Taarabt, Tottenham and Tiger Cubs

I’ve been inundated with two e-mails asking why I haven’t posted on my blog for a while, so now I’ve got a spare 15 minutes for the first time in about six months here goes.

I’ll soon have much more time on my hands actually, as I’ll be waving goodbye to my main employer after 12 years.

Faced with a choice between virtual unemployment and moving to Manchester, I opted for option one for various reasons and the redundancy that once was years away and then months away is now a mere four weeks away.

It was with one eye on the future that I created the West London Sport site in the summer, having had the idea in the back of my mind for over 10 years.

It’s been stressful – to put it mildly – but has gone quite well, although the plan has always been for it to be fully up and running in the new year, when I and a couple of others I’m working with will have more time to develop it.

There’s a lot of work to do and one of the many things I need to sort out is the social media side of things, which has been a bit of a mess.

For starters, we had a problem with our original Facebook page, which we haven’t been able to update and will soon be deleting.

We have a new page which will be used from now on, so you can ‘like’ West London Sport on Facebook by clicking here. You can also follow us on Twitter by clicking here.

We also soon hope to offer video and audio content, but for various technical reasons it’s proving to be a bit problematic.

Which brings me to Adel Taarabt.

Neil Warnock is due to give his now regular pre-match press conference (they’re a Premier League requirement) on Thursday and this one could be more interesting than usual as there’s a chance Taarabt might appear alongside him.

Whether it happens, I don’t yet know. From the manager and club’s point of view it may look like they are pandering to the fuss made of Taarabt’s reaction to being substituted at Fulham, since which he has been quoted as saying he will leave QPR “for financial reasons.”

In fact, Warnock was considering bringing Taarabt to his pre-Blackburn press conference even before the Fulham game. But now it may seem like a response to recent events if he decides to do so.

From a player with a questionable attitude to somebody with an impeccable one: I’m shocked that no-one has come in for Hogan Ephraim, whose name was circulated when he (very narrowly) missed out on a place in Warnock’s 25-man squad.

I recently talked to Mick Jones about this and he was as surprised as me. I suggested to him that some Championship clubs maybe assume Ephraim would be out of their reach and likely to be wanted by one of the bigger sides, but that’s not the case as several have been invited to take him on loan and haven’t.

It looks like Crystal Palace, who along with Millwall showed some interest in him last season, may decide to take him.

But why there hasn’t been a queue of Championship clubs battling to get him I’ve no idea. Any team in that division should take Ephraim like a shot. Good player, great attitude and covers a number of positions – which in many ways hasn’t helped him.

I’d certainly rather have Ephraim in my squad than Jason Puncheon, who played at left-back in a reserve game against Tottenham this week.

Hampton & Richmond defender Dean Inman also played in the match as he’s now having the trial he was offered by Rangers in the summer but had to delay because of an ankle problem.

Inman, who is Martin Rowlands’ cousin, can play at centre-back, right-back or in midfield. Regardless of whether QPR take him it looks like he might make a career for himself in the game.

Talking of Spurs, I’ll be walking to Rangers’ game there from Loftus Road on October 30 as it’s Tiger Feet 3 – the latest sponsored walk to raise money for the QPR Tiger Cubs, a team for children with Down’s Syndrome.

The previous walks were to Watford last season and Crystal Palace the season before, with both games ending in important wins for Rangers – and blisters for me.

Tiger Feet was the brainchild of my friend James Doe, an R’s (and Harrow Borough) fan and also the creator of the hugely successful Non-League Day.

James’ idea was inspired by the fact that our friend and ex-BBC colleague – and now West London Sport blogger – Chris Charles has a daughter with Down’s.

James and Chris approached the QPR in the Community Trust, who have organised the last two walks and are now preparing the third.

Most who’ve been to White Hart Lane know all about the walk from Seven Sisters station, which I suspect I’ll never moan about again after the 30th. But it’s for a great cause.

And on the subject of great causes, this weekend the Trust are aiming to set a record for the most money raised by football supporters during a Premier League match.

Fans can donate by texting ‘QPRW12 £3’ to 70070 on Saturday.  The texts are free to send and every penny donated will go to the QPR in the Community Trust.

I’ve seen just a bit of the work the Trust CEO Andy Evans and his team do. They’re a credit to the club and I hope they set that new record.

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