Three Things to Take From The Weekend’s Football – 4/5/6 February
I take a look back at some interesting points from the weekend’s action.
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1. Taarabt shows glimpses of his potential – Adel Taarabt was arguably the Championship’s best player last season as he was monumental in QPR winning the league, so understandably people expected big things as he came to make his first real appearance on the Premier League stage. Unfortunately, the hype didn’t materialise as Taarabt spend periods of the start of the season out of the team. Initially, it looked as though he may have been moving away from the Premier League as he was linked with teams like Napoli and PSG. He did end up staying at Loftus Road however, but was largely ineffective when he did feature.
This weekend though, in QPR’s 1-2 loss at home to Wolves, we saw signs of the talent that Taarabt obviously has. He was making driving runs, taking on players and taking long range shots like he hasn’t done so far this season. I’m not quite sure where this sudden confidence boost came from (maybe the appointment of a new manager) but he could well help to ensure QPR’s Premier League survival if he can build off of his performance on Saturday. At times against Wolves it did seem as though he was trying to do everything himself, taking long shots when a pass would have been the better option for instance, but that being said, he wasn’t far off scoring a couple of absolutely amazing goals. Taarabt has been underwhelming so far this season, but he may just be about to turn it around.
2. Is Patrice Evra the weak link in Manchester United’s defence? – A lot has been made of United’s supposedly weaker midfield but it was at the back where they were lacking most on Sunday, and it could be argued that repeated lapses in defensive concentration caused them to only leave Stamford Bridge. It seems to have been agreed that Rio Ferdinand is too slow and over the hill, yet what people fail to see is that Ferdinand’s game is not reliant on pace. He’s not going to be sliding in making last ditch tackles anymore, but that wasn’t ever his job in the first place. Ferdinand is a “clean shorts” defender, and, in a sense, is only being criticised because United have failed to replace Vidic since his injury. Smalling and Evans are very similar in defensive style to Ferdinand, and Jones is often too positionally reckless to be relied on week in week out. There is a reason why Vidic and Ferdinand were recently considered one of, if not the best centre back partnership in the world, and that’s because they both complimented each other so perfectly.