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Sunday, October 26, 2008

How Briatore Told Dowie...QPR's Mahon on Briatore's Expectations

Obviously press reports may be inaccurate, but definitely interesting if true.

Reading 0 QPR 0: Briatore's meddling too much as Dowie is shown the door

- Iain Dowie was sacked after QPR co-owner Flavio Briatore walked on to the training pitch last Friday to tell his manager which players to pick.
- As ambitious Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson emerges as the clear favourite to replace Dowie, Sportsmail can reveal the events which led to the dismissal.
QPR players were left stunned as Briatore marched on to the pitches at Harlington with instructions for the following day's clash with Reading. Dowie refused to carry out the eccentric Italian's orders and was sacked during a row in front of the first-team squad.
Ferguson, son of Manchester United boss Sir Alex, has been targeted by QPR, but he has made it clear he must have control over team selection and the biggest say about which players are brought in.
Briatore has been impressed with the way Ferguson has guided Peterborough out of League Two and into the League One play-off spots by playing an attractive, passing game - much different to the long-ball style often resorted to by Dowie.
Peterborough will demand at least £1million for their manager.
Director of football Barry Fry said: 'QPR had an eye on him last season. The compensation would have to be right because Darren has three years left on his contract.'
QPR caretaker manager Gareth Ainsworth admitted Briatore had influenced selection for the Reading trip, which finished goalless.
One such directive was almost certainly the deployment of midfielder Mikele Leigertwood at right back to nullify Reading wide man Stephen Hunt, who has been destroying teams at the Madejski.
Briatore's fingerprints were also all over the selection of striker Samuel Di Carmine, on loan from Fiorentina, in place of Dexter Blackstock. That was probably the last straw for Dowie and QPR looked sharper when Ainsworth sent on Blackstock for the Italian.
- QPR midfielder Gavin Mahon said: 'The first inkling I got the boss was going was at training on Friday. Flavio called a meeting 20 minutes later and said: "I want everyone to stick together".
- 'Once Flavio told us, we all went to see Iain to wish him all the best.' Mail

Telegraph/David Edbrooke - QPR expectation 'has gone through the roof', says Gavin Mahon
The next manager of Queens Park Rangers could be given less than a year to secure Premier League football, according to midfielder Gavin Mahon.

- Flavio Briatore, the QPR co-owner and chief of the Renault Formula One team, is used to the jet-set lifestyle, but the Italian's undiluted expectations have turned the Loftus Road manager's chair into an ejection seat.
- After Iain Dowie became the third QPR manager in 13 months to enter the departure lounge, the west London club were left to navigate their way through this testing fixture against Reading with a novice at the controls.
- The signore in temporary charge on the sidelines, Gareth Ainsworth, ensured that the team became the first to take points off Reading at the Madejski Stadium this season thanks to stout defending.
- Yet the chances of Ainsworth turning his caretaker role into a permanent position are as slim as the supermodels on the Milan catwalk. The veteran midfielder is QPR's longest-serving player, but he has none of the star quality associated with the front-runners for the job, namely Terry Venables, former Chelsea manager Gianluca Vialli and ex-Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini.
- Irrespective of who becomes the next QPR manager, they are likely to come under untold pressure from the start. Giving a unique insight into the time frame the next incumbent will probably be working to, Mahon said: "Since the new owners have come in the expectation has gone through the roof.
- "They want success. I know Flavio said he's got a two or three-year plan, but I know he wants it [Premier League football] sooner than that because he's an ambitious man."
- Former England manager Venables would be a popular choice with supporters, having played for QPR from 1969-74 before leading them into the top-flight when manager in the Eighties. However, Briatore's demand for instant results could diminish El Tel's interest.
- The Italian multi-millionaire is used to success, having led Renault to two F1 world championships – four including the two titles won by Benetton in the Nineties – and Dowie's record of eight wins, three draws and just four losses wasn't enough to prevent his sacking.
- Talking to Steve Coppell's players, you get the feeling expectations are managed better at Reading. Midfielder Liam Rosenior said: "The likes of even AC Milan, Juventus, Real Madrid don't win every game at home and we shouldn't expect to." Telegraph

Mirror/Rory Smith - Rangers steal point from rampant Royals
Caretaker boss Gareth Ainsworth admits Flavio Briatore likes to have his say in team selection - and judging from this performance, maybe he's not doing a bad job.
The Italian has come under fire from fans after he deposed former boss Iain Dowie for not picking the team he wanted. The pair clashed over Dowie's refusal to play young Italian striker Samuel Di Carmine but there was only ever going to be one winner.
Dowie departed, Di Carmine started and Briatore's - or rather Ainsworth's - managerial career got off to a flyer with an impressive point against title-chasing Reading.
Ainsworth said: "He's put a lot of money into the club and he likes to look after his investment.
"There are discussions about certain players, not just with him but with a number of people at the club.
"It's normal, but I'm the boss and I have the final input about who goes out there and plays, and we'd never discuss strategy. I'm not going to say I'd love the job long term, but I'm looking forward to the game against Birmingham, whether I'm in charge or not, just as long as I'm at QPR."
After becoming the first manager to stop Reading scoring at the Madejski this season - prior to this dour clash they had netted 27 in just six outings - it seems certain Ainsworth will be in charge on Tuesday.
But Steve Coppell warned the rookie that he should not have to put up with having to pick his team by committee.
He said: "If I didn't choose who played, what would I do?
"I wouldn't tolerate an owner wanting to interfere. They have a right to say what they think of certain players, but I manage."
If that's what Briatore does and it turns out like this, there may be some mileage in the idea. QPR were woefully short on flair, but their cautious 4-5-1 blunted Coppell's side.
They barely mustered a clearcut chance in a tight first half, despite Jimmy Kebe lashing into the side-netting and Noel Hunt seeing Radek Cerny clutch desperately at his goalbound header.
And the visitors even found time to threaten on the counter, Di Carmine forcing a fine save from Marcus Hahnemann after a well-worked move orchestrated by the impish Dani Parejo.
And QPR grew in confidence as the game wore on.
The disappointing Akos Buzsaky stung Hahnemann's palms with a ferocious drive and Parejo should have done better when he was picked out by sub Dexter Blackstock.
Reading went close through Andre Bikey's header but could not find a way through, losing valuable ground to Wolves and Birmingham in the promotion race.
It was a result that made a strong case for Ainsworth to be given the reins long-term and take QPR forward - but if Briatore doesn't fancy that, he could always give himself a go.
Imposing centre back was a rock at the back as QPR scrapped for every ball

Referee: C Foy 7 Mirror

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