Date:Friday July 24 2009
Vital QPR brings QPR fan sites together in a preview to the new Championship season, beginning with always interesting viewpoint of QPR Report.
First let me thank Adam Boxer and Vital Football QPR for inviting me to offer my perspective for the coming season. Vital Football QPR definitely offers a very positive, non-confrontational contribution to the world of QPR websites.
Before answering (in my own way) the questions posed: Let me also offer the obvious caveat that there are certain self-evident limitations which requires no elaboration, regarding my perspective about how Queen's Park Rangers performed or will perform.
How do you rate Rangers performance last season?
Obviously it was an extremely disappointing season given that pre-season, QPR were touted as one of the favourites to win promotion.
Those favourable odds were based both on our having the unglamorous but successful-at-Crystal Palace, Iain Dowie; and were touted in the press as 'Moneybags QPR' the country's richest club. (For fans the worry was that we might not be quite good enough to get automatic promotion, and would thus be left to the vagaries of the playoffs)!
But I really don't blame the QPR manager(s) (First team coaches) for our failure (if it was a failure). While fan hopes were obviously for promotion; but I think most fans were prepared to accept we'd do as we'd do; and just give the manager a chance.
The true pressure for instant success came not from the fans but from the owners. That was obviously their prerogative. But it's not clear that their view were realistic given the resources they allocated to job; and in fact, their very involvement (about which must has been rumoured), may have contributed to our lack of success.
What was your stand out moment?
Every week, sitting by the computer; constantly pushing refresh; and waiting for the results to come in! Exciting stuff.
But obviously the Cup win at Aston Villa was the season's highpoint in terms of results. Watching QPR crush Southampton on live TV in Washington DC was a rare moment.
The big name signings signalling the new QPR (we thought). The excitement of the various managerial searches became almost addictive; so frequently did we engage in the process. The big names mentioned.
The thrill of the chase (before reality set in). And what will long burn in memory: The messageboard rumours and the messageboard wars, which very possibly contributed to the deeply-regrettable departure of Paulo Sousa.
How do you feel about the appointment of Jim Magilton?
Could have been better. Could have been worse. Magilton is a reasonable Championship manager (As was Iain Dowie. As was John Gregory. As was Ian Holloway). But perhaps we expected rather more from Briatore, Ecclestone, and Mittal - especially given that we have only a couple more years before our scheduled entry into the Champions League!
Personally I'm getting pretty tired of the QPR managerial turnover (whatever the rationale for this turnover). For years, it used to be that a QPR manager lasted no more than a year, two years, three years. Four years max.
And that was considered rapid turnover. (Ian Holloway with less than five years at QPR, was the longest serving manager since Alec Stock, who arrived at QPR in the late 1950s). Then it became every year +. Now it's become more than one or two managers a season.
Almost any competent manager appointed by QPR, given the tools and given a chance (and left alone) could do a good job.
The more our manager is left alone, the better we will be. However any belief to the contrary, this is not a case of 'The Triumph of the Will' in which just because we have people owning the club, who have been successful in other arenas, will do well with QPR. Unless they allocate the resources and leave the football decisions to the experts.
Do you feel Rangers have strengthened adequately?
You have got to be kidding! There is nothing wrong with making the cloth fit accordingly. But are we a club with money or are we not? Maybe we're not. In which case, we should cut the hype. But if want serious promotion challenge, need to buy a goalscorer now (actually preferably two: The heir and the spare!) Ironically we have put together a fairly expensive (and well-paid) set of players.
We're only two or three players away from being realistic promotion challengers. And it can be viewed in isolation. IT' snot just what QPR do. It's what our competitors are doing in the transfer market. It's a sad fact that money talks and B*** S*** walks.
Who will be the key player(s) for the R`s this season?
Flavio Briatore and Gianni Paladini! From our Chairman, we just want financial backing for the manager - and money spent wisely (as determined by the manager). And from our Sporting Director, he should basically stay away from trying to choose which players to sign.
Throw in our physiotherapist, Paul Hunter who needs to keep our players fit. And our new Fitness Director (to replace John Harbin) who hasn't yet been appointed.
On the field, hopefully the key player will be the new Striker we haven't yet signed.
Where do you expect the R`s to finish this season?
On the premise that it's always darkest before the dawn; that however bad things can be they can always get worse, and being a congenital pessimist, 'glass is half-empty' and evaporating fast... I'll go for 10th. The test is whether the Club owners can 'Stay the Course' and continue to back the manager if we have a blip. We need stability.
Championship - Who will be…
Champions: Nottingham Forest
Overachievers: Crystal Palace and Blackpool
Underachievers: Newcastle and Derby
Young Player to Watch: For once I'll be a 'Homer': Balanta and Taaragt
Top Goalscorer: Robert Earnshaw and Dexter Blackstock (Nottingham Forest) or Cox (WBA)
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Date:Friday July 24 2009
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