Younès Kaboul: I respect Arsenal, but even if they doubled my wages I would never have gone there
EXCLUSIVE by Alessandro Schiavone
Younès Kaboul: “I respect Arsenal but even if they had doubled my wages I would never have gone there”
Such are Younès Kaboul’s feelings for Tottenham Hotspur that he would never have accepted to join Arsenal in his career.
The French-born Moroccan spent six years at Spurs over two different spells and helped the club qualify for the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time in their history in 2011 and lift the Carling Cup in 2008, their last trophy to date.
Kaboul, who brought the curtain down on his career after an unfortunate spell at Watford in 2017/2018, made 140 appearances in all competitions with Tottenham and is widely regarded as one of the club’s greatest ever defenders.
Asked whether he would have followed in the footsteps of Sol Campbell, who controversially quit Spurs for Arsenal in search of silverware in 2001, the 35-year old said:
“No, that would not have been possible. You cannot do something like that when you are at Arsenal or Tottenham. I would never have joined Arsenal, no matter the money on offer. But don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Arsenal. I have huge respect for Arsenal because it is one of the greatest clubs in Europe. And the greatest player in Premier League history, Thierry Henry, played for them.”
In the build-up to the North London derby that will see his former side go toe-to-toe with the Gunners on Sunday afternoon, Kaboul took a trip down memory lane.
It was his late winner that separated Tottenham and Arsenal in a derby that featured levels of unprecedented drama in late 2010.
Despite taking a commanding 2-0 lead, the Gunners were heroically pegged back by Gareth Bale and Rafael Van der Vaart before Kaboul stunned the Emirates Stadium in the 85th minute as Tottenham claimed bragging rights. It was their first away win at Arsenal in 17 years and a game that will long live in Kaboul’s memory.
He said: “For me personally that was a magical moment because I scored the winning goal. We were trailing 2-0 at half-time and went on to turn it around in incredible fashion after the interval. It was a crazy game and it remains to this day one of the greatest derbies in Premier League.