Despite beating an out of sorts Aston Villa 2-0 last night, QPR are once again struggling in the Premier League despite some big name signings, an experienced manager in Harry Redknapp and the supposed learnt lessons from their horrendous top-flight stint last time round.
QPR have spent £41.5million on players such as Leroy Fer, Sandro and Steven Caulker, amongst others. These are relatively big names and good players who would get into many teams in the Premier League. That, along with a mix of experience from around Europe, should be enough to see them challenge higher up the table, but it’s the bottom half of the division that they can’t seem to break free from. You’d expect them to step up to the challenge of the Premier League but they do not seem to be able to gel.
Rio Ferdinand, a free signing from Manchester United, is a shadow of his former self. Steven Caulker, who should be making up for this at his young age, is also struggling to find consistent form. But he isn’t the only one. It’s about time chairman Tony Fernandes had a reliable return on his generous investment. So far, all he seems to get is players who’s attitudes aren’t there or, as was highlighted during their previous campaign in the Premier League, after a final pay day.
Tony Fernandes had visions of QPR becoming one of the biggest clubs in the world but he had no idea what it would actually take to get there.
First time round QPR were relegated after spending £50million on players like Julio Cesar, one of the best players in his position in the world. A player of that calibre should never be involved in a relegation battle, for me.
Fernandes seemed to learn over the 38 games that throwing money at a club could not fix a situation. But he seemed to forget that this season when he had the chance to redeem himself and once again, QPR are struggling to find a suitable formula to success. The win against Aston Villa on Monday evening goes some way to putting it right, but the issues don’t go away after one game against a struggling side.
Harry Redknapp is one of the best managers not to manage England, but has made a lot of impact in the Premier League.
He showed how he can change a team’s fortunes with his football knowledge when he took Spurs from bottom 3 to the Champions League and is a man who is up for the challenge at QPR. He guided them to promotion through the play-offs and seems determined to turn the Hoops into a steady Premier League club.
His recent bust-up with Abel Taarabt, a player who had a lot of promise but has a disgraceful attitude, highlights once again the issues he’s undoubtedly having to deal with behind the scenes. If he has fallen out with one, morale could be affected throughout the rest of the squad, especially if you’ve got a sulking Taarabt moping around.
For me, squad cohesion is missing all over the pitch. The defence are very sloppy and make mistakes in communication as well as physically on the pitch. A distinct lack of pace at the back doesn’t help their cause either.
The midfield has quality players such as Leroy Fer, who is a big powerful man going forward, but getting the final ball right is a rarity, something the strikers need to have improved to help them get more chances. Overall they need to work more as a team and pull together. On top of this, the issues behind the scenes need to be sorted out and deadwood causing trouble needs to be shifted out in January.
The vital victory over Aston Villa is a start, with encouraging link up play between Bobby Zamora and Charlie Austin the highlight, but they need to be on song week in week out for this QPR side to shine it seems.
There’s still issues at QPR and Tony Fernandes and Harry Redknapp have a big task on their hands to establish the Hoops as a steady Premier League club – something they’re both craving massively.
By Matt Hill – Liverpool fan – @