QPR gave themselves a real lifeline in regards to Premier League survival with a 2-1 win over Southampton. It left Harry Redknapp with good reason to celebrate on his return to St Marys; and his 66th birthday. Goals from Loic Remy and Jay Bothroyd proved the difference on the South Coast as The Saints missed a real opportunity to stretch away from the relegation mark with defeat.
The game also saw Redknapp deciding to start Adel Taarabt from the bench; and with a deliberate avoidance of any topic relating to a trip away to Dubai I think it could be a masterstroke.
First things first there is little doubt that Taarabt is very talented and at Championship level he was an absolute phenom at Loftus Road. Premier League football has not been very kind to the Moroccan and despite some obvious moments of wizardry it has been tough for him.
This season he has certainly improved and has even added a more defensive, workmanlike dimension to his game when called upon. However his tendency to try and do everything himself is not compatible with a relegation dogfight. Sometimes as classy a player you are that sort of skill set is not necessary.
Take Clint Hill as an example. Not one of the best defenders in the league by a long shot. At the start of the season his general inability to keep track of his man left him fist punching the floor more times than he would care to admit.
But he has the right attitude for the battle at hand and in recent weeks he has been extremely important to the cause. His leadership qualities are also paying dividends but he just simply has the right personality for the job at hand.
For Taarabt his need to be the centre of attention is not conducive to the cause. It is odd as when Redknapp found himself in a similar situation with Pompey in 2006 he had a very similar player in Andres D’Alessandro who was the catalyst in their survival but with Taarabt for the rest of the season his job role should be impact substitution. Not because he isn’t good enough but simply because he is not built for this particular fight.
Do you think dropping Taarabt is a good idea from Redknapp?
image: © wonker