Considering that we’re currently trying to flog Robbie Keane to anyone that’s interested, you might have thought that we’d be cautious about re-signing old players in this January window.

Not so. For at Tottenham, our club motto Audere Est Facere might as well translate as ‘Never Learn From Mistakes’. On Saturday we confirmed the signing of Younes Kaboul from Portsmouth and only time will tell if this proves to be another error of judgement.

Kaboul wasn’t a player that many Spurs fans would have wanted to see back at White Hart Lane. He looked clumsy and error-prone during his first spell at the club, prompting me to christen him with the private nickname: ‘Kaboul in a china shop’.

I’ve not watched that much of him at Portsmouth, but if reports are to be believed, it seems as if his form has improved. I think though that our signing of him was more to do with opportunism, than any great desire to bring him back to Tottenham.

With Woodgate possibly sidelined until the end of the season and Ledley always likely to break down, the club was seeking another central defender. There were rumours regarding Palermo’s Simon Kjaer and it looks like when we realised that deal wasn’t going to happen, we decided to pick the bones of cash-strapped Pompey.

It seems that Portsmouth still owed us a large percentage of the Kaboul transfer fee, which is money that we could legitimately wonder if we’d ever see. So setting up a cut price transfer deal made sense, even if we end up flogging Kaboul again in a year’s time.

The thing that most worries me about Kaboul rejoining, is that I distinctly remember him moaning to the press about being dropped, even though he was clearly playing pretty badly. Let’s hope that he’s matured a little and that Michael Dawson doesn’t revisit any personal nightmares regarding his own form, during the period in which he had to partner the fledgling Kaboul.

To be fair to Kaboul, he did suffer a baptism of fire at White Hart Lane. Here he was playing in a new league at a tender age, under a manager in Martin Jol that didn’t really want to sign him in the first place and with the team under huge scrutiny, regarding Jol’s future.

What made things worse is that Tottenham were suffering from a injury crisis in central defence (some things never change) and Kaboul was pretty much the only player who was permanently fit. In his first few weeks at Spurs, Kaboul was partnered by Gardner, Rocha, and Dawson. If he’d been put straight into the team alongside the calming influence of Ledley King, then perhaps things would have turned out differently.

Now that he’s back, where and when will Kaboul play? In the pecking order of centre backs, Dawson and King are the first choice pairing when both fit, whilst Bassong has performed admirably this season. According to Kaboul’s Wikipedia entry, he has experience of playing at right back. I looked this up because I was hoping this would be the case, considering that as I write, the internet is awash with rumours of Naughton going to Middlesbrough and Hutton joining Sunderland.

My verdict is that whilst I don’t expect Kaboul to be the disaster he was when he first joined, he is going to have his work cut out to force his way into the side. Let’s hope that he’s a little more patient these days.

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21 COMMENTS

  1. Use him as a right back, being as we are a tad wanting in that position, now that Hutton and Naughton have been loaned out. Unbelievable, considering that the club have not announced replacements?

  2. Hi Guys, i have a feeling this in one of Harry mistakes. He seems to be a little headstrong at times, and although a good manager i dont understand why he wants ALL Portsmouths players, unless he has 1.5% sell on clause to all players he signed for Portsmouth? aslong as the players value has risen? And buying them himself ensures that? Synical maybe? but hey it is Harry lol, and he has earnt the title of barrow boy for reasons only he could answer lol. But as for Kaboul, he has done well at Portsmouth, but no disrepect that was after Cambel andDistin left them, so he may have just been the Best of what they had left? as opposed to being a leading light?

  3. i always liked kaboul even during his error prone days in his first spell at the club. I always thought he would be quality in midfield as he does have good defensive ability and also loved to bomb forward and his finishing was also pretty good. The fact is if he loses the ball in midfield he still has 4 defenders to help out. i see him as possibly being an understudy to palacios when we need it. Furthermore he cn play at CB and RB so whats the problem a very good piece of business if you ask me. COYS

    • Kaboul is back at the Lane as cover for Palacios. Harry has repeatedly mentioned his concern at the lack of cover and competition for the central midfield position. Harry likes players who can play in more than one position and Kaboul fits the bill nicely as a secondary cover for the centre half slots. Kaboul has probably been the outstanding player for Portsmouth this year and he will spice things up in midfield – if he gets a few games to show his stuff. Not good news for Jenas, of course. It could be worse – there was a time when it looked like Reo-Coker was being lined up.

  4. Why are we loaning out Naughton? Charlie is first choice and rightly so, but with us having real problems at centre half which means he is likely to be needed to cover there, who will be playing at right back. Glad to see the back of Hutten as he was awful, would have liked Naughton to have been given a chance, Don’t really see why we bought him is he is never going to play

  5. I think younes joining is a positive note in whole sea of negativity right now, it would be another positive to see K. Jones swap with Keane, Crouch needs a reminder its not his sole right to be first choice…..he would have to up his game considerably if there was genuine competition!!

    “harry, wake up!”……

  6. As a Pompey fan I can still report that Kaboul does STILL have lapses of concentration and appears to go on wild runs out of position. But he was easily our best player in a team full of mid-table Championship players. Kaboul is a solid Europa League defender and I can see him moving on again in the next 12-18 months. Harry just exploited our perilous financial position to get a reliable player on the cheap.

  7. s a fan for almost 40 years now the main problem with spurs is are scouting system , considering where we are in country we have vast pool of possible players locally for example I was watch my sons football club under ten’s team Team had left footed strikers head , kick very quick who’s scored 30 goals that season he only playing local club level – why aren’t we getting these kids in if take 10 players a year one or two would be really good

  8. Kaboul is a good player. Good in the air, good on the deck and gets among the goals. Sure he has the odd rush of blood to the head now and again, but he will learn. I like the idea of him in a midfield 5. Wilson and him in the centre, lennon and modric on the wings with Gudjohnsen behind Rooney up front.

  9. Pompey fan here. Harry will play Kaboul in his best position which is right-back. He’s a brilliant attacking fullback and it is without doubt his best position although he will also be a very, good emergency central defender. He still has the odd defensive lapse but has been far and away our best player since we imploded and lost the likes of Diarra, Muntari, Distan, Crouch, Defoe, etc.

  10. niko……..palacios……crouch…..defoe ……..

    all good signings as harry see’s it……….

    as a spurs fan ……..this blog pisses me of

    kaboul is a professional who deserves our support

    aiming high requires a strong squad…..

    it just might get us into the champions league if
    we stop shooting players down with bullshit

    harrys era……..tottenham on the move

  11. Remember the 4-4 match against Aston Villa? We where 4-1 down. Younes grabbed the late injury time goal with determination in his eyes.

    Kaboul is a player for the spurs future.
    I see him as Cover for Palacios, but he can play in many positions.

  12. Agree with most people, he’s a good signing – and was cheap as the deal included a sell-on clause – which we now pay to ourselves, so very canny.

    As a player, he was a monster at the back and should never have been sold: I still reckon he was one of Comolli’s few good signings. Now he’s maturing he can be an excellent squad player and, hopefully, has something to prove. He can play at right-back where he’s more dynamic than Corluka and is a cruncher at CB or in the middle alongside Wilson if we need to mix it away from home.

    The weird thing is, why do we keep signing right-backs? We signed three last window, have sold one (Chimbo) and now might have three others out on loan! (Walker, Naughton and Hutton). It’s bizarre. Why isn’t Naughton given a chance? He looks fantastic.

    As for Keane/Pav – it looks like both could go (which would be good) – but then we’re left short on strikers at the last minute, as Gudjohnsen maybe a month away from fitness.

    Why does our transfer policy seem so completely random? Am expecting a least one completely weird one or two in the course of today…

  13. In my opinion this was a financial no brainer. If and when Portsmouth go into administration we would have lost all outstanding money still owed on the original transfer. At least this way we have a player that we can evaluate this season and if need be sell on again in the summer

  14. Scot Loach is no better than what we have and showed in the under 21 he is not good enough Joe Lewis would be better and loan them Alnwick. We are the red cross of football loaning players everywhere, and why have we let Moses go to Wigan when we organised a game for us to look at him at the Lodge. I bet we buy him for Millions in a few years lets hope he don’t score against us we haven’t played them away .Why has Harry not tried to buy Sammy Hypia from Germany and loaned Pavlyuchenko to his club.

  15. His strength for us will be his versatility. Backup for Palacios,Corluka and centre halves.
    He was sold, like Boateng, too soon in the first place. We don’t seem to be able to coach promising young players into good young players.
    O’Hara is another one we should have retained. Not enough value is given to heart, effort and commitment, and dare I say it, loyalty.
    No I don’t want to see a team of moderate triers but a mix of such players might see us holding onto leads for example.

  16. I think Harry’s got more sense than he’s given credit for.
    1. Right back. I’ve seen Kaboul play there for Pompey nd he really played as a supporting/overlapping full back.

    2. I’m sure Harry’s reason last jan, and this, for resogning old players is that they can fit in straight away. They know most of the players, the style of play, the club, the area they’re moving to. I imagine that they can ‘hit the ground running’, rather than take the next two or three months to settle in.

  17. Harry’s a decent manager but he’s not as good as you lot seem to think. He’s a compulsive spender and many of his purchases aren’t needed. As well as his many good signings for us (Pompey) he spent £7 million on Utaka and £6 million on Nugent who are just about the worst pair of strikers I’ve ever seen in the Premier League! He’s already spent an awful lot of your money since joining you and I’m betting he still won’t reach any higher position than you achieved when Martin Jol was there!

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