The season that was and will be
Possibly a season to forget if you are a Queens Park Rangers fan? Undoubtedly I can only think of a couple of positives from this season, so I will try to not make this blog all doom and gloom.
The memorable win at Stamford Bridge was a big highlight with an underperformed Shaun Wright Phillips with the goal for the R’s. SWP’s season didn’t really kick off until after this game and it’s a real shame he got injured at the time he did as Rangers needed him for the relegation fight, at least this goal put some keyboard bashers at rest, well for that game anyway. I believe Shaun could be a big part next season with his pace and experience he will be a key player accompanying the right flank if the R’s fail to bring in anyone.
Other highlights for me are seeing the loanee Andros Townsend having impressed since he signed for us in the January transfer window. As each game went on Andros continued to impress. It always seems to be loan players like to impress when on loan at QPR notably Kyle Walker and Adel Taarabt, both again come from Spurs. Kyle Walker has now secured a place in the Tottenham first team and England set up and I can see Andros doing the same. His strong attacking skilful performances left defences ragged notably the Wigan defence where he ran past a total of fourteen players, the most in a Premier League game this season. With Bale possibly moving into a more central role next season Andros is likely to adapt the left flank, but hopefully AVB and Harry will come to some sort of agreement in getting Townsend on loan next season. I would like to thank Andros for his time at QPR he has been a joy to watch.
Another highlight and another joy to watch has been Loic Remy, nine times out of ten he buries chances, which Rangers have looked for for a while now and sadly as soon as we get a prolific striker like Remy we get relegated. I know he missed a penalty at Fulham but his finishing in front of goal is brilliant. Any other Premier League clubs will scream for a player like Loic and it is likely he will remain in the Premier League. His wonder goal at Loftus Road was the best goal I have witnessed there having missed Trevor Sinclair’s overhead kick due to getting some food. DOH! Loic’s release cause of reportedly eight million is likely to be matched which leaves QPR with a few options for strikers.
Firstly starting with Andrew Johnson who has missed the season due to injury could be a big part in Rangers goal scoring next season. AJ’s goal ratio has always been good and a player with experience could be Rangers gain, perhaps a year to late but injury’s can’t be helped right? Keeping AJ fit will be a big question. An ex partnership of AJ and Bobby Zamora could be a strike force with both strikers playing together at Fulham. I know Bobby gets slated for his pace but his holdup play his perfect for AJ or can run on to the holdup balls being played by Zamora. Linking the two together next season will be a big question to most Rangers fans. Will AJ keep fit? Is Zamora passed it? Time will tell.
Jay Bothroyd and DJ Campbell possibly the backup plan but again both have Championship experience, DJ impressing at Ipswich this season and Jay picking up a few goals in the two years Rangers was in the top flight. Both strikers could find themselves out on loan but both could play a part.
QPR just need that 20/25 goal a season striker. A few players will already be on Harry’s wish list as he tries to deal with the ‘Mark Hughes Circus Squad’ in the Championship. It’s going to be very tough for Harry as he tries to offload players that have underperformed and are on extremely high wages. Where Southampton/Swansea and Norwich have built around the Championship squad adding quality not quantity at good prices over than the huge transfer fee of Jay Rodriguez. But all ended up surviving comfortable in the end. Southampton spending a little more that there counterpart, but the few players didn’t disrupt a well oiled squad who performed well in the Championship and Swansea and Norwich having again a reasonable secure season. Even with the new Managers coming into the fray only a few players were brought to work around the squad.
Which brings me to dare I say it that ghastly name ‘Mark Hughes,’ who abused Tony Fernandes transfer budget having signed a total of thirteen players. I am not going to sit here and type who joined as most of you want to forget the signings we made. I here scratched my head as the window went on and the more and more players we signed the more worrying the thoughts I had for the season ahead. Arguably some of the names we signed brought a smile to my face but it was just too much to adapt to a good Rangers squad that survived last season with some fight. With your Clint Hill’s, Jamie Mackie’s, Shaun Derry’s etc putting in all they could you had pre Madonna’s thinking they’re bigger than they are; again I am not going to sit here and name drop. We all know who.
As I witnessed at most games this season, notably Everton away the game where we still had a slight hope to avoid relegation even in the warm up the players looked like a bunch of unknowns at a first day of school meeting, even though having played half the season together. Not one looked up for it and something was definitely up with the so called groups happening at QPR it was clear to see something was not right .Myself and Steven Apex met the squad at Reading away and it seemed such a hostile atmosphere coming out of the hotel.
We have not played like a team all season, maybe the odd game, Sunderland at home, Fulham at home, Southampton away marking Ji-Sung Parks best game. Even the Chelsea game wasn’t great but a win over the scum was a joy to behold.
Now a bit of ranting starts...
The laziness and passion of the team this season has been atrocious; in some games the central midfield has been no existent and with experienced players like Park and rated Mbia you would have thought differently. I think Park and Mbia gave the ball as many times as people slag off John Terry on Twitter and believe me that’s a lot. With the experience they have playing in high leagues better performances should have been made but I can see both struggling even in the Championship.
When Mark Hughes sees money he spends, spends, spends, he just looks at the transfer window and buys regardless of wages and form. When the first two squads were announced at the start of the season I had a Rangers win all over it, but how wrong I, a new guy onto the English scene Michu was a great capture for Swansea leaving the QPR pre Madonna’s weeping. The season went downhill from here really failing to win in nineteen games relegation was inevitable. Until Harry came along who tried his best to change things.
Harry Redknapp brought in Andros Townsend, Jermaine Jenas and Loic Remy but even these additions could not put right the circus squad that Mark Hughes created. Having had Harry at the season would things be different. We will never know.
Harry now has to try and bring in his own faces or concentrate on youth. With the likes of Harriman who made his first season appearance in the Premier League against Liverpool Sunday played very well considering he was playing league one football all season. Max Ehmer is another promising youth player the towering defender eager to break in the first team could be an excellent addition with having a good season behind him. In my eyes it’s slightly too early for Phillip Skapetis, maybe needs to go out on loan first, but looks very promising. Harry already eyeing up a few names most talked about Wayne Bridge, probably unlikely to join now after the failing attempt of Brighton losing in the playoffs to Crystal Palace. Harry will be looking to bring in people that want to play for the club and to secure a first time bounce back, but it’s going to be very tough. In Harry we trust.
Let’s hope the Championship is a good one, maybe not automatic, a possible trip to Wembley or will it be trips to Gillingham and Port Vale a season after next. Whatever happens we will stand by QPR week in week out, let’s get behind the boys next season and COYRRRRRRSSSS!