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Kaboul: It was hard to watch Spurs during year-long injury hell

15:00 11 August 2013

Younes Kaboul

Younes Kaboul

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Younes Kaboul says he struggled to watch his Tottenham team-mates during his year-long absence – and he is now determined to make up for lost time and rediscover his top form.

The 27-year-old was flying high at the end of the 2011-12 campaign, having starred in a Tottenham team that finished fourth in the Premier League – although they were denied a place in the Champions League – and initially being selected in the France squad for Euro 2012.

However, he was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to a knee problem, and he then played just one match last season – Spurs’ opening day defeat at Newcastle on August 18 – before undergoing an operation which ultimately ruled him out for the entire campaign.

The centre-back occasionally sat behind the Spurs substitutes at White Hart Lane to support his team-mates, but he concedes that he found it difficult to accept his powerlessness – and he was thrilled to finally return to the field in yesterday’s 1-1 draw with Espanyol in Tottenham’s final pre-season friendly.

“I had enough of that, honestly. It was very hard, it’s terrible when you watch your team,” said Kaboul. “Of course I was here to support them as usual, but sometimes you just want to go on the pitch, take the ball and go and score. To sit there all the time was hard for me sometimes.

“When you see your team struggling a bit, or winning, you want to be with them. Whether you lose or win you want to be with them and that was a big frustration for me.

“It’s been a long time for me - a year now - so I am fully happy to be back with the team. I missed football so so much last year.

“Thank God I have a wife and kids so I looked after them very, very well. But I am so glad and so happy to be here at the stadium at Tottenham. I’m very delighted.

“I was ready to come back [in April] but unfortunately I tore my quad against Man United in the reserves so that delayed my comeback with the team.

“I was very angry about that and this summer I got myself right to be ready for this season, and now I hope the injuries are behind me.

“Of course I was disappointed [with the timing of the injury] but I have to repeat that [form] again. I have to start back as I stopped a year ago because I was in good form, so I hope to be back even better than I was when I left.

“Now I feel fit, I will have a good week again before the Crystal Palace game, and I have to be ready for next Sunday.”

Having missed out on the Champions League so narrowly in the past two seasons, Kaboul is determined to help Tottenham to secure a seat at Europe’s top table this term – and he was encouraged by the performance of the new arrivals against Espanyol.

“We played very well in the first half,” he said. “The new signings were very good on the pitch, and they are very good people also. This season it is looking very good and sharp for us.

“Of course, we are going to have to be there in the top four this season - that is our target as usual. Last season we missed it for nothing, and two years ago it was the same, so this year we have to be there as well.

“Can the changes at the other clubs help us? Yes, of course, definitely, because of what Andre [Villas-Boas] brought last season - he has done a magnificent job.

“He broke the [club’s best ever] points record and this season will be even better for him and for us, so I am looking forward to having some very good days with the club.”

Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs

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