‘Arry’s ‘ead’s gone

harry taarabt

Okay, to start off with: what I first of all want to know is what the positive outcomes were that Harry Redknapp thought he was going to get out of publicly hammering one of his first-team squad players – calling them “unfit to play” and “about 3 stone overweight” and accusing them of “not wanting to run and train”. Because I personally can’t see any. I feel like what he was trying to do was get a reaction of Adel Taarabt so he gets some professional pride, trains harder and works his way back into the QPR starting line-up. Now, if that’s the case, that outburst in the post-match press conference was a conversation that needed to be had privately and not in front of most of the  sports journalists and reporters in England. As a manager you should be able to motivate your players in the dressing room behind closed doors, not resort to publicly chastising them. What addressing situations like that in front of the world does, taking into account the competitive nature and pride of sportsmen, is drive an even bigger wedge between the two parties.

So, instead of motivating Taarabt, what Redknapp’s remarks did do was drive an even bigger wedge between the two parties, and highlight that the cohesion at QPR isn’t what it should be. This is reflected in their performances on the pitch so far this year and subsequently their position in the league, which is… you guessed it, last. Now, moments before the press conference QPR had just conceded with pretty much the last kick of the game to lose to Liverpool. And being the passionate guy that he is, I expected Harry to wear his heart on his sleeve and say how he was “gutted for the lads” but to direct his frustration to a player who wasn’t even on the pitch seemed odd. I’ve always thought one of the most important roles of a manager was to protect your players, not hang them out to dry. Look at Arsene Wenger for example, when he knows his teams done something wrong he chirps up with the famous “I did not see it” line, and when they’ve been beaten by the better side he shifts the blame to the referee – basically he does everything in his power to move the focus and spotlight away from his players. Redknapp’s done the complete opposite.

Let’s take another view on the situation. Adel Taarabt is a guy that spent last year on loan at AC Milan, and I know they’re not the force they were in yesteryear, but they are still a top European side. He obviously feels that he should be playing at a higher level than QPR. Which, fair enough, he has quality, he probably could be. But if we’re to believe Harry Redknapp and read between the lines of what he said in the press conference, Taarabt doesn’t have the attitude or the application to play, not only for QPR, but football in general. And this is why it’s a real ‘heads gone’ moment from Redknapp: Taarabt wants out of Loftus Road – whether it’s back to AC Milan or another European club, he doesn’t want to be turning out at Loftus Road on a Saturday. And by the sounds of it, Harry isn’t too keen on having him around either. So the best thing to do for QPR is to package that player up so other clubs may take a interest in acquiring him. Now, this isn’t going to be easy as Taarabt apparently earns between 60K & 70K a week. But what’s going to make the situation harder is publicly telling every other manager, scout and club owner that he’s lazy, doesn’t train hard and is basically an all-round nightmare to work with. This unfortunately is what Redknapp did and now he’s left with a player on a huge salary for a bottom-half-of-the-table Premier League team who isn’t contributing on the field and who nobody really wants to sign.

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