Has Redknapp unearthed the ‘Next Zidane’? (Video)

Harry Redknapp’s man management skills, and in particular his ability to get the best out of Adel Taarabt could prove pivotal in keeping his QPR side in the Premier League.

Since arriving in England in 2007, signing for Tottenham at the age of 18, the Moroccan international has proved something of an enigma to all who have tried to manage him. Many have tried to get consistent performances out of the talented playmaker, but the likes of Martin Jol, Juande Ramos and even Redknapp himself during his own spell at White Hart Lane have all come up short. 

In fact, it was Redknapp who shipped Taarabt out top then Championship QPR, initially on loan but later on a permanent deal.  It was during his time in the Championship with QPR that Taarabt started to show the sort of promise that once earnt him the tag ‘The Next Zinedine Zidane’ during his early years with Spurs.  This form culminated with QPR gaining promotion to the Premier League in 2011, with Taarabt, by now captaining the side scoring 19 goals and being named ‘Championship Player Of The Year’ in the process. 

The performances of Taarabt both on and off the pitch became more inconsistent and unpredictable as he struggled to adapt to life back in the Premier League, he once famously left Craven Cottage early after being substituted and made his way home from the west London derby by public transport,  Taarabt was back to being an enigma.

After Harry Redknapp was appointed in November following the sacking of Mark Hughes, Taarabt would have been forgiven for feeling his days at Loftus Road were numbered.  However, the Moroccan had shown enough since being shipped out of White Hart Lane to convince Redknapp that he has matured as a player. In recent weeks, Taarabt has been earning rave reviews for his performances. 

He has acted as tormentor in chief in wins over local rivals Fulham and Chelsea since Redknapp’s arrival and has driven the team on showing a willingness to work hard for his team which fans that had watched him previously had rarely been treated to.  I do not think that it is any coincidence that this sudden upturn in form aligns itself with the arrival of Redknapp, a man famed for his man management skills.

If QPR are to pull off the great escape and evade the drop this season, the relationship between manager and playmaker will be key in their remaining games.

By Aaron Sharp