Renowned sports presenter Richard Keys has criticised Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp for what he believes was a ‘disgraceful attack’ on Adel Taarabt.
The Morocco international striker was severely criticised by the QPR boss following the London club’s 3-2 defeat to Liverpool at Loftus Road on Sunday.
The 25-year-old former Tottenham Hotspur star was not in the squad for the Premier League clash against the Reds and has not started a match for QPR since late August.
‘I can't protect people who don't want to run and train, and are about three stone overweight’, Redknapp told reporters after the Liverpool defeat. 'Taarabt is not injured. He's not fit. He's not fit to play football unfortunately.
‘He played in a reserve game the other day and I could have run about more than he did. I can't pick him. What am I supposed to keep saying? Keep getting your £60,000, £70,000 a week and don't train? What's the game coming to?’
Taarabt has since hit back at his manager’s accusations of overweight and is quoted as saying by The Daily Mail: ‘It's not true to say I'm not fit. He tried to give an excuse. I was desperate to play before the game. I was fuming when I didn't play’.
Keys, a former Sky Sports presenter and a respected figure in the footballing community, has also hit out at Redknapp.
‘What a disgraceful attack on Adel Taraabt that was on Sunday’, he wrote on his blog. ‘Talk about trying to deflect criticism away from himself.
'In any other job that falls into the 'bullying' category. He'd be in front of a tribunal. I actually think the FA should act, but of course they won't. Gary Monk is in trouble for calling Moses a 'cheat', but hasn't 'Arry done the same with Taraabt?
'The facts are 'Arry has won 5 of 33 P Lge games he's been in charge of at QPR. They're a shambles and it's his fault. Only his fault’.
Redknapp was in charge of Rangers when they suffered relegation from the Premier League at the end of the 2012-13 season. Although the former Spurs boss got QPR back into the English top flight, he seems to be struggling to retain their status.
QPR currently find themselves rooted to the foot of the Premier League table with just four points from eight matches.