Saturday, July 23, 2011

Taarabt, And Two Other Guys Who Stayed the life of a Premier League player, there almost always comes a time when a move away looks to be on the cards- until they realize that a transfer from the club they love would leave them eternally homesick. Or that that the Arab guy who promised them 150k a week was actually an ex News Of The World reporter...

1. Adel Taarabt- After being "on the verge" of a move to PSG for several weeks, QPR announced today that Adel Taarabt is going nowhere. The ex Tottenham flop was the top performer in last year's Championship, but he strikes me as exactly the sort of player for whom a move up a division would be a step too far.

As with plenty of failed moves, the public is left to wonder what exactly went wrong. We know that French clubs are willing to gloss over teeth disorders, see under "Cissokho, Aly," so it is curious that his move to French football fell through. Maybe he prefers the food in England. Or maybe the beaches. Or maybe PSG saw highlights of his fleeting appearances at Spurs...

Okay, fine, so QPR say that it was they who blocked the move, but why then was Neil Warnock so committed to passing Kieron Dyer off as an adequate replacement.

2. Steven Gerrard- "Steve Gerrard, Gerrard, he kisses the badge on his chest, and hands in a transfer request, Steve Gerrard, Gerrard..." So goes Manchester United fans' favorite song about their rival's beloved captain, one inspired by a move to Chelsea which never quite happened.

At one point, the English international looked set for a move to Stamford Bridge, only for the transfer to fall through. So why didn't Gerrard join Chelsea? As we all know from watching England, the scintillating combination of Gerrard and Lampard in midfield is one which would surely inspire if replicated at the club level, and the prospect of frequent trips on Roman Abramovich's yacht must have been enticing too. But, Gerrard loves Liverpool, and he probably wouldn't have settled away from the friendly faces and violent DJs so prevalent in Bootle.

3. Wayne Rooney- Last autumn, Wayne Rooney wanted out. He wanted out more than anything in the World, he wanted out so badly it hurt. But yet, he still plays for Manchester United. Unlike Taarabt, there has emerged a clear reason for Rooney's stay: it's green and Carlos Tevez really likes it.

It would be harsh to blame Rooney entirely for the debacle which rocked English football last fall, no doubt, he was the victim of an unscrupulous agent, the vicious English press and Fergie's hairdryer.

But goals had been hard to come by in the weeks preceding his tranfer request, and that could only have been because he was playing for a lousy team short of ambition and unwilling to delve into the transfer market. Oh yeah, and Rooney wanted to play for a club with really committed fans, ones willing to tattoo his face all over their backs even before he signed.

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