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Saturday, January 03, 2009

Clubs Want Blackstock...Cardiff's Routledge Loss...Camp Back...Decline of Steffan Moore....Andy McCulloch...Flashback: Agyemang, Vine & Hall Sign

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Daily Mirror - Bolton, Fulham and West Brom chase QPR striker Dexter Blackstock
-Bolton and West Brom have joined the race for QPR striker Dexter Blackstock.
The 22-year-old has hit 11 goals for Rangers this term but would jump at a move to the top flight and has attracted a £4million bid.
Fulham have watched Blackstock but now must compete for his signature.
Rangers want to tie the hitman to a new deal, but he is con sidering his options. Mirror

- Confirmation from Nottingham Forest (not from QPR) of Lee Camp's Nottingham Forest departure. (QPR fans know it; just haven't seen it on the QPR site; ditto re Zesh Rehman): "Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Paul Smith will return to the first team spotlight tomorrow for the first time in more than two months....He gets his chance to return following the end of Lee Camp's loan spell ..." Nottingham Forest

Daily Mail/Neil Moxley on Steffan Moore
He's already beaten Rooney but now Harrier's striker wants Moore
- Stefan Moore once upstaged Wayne Rooney in a cup final, and he has the shirt to prove it.
- Six years ago, the Kidderminster Harriers' striker was the talk of junior football after his two goals in the FA Youth Cup Final helped Aston Villa to victory over Everton.
- But at the final whistle, Villa's skipper recognised he had been on the pitch with a potential superstar, though the souvenir from his day out is now gathering dust. He said: 'We won the game comfortably but Rooney was the outstanding player on the pitch. 'Everyone knew he was going to be special. I had actually played against him before for Villa's Under 17s.
- 'I think he was 13 at the time but physically he was ready. He had a man's body but a boy's face. 'He wasn't a normal 16-year-old when he broke into Everton's first team, was he?
-'The final itself was played over two legs and by the end of it we all knew that he was going to be a great. We won 4-1 at Everton and I got a couple but I decided to get his shirt after the second leg. 'I've still got it. It's in a bin bag somewhere at home.'
- Rooney's rise has been as dramatic as Moore's fall. The latter first made a breakthrough in September 2002, scoring for Villa in the Premier League against Charlton Athletic.
- Three years later, however, he was released by Villa, going on to experience loan spells at a few clubs until he joined QPR three years ago.
- After an injury-plagued spell at Loftus Road he was released. While Rooney was enjoying his glitzy £4million wedding last summer, Moore was sat by the phone wondering whether it would ring. It didn't.
-He turned up at Kidderminster more out of hope than expectation. Today's third-round tie at Coventry is a welcome throwback to happier times for himself and the club, who reached the last 16 as a non-league side in 1994. They went up to the Football League in 2000 but were back down five seasons later.
Moore's admission that 'I've not done what I should have done at times' is as close as any professional footballer will come to admitting he has squandered a glorious opportunity.
- 'There's a few lads waiting by the phone these days,' he said. 'I was mates with Richard Langley at QPR. He was transferred to Cardiff for £500,000 but he was in the same situation as me for some time.
- 'There are a lot of players out there without deals. It's the way football is going at the minute, as there's a lot of foreigners here. There's a lot of people playing in the Championship now who would have been playing in the Premier League 10 years ago.
- 'And certain things had happened to me that made me wonder whether I really wanted to be involved in football any more. There's politics in it for a start. It's all down to whether someone likes you or not. Having said that, I think that happens in all walks of life, not just football.'
- Moore is speaking to an assembled crowd just minutes after he is asked to pose with the FA Cup on Kidderminster's pitch at Aggborough.
He is wearing a T-shirt that bears the slogan: 'I wish I was as good as my brother Luke'.
- Stefan may get a chance today to prove that he still can be as he tries to convince watching managers and scouts that he is worth another chance in the Football League.
- With the world of football following the busiest - and possibly most interesting - schedule of the entire year today, reputations are there to be made, especially among lower league players.
- 'My goal against Charlton was six years ago,' he said, 'I'm 25 years old. If you have one good year as a centre-forward you don't know what's going to happen, do you?' And somewhere, in an old bin liner at Moore's home, is proof positive of just what a few good years can bring.
- Brotherly backing Only four years ago, Stefan Moore and his brother Luke were the great hopes of Aston Villa and primed for glittering careers at Premier League level.
- Their fortunes have diverged since, with Stefan dropping out of League football altogether and Luke failing to nail down a regular place at Villa but now given another chance in the top flight with West Bromwich Albion.
- Luke was always rated as a slightly better prospect, but his application was questioned by Martin O'Neill, who allowed him to move on to The Hawthorns last year for £3.5million.
- Even there, he struggled to make an impact, but did score a fine goal two weeks ago to set West Bromwich on the road to a vital 2-1 win at home to Manchester City.
Stefan maintains that his younger brother, still only 22 and in action against Peterborough this afternoon, has not yet had a real chance to shine.
- 'It's not been going great for him, has it, so far this season?' he said. 'If he gets a run of games, he will score goals. He's only started three Premier League games this season but hopefully can kick on.
- 'People have questioned him, but he needs them to give him time and to get a run of games.' Mail

Western Mail/Simon Kendal-Williams - Wayne Routledge rejects Cardiff City to sign for QPR
- WAYNE Routledge has left Cardiff City and has signed for Queen's Park Rangers after turning down a permanent deal at Ninian Park.
- The winger's loan spell was due to expire on January 17, but he was recalled by Premier League side Aston Villa - to subsequently agree terms with QPR.
Chairman Peter Ridsdale said: "Having made a substantial offer to Aston Villa for his services and offering a three-and-a-half-year contract that was declined by Wayne, we are left to thank him for his six weeks at the club and focus on the FA Cup match against Reading on Saturday."
- Routledge proved an instant hit at City, scoring two goals in nine appearances and was a key figure in the side's current eight-match unbeaten run.
- His place is likely to be filled by fit-again wideman Peter Whittingham against the Royals. Western Mail

Western/Mail - Simon Kendal-Williams
Routledge departure raises questions for Bluebirds in unhappy start to new year
- HAPPY new year? Hardly.
- With the departure of Wayne Routledge, Cardiff City’s immediate plans have instantly been blown out of the January transfer window.
- At literally the same time as manager Dave Jones was telling a press conference that he did not want to lose any of his squad, the on-loan Aston Villa winger was already heading back to the Midlands.
-And to rub salt into the wound, Routledge has signed for City’s Championship rivals Queen’s Park Rangers – despite the Bluebirds tabling a formal bid for the 23-year-old,
Fair play to Cardiff, it appears they did everything they could to keep Routledge at Ninian Park.
Chairman Peter Ridsdale simply said: “Having made a substantial offer to Aston Villa for his services and offering a three-and-a-half-year contract that was declined by Wayne, we are left to thank him for his six weeks at the club.”
Nothing changes as far as today’s FA Cup third round tie at home to Reading is concerned – Villa had already refused Routledge permission to play for fear of him being cup-tied at a later date. But the implications for the rest of Cardiff’s promotion-chasing campaign are huge.
When Routledge arrived from Villa Park, it was very much in the shadow of Michael Chopra’s on-loan return from Sunderland.
But few would argue it was the wideman who had the greater impact on City’s season
The first of his nine games came in the 2-1 defeat at Plymouth Argyle, the last occasion City tasted defeat.
- But as the Bluebirds embarked on an eight-game unbeaten run, Routledge’s pace, trickery and eye for goal was key. His presence brought a much-needed injection of pace to City’s attacking play and few full-backs could cope.
- Paul Parry seemed to thrive on Routledge’s arrival and, along with fit-again Peter Whittingham, Jones will be looking to the Welshman to step up to the plate. But neither are likely to make the same consistent impact as the Villa man, so if City are to maintain their promotion challenge, Ridsdale and Jones must once more delve into the transfer market.
- Chopra weighed in with five goals in his 11-game spell, three of which came from the penalty spot. He has duly returned to Wearside, but Jones has not given up on luring the 25-year-old back to Cardiff this month.

....The loss of Routledge makes it even more crucial for City to keep hold of Joe Ledley.
Clubs in the notional second and third tier of the Premier League – the likes of Everton, Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United and Stoke City – are all rumoured to be preparing a swoop for the 21-year-old midfielder. .... Walesonline

Ex-QPR Andy McCulloch Turns 59. Born January 3, 1950.
Signed by Les Allen from non-league Walton and Hersham in October 1970. Made his QPR debut that same month - in the (recorded) televized game at home to Birmingham, which QPR won 5-2. McCulloch got the fifth goal. Rodney Marsh got a hattrick.
Team that day: Parkes - Clement Hazell Watson Gillard - Ferguson Hunt Venables Morgan
Marsh McCulloch
- Altogether played 42 games for QPR, scoring 10 goals. Was sold to Cardiff in October 1972 for 45,000 pounds (which was pretty good fee considering we'd just bough Stan Bowles the previous month for 110,000 pounds (and Don Givens in the summer for 35,000 pounds) Became a fairly prolific goalscorer with Cardiff, Oxford and Sheffield Wednesday and Brentford.
- See Wikipedia/McCulloch for career details


One Year Ago, Patrick Agyemang signed with Fitz Hall and Vine incoming -
- others expected. New Signings Departing: Tommy Doherty to Wycombe.

- Queens Park Rangers Football Club are pleased to confirm the signing of Ghanaian international striker Patrick Agyemang.
The 27 year-old striker has penned a four-and-a-half year contract at Loftus Road, after the Club agreed an undisclosed fee with Preston North End for his signature.
Agyemang - who will wear squad number 17 - trained with his new team-mates for the first time this morning....

Ghanaian striker Patrick Agyemang has completed a £350,000 move to Queens Park Rangers after agreeing personal terms with the Loftus Road club.
Agyemang has signed a four-and-a-half-year deal with the Hoops after the North End board accepted a bid from the London club.
The Walthamstow born hitman was out of contract at Deepdale in the summer and had expressed a desire to move back to his London roots, the Lilywhites have managed to recoup the £350,000 they paid for Agyemang when he signed from Gillingham in November 2004. The fee could rise a further £100,000 dependent on various add-ons.
Agyemang made 135 appearances for PNE, the majority of those as a substitute, scoring a total of 21 goals. Preston - QPR Report/Agyemang

Two Years Ago: John Gregory made his first signing of the transfer Period:

QPR have completed the free transfer signing of MyPa utility-man Sampsa Timoska.
The 27 year-old Finland international has put pen to paper on an 18 month contract with the Club...." Timoska Signs

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