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Sakho and Zaha shine for Palace

Crystal Palace

The tale of two talismans


Pompey new boy Boateng lifts lid on Spurs hell

Following his transfer from Tottenham Hotspur to Portsmouth, Kevin-Prince Boateng has detailed how former Spurs boss Martin Jol never wanted him at White Hart Lane and how he was frequently used in an unfamiliar role during an unhappy time at the club.

Boateng, who joined Pompey for a fee of £4m at the end of August, boasted an impressive reputation when first arriving in England in the summer of 2007. But his time at Spurs quickly turned sour as he made only seven Premier League starts and was labelled a flop before joining Borussia Dortmund on loan for the second half of last season.

Having secured a permanent move away from North London, Boateng has now opened up about the difficulties he was faced with following his arrival in England, confirming the widely-held suspicion that friction existed between sporting director Damien Comolli and manager Jol, both of whom have now left the club.

But the midfielder is now hoping to resurrect his career by performing in a more offensive role for a manager he claims is more supportive than Jol.

"When I first arrived in England at Spurs, Martin Jol thought I was a defensive midfielder," Boateng told the Portsmouth News. "That's where he put me all the time in training. He just wanted me to concentrate on the defence. I'm not a defensive midfielder, I like to go forward, I like to get into the box and get into positions and score. That's what I want to do. If there are chances I can score goals, I just want to go forwards.

"It was difficult at Spurs. Their sporting director Damien Comolli wanted to sign me - it was not Martin Jol. Over Martin Jol's head he decided to sign me so I went there and was happy. There I was, coming from Germany to the best league in the world, performing and training good every week and then Martin Jol told me 'I didn't want to sign you, you are a good player but I don't have time for you'.

"I had just turned 20 and it was like a punch in the face. It was like 'wow okay'.

"At least when Harry (Redknapp) became manager he always put me in front of the midfield because he is a clever man, he saw what I could do. So the first question I asked Paul Hart was whether he wanted to sign me and not the chairman. Well, it has happened before.

"Paul Hart has also told me he doesn't want me to be a defensive midfielder and that's fine by me. Now I have a new chance to show what I can do."


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