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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Assessing Dowie's Departure and Ainsworth Possibility....Darren Ferguson or Venables?...Further Match Report

- See also: Earlier Reading-QPR Reports and Managerial Comments

Managerial Names - Ferguson...Venables...Ainsworth
BBC Gossip" QPR have made Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson their top choice to replace Iain Dowie. (News of the World) [See below]
"But Rangers chiefs Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone are fighting Lakshmi Mittal to appoint Terry Venables as manager instead. (Mail on Sunday) - BBC Gossip

Dave McIntyre/BBC606 - Being away was nothing to Mona about
- I was standing in a queue outside the Louvre in Paris when I found out Iain Dowie had been sacked.
- I know as much about art as Tommy Williams does about setting up goals for unmarked team-mates in play-off finals.
- But seeing the Mona Lisa is apparently one of the things you have to do when in Paris, and I hadn’t done so on my previous visits.
- If I had a pound for every time someone has said to me it was “the wrong week to go away” I’d have four pounds.
- But I thought it was the perfect time to be away.
- Having witnessed the QPR soap opera unfold close-up for several years, I was glad to be getting away for a while when it was clear an eventful few days lay ahead in W12.
- I resisted the temptation to bring a laptop and had told those who needed to be aware that trouble was brewing and Dowie might get the boot.
- Then, on Friday morning, I sent a text message to a colleague telling him that Dowie had gone, switched my phone off and rejoined the queue.
- Cool as you like. Let them get on with it, I thought. I’m not interested in all of that.
- The act lasted for about half an hour. I was soon in a corridor of the Louvre texting like a maniac.
- Has it been announced? What was said? Is Ainsworth in charge? What about Paladini?
- I also hadn’t looked at a newspaper or website for two days and had no idea who had been mentioned as a possible successor.
- This morning I was still catching up with all that.
- I have no idea who Flavio Briatore has in mind at this stage – if anyone.
- I don't know whether he will appoint his own choice, as he did with Gigi De Canio, or again be persuaded by others, as was the case with Dowie’s appointment. I’m seriously out of the loop.
I do know he likes Terry Venables but also that Venables is being mentioned because he has been linked with QPR lately so is an obvious name to throw in now Dowie has gone, but when he was recently said to have been approached, he hadn’t been.
- So I'm not sure whether Venables is now a genuine candidate.
- One man who has not been mentioned at all in relation to the job is Gareth Ainsworth, who shouldn't be totally written off.
- QPR’s ownership and profile means Ainsworth is being completely overlooked in the rush to link names with the club, but he is a genuine contender whose chances could either increase or vanish completely depending on the result at Reading this evening.
- He is highly thought of by the powers-that-be, which is why he was fast-tracked into a coaching position last year.
- And Ainsworth has proved his loyalty to them
, being prepared to speak out in support of Gianni Paladini when he was under fire and, more recently, over the club's increases in ticket prices. So the foundations of a successful relationship are already there.
- He is also rightly popular with fans because of his performances as a player and heart-on-the-sleeve attitude.
At a time when the relationship between the club and fans is in danger of disintegrating, Ainsworth could be seen as a bridge between the two.
- That isn’t to say he will get the job full-time, but he does have a chance. A very slim one maybe, but he is not in the position Mick Harford was of being surplus to requirements no matter what results are while he is in caretaker charge.
- Good luck to Gareth. He wouldn’t be my choice for the job but I like him a lot.
- In fact, I once badgered him about signing for QPR so much that he eventually admitted he wanted to join, although it was another 18 months before he ended up at the club. Better late than never, eh?
- On a serious note, I’ve always thought that if Ainsworth and Marcus Bignot went into coaching and management, their strength would be being able to look their players in the eye and say that during their own playing days they gave everything in every match and were model professionals.
- Whatever Gareth asks of his players, it won’t be anything he wouldn’t have been prepared to do himself down the years, and people respect that.
- As for Dowie, I felt he was by far the best man for the job prior to his appointment but in the end, he did well to last until late October.
- When I say the best man, I mean the best man who would realistically get that job.
- The constant, unjustified hype surrounding QPR means all sorts of names are banded around based on assumptions about what the board are looking for.
- Dowie in my view was the best man for the job given the unique situation at QPR and the club’s success depended on him being able to weather the inevitable storm. He couldn’t.
- Dowie is a good manager but was blown off course by the behind-the-scenes problems he might have been able to use to his advantage.
- In this respect he failed where Gerry Francis and Ian Holloway succeeded
- They kept the heat on the board and the fans on their side. When things went wrong, it usually wasn’t them in the firing line. People looked at the bigger picture - more than just results on the pitch.
- The ingredients were there for Dowie to do the same but, like the unassuming Gary Waddock, he took a different approach and paid the price.
- Like Waddock, Dowie is far better than results suggested but the buck has stopped with him.
- Tim Flowers then took a pot-shot at supporters whose own discontent with the club could have been used to create a united front of players, management and fans - something Francis and Holloway were able to do.
- Dowie missed the chance early on to galvanise the fans by linking his own difficult situation to their feelings about ticket prices and the general direction of the club.
- Or perhaps he was never on solid enough ground to do so given the lukewarm reaction to his appointment and the relatively good level of support Briatore still enjoys.
- The fact is that by the time Dowie was hinting that all was not well, results and performances were poor and few were sad to see him go. BBC606

News of The World/Graham Nickless - QPR WANT FERGIE JNR -
Darren Ferguson lined up for Rangers hotseat
- PETERBOROUGH boss Darren Ferguson is top of QPR’s wanted list to replace Iain Dowie.
- Rangers co-owner Flavio Briatore wants a young ambitious coach and Sir Alex Ferguson’s son (below) fits the bill.
But Posh will demand around £1million in compensation for their manager.
Renault F1 chief Briatore is determined to manage the club himself and let the new boy coach the players.
And that is why the job will scare off ex-England chief Terry Venables and former Inter Milan boss Roberto Mancini.
Peterborough director of football Barry Fry is not surprised Ferguson has been targeted.
He said: “He’s a quality manager who has been determined to do things without any help from his father.
QPR had an eye on him last summer but if they come in, the compensation will have to be right because Darren has three years left on his contract.”
Dowie was sacked for the fourth time on Friday after clashing with Briatore over the co-owner’s team selection for last night’s game at Reading.
A club insider said: “Flavio changed Iain’s team for Reading which resulted in the manager leaving.
“Dowie felt undermined and his patience snapped. No manager can work under those conditions and he had no choice but to walk.” News of The World

The Independent/Conrad Leach - Ainsworth steadies QPR ship
- QPR lost their manager, Iain Dowie, on Friday but you would not have known it from watching this game. Their last result under Dowie was also an away goalless draw, and to repeat that scoreline under the present circumstances and, into the bargain, end Reading's perfect home record this season was no mean feat.
- Who would be a QPR manager? Well, after 15 games, not Dowie any more; he was unceremoniously sacked on Friday. The alleged reason was that he had become a pawn in a power struggle at the west London club, who have more multi-millionaires and billionaires in the boardroom than is fair or, apparently, healthy. While one director opted to revert to lower ticket prices this week, having raised them so steeply earlier this season, another director, allegedly Flavio Briatore, the Formula One chief at Renault, wanted to show he still has power at Loftus Road and handed Dowie his teamsheet of players for this game. Dowie refused to play along and was then dismissed.
- Among the players Briatore wanted included, allegedly, was his 20-year-old Italian compatriot Samuel Di Carmine, and the striker was duly given his full League debut here. That in itself was surprising, given Reading are third in the Championship and a tough proposition, and even more so as it was at the expense of Dexter Blackstock, the club's top scorer with six goals. Unfortunately, Blackstock was also a favourite of Dowie's.
- In Dowie's stead has come Gareth Ainsworth, latterly a coach at the west London club, as caretaker, although names such as Terry Venables and Roberto Mancini are being mentioned as possible permanent replacements.
- With 25 minutes gone of a limp game where Reading seemed more shell-shocked by events than their visitors, Di Carmine did force a save from Marcus Hahnemann, although his shot was going wide. Six minutes before the interval, the hosts claimed a penalty after Radek Cerny dropped the ball and Matthew Connolly wrestled Reading's Jimmy Kebe to the floor, but referee Chris Foy showed little interest.
- Blackstock replaced Di Carmine after an hour and his popularity, with the travelling support at least, was underlined by their chants. He was in the mood to make a point, as just a minute after coming on he charged in on Hahnemann after the American goalkeeper dropped a shot, but no one was able to end the deadlock. The Independent

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