view Zaaboub's match-by-match record
 
Sofiene ZAABOUB

Paul Sturrock's first signing as Town manager, Zaaboub signed on a short term deal in November 2006, after leaving Belgian top flight club FC Brussels during the summer. Prior to joining Swindon, he had many trials at higher-level clubs - including Preston, Swansea, Plymouth, Luton, Dundee and Metz - but his longest trial was at Sturrock's former club Sheffield Wednesday. Sturrock returned to bring Zaaboub to Swindon just days after his own arrival at the County Ground.

Despite playing mostly as a left back previously, Zaaboub was utilised in a number of positions during his early days at Swindon - most often on the left side of midfield, but away from home also tucked into a more central role in a 4-5-1 formation. He made his debut in mid-November, coming on as a substitute to replace the injured Aaron Brown in the first half in the FA Cup tie against Carlisle, making his full debut the following week at Torquay. As he gained full match fitness, he broke into the starting eleven at the beginning of December, and his impressive performances prompted Sturrock to offer him an extended deal - an eighteen month contract that Zaaboub signed in January. He celebrated his new deal in the next game, with the Town's opening goal in a 2-1 win over Wrexham - his goal celebration including a pretend shave from Michael Pook, after Zaaboub admitted in an interview that he didn't shave at a new club until he had scored his first goal!

After a defeat against Hartlepool early in February, Zaaboub lost his place in the eleven - Sturrock suggesting that he needed a rest, having played so many games since signing. After spending most of February and March on the bench, another reshuffle saw Zaaboub recalled to the starting line-up for a televised clash against fellow promotion candidates Lincoln, and though he had a slow start in which he showed glimpses of his petulance, he soon found his feet to put in a man-of-the-match performance, as the Town won 3-2 to get their promotion bid back on track. Zaaboub went on to start all of the remaining games - the Town losing just once to clinch the third automatic promotion place.

Zaaboub started the 2007/08 campaign as a regular in the first team - but though his skill on the ball and crossing ability was evident, it was often outweighed by his casual attitude - not least in a 2-1 defeat at Swansea in October, when a terrible pass out of defence resulted in a goal for the Swans, costing Zaaboub his place in the side, though he came back into the fray in November. Sturrock's final lineup before resigning to join Plymouth at the end of the month saw Zaaboub dropped to the bench for the match against Bristol Rovers, and he took to the field with just two minutes remaining, with the Town a goal up. Card happy referee Rob Styles had already dismissed three players, when Zaaboub went on a mazy run - then, having lost the ball, he made a rash lunge to retrieve it - and though there was no intent to play the man, he caught the Rovers defender, who wasn't even tripped by the challenge. Styles immediately rushed to the scene and showed a straight red card to Zaaboub, who was given a five match ban - three for violent conduct, and two for failing to leave the pitch promptly - though the ban was later reduced to four games on appeal.

Zaaboub and caretaker boss David Byrne very obviously didn't see eye-to-eye - on New Year's Day, when Barry Corr had been sent off after just twenty minutes against leaders Swansea, Byrne made the decision to sacrifice a midfielder to keep a two man presence up front - when he chose to take off Zaaboub so early in the game, the Frenchman made his displeasure known - storming off down the tunnel. This situation was repeated in March, when after the appointment of Maurice Malpas as manager, Byrne substituted Zaaboub in a reserve game - a heated exchange followed, and Zaaboub once again stormed away. It seemed that Malpas had already deemed Zaaboub surplus to requirements - and having started just three games since the new man's arrival, Zaaboub made just three more substitute appearances after the bust-up, before eventually being told he could leave the club at the end of the season.

PLAYING RECORD:

Season LEAGUE FA CUP LEAGUE CUP OTHER TOTAL
Played Gls Played Gls Played Gls Played Gls Played Gls
'07/'08 18 (+11) - 3 - (+1) - 1 - 22 (+12) -
'06/'07 23 (+4) 1 1 (+2) - - - - - 24 (+6) 1
TOTAL 41 (+15) 1 4 (+2) - (+1) - 1 - 46 (+18) 1


TRANSFER INFORMATION:

DATE IN/OUT TRANSFER DETAIL
30 JUN 2008 OUT (released)
» Walsall


 FRANCE


 ALGERIA

date of birth
23 January 1983


             
             
           
             
           
             

usual positions
left midfield

other positions
left back

youth career
ASA Montereau 
AS Saint-Étienne 

senior career
Modena 
Sora (loan) 
Real Jaén 
FC Brussels 
SWINDON TOWN
Walsall
Southend United
ES Sétif 
Union Sportive Madinet Annaba