Taarabt revisited

It's like I was fighting myself, defending valiantly against the truth. The voices in my head not screaming loud enough.


From June 27th 2011, via an article on Adel and Gio.

This one has yet to conclude as it's still on the march to a satisfying (or otherwise) finale. The opening three or so months of the new season will tells us whether we were right to get rid of him (that's if he's not been signed up by Jose).

Here's a lad called a genius by Redknapp then shifted out on loan, then sold. Sometimes, on occasions, players have to be sold on for them to truly find their place and develop and mature. Whether it's a reality kick in the teeth or simply the aid of a prolonged run of games (even if it's a league lower than where they started from) it's quite easy to say in hindsight 'we should have kept hold of him'. Had we, he might still be on the fringe of first team action or worse.

I can't comment on whether the club did enough when he was there because I wasn't on the training pitch or at the Lodge day in day out.

So what of this genius?

Pockets of plushness accompanied by playground posing. Tricks and step-overs aside, he was obviously too raw and immature. I always had this overbearing emotion that people who enjoyed watching him for us (in those cameos) smiled and laughed out of enjoyable embarrassment. Some of us loved him because of his sheer audacity to be so care-free and without an apparent air of awareness of where he actually was. The Prem and not the playground.

His loan spell was meant to fix that. He was meant to discover the art of grafting and improve that lack of self-awareness and find the right balance between tempo and team-work. But we still didn't see enough to retain his services (but just in case of an err we pencilled in a nice 40% sell-on clause) and allowed QPR to take him permanently. Championship Player of the Season later he still shows traits of self importance and priority of individuality on the pitch and plenty off it. But he's adapted well down there, just below us. He's now coming back up for his second chance.

Sustained form in the rough and tumble second tier from Adel, but whether he'll have time to stand on the ball and outwit the very top players is altogether a different question that will no doubt be unequivocally answered. One that we could not have possibly found out at THFC because he did not want to buckle down and prove his worth with us. This genius felt he had nothing to prove. You have to love the self-belief and arrogance. If Jenas had a tinge of it, he'd be < insert long-winded theory that Jenas is a confidence player here >.

Alas, this self-belief and arrogance appears to be far more self indulgent and deluded than it is Zidanesque. Actions speak louder than words but not for Adel. His words come with megaphone and neon lights.

I'm still not inclined to believe Harry 'didn't fancy him' because he was too flash. Bostock was also put in his place by Harry. Players being marginalised because of the gaffers ego? Don't all managers favour certain players and don't all managers look to move on players who have no future at the club? Hopefully Bostock will come good.

Granted all managers get it wrong from time to time.

Much like Gio, Adel has attitude and simply won't adjust it to accommodate the team and his manager. Unless that team is QPR and the manager is Neil Warnock. If you proclaim to be that good you can make it work anywhere. Even if it means waiting and fighting your way through into the first team. If you simply don't possess the patience to work alongside the skill then that's your problem, not ours. Help yourself to aid others to help you. He found the Championship more comfortable for him to bed into the English game. That's the path he choose, it's not one that could have involved us.


Extract from this article posted back in March 30th 2009.

Taarabt is Marmite. You love him or ....you know, but why anyone would hate him is beyond me. Have we become so impatient? Isn't Adel the quintessential Tottenham player? Ok, so he plays like a flash thirteen year old in a playground, ball stuck to his feet, trying to dribble it past everyone twice. If Adel was around when we sat up in 4th spot in that giddy season, he’d have made an impact. Much like he did against Utd earlier this season when Modric oh so nearly scored. It was Adel who started the move with those clever little feet.

But in other cameos he has frustrated the home support or just made us laugh out loud with his audacity and his naivety. But he doesn’t lack ability. Or self-belief. He has it in abundance. Storming performance for Morocco a month or so back on his début. And not too shabby for Q.P.R. so far. He’s also stated he wants to return to Spurs and fight for a place. It’s difficult to know whether he will always just be the flash kid in the playground, a combination of Timothee Atouba (you’re perpetually worried he’s about to lose the ball) and Zidane (he thinks, we wish).


Another extract, July 7th 2009.

It’s simple really. If Adel Taarabt was good enough for the first team, he’d be playing first team football. The fact of the matter is that he’s only good enough in his head. And granted if we were a slightly lower key club with lesser players in important positions then he’d probably get a run or three in the first team, enough to blood him for the war that is Premier League football. The fact that he went out on loan to QPR is evidence enough that he isn’t ready to stake a claim alongside the likes of Wilson.

Harry called him a genius. We (well, many of us) love him for his tricks and turns and showboating – but his naivety and lack of composure and decision making means he is more of a luxury and a liability at this precise moment in time. He is raw and needs to develop his touch. Along with an improvement re: grey matter.

But if you believe the stories suggesting we will not and do not want to sell him (resulting with him pleading for a transfer) then the thought process behind him taking time out at another club on loan makes perfect sense. Because if he shines brightly, Spurs can then offer him something far more substantial – like a more prominent first team role.

However, he still wants out totally. And a loan move would serve only as a shop window for him, rather than to any advantage for us.

Shame really. I like him and I rate him. But he has a while to go before proving he can play consistent top flight football. From the sounds of it the perfect scenario (play him off the bench as an impact cub) is not something Adel is accepting as an option. And there appears to be no option for him to be considered as a first team squad player, for reasons given already.

Malaga are back in for him again. Shame nobody in the Prem wants to take a risk. Although that goes along way to show he has done nothing yet to prove he can swagger around with true intent and final product rather than make us laugh out loud or hold our hearts in our hands at his sheer audacity.

Love his ambition and self-belief. It's just all a little mis-placed at the moment.


Where did it all go wrong? From August 20th 2007.

Arsenal fan on Taarabt:

I saw 18 year old Adel Taarabt for the first time as he came on for Spurs in the 2nd half of the game yesterday, and boy, did he look like a young Jay-Jay or Zizou.

The boy had the confidence to try things normal players wouldn't dream about, he had the swagger, bags of natural ability and looked the best baller on the park. He had the crowd buzzing whenever the ball came to him.

My only concern for him is that he came to England from France at such a young age. I fear that poor coaching and the 90 miles per hour stuff may ruin his game. The commentators were already condemning him for failing to play the simple pass on a few occasions. If this sort of thing carries on they will drive the fear of taking risks out of the boy and he will turn out like the other headless chickens that clutter midfields in the EPL.

Doesn't have the composure of Fabregas who seemed to have everything except a stubble at the age of 16 when he made his début, but Adel has undisputed ability that needs to be nurtured. He's not afraid to pick the ball up and run with it and has no problem with running in the opposite direction to help defend. He has an abundance of enthusiasm, is strong, great touch and ball skills and his passing isn't too bad either. Not afraid to shoot - but seems to do it too often. Which brings us onto his negatives which really only consist of selfishness and his shots need to actually hit the target when he fires them towards the goal.

Composure will come with experience. This kid could become a great. The worrying thing is, Tottenham and the ambiance we create at the club (joke) tends to overwhelm everyone, so God knows how an 18 year old kid is going to handle his progression, let alone how we plan to do so.

Fingers crossed we don't suffer another Blondel moment.


In conclusion. If he had the head of someone else, someone more stable and level headed and realistic he might not be drowning in his own egotistical gooey pool of hype. Then again, if he had a different head to the one he's currently got he'd be Worzel Gummidge.