Kaboul's New Year hopes

Young defender is learning his trade at Spurs

Kaboul: Relishing challenge

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Spurs defender Younes Kaboul is looking forward to tackling the threat of Arsenal's Emmanuel Adebayor in Saturday lunchtime's North London derby.

Kaboul is still finding his feet in the Premier League following his £7.8million summer signing from Auxerre.

Playing against Adebayor at the Emirates Satadium is the latest step on a steep learning curve for the France Under 21 captain.

He told the Daily Mirror: "Of course it takes time to adapt. When you arrive, it is a new country and a new mentality.

"It is not the same as in France. You need some time to adapt. Here you play very quickly and there's never a break during a game. It's always a fight. I like this style.

Physical

He added: "When you come to England, you have to build yourself up because the game is very physical. At the start I went into the gym as well and put on a couple of kilos of muscle. Adebayor has done the same.

"Now at Arsenal he has become very strong. For me in England, along with Dimitar Berbatov, he is one of the best.

"They are two of the best strikers in the Premier League, even Europe. It takes time. It was the same with Thierry Henry. I hope I can do as well as them in English football.

"French football is more technical and tactical. If you have a good mentality, your legs will follow, and you can become a great player here."

Kaboul, 21, is now finding his form after a being "rested" for the UEFA Cup tie in Anderlecht earlier this month by new Spurs manager Juande Ramos.

"It was something that had to be done," he reflected. "The manager explained he wanted to leave me behind to get some rest. It gave me a rest and it worked.

"It was a good decision.

Confidence

"I lost a little bit of confidence. It's clear that in the game against West Ham I was a bit disappointed in the way I played. But since then I have returned to my level and concentrated on playing well.

"This is football. You can't always do your best. Sometimes you are a little tired. Sometimes you are good."

Spurs are playing well under Ramos and Kaboul hopes they can continue their fine form going into the New Year.

"I don't know where we are going to finish this season - I hope in the top five," he said.