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Bassong out to prove AVB wrong
Published : 03 Sep 2012 08:48:00Rss feed
Sebastien Bassong has told Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas he would regret selling him to Norwich.
Bassong moved to Spurs in 2009, but after a full season in the first team he found his playing time reduced with the arrival of William Gallas and he endured a torrid final two years at the north London club.
He had been hoping to be given another chance under Villas-Boas when he replaced Harry Redknapp as manager this summer, but the Portuguese told Bassong he was free to leave after revealing the Cameroon international was sixth in the defensive pecking order.
Bassong cleared his locker and moved to Norwich in a £3million deal, but only after delivering a warning to Villas-Boas.
"I said to him 'you'll buy me back one day'," Bassong said with a smile.
"It was a bit of a joke. I've got a good relationship with him so I have a joke with him." Joke or not, if Bassong keeps on delivering the kind of performance he put in on Saturday, Villas-Boas may live to regret letting the 26-year-old go. While Tottenham's defence crumbled to concede a third late goal in as many weeks, Bassong performed admirably alongside Leon Barnett in the Canaries back four to keep Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor quiet.
Bassong exuded the confidence that had been drained from him during the latter part of his Spurs career and snuffed out any threat, earning him the praise of both the home and away fans following the 1-1 draw. "I'm really delighted about my return to White Hart Lane. It was a bit emotional for me," the defender said. "I had a good relationship with the fans here so it was nice of them to give me a good reception. "I'm really happy for them. I owe them a lot and I want to thank them. "I played a full season in my first year here, and then I was struggling to play. "But that's in my past so I'm looking forward and I'm happy with how it's going at Norwich."
Norwich, thrashed 5-0 by Fulham on the opening day of the season, have not lost since Bassong moved to Carrow Road and he is sure he made the right decision to leave. His move to Norfolk has not all been plain sailing, however. "No, I haven't settled in yet. I'm living in a hotel. I'm looking for a house, but it's hard," Bassong added. "My car broke down two days ago, I was in the middle of nowhere as well. Welcome to Norwich!"
Tottenham's players patted Bassong on the back as they filed out of White Hart Lane yesterday, congratulating the centre-back on his performance. The Cameroon defender took the adulation graciously and also showered praise on Tottenham's goalkeeper Brad Friedel. Friedel's place in the Spurs goal is under threat following the £12million signing of Hugo Lloris from Lyon. The 41-year-old sent a strong warning to the Frenchman with an excellent display yesterday, however, denying Robert Snodgrass, Russell Martin and Anthony Pilkington.
"Uncle Brad was magic, I've never doubted his quality. He is one of the best in the Premier League," Bassong said. "He's a terrific player and there's going to be a tough competition between him and Hugo. "They finished fourth last year and (Friedel) played a big part in that." Villas-Boas looked set to record his first win as Spurs boss when Mousa Dembele scored after 68 minutes, but Snodgrass dashed the 34-year-old's hopes with a late equaliser. The Portuguese was disappointed with his team, but cited the performance of Friedel as one of the reasons to be optimistic about the club's season. Villas-Boas insists Lloris will have to fight hard to earn a place in his team despite arriving at White Hart Lane with a reputation as one of the best stoppers in Europe. "When you transfer it's not written in the contract that you have to play," Villas-Boas said. "He has to compete against three good goalkeepers and at the moment Brad is doing extremely well. He deserves to be playing and he'll continue to do so."