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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Scathing Opinion of The Role of QPR Managers Under Briatore...Ramage Praise For Dowie

Ben Kosky Comment - Kilburn Times - Hats in the ring for Briatore's circus? Don't bother29 October 2008
- DURING the last few days, several people have asked me who I thought would be the next man in charge of QPR.
- Terry Venables or maybe Sam Allardyce, former World Cup stars Zinedine Zidane or Roberto Mancini, or perhaps the incumbent Gareth Ainsworth, whose chances must have been boosted by the win over Birmingham?
- My answer may have surprised them - the truth is, I replied, it doesn't matter one little bit.
- As the brief reign of Iain Dowie demonstrated, the title of manager, coach or whatever the QPR board choose to call it, is now completely irrelevant. All they are seeking is someone to lead training sessions each day.
- For every Rangers supporter, the real issue surrounding Dowie's sacking should be not whether you wanted him to stay or go, or to be appointed coach in the first place.
- It's whether you consider it acceptable for one man with tinted shades, a colossal ego and little understanding of football to wreak havoc with the club you have loyally followed for years.
- Flavio Briatore has hidden under the cloak of 'ambition' ever since he first swaggered into Loftus Road with promises of a boutique club, global brand... oh yes, and Champions League football.
- It's hard to think of any struggling Championship club that has ever come close to realising those dreams by changing the bulk of its playing squad every season and its manager or coach every few months.
- What exactly does Briatore expect of his coaches? Luigi de Canio was given six months in charge, during which he hauled Rangers from the relegation zone to mid-table and produced some attractive football along the way.
- But, let's be clear, whatever nonsense was spouted at the time about communication difficulties and homesickness, De Canio was sacked because Briatore felt not enough progress had been made.
- Ninth place in the Championship - a position Rangers have NEVER bettered since they dropped out of the Premier League 13 years ago - and reaching the last 16 of a major cup competition might seem reasonable progress to a reasonable owner.
- Especially when you consider Briatore, along with sporting director Gianni Paladini, had foisted unwanted additions to the squad on their coach instead of funding the signing of the proven goalscorer QPR have long been crying out for.
- While fully aware of that situation when he arrived, Dowie had been led to understand that team selection would be, as he put it, the 'holy grail' - and, when that proved not to be the case, his position became untenable.
- So the question has to be asked: who in his right mind would want to manage/coach QPR right now?
- Who could accept having his line-up and tactics dictated by the interference of an owner with no football background - not even an ex-pro turned director of football - yet still being held culpable for poor results?
- There are only two options open to Briatore. Either find someone with no management experience, so grateful for a job that he will do it under any circumstances... or, swap the expensive jacket and designer jeans for a tracksuit and do it himself.
- It isn't without precedent. Ron Noades appointed himself manager just down the road at Brentford and Michael Knighton - a man whose grip on footballing reality was about as tenuous as Briatore's is - did it at Carlisle.
- Kevin Keegan would be a perfect appointment. He has already managed a soccer circus - and that is what QPR have become under Briatore.
- So out of touch with ordinary football supporters that he thinks £50 is a fair price to watch Derby County play and so out of touch with the game that he thinks promotion automatically follows from giving the stadium a lick of paint and bringing in West End caterers.
- When the new man is appointed, he will no doubt be expected to spout bland rubbish about ambition and expectation.... and do little more than put out the cones at Harlington each morning. Kilburn Times

Kilburn Times/Ben Kosky - Magpies model can lead to a shambles
- QPR defender Peter Ramage reiterated the players' unwavering support for Iain Dowie just hours before the manager was booted out on Friday morning.
Ramage also revealed that Dowie's appointment as Rangers boss five months earlier had played a major part in his decision to leave Newcastle in favour of Loftus Road.
The right-back, who missed the games against Reading and Birmingham through injury, told the Times: "The gaffer here's got the respect of every single player in the dressing room.
"He's the best manager I've ever worked with, the way he goes around the place and you can have a laugh and a joke with him, training's intense but fun, but you know you can't cross him either.
"He's got the right balance and it was one of the major factors, if not the most important one, in my decision to come here, knowing he was the manager
"I spoke to quite a few people about him and they had nothing but good words to say. He's the right manager to get us out of this league, without any shadow of a doubt."
Ramage knows plenty about how destabilised a club can become through regular changes of manager - Newcastle United, after all, are regarded as something of a laughing stock by football fans around the country.
The 24-year-old worked under five managers - Sir Bobby Robson, Graeme Souness, Glenn Roeder, Sam Allardyce and the since-departed Kevin Keegan - during his time with the Magpies.
"I always believe a manager should be given time - but no manager who was at the club was ever given that," Ramage added.
"Graeme Souness gave me my debut, but he was only there about 18 months and we had rotten luck. Michael Owen got injured and when you're without your top player, you're going to struggle.
"The first time Kevin Keegan was at Newcastle, the club were literally about to go into the old Second Division - in the space of 18 months, they were challenging at the top of the Premier League.
"Look at the top teams - Arsene Wenger's been at Arsenal 12 years and Alex Ferguson 20-odd at Old Trafford. It just shows that if you stick with the right man, you can achieve things."
Dowie's dismissal left Rangers searching for their sixth boss since Ian Holloway's five-year spell at Loftus Road ended in February 2006.
But co-owner Flavio Briatore hinted that he was in no great hurry to make a swift appointment after handing veteran midfielder and reserve team boss Gareth Ainsworth the reins in the short term.
"It was the decision of the board. There was no argument - we are not happy, simple as that," said Briatore. "We're not rushing - we have the players, we have the coach, we have everything
. Kilburn Times

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Ainsworth Column on Hiatus
Kilburn Times: Stepping off the Gaz... for now
GARETH Ainsworth has decided to take a break from penning his weekly Times column after being placed in temporary charge of the first team at QPR.
Our heartfelt thanks go to Gareth for his contributions to this newspaper over the last few years and we wish him all the best in his new role. Kilburn Times

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