Former Spurs star admits time in North London was his ‘best two years in football’

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Etienne Capoue has described the two years he spent at Tottenham Hotspur as the best time of his career.

Capoue arrived at Tottenham during a tumultuous time for the club, with the Frenchman being part of the ‘magnificent seven’ bought in the summer of 2013 after Gareth Bale completed a big-money move to Real Madrid.

The Toulouse academy graduate found it difficult to settle in North London and the fact that the manager who brought him in, Andre Villas-Boas, was sacked midway into his first season, did not help.

The midfielder did not get much of a run in the starting eleven under Tim Sherwood or Mauricio Pochettino and eventually left to join Watford in 2015.

Capoue rebuilt his reputation in the four and half years he spent at Vicarage Road, which earned him a move to Villarreal in December of 2020.

The former Tottenham man has been a consistent performer for Unai Emery’s side, playing a key role in their Europa League triumph last season.

Despite winning silverware with the La Liga side, Capoue rates his time with Spurs as the best time of his career.

The 33-year-old told The Athletic: “I didn’t speak any English but I’m a curious person and when I arrive in a new environment I want to be part of the culture.

“When I arrived at Spurs, I spent a lot of time with the English boys, Kyle Walker, Danny Rose and Aaron Lennon. They gave me their time and helped me learn English quickly.

“I didn’t think too much about the football in England, I just thought it would be the same as in France — and because I didn’t watch it, I didn’t know that it wasn’t.

“I soon realised that I had to work out more, including before and after training. I watched the best players at Spurs and how they trained and played.

“I had some problems with injuries and the coaches not picking me, but my two years in Tottenham were my best two years in football.”

Spurs Web Opinion

I remember being excited when we brought in Capoue as Sandro had started getting a few injuries and his form had dipped. The Frenchman looked like he had all the attributes to thrive in the Premier League.

Unfortunately, the circumstances worked against him at Spurs and he never got a run of matches in the side. However, he proved during his time at Watford that he can be quite difficult to play against

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