Younes Kaboul has accused Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino of “disrespecting him,” telling the Daily Mail he still has no idea why he was frozen out at the club.
Pochettino joined Spurs in May 2014 and named centre-back Kaboul as club captain in September of that year. The Frenchman played in Tottenham’s first 11 Premier League matches of the 2014-15 season but was dropped in November and did not play another minute in the league for Pochettino, only appearing in the FA Cup and Europa League.
Kaboul left Spurs for Sunderland the following summer and in July 2016 he joined Watford, who play Pochettino’s Tottenham at Vicarage Road on New Year’s Day.
“The end was not OK [at Tottenham], because the manager disrespected me, 100 percent,” Kaboul said. “When Mauricio first came we had a very nice, human, man-to-man kind of respect. And then something happened and I don’t know what it was.
“I got injured and then he didn’t talk to me anymore. Then he was not putting me in the squad for no reason. One game, two games, three games, and that was strange for me because I am supposed to be his captain.
“I’m not saying because I’m his captain I need to play, no, no, no. If I am not good enough to play I am not playing. But you have to respect players, to talk to them and explain why they’re not playing.
“After a few games I went to see him, to ask what was happening. I needed to understand because clearly he wasn’t talking to me. But he said: ‘There’s nothing, I’ve got nothing to say to you.’
“I asked him to put himself in my position. He was a captain at good clubs like Paris Saint-Germain where his manager was Luis Fernandez, a very good manager. I said: ‘How would you feel if he dropped you with no reasons?’ And he said: ‘It was different.’
“After that I shook his hand and we stopped talking to each other. That was the end. I’m still waiting to find out why.”
Kaboul spent a season with Tottenham in 2007-08, before rejoining the club in 2010 under Harry Redknapp, and won the League Cup in 2008, appearing as an extra-time substitute as Spurs beat Chelsea at Wembley.
“When I first signed, I knew nothing at all about the Premier League,” he said. “I was 21 and it took a while for me to understand the importance of what it meant to play for Spurs.
“We won the Carling Cup and it was like we’d won the World Cup, the way they celebrated. I still have the medal at home but I wanted to win more.”