Atouba regrets Ajax switch

Published May. 11, 2011 3:15 p.m. ET

Atouba, 29, signed for the Dutch giants in the summer of 2009 but made just two appearances before injuries and poor form saw him fall down the pecking order. His lack of first-team action has impacted on his international prospects with Cameroon, but with his contract up at the end of June the former Tottenham and Hamburg full-back is eager to get his career back on track over the summer. "It was a bad decision to sign for Ajax," he said. "I have stood still for two years, including injuries. I have even lost my spot in the national team." Atouba linked up again with former Spurs boss Martin Jol when he signed for Ajax, but when injuries took their toll the coach explored other options at left-back. "Physically I was at 60%, and 100% mentally. But I was going from one injury to the other. The trainer was not happy," he said. Even when fit, Atouba claims there were apparently murky reasons behind his continued omissions from Jol's team-sheets. He said: "I was told that there were political reasons for this. Yes, political reasons. "I did not understand what he meant. Still don't." Jol resigned from Ajax in December, but a change in management did not improve Atouba's situation and Sunday's Eredivisie title decider with FC Twente will formally mark the end of his time at the club. Although he will not be playing any part in the match, Atouba at least remains loyal enough to his employers to celebrate with them, saying: "If Ajax score, I will do a little dance."