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Don't adjust your screens, that really is a picture of Taarabt making a tackle.
The 2012-13 season seems to be the year the Moroccan finally realizes football is not just played in the opposition's half. Through watching QPR's games, it is clear to see he is tracking back a lot more this season and helping out the defense.
But those who think he is suddenly up there with the best should take off their blue-and-white tinted glasses.
So far, he has only made 11 tackles: that is less than 0.8 per game (via WhoScored.com). Yes, he is on course to beat last season's total, and yes, he has improved immensely in his cover at the back. But Taarabt's defensive qualities still need a lot of work.
As shown in an EPL Index comparison, the 23-year-old is somewhat flaky when it comes to 50-50 challenges. Against Wigan, for example, he attempted just 10 of these challenges, and won none. But against Fulham, he won 57 percent of his 14 attempts—a huge contrast.
As in every aspect of his game, consistency is key. So despite his improvements, he needs to show his newfound defensive mindset regularly for an improved score.
But he is trying, and that is all that Rangers fans can ask for in their current predicament. Especially with the majority of the squad not understanding the term "hard work" (via Evening Standard).