Tuesday 21 October 2014

Adel Taarabt hits back at Harry Redknapp's 'overweight' claim

Adel Taarabt has hit back at Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp for suggesting that he is overweight and unfit to play.

Redknapp slammed the Morocco international in his post-match press conference following QPR’s 3-2 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday, claiming he is not in a position to select Taarabt due to his lack of fitness.

“(Taarabt) is not fit to play football, unfortunately,” Redknapp told reporters. “He played in a reserve team game the other day, and I could have run about more than he did. So, no, I can’t pick him.

“I can’t keep protecting people who don’t want to run about and train, who are about three stone overweight. What am I supposed to keep saying? ‘Keep getting your 60, 70 grand a week but don’t train’?”
Taarabt, who has not started for QPR since August 27, has responded to Redknapp by saying: “I am a professional – this is not about retaliation, this is about protecting my reputation. 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.

“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.”

Taarabt went on to suggest that the players are not motivated because of the lack of intensity during Redknapp’s training sessions.

“The training sessions aren’t the same standard as Milan, or what I would expect under another manager. They are not as intense, the players aren’t as motivated. It is the same as we used to do at Tottenham years ago. When we played West Ham he told the players “you’re not fit, you’re not this, you’re not that”,” he told the Daily Mail.

“I said ‘but the problem is we don’t have any plan in the game, we don’t know how to press as a team. It’s not about just running around, you need to play with your brain’…

“After West Ham he said all of the team is not fit. After Liverpool, because the performance was so good, he said everything was perfect – what, in one week, he changed the fitness? Impossible.”

Credit: Michelle/SetantaSport 

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