Queens Park Rangers is the worst team in the English Premier League.
They’re in last place after scoring six goals in eight games. Their latest loss, a 3-2 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday, featured two own goals, including one in the 95th minute that lost them the game.
After the game coach Harry Redknapp directed his ire toward a player who wasn’t even on the field for QPR, Adel Taarabt, who he said was too fat to play for the team. That comment has set off a war of words between the two that’s as absurd as it is entertaining.
Taarabt is one of the more talented players on the team, but he has a reputation for off-the-field issues. After QPR chose not to sell him during the summer transfer window, he has only appeared in two games this season. He hasn’t even been on the bench in recent games.
Redknapp called Taarabt fat (“three stone overweight!”) and said he needs to start training harder if he wants to play after the Liverpool game (via BBC):
“He’s not fit to play football, unfortunately. He played in a reserve game the other day and I could have run about more than he did. So no, I can’t pick him. I pick people who want to try and deserve to be at a good football club like QPR.
“I can’t keep protecting people who don’t want to run about and train and are about three stone overweight. What am I supposed to keep saying? ‘Keep getting your 60-70 grand a week and don’t train?’ What’s the game coming to?”
“Three stone” is about 45 pounds.
Faced with criticism, Redknapp basically blamed his team’s woes on the selfishness and laziness of the modern game, with Taarabt as the scapegoat.
Taarabt didn’t stand for it.
He went to the Daily Mail’s Neil Ashton on Monday the next day for his own interview where he attempted to prove that he wasn’t fat and said Redknapp was a terrible coach.
He had the Daily Mail take a photo of his abs to show he isn’t fat:
‘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”.
‘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.” I was thinking that West Ham didn’t have better players than us, but they were well organised. Almost every time we lose the ball the opposition score. We need to do something about it.
‘If you work as a team you run less. If somebody sprints 100 metres they play a triangle round him and you are never going to get the ball. If everybody runs 10m, 10m, 10m, then you are in shape, but we never do that. He doesn’t understand that. The coaches don’t have any influence on Harry — none. They are there just to be there.
It didn’t end there.
On Tuesday Redknapp went to The Sun and said that Taarabt only lost weight because he had tonsillitis! He also called Taarabt unprofessional and said the photo of him looking skinny doesn’t mean anything (via ESPNUK):
“The only reason he has lost weight is because he has had tonsillitis. That’s the only way we could get any weight off of him.
“He is not fit to play a game, that’s the truth. He is the worst professional I have ever come across and I have been his only ally at QPR for the past three years. He doesn’t try and I have protected him for too long.”
“Even I could suck my stomach in for a picture and look ok.”
This is the good stuff.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.