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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sousa on Managerial Pressures...QPR Youth Game II Today...Ex-QPR Striker Turns 64...Might-Have-Been QPR Manager Axed...Ex-Player (Briefly) Retires

- For a combination of cutting-edge QPR and general-interest football articles - (Today: Premier League Agreeing to Home Grown Quota......Corporate Chelsea Sack Scolari.....Newcastle's Former Owners Made almost £150 million from Newcastle....Birmingham Karren Brady re-arrested and Birmingham's Chairman Responds.....QPR Nostalgia): Visit the rather-different QPR Report Messageboard and judge for yourself!

Sousa Talking
[b]Daily Mail - 923 managers have lost their jobs since Fergie took over at
Old Trafford. Who'd be a boss with pressure like that? By Ian Ladyman[/b]
- ".....One of English football’s newest managers is Portugal’s Paulo Sousa, who won the Champions League twice as a player with Juventus and Borussia Dortmund but has now decided to test himself as a coach at QPR.
Having replaced Iain Dowie — sacked early in the season — Sousa said last night: ‘There are great demands now but how you react to the pressure is down to the individual. You have to be in control but you have to be realistic, both the club and yourself. ‘When that becomes blurred is when problems occur and tensions increase.’[/b] Daily Mail

- [See Also Yesterday: Sousa Talking re Football Managers and Wanting to Coach in Italy

- Daily Mail - Football League managerial departures during Ferguson’s reign at Manchester United (Nov 1986).....
Queens Park Rangers: 12
Jim Smith (1985-88), Trevor Francis (1988-90), Don Howe (1990-91), Gerry Francis (1991-94), Ray Wilkins (1994-96), Stewart Houston (1996-97), Ray Harford (1997-98), Gerry Francis (1998-2001), Ian Holloway (2001-2006), Gary Waddock (2006), John Gregory (2006-07), Luigi Di Canio (2007-08) Mail

QPR Youth play A.P.I.A. Leichhardt Tigers today (February 11 - 3pm kickoff) -
- See more re the Viareggio Tournament

Former QPR Forward, John O'Rourke Turns Sixty-Four
- Born February 11, 1945...Ex- Luton, Middlesbrough, Ipswich, Coventry, etc....
Signed by Gordon Jago in 1970 for a then record fee of 65,000 pounds as a prolific goalscorer (a few weeks after we also signed Terry Mancini to help our defense) to help us win promotion (after a competition with Millwall to sign him)
- Unfortunately he didn't score that many. The following season, he scored a few, but we then signed Stan Bowles; O'Rourke was injured and then kept out by a forward line of Bowles, Givens and Thomas. And we sold him to Bournemouth for about 40,000.
- QPR initially almost signed him from Middlesbrough in 1967/68 to bolster our push to the First Division. QPR couldn't agree terms, so O'Rourke joined Ipswich. And instead we signed Frank Clarke from Shrewsbury... (And a couple of years later, O'Rourke went to Coventry and Clarke had joined Ipswich from QPR!)

= Also: From Middlesbrough Heroes - JOHN O'ROURKE 1966-68
= See also: Wikipedia Profile John O'Rourke

News about the manager QPR who were linked to after the club's promotion back to the Championship four years ago: Ramon Diaz

RAMON DIAZ AXED -Reuters - Big-spending Mexicans America fire coach Diaz
- Mexican club America, who spent around $20 million on reinforcements in the mid-season break, fired coach Ramon Diaz on Tuesday after a poor start to the Clausura championship.
The Argentine was dismissed after his side won only one of their first four games in the tournament, which is played in the second half of the Mexican season.
"Unfortunately, the results have not been forthcoming and the decision has been made to change the technical staff," said the club in a statement.
Club president Michael Bauer told reporters: "The important thing for America is the results."
America dominated Mexican football during the 1980s when only one championship was played per season but, despite considerable financial backing, have lost their grip in the last few years, winning only two titles since 1990.
America's signings for the Clausura included Chile striker Jean Beausejour, Colombian Andres Chitiva, defender Juan Carlos Valenzuela and midfielder Pavel Pardo, Mexico's most capped international.
Diaz, 49, a former Argentina international, took over last June.
He has won six Argentine titles, five with River Plate and one with San Lorenzo, as well as the South American Libertadores Cup with River.
Two separate championships per season are played in both Argentina and Mexico.
(Reporting by Carlos Calvo; Writing by Brian Homewood in Buenos Aires) Reuters

- Flashback: QPR Official Statement re Ramon Diaz
- QPR line up Argentinian manager

Australia FourFourTwo - Injured Johnson Calls It Quits
- WELLINGTON Phoenix midfielder Richard Johnson will retire from all football at the end of his contract with the New Zealand-based A-League club in June.
A member of Phoenix since their Hyundai A-League debut in 2007, Johnson's decision to give up all football has been forced by an ongoing knee problem which requires surgery.
- It is a cruel blow for the 34-year-old, who calls time on an 18-year professional career that saw him play at the highest level with Watford in the English Premier League and for Australia on three occasions.
"I had trouble with my knee all through the season and basically I've been told I have to stop playing if I want to have any sort of life after football," Johnson said.
"It's a bit gutting for me, really. I would have liked to have continued playing. Football is all I've ever known and all I've ever wanted to do and I've spent nearly 18 years as a pro.
"But the decision's been made for me, I guess, and now I'm looking forward to the next phase in my life."
A huge part of that next phase will be the arrival of his first child - a son - in May.
"I'm sure he'll keep me busy but I will be sad to say goodbye to football," he added.
Johnson pursued his dream of becoming a professional footballer by heading to England at the tender age of 16.
"My old man said to me at the time that if I really wanted to be a professional then I should go to the United Kingdom," he said today.
"I think that if I sat down and thought about it I probably wouldn't have gone. All my family was still in Australia and it was tough that first year being away from home.
"When I left Australia it was 31-degrees, when I landed at Heathrow it was in the middle of a blizzard and I thought ‘What have I done?'
"But luckily enough it worked out well for me and I've had a great career. Playing in the Premier League with Watford was a huge thrill and I was fortunate to play around 300 games for them during the 12 years I was there.
"I might have played a lot more if not for a few bad injuries that kept me out for a couple of seasons but I had a great time there.
"All I wanted to be was a professional footballer and to actually get over there and achieve that first-off was the biggest thing for me. Then, as my career went on, I played games at Wembley in front of huge crowds, played at Anfield, ran on at Old Trafford and even scored there too.
"There are just so many good memories - it blows me away."
Johnson's troubles with injury eventually saw him released by Watford and he began something of a nomadic existence that saw him turn out for clubs including Stoke, Queens Park Rangers and Milton Keynes.
The he got a call about a new professional football competition starting in Australia. Before long he was on a plane bound for Australia to join the Newcastle Jets in the Hyundai A-League for the 2005/06 season.
He added: "I was one of the last to sign for the Jets in that first year. Money-wise it wasn't the best move for me but I'd had enough of England by that time and I wanted to come home."
Johnson played two seasons for the Jets before hooking up with the New Zealand Knights in 2006/07. The Knights were a disaster but Johnson made a valuable connection with caretaker coach Ricki Herbert, who helmed the ill-fated Auckland club for its final five games as the franchise imploded.
"The Knights weren't run properly and it wasn't viable. It was shame it went pear-shaped but fortunately I had established a good relationship with Ricki when he came in at the tail end of the 2006/07 season. When the Phoenix were getting under way Ricki said to me that if he got the job coaching the Phoenix he'd bring me with him."
Things were looking rosy for Johnson until a drink-driving conviction threatened to derail his career and his life.
"Thankfully Ricki and (Phoenix owner) Terry Serepisos stuck by me. It would have been lot easier for them to have left me alone because they didn't need bad publicity like that when they were trying to get the club going.
"So I'll be eternally grateful to them for sticking by me."
Johnson played 21 games for the Phoenix in two seasons, his determination and experience key to the success of the club.
"I've had a ball. That first year especially was amazing - the city was absolutely buzzing, the crowds were incredible. It's a great city to live in and my wife and I will stay here for a while. The baby's due in May, he'll be born in New Zealand, have an Aussie passport and a British one - so he'll have plenty of options!"
In terms of options for himself, Johnson's leaving those open too.
"I suppose I have to start thinking about things now. Not playing football is going to leave a huge hole in my life but I'll take some time out to enjoy the birth of my son and then take it from there.
"I just want to take a break from football for a while. It's been my life for so long and I just want to step away for a bit. As a professional sportsman you tend to have everything done for you and you tend to lose touch a bit with the outside world, so I need to have a bit of a reality-check."
A popular figure with Phoenix fans, Johnson hopes he repaid them with his contribution to the club.
"I would have liked to have been a bit more of an influence on the pitch but I think I did okay when I played. The fans have been great to me, so has the city and so have the guys I played with.
"There's something really special going on here with the Phoenix and I'm so lucky to have been part of it."
Herbert said Johnson would be sorely missed.
"He's a great guy and a wonderful footballer. His contribution to the club on so many levels has been outstanding and we were fortunate and privileged to have Richard with us for two seasons.
"As a person he's grown along with the club and he should rightly feel very proud of everything he's achieved here."
Phoenix chief executive Tony Pignata also paid tribute.
"His leadership and experience has been critical to the club," he said. "He's been a consummate professional and has worked hard on and off the pitch to make the club a success.
"Much of what we have achieved these two seasons can be attributed to Richard and we trust he'll be successful in any career he decides to pursue in the future."
. AustraliaFourFourTwo

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