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hotspur - OUT NOW

Posted on 30 January 2010  - 12:00

The renaissance of Benoit Assou-Ekotto has been nothing short of remarkable. Our Cameroon defender was on the first team fringe just over a year ago but is now very much central to the action.

hotspur - OUT NOW

The renaissance of Benoit Assou-Ekotto has been nothing short of remarkable. Our Cameroon defender was on the first team fringe just over a year ago but is now very much central to the action.

His recent injury has allowed Gareth Bale to come in and shine in the left-back position that Benoit had made his own with a succession of sparkling performances.

But when he returns, manager Harry Redknapp and all Spurs supporters will certainly benefit from having two such in-form players competing for the one place.

As Benoit says: "Competition makes me strong." In an exclusive interview in the February issue of our official monthly magazine hotspur - on sale on Friday - he talks of how delighted he was to sign a new contract and was also encouraged by the fact that the Club so obviously wanted him to stay.

"Of course it was nice to sign a new contract," he says. "It was very important for me and I am happy that the Club shared that view. In terms of how it affects my game or my situation...well, I don't think it does because I never really play with pressure.

"In terms of my commitment to playing the game, I am always ready to give my best and that will never change."

In our in-depth feature, Assou-Ekotto also talks about his happiness at playing for Tottenham, about the French League that he has left behind and of Cameroon's hopes in the World Cup.

We also take a look at the emergence of Heurelho Gomes as the latest in a long time of excellent goalkeepers at the Lane while Michael Dawson, the next Spurs player to pen his own column, talks of his pride in captaining the side as he looks ahead to some vital Premier League games in February.

Gareth Bale is the man in the hot seat in our regular ‘Onside' feature as our Wales international talks about his life on and off the pitch. He reveals that his most difficult opponent has been Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger, his top singer is Chris Brown and his favourite comedian is Rhod Gilbert.

Vedran Corluka is also interviewed and reveals how our settled and consistent line-up is boosting the side together with his delight at having two Croatian team mates with him at White Hart Lane.

He says: "We know so much about each other's games...and that makes it easier for the players. We also have great quality on the bench and that pushes you in training and in games because you know you can never relax."

In his ever-popular monthly column, Harry Redknapp again answers questions from readers. He reveals his ongoing respect for individual members of our ‘Double' side like Dave Mackay and Bobby Smith and recalls the conversation when he first met his predecessor Bill Nicholson.

Harry was a schoolboy prospect at the time but opted for West Ham where he was soon in the first team - and on a pre-match diet of a big fillet steak and rice pudding! "Can you imagine running around on that" he laughs. Harry also answers questions on Glenn Hoddle, Michael Dawson and Jermain Defoe in what is always a ‘must read' column for Spurs fans.

We also track down renowned actor/director Kenneth Branagh who is in the States working on his latest film. In yet another exclusive interview, he reveals his deep love for Spurs...and Alan Gilzean in particular. He says: "Once you have an affinity with a team then it's there forever. Spurs have always been about commitment and style and, quite frankly, we've still go it.

"This is a very exciting time to be a Spurs fan. We possess some genuinely top class players...and the strength in depth to deal with the inevitable injuries." And Harry Redknapp? "To me, he seems a good fit for Tottenham, he really does," insists Branagh.

Legendary football commentator John Motson looks back on Tottenham's influence on Italia '90 and predicts that it could be the same in South Africa.

We catch up with former players Peter Baker and Gudni Bergsoon who both look back on their White Hart Lane careers while our regular ‘Tottenham Tales' focus falls on season 1997-98 and the return of Jurgen Klinsmann.

In all in the February issue of hotspur magazine - don't miss it!