Wednesday, 2 March 2011

QPR's swashbuckling Adel Taarabt leads ranks of second division Caesars

Neil Warnock has built his Championship title-chasing team around a mercurial No7 and is reaping reward for the decision

adel taarabt
Adel Taarabt, right, glides past Seyi Olofinjana of Cardiff during the Loftus Road meeting won by the home side 2-1 and in which the Moroccan scored the winner. Photograph: Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Adel Taarabt may wear Queens Park Rangers' No7 shirt but he follows a long line of sublimely-skilled old-fashioned No10s who have graced Loftus Road over the past 45 years. Call them playmakers, fantasistas, attacking midfielders or inside-forwards, but I doubt any supporters have been so blessed as those of the west London club whose glorious memories of Rodney Marsh, Stanley Bowles, Gerry Francis, Tony Currie, an ageing but still inspirational Trevor Francis and Roy Wegerle, have been burnished by the outrageously gifted Moroccan's performances this season.
When signed by Tottenham Hotspur as a 17-year-old four years ago, the Spurs manager, Martin Jol, called him "a wizard", saying, "on the ball I don't think there's another talent like him in England". If that