Stats: Under-fire Kaboul is the best in the Premier League in key area

Kaboul And Gallas

Younes Kaboul has struggled this season but shines when it comes to one department of his game.

Tottenham Hotspur captain Younes Kaboul has rightly come in for plenty of criticism over his form so far this Premier League campaign.

In nine league fixtures, his side have conceded 13 goals - and their back four has looked all at sea in so doing.

Mauricio Pochettino has failed to stem the tide and Spurs are looking every bit as unorganised as they were under Andre Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood.

Of course, the Argentine may pull things round with time, while Kaboul may also improve as the season progresses. And, interestingly, the 28-year-old is already top of the league in one key area.

  TeamPosInterceptions WonAppsMins
Mile Jedinak Crystal Palace MF 32 9 810
Younes Kaboul Spurs DF 32 9 810
Curtis Davies Hull DF 30 9 765
Craig Gardner West Brom MF 28 9 801
Ritchie de Laet Leicester DF 28 9 784

Indeed, as Opta stats show, no one has won more interceptions this term than centre-back Kaboul. The Tottenham skipper has won 32, the joint-highest tally in the fop flight, with Crystal Palace's Mile Jedinak alongside him. Curtis Davies, Craig Gardner and Ritchie de Laet complete the top five.

So Kaboul is still clearly capable of producing in some key areas of his game. Where, then, does the Frenchman need to improve?

  TeamPosInterceptions WonTackles WonAerial Duels WonEffective ClearancesErrors Leading To A ShotAppsMins
Younes Kaboul Spurs DF 32 12 15 63 2 9 810
Etienne Capoue Spurs MF 26 20 6 24 0 9 743
Danny Rose Spurs DF 21 18 10 19 0 9 785
Erik Lamela Spurs MF 10 11 2 3 0 9 738
Jan Vertonghen Spurs DF 10 6 6 28 0 6 470
Eric Dier Spurs DF 9 22 20 27 1 9 695

An overall look at his statistics are, really, rather misleading. At first glance, it would appear that the 28-year-old has been doing well this season. Obviously, in practice, that is far from the case.

Even then, however, two key areas already jump out when viewing Opta data. Kaboul has won far less tackles than the likes of Etienne Capoue, Danny Rose and Eric Dier and, from your captain, you want to see someone able to lead by example and win a challenge.

Meanwhile, Kaboul is also his side's biggest culprit when it comes to giving shots away. The Frenchman has already made two errors leading to a shot this season, while most of his team-mates are yet to do so.

If the Tottenham man can work on his overall game, then, perhaps he can turn his ability to intercept passes into an overall ability to defend - something that, right now, he does not look adept at doing.

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