Adel Taarabt says he’s delighted to have joined Fulham on loan, painting a stark contrast between his new club and his parent club, QPR.
The Moroccan midfielder made a surprise debut in Fulham’s 1-0 win at Sunderland on Saturday and delivered a performance that was far more workmanlike than the flashy displays that have come to typify Taarabt’s time in English football. He played the full ninety minutes, despite not having had a full pre-season, and got through an impressive amount of defensive work for someone who has frequently been described as a luxury player.
Taarabt says the sense of stability at Craven Cottage gives Fulham a very different atmosphere to the one he experienced at Loftus Road last season as Rangers went down.
Fulham is a very different club to QPR. There are so many players here who have been here a long time — four or five years — and it’s more of a family club. Everyone is friends with each other. You sense it as soon as you walk in. Last year, QPR signed 12 players and there were many strangers. It was difficult.
Here, there’s more of a team spirit. I’ve only been at Fulham a few weeks, but everyone has made me welcome. It’s not just about the players, but the backroom staff. Everyone at the club is so friendly. It’s one big happy family. That’s why people like to stay here, and it’s known as a friendly club for a good reason.
He was pleased with his first performance in a Fulham shirt and insisted he will be working hard to change people’s perceptions during his loan spell.
It was the perfect debut for me. It was a fantastic result and a great start to the season. I certainly put in a lot of work. People who say I’m a lazy player won’t be saying that now. I did everything asked of me and didn’t complain.
People criticise me and give me a bad image. I don’t know why. I’m not this guy they paint a bad picture of. They call me lazy and I only play when I feel like it, but that’s not true.
Saying I don’t want to play in the Championship does not make me a bad person. I was lucky coming here because Martin knows me not just as a footballer but as a person. He knows the real me. Everyone says I’m a bad boy, but not Martin. Yes I can get a bit upset on the pitch, who doesn’t?