenated full back Lee Young-Pyo down the left hand side.
Afro with a Streak of Talent – 2007/08
Our 125th season was a somewhat quiet year for Benoît who only managed 2 appearances all season. Only one league game and one European match all campaign meant the Cameroonian had no part our Carling Cup run that saw Ledley lift the cup. Highly rated Gareth Bale was also bought, at that time, as another left back, increasing first-team competition even more.
Disco Ben – 2008/09
With a total of 34 more matches played this season than previously, it was evident that Benoît was back to full fitness. He emerged as our first choice left back with a little help from Gareth Bale’s lack of form, not to mention his long forgotten losing curse that began to plague the young Welshman towards the end of the season. At the start of the year Ramos was not playing him and as soon as he got sacked, Harry Redknapp seized the opportunity to play Benoît regularly, becoming a key member in our reformation. Benoît only missed 9 premier league games all year.
“Football is not my Passion” – 2009/10
The year we realised our Champions League dream was a wonderful season for Assou-Ekotto, missing only 8 league games. On the opening day of the Premier League season, Benoît responded to a free kick that rebounded off the wall by smashing the ball into the top corner, leaving ‘keeper Pepe Reina with no chance. This was his first goal for Tottenham and even a credible early contender for goal of the season. It was Benny’s injury that ruled him out of the African Nation’s Cup that paved the way for Gareth Bale’s rise to fame. However, Harry started to play Bale at left wing with Benoît behind the welsh wizard which, from then on, created a class partnership.
Cheveux sont Magnifiques – 2010/11
After an unsuccessful World Cup campaign with Cameroon, Assou-Ekotto again managed to play 30 games in the league and appeared in 11 out of our 12 prestigious Champions League encounters. As the the only natural left back in the club’s 25 man squad, Harry was incredibly reliant upon a relatively injury free, positionally astute and incredibly skillful Benoît who illustrated that he deserved to be sparring with Europe’s finest.
Latest Edition to his Collection by Tottenham’s Finest Barbers – 2011/12
Benoit continues to show his class and form as he has played in every league game thus far. He has won over the fans, confining some disastrous performances with reckless challenges and ill-conceived Cruyff turns to the odd away-day while developing a formidable relationship with Bale who’s ability is such that Benoît can limit attacking forays to lofting beautiful passes down the channel and hanging back on the halfway line unless needed. He has undoubtedly cultivated cult-figure status by taking the tube from his home in Canary Wharf, his refreshingly frank interviews and attempts to rebuild N17’s image after the riots. A cut above the rest.
By Joel Merriman @Merrimania