QPR forward Adel Taarabt has hit back at manager Harry Redknapp over claims that he is overweight and unfit to play.
Redknapp launched an attack on the Morocco international after QPR's 3-2 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday, claiming Taarabt was "not fit to play football", adding, "I can't keep protecting people who don't want to run about and train, who are about three stone overweight".
But Taarabt has deepened the rift with his manager by claiming that Redknapp does not even regularly take training sessions, and then posing shirtless in a photoshoot in order to deny the suggestion he is out of shape.
"I am a professional - this is not about retaliation, this is about protecting my reputation," Taarabt said in the Daily Mail. "I played in that reserve game for 90 minutes and if he didn't think I was running he could have taken me off. Maybe I didn't perform like I could because it was a reserve team game and I was protecting myself...
"My job is to create, bring goals to the team. Maybe he expects me to make more tackles. I am not this type of player. I can only get fitness playing Premier League. You can train six or seven hours, but you won't be fit."
QPR 2 Liverpool 3 player ratings
QPR 2 Liverpool 3 player ratings
1/22 QPR: Alex McCarthy
Did a solid job deputising for Rob Green – little he could do about any of Liverpool’s goals. 6/10
2/22 Nedum Onuoha
Hardly tested during the first half before going off with an injury. 6
3/22 Richard Dunne
At fault for the Reds’ opener – didn’t adjust his feet quickly enough and turned Sterling’s effort into his own goal. 5
4/22 Steven Caulker
Scored the match-winning goal… at the wrong end. Unfortunate, having worked hard to keep his side in touch as Liverpool threatened to run away with the game having gone 1-0 up. 5
5/22 Yun Suk-Young
Solid performance apart from losing concentration for Liverpool’s opener – defended capably and provided width down the left as QPR dominated the first half – should keep his starting place. 6
6/22 Mauricio Isla
A real threat down the right in the first half, forced to move backwards by Onuoha’s withdrawal at half-time. 6
7/22 Karl Henry
Bullish performance in the centre of midfield. Bullied his more illustrious opponents at times. 7
Influential for 60 minutes before going off injured – his departure coincided with Liverpool taking control of the game. 7
9/22 Leroy Fer
Should have given his side the lead in the first half as he twice hit the bar with great chances – aside from that played well. 6
10/22 Bobby Zamora
The captain’s physicality was a threat to the Liverpool defence right from the opening moment – laid on chances for Austin and Fer that should have been taken. 8
11/22 Charlie Austin
A threat to the Liverpool defence throughout, could have got himself on the score sheet, but did well to set up Vargas’ first. 7
12/22 Liverpool: Simon Mignolet
Another shaky performance – made some good saves but looked extremely vulnerable at times. 5/10
13/22 Glen Johnson
Looked a little rusty on his return to the starting XI from injury – helped prevent a goal with some last ditch defending in the first half and crossed for Dunne’s own goal. 6
14/22 Martin Skrtel
The enforcer of Liverpool’s back four was completely bullied by Zamora and can count himself fortunate (or unfortunate) if he keeps his starting place against Real Madrid on Wednesday. 5
15/22 Dejan Lovren
Unable to handle the inspired Zamora until he went off – unconvincing. 5
16/22 Jose Enrique
Caused a lot of trouble by Isla in the first half – unable to impact the game going forward. 5
17/22 Jordan Henderson
One of few Liverpool players who could be reasonably satisfied with his performance. His mixture of effort and quality helped to keep the Reds in the game as they struggled in the first half. 7
18/22 Emre Can
Making his first Premier League start, the German U21 international failed to stamp his authority on the game and was replaced by Joe Allen soon after the hour mark. 5
19/22 Raheem Sterling
It wasn’t his finest game, but his decisive impact speaks for itself. Played a part in all of Liverpool’s goals and can now looking forward to taking on Real Madrid on Wednesday. 7
20/22 Steven Gerrard
Pushed into a more advanced role in the first half, he was anonymous until almost giving his side the lead just before the break – a bit better when dropping deeper in the second half. 5
21/22 Adam Lallana
Gradually working his way back to full fitness, the England man struggled to get involved during the first half but his shot did lead to Balotelli’s big chance. Went off soon after the hour mark. 5
22/22 Mario Balotelli
He didn’t deserve to be on the winning side. Spurned two great opportunities and generally didn’t look after possession very well. 4
Taarabt has made three appearances for the club this season after finishing the last campaign on loan at AC Milan, and has no qualms about criticising the way in which the under-pressure Redknapp is managing the team.
"The training sessions aren't the same standard as Milan, or what I would expect under another manager," he said. "They are not as intense, the players aren't as motivated. It is the same as we used to do at Tottenham years ago. When we played West Ham he told the players "you're not fit, you're not this, you're not that".
"I said 'but the problem is we don't have any plan in the game, we don't know how to press as a team. It's not about just running around, you need to play with your brain'...
"After West Ham he said all of the team is not fit. After Liverpool, because the performance was so good, he said everything was perfect - what, in one week, he changed the fitness? Impossible."
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