Date:Wednesday October 19 2011
THE ever-blossoming relationship between Queens Park Rangers and controversy has taken more twists and turns in recent times, despite the more tumultuous times under previous ownership coming to a thankful end.
While the Tony Fernandes era has entered full-flow, you don't have to travel far to experience that Loftus Road effect at present. Sometimes it can be as simple as turning on a computer screen to suddenly feel entrenched in what is an ongoing saga in W12.
A somewhat regrettable episode was rather clumsily handled by the club, despite being in full agreement with Neil Warnock's vehement protests at one man's mission to make himself 'in the know' - it's not etiquette to come out all gun's blazing and furthermore release a personal email address.
Many supporters will know and understand it does not necessarily help the club to have somebody leaking information prior to match-day. In that respect it is easy to understand the ferocity of Warnock's protest, but arguably steps were taken beyond the pale, and frankly donated the much sought-after oxygen of publicity.
The club's handling of the affair in question does rather detract from the real question of who is imparting their wisdom from the dressing room in the first place. Rather than hitting out at somebody who had gorged on the publicity, why not concentrate on cutting the issue at the source and perhaps making an example of the man in question.
Just when you think matters stop there. Joey Barton is well-known for his opinionated stance on virtually all matters, and at a PFA conference he covered all the usual topics - adultery, sulking and cover-ups - no really, the evening itself sounds like a novel in the making.
While Joey's views are always admirable in their honesty, there comes a point where the shocking edge becomes another comment and another in a string of tabloid sensationalist headlines. All this set against the back-drop of some less than desirable form from the QPR skipper.
Don't get me wrong on this count, Barton is a tremendous talent with a startling sense of honesty, he never shirks a question and shoots from the hip. This cutting honesty is constantly pounced upon by the nation's media and used to demonise and sour the reputation of a colour character with a dark past.
A quite heart-warming report of Barton visiting a cancer-sufferer as a dying wish was somehow omitted from the headlines, doesn't quite fit with the image does it really? - but on a recent thread most were in agreement that his character is not the question for QPR fans, but the performances on the pitch.
Barton criticised last season's lynch-pin Adel Taarabt - the first QPR player to do so publicly. Surely it can not be a secret that many Rangers' players don't know whether to hug him or lamp him at times, but openly coming out and scrutinising him is either more cutting honesty or a ploy to encourage Adel to step up to the top flight.
Warnock's defence of Taarabt makes matters all the more perplexing, stating that the misunderstood soul needs to have his talents directed correctly and tolerance was required in order to let the enigmatic Moroccan prosper.
Considering that Ferdinand was fined for being drawn in a verbal battle with an official, and a poorly timed challenge from Traore saw him incur Warnock's wrath - meanwhile Taarabt must surely be causing some stirrings after walking out on his team-mates at Fulham.
Warnock's case for treating Adel different from the pack is compelling, and I for one would be interested in seeing it succeed - but to what extent you can keep a fire-cracker from going off once more, while keeping the remainder of his squad contented?
All in all, it's been a relatively quiet week - Chelsea next…
Date:Wednesday October 19 2011
QPR v Watford - Match Preview (Monday April 21 2014)
One to Watch - Daniel Tözsér (Sunday April 20 2014)
Nugent Outfoxes Rangers (Saturday April 19 2014)
Stats: Leicester City v Queens Park Rangers (Saturday April 19 2014)
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