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|QPR's cup wagon rolls on - Report|
Very enjoyable report thanks. Paragraphs re children's favourites were read avidly and with some familiarity as I have been re-living those songs with playlists I've made for the grandchildren. Amazingly they love " gillygillyossenfeffercatzenellenbogen by the sea"
|An all too familiar feeling - report|
Re the Stanley Matthews classical music - I believe that was the Midnight Cowboy theme (John Barry) - it may have been Larry Adler on the harmonica.
|Francis' QPR run riot against Reid's 1992 City - history|
Love reading these features Norf, thanks very much. Oh, btw in 2003 it was Kevin McLeod who was lying on the pitch injured and deemed to be playing SWP onside - (I must get out more). It was also the match when Ian Wright Wright Wright got involved in what is described as a 'race row'in SAR stand.
|Dave Sexton – A True Visionary|
As I read that report, on the wall to my left is a blue-framed set of 12 football cards with the 75/76 team mounted in formation on blue and white card(bows and salutes and sends Mr Sexton special tribute).
Interestingly, they are in 1 4 3 4 array? - no wonder we were unbeatable at home!
|Warnock alone Ranger?|
Don't knock Clint Hill - he plays with passion and will give 110% Best position is Centre back and was a key factor in QPR staying up last season.
|Hung by his own players, Hughes now in untenable position – full match report|
Someone asked for the Times link; there you go!:
Three times he was asked, and three times he denied it. Sort of. “There is real belief from players, staff, ownership,” he said, the first time. Then: “My future does not hinge on this match at all.” And finally, least convincingly: “That is not my decision.”
Mark Hughes does not think he will be sacked as Queens Park Rangers manager if his side, without a win in 11 Barclays Premier League games this season, extend that drought to 12 against Southampton this afternoon, but he does not know. Not for certain, regardless of what Tony Fernandes, the club’s owner, tweets.
Nigel Adkins, Hughes’s counterpart, thinks he knows. The Southampton manager thinks he knows that both managers will survive beyond this weekend, whatever happens, whatever the result. Few would share his confidence. This game looks suspiciously like a derby of the damned, where the winner lives to fight another day, and the loser pays with his job.
Adkins, it is possible, is simply entrusting his future to logic. It would be unfathomably harsh of Southampton to sack him, after all, after winning consecutive promotions. Yes, Southampton are winless, porous, and look a little lost, but that is what happens when your team are comprised of players experiencing life among the elite for the first time. It takes some getting used to.
There is no such mitigation for Hughes: QPR were supposed to kick on this season, after narrowly avoiding relegation last year. “Our hope was to finish in the top half of the table,” Hughes admitted yesterday. Fernandes has equipped him with a team, in theory, to do just that. They have four players in their squad who have not just played in the Champions League, but won it.
They have a sky-high wage bill, lavishly wealthy backers and a manager who left his previous job because of Fulham’s “lack of ambition,” which means that there is also no sympathy for the irony in which he finds himself trapped.
And yet they have singularly failed to do anything like kick on. Even after the long-awaited departure of Flavio Briatore, with his four-year plans and his revolving door to the manager’s office, QPR remain the Premier League’s most dysfunctional club. The question Fernandes must answer, somehow, is why?
Is it the players? Hughes has a reputation as a meticulous, methodical manager who has succeeded elsewhere. Are his travails at Loftus Road explained by his squad having spent much of last season racked with internecine squabbling and that, even as he shipped out the troublemakers, an undercurrent of disharmony, remains?
Bobby Zamora, the striker, often leaves the training ground without even eating lunch with his team-mates, so disillusioned with life at the club has he become. Anton Ferdinand asked to be made captain in the summer, just as Hughes was trying to find a replacement for him. The bad mood spreads.
Players who are not in the side always detest their manager, but at QPR there are a number of first-team players, too, who are unconvinced by the Welshman.
Are they right? Must Hughes take responsibility? Last season, he had the excuse of working with a group of players brought together by another man.
This, though, is his side, recruited at his behest. Has Hughes just bought poorly? Is that the problem? He says not. “If I had been able to pick the same back four and the same team for 11 games, we would not be in this position,” he said. “We have not had the benefit of that. We would like a clear run.”
Fernandes might, in his darker moments, suggest that the reason QPR have such a high wage bill is to ensure that the manager has a large enough squad to cope.
Hughes has been allowed to recruit three times since arriving, 11 months ago: in January, at the start of this summer and at the end, when he realised that a number of the players he signed earlier on were not good enough, with Rob Green the most notable example.
Much of that recruitment has been done through his agent, Kia Joorabchian. It was Joorabchian who brought Nedum Onuoha — the defender earns about £46,000 a week — to the club in January, and it was Joorabchian who did the deals to sign Esteban Granero and Stéphane Mbia, among others. The Iranian tends to be a kind of Minister without Portfolio wherever Hughes goes. He has excellent contacts and incredible power in South America, apparently. His results do not explain why that should be the case.
But he is part of the Hughes team, along with Mark Bowen, his assistant, Eddie Niedzwiecki, his goalkeeping coach, and Mike Rigg, the technical director. They come as a package, and they do not come cheap, not least because Hughes, as he admitted yesterday, tends to like to institute an overhaul of a club’s training facilities.
“People should not underestimate the changes that have gone on at the club, and I have been a big part of that,” he said. “That doesn’t just get swept aside because we are in a difficult situation. It is that work that sustains you and allows you time to get through this period.”
That time is running out. Fernandes may remain staunchly supportive, but there are other rich, powerful men at QPR who are growing increasingly anxious; the club’s shareholders are not nearly as convinced as the publi-city-hungry Malaysian magnate. Someone is to blame. Should Hughes lose the derby of the damned, they may just decide that they do know who, after all.
The revolving door
• Transfer dealings at Queens Park Rangers have been fast and furious since Mark Hughes became manager last January.
IN: R Zamora (Fulham, £4.5m), D Cissé (Lazio, £4.4m), S Diakité (Nancy, loan, then £4m), D Hoilett (Blackburn Rovers, £4m), N Onuoha (Manchester City, £2.5m), Park Ji Sung (Manchester United, £2m), E Granero (Real Madrid, undisc), R Green (West Ham United , free), A Johnson (Fulham, free), R Nelsen (Tottenham Hotspur, free) J Bosingwa (Chelsea, free), J César (Inter Milan, free), F Macheda (Man Utd, loan), T Taiwo (AC Milan, loan), Fábio Da Silva (Man Utd, loan)
OUT: T Smith (Cardiff City, £300,000), M Connolly (Cardiff, £200,000), P Kenny (Leeds, undisc), B Orr (Blackburn, undisc), H Helguson (Cardiff, undisc) P Agyemang (Stevenage, free), F Hall (Watford, free), P Ramage (Crystal Palace, free), D Shittu (Millwall, free), R Vine (St Johnstone, free), A Buzsaky (Portsmouth, free), L Cook (Leyton Orient, free), D Gabbidon (Crystal Palace, free), B Perone (Linense, free), M Rowlands (Colchester, free), G Borrowdale (released)
Estimated net spending: £23 million
|When McLintock returned to Highbury, and Bowles stole the show – history|
Apart from Adel's goal last year, which sent me into raptures of delight and indeed relief, my favourite memories of Arsenal both involve Stan Bowles. Once, in a home match when his body swerve caused McNab to jump up and fall over backwards without coming into any sort of contact. Also, Bob Wilson's final game for Arsenal in 1974 when Stan coolly flighted a free kick past him into the top corner with defenders and Bob Wilson all rooted to the spot.
|Alan McDonald: 1963 – 2012|
That was a very fine tribute to a very deserving player...everyone at QPR had nothing but the utmost respect for him.
Thank you Clive, Paul and thank you Macca.
|This Week – A golden generation made of tin|
Excellent review of our 'golden generation' thanks - but so sad to see good talent wasted. Pat Kanyuka distinguished himself in the 'Great Brawl of China' as I recall?
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