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By Ben Pearce, Tottenham correspondent
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Younes Kaboul has hailed the 2011/12 campaign as his best ever season – and he says he is delighted by Tottenham’s fourth-placed finish.
Injuries to the likes of Michael Dawson, William Gallas and Ledley King have given Kaboul an increasingly important role over the past nine months – and the Frenchman has responded brilliantly, becoming the lynchpin of the rearguard.
The 26-year-old’s performances were rewarded with a place in the France squad for Euro 2012, but he has been forced to withdraw due to the knee injury which forced him off during Spurs’ home matches against Norwich and then Fulham on the final day.
Despite that disappointment, Kaboul is reflecting on a season of progress – both on an individual level and for Tottenham as a club – and he is keen to build on such success next campaign.
“It’s definitely been my best season, I’ve taken some steps [forward],” he said. “I still need to work harder so I’m going to prepare myself for the next season because I want to continue what I’ve done this year.
“We’ve had a very good season. We started very badly against Manchester United and Manchester City, and then after that we had a magnificent run and I think now teams are starting to respect us because we showed some quality football.
“I just hope that we will carry on like this next season – hopefully in the Champions League, and in the league of course.
“Finishing in the top four is very good. Over the last two or three years Tottenham have been doing a very good job, and we just hope we will carry on like this for many years.
“I’m delighted for the club – for the players, for the staff, for the fans, for everyone. We have proved again that we are a big team.”
Although he is elated with Spurs’ second top-four finish in three years, Kaboul and his team-mates have been unable to celebrate Champions League qualification this week, as they wait anxiously for Saturday’s Champions League final.
A Chelsea victory over Bayern Munich in Munich would rob Spurs of their place at Europe’s top table – and Kaboul admits he is ruing the failure to overtake Arsenal.
“Of course now we need to wait for the Champions League final, and I just hope that Bayern Munich are going to win,” he said.
“We could have finished third. The difference between finishing third and fourth [was so small], it was just like Manchester City and Man United – it was the same with us against Arsenal.
“But we’re not going to cry or anything. The most important thing is that everyone is happy and in good health.
“I remember the time when Fabrice [Muamba] came down on the pitch – you realise a lot of stuff. Now the season is finished. Some good things happened and some bad things as well, so we’re going to appreciate all of that.”
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