Date:Monday July 16 2012
The race for captain is now on, let`s discuss the merits for the relevant candidates to replace Joey Barton as QPR skipper.
Joey Barton relinquished the captain's armband after his untimely demise at the Etihad Stadium, and now Rangers must now search for a replacement in his stead.
Here is Boxer's top five contenders for the captaincy and what they can bring to the party as Rangers embark on another Premier League campaign.
There is seldom a substitute for genuine steel, grit and determination - Shaun Derry has that in abundance and epitomises QPR's never say die attitude. This was in evidence as he regained his place in the side and helped steer Rangers to safety.
Along with an infectious attitude, Derry provides a wealth of experience at the age of 34, playing a key role in Rangers' rise to the Premier League, while some supporters were sceptical at his capture nearly two years ago.
Derry would be a popular choice with supporters but quite how much game time he can be assured, given the introduction of Samba Diakité and the return of Alejandro Faurlín remains to be seen.
Another of the promotion stalwarts, Clint Hill brought his Rangers career back from the abyss last season to become a leading light in the club's bid for safety. His leadership skills, much like Shaun Derry, are by example as a player who gives maximum, unrelenting effort.
Hill, like Derry, appeared to be surplus to requirements having been loaned out to Nottingham Forest - but he returned to feature in the memorable victory over Chelsea. A stern figure, one can be certain he'll demand and have the respect of his colleagues - once again however his appearances may be a tad more limited.
Anton proved last season that he has the resolve to handle the big occasion - without going into specifics regarding the recent court case, the central defender has proven his ability and has a fine heritage at Loftus Road to follow in the footsteps of.
Ferdinand would attend Loftus Road as a youngster and will therefore have a good grounding in the history of the club - he will inevitably have been versed by Uncle Les as to the special nature of the club, but quite how much the aforementioned trial has done to Anton mentally will surely have a bearing on matters.
The forward once again is the very epitome of the word 'bouncebackability,' not only last season, but also throughout his career. A man who truly appreciates where he is now, was released for nothing by MK Dons and loaned out by Exeter City before finding his way to Loftus Road via Plymouth Argyle.
A heart-breaking double leg-break in the FA Cup in January 2011 cost him an on-field bearing on promotion, but nevertheless displayed how he can take the next logical step with a succession of incredible performances, brimming with effort - can he take that next logical step to skipper the side and rule by enthusiasm?
JI SUNG PARK
What can be said that hasn't already been vocalised regarding Park. He was a player that Sir Alex Ferguson was reluctant to let go from Manchester United, with fans and former players alike saying that his approach to the game was infectious and enthusiastic, much like Mackie above.
A wealth of experience in the domestic, European and international arena, Park has seen it all and proved that useful 'go-to player' for Sir Alex in a crucial fixture. The commercial viability of such a move could be prudent, but to what extent will not having played for and experienced the club before have a bearing on Hughes' call?
These are but five of the contenders to my mind - what are your views on those mentioned above and who would you have as your choice to succeed Mr Barton as captain of Queens Park Rangers.
Let us know!
Date:Monday July 16 2012
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