I wrote in October that Malouda would be a good signing for QPR. I hold my hands up and admit I was wrong. I was under the Hughes influence, blinded by the glitterati signings and the idea that overpaid, aging, former stars were to be the linchpin of Rangers' success. Alas, they were not, and Florent Malouda lands right in the middle of that category.
There is no doubt that the French winger was an exciting talent 10 years ago, which prompted Olympique Lyonnais to secure his services in 2003. After four years at the club, the lure of big-spending Chelsea became too much, and Malouda joined the West London club at the age of 27 (via TransferMarkt).
The issue was Malouda had already reached the peak of his career when at Lyon, and would never display the same talent as he did when in Ligue 1—as proved by the fact that Salomon Kalou kept him out of the starting lineup for half of the 2007-08 season (via Soccerbase), and playing second fiddle to Kalou probably wasn't the grand plan when he signed. No offense to Kalou, of course.
However, it would be unfair to criticize all his performances at Chelsea. Despite being quoted (and later denying) that he was unhappy with his life with the Blues in 2007 (via BBC), he turned it around in the second half of the 2008-09 season. The Frenchman had a solid and successful two years at Stamford Bridge, which led to rumors surrounding potential offers being tabled from AC Milan and Barcelona (via BBC).
And perhaps he should have taken one of those, as his career swiftly declined after his flush two years, especially after the arrival of Juan Mata.
Malouda once more was pushed onto the bench at Chelsea thanks to the Spaniard, and he began making noises about leaving the club in the 2012 January transfer window, but not before letting his views be known to then-manager Andre Villas Boas (via Sky Sports).
And that was not the first time the winger had confronted a manager.
As stated by Ben Lyttleton in Sports Illustrated, Le Parisien wrote of the argument between Raymond Domenech and Florent Malouda prior to an international match in 2010. The winger had reportedly disagreed with the manager's decision to play him at left midfield as part of a 4-3-3 formation, and told him: "You shouldn't be asking me to stay back and defend; my strength is further up the pitch."
I'm sure many players don't always agree with their managers, especially if that player has had a fairly successful career spanning over 15 years, but it is likely unwise to inform that manager of said disagreement. Especially if your coach is as volatile as Domenech (via BBC).
However despite the diva-like attitude Malouda displayed towards his manager, it was the childish way he responded to being asked to play more defensively, when he begun recklessly tackling his teammates in training (via Sports Illustrated) which should concern Harry Redknapp.
Granted, he wasn't the only one in the French team to have a foul-tempered and arrogant approach to 2010, and after a poor exit from the World Cup, he did apologize on behalf of his teammates (via BBC). And prior to that incident, he had never really been accused of having that much of a bad attitude, but that was because prior to that incident, things were going his way.
It is when things do not go his way that he throws his expensive toys out of his well-paid-pram.
The most recent example of this, was the Roberto Di Matteo versus Florent Malouda debacle which lead to Malouda tweeting a picture of the Academy Training Ground having been told he was no longer part of Chelsea's first-team plans:
This is where I'll train for my last season with the blues !!! twitter.com/realflorentm/s…
— Florent Malouda (@realflorentm) September 5, 2012
If we are being fair, Malouda is in no way as disruptive as former teammate Nicolas Anelka, but he does seem to moan a lot.
When Malouda is playing week-in, week-out, he is happy. When he isn't, he confronts the manager, speaks out to the media and most likely causes bad blood in the dressing room, which could explain why the demotion of Malouda to the U-21 team was backed by the rest of the first-team squad (via Daily Mail).
Is that a player Harry Redknapp wants in his squad, especially after having experienced what could be a carbon copy in Jose Bosingwa?
Both his "I must play, or else" attitude and the logistical side of his transfer to Queens Park Rangers must be called into question. He hasn't really had a phenomenal run in the Premier League, and that was playing in a title-winning team. Yes, he used to be very good, and yes, he is probably better than some of those already on Rangers' books.
However, let's be honest, nobody has seen Malouda play a top-class game since May. So who knows what condition he will be in.
So do QPR actually need another midfielder, especially if current targets Yann M'Vila, Mohamed Sissoko or Niko Kranjcar joins them? Looking at the squad list, I would suggest not.
Will Malouda be happy to sit on the bench as Jamie Mackie gets a game? From his previous exploits, I would suggest not.
And does 'Arry want another aging player looking for "one last beautiful challenge" (via Mirror Football)? I again would suggest not. Cue shuddering memories of Jose Bosingwa once more.
The likelihood of a Malouda transfer, however, is increasing by the day. After losing out on Joe Cole, Jake Livermore's loan deal falling through and if the three aforementioned midfielders do not join, the dreaded deadline day rush could well toll its bell.
With Malouda desperate for a move, and 'Arry desperate to add a midfielder to his squad (for whatever reason), he may well make the short move across town to Loftus Road.
Let's hope Malouda has a quick word with Bosingwa before making a decision, and Jose tells tales of Harry Redknapp being a mean old man who won't let him play with his football.
That should keep Moaning Malouda away.
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