Already with a reputation for slacking off on the pitch, QPR manager Harry Redknapp took a wild swing at his mercurial winger Adel Taarabt after QPR’s wild loss to Liverpool.
Taarabt has just 24 league minutes this season for Rangers, and when asked about the 25-year-old’s status, Redknapp replied he’s “not fit” and said “I can run more than he” and called him “three stones overweight.”
And those are just the highlights from a scathing rant that essentially labeled the Moroccan as completely unable to perform on a pitch.
But Redknapp’s comments are completely off base according to the player himself, who gave an interview to Neil Ashton of the Daily Mail. Taarabt fired back, saying there’s no way the manager can know his fitness because he barely leaves his office to come watch training.
“He spends most of the time in his office but when he gets off the phone he comes down to watch for five or 10 minutes – he never takes a session,” revealed Taarabt. “That’s when he said he had it in mind to start me against Liverpool.”
He also made sure to point out that the QPR training sessions aren’t nearly as taxing as those at AC Milan, where he spent on loan last season.
“I am a professional – this is not about retaliation, this is about protecting my reputation,’ Taarabt made sure to point out.
“I played in that reserve game for 90 minutes and if he didn’t think I was running he could have taken me off. Maybe I didn’t perform like I could because it was a reserve team game and I was protecting myself. Just because we are losing games I am not going to kick the ball in the stands. My job is to create, bring goals to the team. Maybe he expects me to make more tackles. I am not this type of player. I can only get fitness playing Premier League. You can train six or seven hours, but you won’t be fit.”
Redknapp’s comments were synonymous with Taarabt’s reputation as a player who is supremely talented but has serious work ethic issues. However, Redknapp went much farther than that, suggestion Taarabt wasn’t training and simply at the club to cash a paycheck.
It very well could be the end of Taarabt at QPR, although he did mention that he loves the club and only the manager has an issue with his play.