“He is the worst professional I have ever come across” – Harry Redknapp
After a long week of over-analysis and speculation at Loftus Road, Harry Redknapp will be eager to get to matters on the pitch next Monday.
Aston Villa’s trip to Loftus Road will shift the emphasis away from the controversy of Adel Taarabt; his conditioning and weight seeming to dominate papers, news sites and social media across the country.
The fall out between Redknapp and the QPR midfielder became so hyped that chairman Tony Fernandes was forced to apologise to fans in a statement on Tuesday.
Rangers’ manager Redknapp had declared Taarabt not fit to play in the Premier League, claiming he was three stone overweight. But Taarabt hit back in an interview with the Daily Mail, showing off pictures of his torso in a photoshoot and saying he was ‘fuming’ at not being allowed to play.
The row hit boiling point with Redknapp labelling the player ‘the worst professional I have ever come across’ before Fernandes stepped in.
Redknapp told the Daily Mirror, “even I could suck my stomach in for a picture and look ok,
“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.”
Now Rangers will be looking to divert attention away from the dressing room and onto the pitch, as they seek to end a run of three consecutive defeats on Monday. Despite playing poorly last Sunday, they were desperately unlucky to lose to Liverpool, as Stephen Caulker deflected a Raheem Sterling cross into his own net.
They will be hoping they can produce a positive performance against Villa. They will be hoping that stand-out performer Eduardo Vargas, who scored twice at the weekend, will perform again this time out.
Villa meanwhile visit White City attempting to end a run of four straight defeats that has taken the shine off a strong start to the season. Boss Paul Lambert is assessing the fitness of defenders Nathan Baker and Phillipe Senderos, but confirmed England midfielder Fabian Delph will miss the game with a shoulder injury.
Speaking of the visit to Loftus Road, Lambert said: “It’s going to be a tough game because it’s a tight ground with the crowd right on top of you, but it will be a good atmosphere.
“They have seasoned pros but we’re definitely up for it.”