QPR: Can They Avoid All The Drama?

That has to be the goal for this season - that they're nowhere near relegation as Tony Fernandes tries to make a long-term plan that involved moving from Loftus Road...

Last Updated: 13/08/12 at 15:27 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Premier League Numbers And Stats

6 comments

Demba Ba scores goals at a better rate than the league's best, whilst Liverpool score in halves galore and why you are always guaranteed goals when City are in town...

Eye On The Experts: John Motson

38 comments

For many people John Motson is quite simply the voice of the game. He's been doing his commentary gig since 1971 and long may it continue, say Johnny and Al...

All Articles

Last season:
Premier League
17th; FA Cup Fourth round; Carling Cup Second round
Manager Mark Hughes (since January 2012) Odds on being first out of his job 12-1 (joint fourth) Transfers in Rob Green (West Ham), Andrew Johnson (Fulham), Junior Hoilett (Blackburn), Samba Diakite (Nancy), Ryan Nelsen (Tottenham), Fabio da Silva (Manchester United, loan) Park Ji-sung (Manchester United)
Transfers out Fitz Hall (Watford), Heidar Helguson (Cardiff), Paddy Kenny (Leeds)

They were only in the supporting roles but QPR's part in May's last-day drama will not be forgotten quickly. Their tussle with Bolton to avoid relegation, entwined with Manchester City's pursuit of the title, served up a ridiculously tense finale. If Mark Hughes and Tony Ferdandes have one ambition, it is that there will be no repeat in 2012-13.

Rangers fans will feel they should not have been in that position last season. When he stayed on the pitch Djibril Cisse showed the kind of form after his January move that could have been enough to guarantee survival had he not been sent off every time he failed to score. Talking of red cards, there is the question of what to do about Joey Barton, a troubled and troubling individual whose conduct at Eastlands attracted a similarly eye-catching ban.

But Park Ji-Sung and, on loan, Fabio da Silva from Manchester United are the most prominent of a series of signings designed to ensure the Rs are in the middle of the table. They are not quickly going to return to the status they enjoyed in 1992-93 - that of London's top side - but Fernandes's ambitions have no specific limit. He wants a new ground but in Rangers' traditional neighbourhood (okay, they originally played as far north as Queens Park) to tap into a large latent support. He has engaged with the support in a way that eluded Flavio Briatore and friends, who seemed unprepared for the game's realities.

Hughes remains a manager with much to prove, and an ego that bruises surprisingly easily for someone who put himself about as a player. Then again, he went down too easily at times under perceived challenges and since moving into the dug-out he has shown a tendency to blame others for his sides' failings. At Blackburn, for instance, it was referees' and the media's fault that his dirty team were punished and reviled for being dirty; at Manchester City he demanded the kind of credit given to Harry Redknapp for saving Spurs from two points after eight games despite the Eastlands club making no discernible advance on their achievements under Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Still, Hughes and the other January arrivals - Cisse, Bobby Zamora and Samba Diakite - did enough to achieve survival and it was mystifying that they came so close to the drop. Only Neil Warnock, surely, would dispute that the Rs were improved under their new manager.

As luck with have it, QPR's first two games are against the sides they came up with under Warnock a year ago, Swansea and Norwich. Given the widespread perception that this pair have been badly weakened by the loss of their promotion-winning managers, it is important for Hughes that his team do well from these games - especially as matches against Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham follow.

QPR should be looking at a mid-table finish but while it will not bother him, I have never found Hughes entirely convincing. It would not be a surprise if he finds himself holding more self-justifying press conferences - and that was a trait in Warnock, too, that did not seem to get a ringing endorsement from Fernandes.

Philip Cornwall

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

H

ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

I

s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Premier League: Tony Pulis hails Crystal Palace after win over Everton

Tony Pulis hailed his Crystal Palace players after they beat Everton to reach 40 points in the Premier League.

Premier League: Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini vows to fight despite Sunderland draw

Manuel Pellegrini admitted the loss to Liverpool was still on Manchester City's minds as they drew with Sunderland.

Copa del Rey: Real Madrid beat arch-rivals Barcelona to win the cup final 2-1

Gareth Bale's brilliant goal five minutes from time gave Real Madrid a 2-1 win over Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final.

Mail Box

Fatigue No Excuse For Giroud Being Cr*p

We have a long mail on why Giroud isn't very good at all, plus some more thoughts on neutrality. Plus, who do you want out of you club this summer and Liverpool moving buses...

Will Liverpool Cope With Parked Buses?

That's the real problem they're going to face next year, says one Man United fan who's already looking forward to the end of this campaign. Plus, thoughts on neutrality...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property