Exclusive: Midfielder Taarabt must show more maturity, says QPR hero Ferdinand
Sir Les believes Rangers need more from Moroccan this season
With 80 goals in 163 appearances for QPR, Les Ferdinand MBE knows exactly what is required to perform at football’s top level.
In almost a decade at Loftus Road, Ferdinand played under four different managers, scoring 20 goals in the inaugural Premier League season in 1992-93, 16 goals the following season, and 24 in 1994-95.
In the 16 years since Ferdinand left west London to join Newcastle United, few players have captured the fans’ imagination and admiration in quite the same way as their coveted striker did.
But Adel Taarabt was one such player last season. His 19 goals in the Championship after joining from one of Ferdinand’s other clubs, Tottenham Hotspur, had Rs fans positively salivating at the prospect of their captain dancing through Premier League defences.
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Ferdinand though, is not convinced. Question marks have long hung over the Moroccan international’s temperament, particularly when he loses possession, and after a tepid display against Bolton on Saturday, which drew groans from the Loftus Road crowd on several occasions, Taarabt still has plenty to prove.
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“Last season, QPR based a lot of their play around Adel Taarabt, but I remember watching them at Derby last season and Robbie Savage did a real number on him,” recalls Ferdinand, now a coach at Tottenham.
“Robbie’s job that day was to man-mark Adel, and I think that showed up Adel’s immaturity. Rather than moving the ball a bit quicker, Taarabt tried to take Robbie on and prove that he was a better player – and he failed.
“I’d like to think that he’s learnt from that this season, because QPR will need more from him.”
Taarabt’s troubles were symptomatic of Rangers’ struggles against Bolton, with many tipping the Rs to spend the season battling relegation, and Ferdinand agrees with that assessment.
“It’s going to be a tough season for QPR, increasingly now we’re seeing a lot of teams struggling down near the bottom of the table and unfortunately I think QPR will be in that conundrum this season,” adds Ferdinand.
“There seems to have been some turmoil behind the scenes, when the owners came in QPR were suddenly one of the richest clubs in the world.
“But the owners were never going to throw money at the club, they’re calculated and want to spend wisely. I can understand that to a degree, but I would have liked to have seen more from them.”
Follow Ian Cooper on Twitter @QPRTimes.