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Monday, March 21, 2011

Glowing Praise by Taarabt for The Warnocks...Glowing Praise for Taarabt....Australian Trialist...Rowlands Returning...Vine Staying Away


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Evening Standard
Taarabt: I couldn't have done it without you, Mrs Warnock

Henry Swarbrick 21 Mar 2011

Barely a week in the Championship seems to pass without Adel Taarabt causing a stir. The 21-year-old has been the outstanding player in a Queens Park Rangers team whose dominance has been such that they need only 15 points from eight games to return to the Premier League next season.

And even on a weekend where Taarabt missed his first game of the season - due to a family bereavement - the Moroccan playmaker was unable to keep a low profile as he received the Championship Player of the year award in London last night.

Taarabt is a temperamental character and a difficult man to manage; a player capable of genius one week and mediocrity the next.

His spell at his last club, Tottenham, was a troubled one. The man who signed him, Martin Jol, was sacked nine months later, Taarabt never felt comfortable during Juande Ramos's year in charge and then failed to win a place under Harry Redknapp.

But since moving to Loftus Road, Taarabt has found a manager, Neil Warnock, who has made him feel welcome, even making him captain, and has finally got the best out of him.

"I've been here only a year, it has been so quick and I am very happy," said Taarabt at The Brewery, in the Barbican, last night. "I have found a home and a family.

"Warnock's wife [Sharon] has looked after me and his kids have been like family to me. I cannot describe our relationship. Sometimes I think God has brought this guy to me, I am very difficult guy to control but Neil does it.

"It is special between me and him, he changed my life. He tells me to just go out onto the pitch and enjoy it. After all that he has given me I try and repay him.

"I was at Spurs and had a very difficult time. I wanted to show what I can do and to prove to people. I want to go back to the Premier League."

The standard of the Championship has risen markedly in recent years - none of the teams promoted to the Premier League last year are in the relegation zone - but Warnock is in no doubt that Taarabt will have to raise his game if he is to succeed in his second bite at top-flight action.

"He will have to make slight adjustments to his game because I have let him have more leeway than he would in the Premier League," said the Rangers manager.

"If you lose the ball in the Premier League then you won't see it for 10 minutes. He will have to take more responsibility upon himself but some of the things he does when he shouldn't do them amaze me. I'll shout at him to pass it and then he'll go and beat three men."

And after a difficult start to his professional career, Warnock is convinced the environment is in place for Taarabt to become a star in the Premier League next season.

"A lot has happened in his life and he is getting more mature," said the 62-year-old.

"He has a lovely girlfriend now and she is going to come over here next year to live and I'm delighted. When I saw him last week before the Palace game, I knew he would be man of the match because he is like a matador so she'll be a good influence on him.

"Adel couldn't play for Tottenham. Because there are so many good players, you can't fit a system round him as there are 10 other players as good as him.

"You need circumstances with Adel and Harry knew it. He didn't have time to do what I did with Adel as he is going for Europe and whatever. I've only got one Adel and I've barely got enough time!
He's the most talented player I've ever seen." This is London

Paul Fletcher/BBC Blog - Adel Taarabt - a mercurial talent , Monday, 21 March 2011

QPR manager Neil Warnock opted for "talented, exciting and frustrating" when asked to describe his captain Adel Taarabt in three words.

It is the first two qualities that saw the mercurial Morocco international named the Football League player of the year at an awards ceremony in London on Sunday.

The 21-year-old has undoubtedly been QPR's ace in the pack this season as they have built a nine-point lead at the top of the Championship with eight games remaining. He has scored 15 goals and provided at least the same number of assists (the exact figure is the subject of disagreement, with estimates ranging from 15 to 20).

But Taarabt is about so much more that statistics.

He is prodigiously talented; capable of the sort of tricks, turns and long-range strikes that few others would dare attempt, let alone execute. His body-swerves and the mesmerising changes in direction - all pulled off with exquisite close control saw him dubbed the new Zinedine Zidane when he first arrived in England after signing for Tottenham from French side Lens in 2007.

"Adel is the most talented player that I have had under my wing in my entire 30-year management career," said Warnock.

"Many QPR fans have been brought up on the likes of Rodney Marsh and Stan Bowles and, although Adel is not a club legend in comparison, he is similar in terms of ability."

Taarabt himself readily admits that many of his slaloming, weaving runs are purely instinctive. "I do not think about it, I just do it," he said. "It is a gift from God."

Warnock was so convinced about Taarabt's worth that he built a system to accommodate him. Rangers have lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation this season, with Taarabt given a largely free role as one of the three forwards behind a lone striker, usually Heidar Helguson or Rob Hulse. Taarabt has virtually no defensive responsibilities (as the graphic below shows), with team-mates told that they will be fined if they pass to him when he is in his own half.

"We have got to have some restrictions or he would be taking goal kicks if we let him," added Warnock.

Holding midfielder Shaun Derry plays behind Taarabt and has the best view in the house to watch and admire his team-mate.

"There have been times this year when even though I have been playing in games I have felt like a supporter," said veteran Derry.

"When we have needed a bit of magic to get back into a game, he has given us a bright spark by either scoring or creating a goal.

"In this division you look for individual talent that can singlehandedly change games and you cannot look further than Taarabt."

He is viewed as a luxury player and although he is QPR's captain it is Derry who is the principal on-field organiser. Taarabt can also be frustrating when Rangers are attacking, ignoring the obvious and sensible pass, instead losing possession after trying to beat several opponents.

"You've got to kind of disregard him at times," added Derry. "He will be in the attacking third when we are defending for our lives and you cannot rely on him in that sense.

"You have to bite your tongue at certain times but he is the maverick in our team. I have never played with anyone quite like Adel - he is a one off."

Taarabt has a reputation as being slightly petulant and sulky, the spoilt little kid who will take his ball home if he does not get his own way. He angrily kicked a water battle after he was substituted at Ipswich earlier in the season. Against Hull in January he lazily wandered around the pitch, making it clear to everyone that he did not want to play and wished to be taken off.

Warnock's predecessors Jim Magilton and Paul Hart struggled to assimilate him into the Rangers team and could not cope with his perceived poor attitude. At Tottenham, former manager Juande Ramos did not even give him a squad number, while Harry Redknapp was happy to loan him to Rangers, with the move made permanent last summer.
Adel Taarabt touches of the ball in the away (left) and home games against Coventry

He had played in every Championship match before missing Saturday's defeat of Doncaster after a family bereavement.

The way Warnock has created an environment that has allowed Taarabt to flourish is arguably one of the finer achievements of the straight-down-the-line, tell-it-like-it-is Yorkshireman.

"When you have got someone like Adel then as a manager you are tempted to focus on what he cannot do, whereas I have focused on what he can do," said Warnock.

"It has been a great challenge but I think we are both seeing the benefits of it, of having a little bit of perseverance and showing confidence in him."

Taarabt himself readily acknowledges a debt of gratitude to Warnock.

"I will never have a manager like him again," said Taarabt. "I do not have family over here but he is a manager who treats me like his son.

"[Before I signed] he was calling me every day saying that he wants to help make me one of the best players in the world. If I do not play so good for two or three games he tells me not to worry, that I will be playing the next game.

"He has given me confidence and changed my life."

Taarabt sounds like a young man who needs to be loved and reassured if he is to flourish - and it seems that Warnock is reaping the rewards for embracing the rare talent that he has at his disposal.

Derry, a steely, no-nonsense player, joined Rangers last summer and admits that in the earlier months of this campaign he would yell at Taarabt when the Moroccan was greedy or took a selfish option.

"I realised that to get on with him you have got to get him on his level and in the best possible sense he like an overgrown child - all he wants is to get ball and excite people."

Taarabt has excited Rangers supporters and neutrals alike all year - and Warnock is working on refining his talent ahead of what is looking increasingly likely to be a Premier League campaign next season.

Warnock expects to stick with the same 4-2-3-1 system but will change the parameters of Taarabt's role. This season Rangers have been able to largely deal with the times when Taarabt has needlessly squandered possession but the Premier League will not be so forgiving.

Taarabt has shown that he is capable of flourishing in the second tier but the top flight will present an entirely different challenge for the mercurial talent and his manager.

You can follow me throughout the season at twitter.com/Paul__Fletcher - BBC

- Photos from Last Night's Awards

- Other Football League Award Winners: Nominated, QPR's Tiger Cubs did Not Win "Community Club of the Year." Congratulations to all the winners (Complete List of Winners)


Marrone gets a shot with QPRMichael Lynch
March 22, 2011

MELBOURNE Heart defender Michael Marrone could be set for a move to the English Premier League after trialling with runaway Championship leader Queens Park Rangers.
Marrone, who made a big impression with his marauding runs down the right flank this season, has been in London being put through his paces by the Rangers in a bid to land a contract with the cashed-up Londoners, who are owned by formula one supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

No decision has been forthcoming, but while Marrone may not be ready for such a leap yet Heart officials believe the experience can only improve the former Adelaide United defender as a player.
Advertisement: Story continues below

Former Olyroo Spase Dilevski has been training with the Heart, but is not being chased by the red and whites.

The one-time Tottenham youngster, whose career has stalled after a period in Romania, is now looking for a fresh start and is trying to keep his fitness levels up.

Controversial former Socceroo Ljubo Milicevic has finally got his clearance to play in the Victorian Premier League and made his debut for South Melbourne over the weekend as the Lakers beat Oakleigh 2-1.

He's been one of Melbourne Victory's least successful Brazilian signings and the former champions have now offloaded marquee player Ricardinho to Brazilian club Parana Clube for a nine-month loan.

The man known as ''king of the dribble'' will be with Parana Clube until December 31, but if Ricardinho wanted to remain in his homeland it is highly unlikely that the Melbourne club would stand in his way.

His departure will save the club a huge chunk of money: reports have suggested Ricardinho was on a deal worth between $350,000 and $400,000 a year.

He arrived in August after the season started and made 19 appearances, scoring two goals. He was left out of Victory's Asian Champions League squad.

Victory football operations manager Gary Cole said: ''Moving across the other side of the world is difficult enough, but when you add injuries into the equation it became pretty difficult for Ricardinho to get into any sort of rhythm last season.''

''An opportunity came up for him to return to Brazil and we were happy to accommodate,'' Cole said.

Meanwhile, Victory National Youth League (NYL) midfielder James Jeggo, 19, has signed a three-year deal with the club - a big achievement for a player who broke his ankle on the eve of the NYL season and only returned for the final five games of the campaign.

''James is one of those young guys who just impresses you in every way.'' The Age

South London Press - Lions loanee Rowlands heads back to Loftus Road

By Toby Porter
- QPR midfielder Martin Rowlands has decided not to extend his loan at Millwall into a second month.
- Full details in tomorrow's South London Press.

Jacob Murtagh/Fulham Chronicle - Rowlands to return to QPR after rejecting Millwall stay
- MARTIN Rowlands has rejected the chance to extend his loan at Millwall.
- The Lions and QPR had agreed for the midfielder to stay put at the Den for another month, despite manager Neil Warnock speaking out against the 32-year-old's lack of game time in south London.
- But the Irishman is unhappy about his limited action with Kenny Jackett's side, having made just one substitute's appearance since his switch from Loftus Road four weeks ago. Fulham Chronicle

SKY - Dons extend Vine loan deal
..MK Dons manager Karl Robinson has extended Queens Park Rangers striker Rowan Vine's loan spell by a further month.
Vine initially joined the Dons in mid-January and will now stay until after the Dons' home game against Huddersfield on April 22.
Vine is not eligible for the final three games of the season against Plymouth, Notts County and Oldham and would not be available to the Dons should they make it to the play-offs. http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11719_6828128,00.html

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