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The foe you know - Watford's Gomes, Kaboul and Capoue

Posted on 1 December 2017  - 12:07

Watford have three former Spurs players in their squad – two of whom started Mauricio Pochettino's first league game in charge in August, 2014. Today we continue our recurring ‘The foe you know’ feature where we look at our ex-players who now wear the colours of our next opponents by shining the spotlight on Heurelho Gomes, Younes Kaboul and Etienne Capoue.

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Charismatic goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes joined us from Dutch side PSV in 2008 after playing against us in the UEFA Cup just a couple of months earlier. He took a little while to find his feet in English football but started to show his true colours in 2009 with some impressive saves under the management of Harry Redknapp.

Unfortunately, the Brazilian international suffered his fair share of injuries during his time with us but his strength of character was always in evidence as he battled back to fitness.

Part of the side that secured qualification for the UEFA Champions League for the first time via a fourth place finish in 2009-10, Gomes saved two out of three penalties in a crazy Premier League game at Sunderland in April, 2010, but endured mixed fortunes during our memorable run among Europe's elite the following season, being forced off in the second leg of our play-off round victory against Swiss side Young Boys, missing matchday one at Werder Bremen and then being sent off in the 4-3 loss at Inter Milan on matchday three, causing him to sit out of the return match against the Italians through suspension.

Brad Friedel joined us in the summer of 2011, meaning Gomes' opportunities were limited to the cup competitions in the opening months of the 2011-12 campaign. A short loan spell at German side 1899 Hoffenheim was cut short by a hand injury and after spending the 2013-14 season with us as third choice goalkeeper, he left us in 2014 and promptly joined Watford, with whom he won promotion from the Championship in his first season at Vicarage Road. Ahead of Saturday's visit, Gomes has played 138 times for the Hornets – three more than he did for us.

Frenchmen Younes Kaboul and Etienne Capoue were both inherited by Mauricio Pochettino when he arrived here in 2014, with the former appointed club captain for the 2014-15 campaign.

Centre-half Younes had two spells at the club, initially arriving in 2007 from Auxerre and memorably scoring a late equaliser as we came back from 4-1 down to draw 4-4 at home to Aston Villa on the club's 125th anniversary game that October. An extra time substitute in our 2008 League Cup Final success, he moved on to Portsmouth in the summer of 2008 but was back 18 months later.

A powerful and aggressive defender, he put in some useful shifts at right-back in early 2010 and got the assist for Peter Crouch's famous goal at Manchester City in April, 2010, that saw us book our place in the following season's Champions League. He also famously scored the winner at Arsenal in November, 2010, as we came back from 2-0 down at half-time to win 3-2 in the Premier League.

He left us for Sunderland in 2015 having scored eight goals in 140 games across his two spells with us but moved on to Watford a year later. He scored his first Hornets goal against us, a late consolation in our 4-1 win on New Year's Day last season, and is currently on 26 appearances for them, although he’s struggled with injuries this season and has hardly featured under new boss Marco Silva.

After coming up through the ranks of Toulouse, central midfield enforcer Etienne Capoue was briefly a team-mate of Moussa Sissoko and Serge Aurier at the French club before coming to Spurs in the summer of 2013 as one of seven new signings.

Impressive in his first couple of games, he suffered a nasty leg injury on only his third Premier League appearance at Arsenal and was unable to live up to his early promise upon his return.

His first Spurs goal was a consolation in a 5-1 home defeat to Manchester City in January, 2014, and his only other strike in our colours came in a 4-2 FA Cup third round replay win over Burnley at White Hart Lane a year later.

Hardly involved in the latter stages of that campaign, he moved on to Watford in the summer of 2015 and after a scoring spree of four goals in the first five league games of the 2016-17 campaign is currently on nine goals in 82 games for them. His final tally of Spurs appearances was 36.

We look forward to renewing acquaintances with our former players at Vicarage Road on Saturday.