- Premier League
Taarabt only looks slim because of tonsillitis, says Harry
Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp has continued his war of words with Adel Taarabt by claiming only a bout of tonsillitis has made the midfielder look fit.
He attacked Taarabt following QPR's 3-2 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday, claiming he could not "protect people who are about three stone overweight".
Taarabt - who has only played 30 minutes of Premier League football this season - rejected Redknapp's comments. The playmaker also hit back with the suggestion that Redknapp had no "gameplan" and he posed for pictures in which he looked in good shape.
"The only reason he has lost weight is because he has had tonsillitis," Redknapp told The Sun. "That's the only way we could get any weight off of him.
"He is not fit to play a game, that's the truth. He is the worst professional I have ever come across and I have been his only ally at QPR for the past three years. He doesn't try and I have protected him for too long."
Redknapp claimed Taarabt had been caught out in the early hours during QPR's last spell in the top flight and has not been not willing to make sacrifices to help the club climb off the bottom of the table.
"When we were last in the Premier League we played Manchester United at home on a Saturday lunchtime. I had a phone call telling me Adel had been in a casino until 5am that morning.
"I pulled him into my office and asked whether it was true. He told me that he hadn't been in a casino until 5am on Friday morning but that he might have been there on Thursday morning.
"After we had been relegated last year we went to Exeter to prepare for a season in the Championship. I had to leave to go and have an operation on my knee.
"Steve McClaren was working with me at the time. As soon as I left he sent Adel home because he wasn't up to it. The fitness coaches at QPR, everybody tells me he doesn't try.
"He doesn't want to run around. I have tried to protect him until now but the fans have to know what's going on. Even I could suck my stomach in for a picture and look okay."
Despite Redknapp's assertions about Taarabt's lack of dedication, the QPR manager insisted the player would have a future at Loftus Road if he changed his attitude.
"If something comes off this and it sparks some life into him then great," Redknapp said. "I would love him to prove me wrong then at least we'd be getting something for our money."
Redknapp also dismissed Taarabt's claim that he only watches "five or 10 minutes of training sessions". The manager said: "I am the first one in that training ground every day at 7 a.m. and I am always out on the training field."