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What other options do we have? Column
Wednesday, 28th Feb 2018 17:07 by Charlie Skinner

With the Forest debacle increasing the pressure on Ian Holloway, new LFW columnist Charlie Skinner wonders who would we realistically be able to tempt to replace him.

If Twitter is to be believed, Ian Holloway is the worst manager we’ve ever had. Whether it be his tactics, the formation he plays, his coating off of fans or that (dreadful) Peaky Blinders hat he’s got a fair few people who want him out, but who are the viable options to replace him and what could we expect?

Viable - Capable of working successfully; feasible

It’s important to remember as we scroll through the potential messiahs that we’ve got a huge, huge issue with Financial Fair Play and not being able to spend any money.

Not only does this impact the players a potential new manager can bring in, making us a less attractive option to potential candidates, but also what managers are available to us. If we wanted someone like Gary Rowett, who we tried to tempt twice before when he was at Birmingham City, then we’d need to pay his employers to get him out of his contract, which we can’t afford to do. Therefore I’m just putting managers who are currently out of work in the mix. Also, we can’t be paying astronomical wages to a manager.

I’ve used to get their points per game as in the end, that’s the only stat that matters. I’m probably going to leave out the likes of ex-Barca Luis Enrique and ex-PSG Laurent Blanc because I don’t think we are there just quite yet. As soon as we get this FFP thing sorted expect Pep to be knocking down our door to get the job.

Paul Clement – 1.34

I think most have this idea that he is an option for us because of his strong personal connection with QPR. His father, Dave Clement, came up through the youth set-up and became a Rangers legend. Paul Clement has been the understudy of Carlo Ancelotti for many years at Bayern Munich and Real Madrid which would suggest he’s probably got a filing cabinet full of tactical masterclasses somewhere.

At Derby he spent around £20m and his team were performing very well and were just five points off the league leaders when he was sacked with the chairman citing lack of progress and style of football as the reasons. As Swansea City manager he once again spent a decent amount of money and dragged them clear of relegation danger in his first season before struggling after Fernando Llorente and Gylfi Sigurdsson were sold and not adequately replaced.

I think he’s a bit of a gamble as he hasn’t got much experience at being the man in charge and our club is very fragile at the moment. After being at clubs like Real Madrid and Bayern Munich who have money to burn and Derby and Swansea where cash was available, how well would he really perform on a less than shoe-string budget?

Gary Monk – 1.49

His first appointment as a manager was at Swansea City where a certain style of football was ingrained in the club. Not really that difficult to take over a club where the playing style is set out for you. He took over from Michael Laudrup and managed to lead them to safety with one match to spare that season. The next season, he performed incredibly and got them to an eighth-place finish but was sacked in 2015/16 before Christmas after a run of one win in 11 games.

He took over at Leeds in 2016 and signed six players that summer, including Kemar Roofe for £3m from Oxford and Marcus Antonsson from Kalmar for £2m – not a great deal of money, but a small fortune to QPR in our current position. He started off by getting tonked by us in the first game of the season, started a scrap with Huddersfield’s David Wagner over nothing and won just three of the last 11 games to miss out on the play-offs before leaving under something of a cloud. He also lost to Sutton United in the FA Cup so maybe he is perfect for us…

At Middlesbrough he spent a shit load of money and once again, including the oft-cited £6.5m on Ashley Fletcher who has since been loaned out, £15m on Britt Assombalonga and £8m on Martin Braithwaite. Again, he left under a cloud. Stability is what we need at QPR, not a guy who wants to spend money and play boring football just to leave because he isn’t feeling it. Harry Redknapp anyone? Put all that with the personality of Paul Hart - I’ll pass.

Mark Warburton - 1.85

He’s actually been linked with us before and at the time I wasn’t against his appointment. Did a fantastic job at Brentford but, as much as I hate to admit it, they are a very well run club. Issues with the club owner’s and how they wanted to run things ultimately made the job untenable and he left. I can’t see him getting along with a hierarchy of Hoos, Ferdinand and Fernandes if he couldn’t get along with the board at Brentford. Then there was that whole madness at Rangers where they said he’d resigned, but then he said he hadn’t and eventually people got together to talk about it and…he resigned. He did get them promoted back to the SPL though. He then spent a decent amount of money at Forest and didn’t even last a year there. I like Warburton and think he’d do a decent job at Loftus Road, I just can’t see him wanting to work for much less than he’d normally get with no money to spend on players and all the other crap hanging over our club but out of the current available managers, he would be the most viable one to replace Holloway in my opinion.


A few you could chuck in to the mix who are more batshit crazy than Holloway are Paulo Di Canio or Felix Magrath? They’re available? Fancy that anyone? Not for me.

Some want Shaun Derry and Clint Hill in but Clint is still playing and still playing well. I think the job would be too big for them at this stage with their level of experience. Others want Gareth Ainsworth who is doing a cracking job at Wycombe. However, still in contract at Adams Park and currently very well poised as promotion contenders he seems like a very loyal character and I can’t imagine him getting them promoted after years of hardship and then just leaving.

Look, we aren’t going to get a manager who is really consistent, tactically excellent and an incredible man manager. I’m not going to go in to Holloway’s faults as I think we all know them. What I will say is, he is an experienced manager at this level who is working within the budget set and under the FFP cloud. He isn’t doing this because he wants to further his career or waste our money on over the hill mercenaries - he’s doing it because the club needed someone to take the shit whilst we go through a period of rebuilding. Yes of course he’ll get things wrong (really wrong sometimes), but he deserves our support. We can’t keep turning against managers when things aren’t going our way. If you thought you could try and do something to help club the club you love, you’d do it wouldn’t you? That’s all Ian Holloway has done.

I don’t expect this FFP situation will be resolved any time soon and this will hamper our chances of making real progress so I’m saying stick, not twist. Get an assistant manager in with a bit of tactical know how and we’ll be alright. I’m happy with mid table for now because it’s better for us in the long term. He’s not going to take us back to the promised land and make us a mainstay in the Premier League, but he will take the flak whilst we stabilise in the Championship.

I was just a kid when Holloway was first in charge but I understood the situation we were in and I never felt prouder to support QPR when the club as a whole were so unified. That feeling has gone but I will continue to support Holloway because I know he wants us to succeed just as much as you or I do.

But for the love of god Ollie, stop wearing that hat.

The Twitter @CharlieSkinner8

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LLoydy added 17:16 - Feb 28
We're pretty much precisely where I expected us to be this season, remit achieved, no need to change manager AGAIN. The comment above about Brentford is very relevant here too as yet another change might well have no material impact and all you've done then is got rid of someone who knows this club inside.

Burnleyhoop added 20:31 - Feb 28
He can stand in his technical area wearing a Mr Blobby outfit for all I care, but please Olly, accept that our current formation doesn't suit the personnel and make a fundamental change to tactics. Everyone can see it and comment on it every week, but nothing changes. It's great to see some of the youngsters coming through, but at least shore up the defence because it's shambolic.
Do it now, before you are hounded out and find yourself back in the sky punditry studios.

Myke added 22:15 - Feb 28
A good piece Charlie - probably the most telling remark was the need to get in an experienced number two. For me that has to be Steve McClaren. He has proved time and again that he is not management material, with the personality of...a MONK, but he is an excellent tactician. Holloway, on the other hand, is an excellent motivator while tactically inept. Sounds like a relatively cheap experiment that is worth trying, because Bircham may bleed blue and white hoops but he aint no coach.

T_Block added 22:44 - Feb 28
I do not want him sacked, but I want him to get advice.Get Gerry Francis and a few others to 1.Work out the weaknesses of the team and personel 2.Work out their strengths.3.Pick a team and tactics accordingly.

TheChef added 10:23 - Mar 1
By the way, Gigi De Canio is available.

Phil_i_P_Daddy added 10:58 - Mar 1
An accurate assessment of the situation and our options as I see it.
In terms of commitment to the club I doubt we will ever see the like of Olly again. He’s not, ahem, “erratic” on purpose (right?!).
The owners’ efforts are best channelled in getting in a strong, “no”-man no.2. But compatible ones don’t grow on trees; would relish the challenge or work for peanuts.

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