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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

A Critical Look at QPR's Season and Prospects...Summer Prospects...Richard Langley on What's Needed at QPR

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- 40+ Days till 2009/2010 Fixtures Announced ---- QPR Stats for 2008/2009, 2007/2008 and 2006/2007 ---- Flashback: QPR's Board of Directors Assess Season and Look Forward- ---- Bahrain Football Developments in lieu of QPR Game ---- Review/Synopsis of Past Year: Part I ---- Nottingham Forest Trying

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times -Cunning plan? There isn't one
- UNLESS you're in the Premier League or the play-offs, now is the time to cast an analytical eye back over the last nine months.
- So where to start with QPR? The three managers or the 14 signings? The solid defence or the dearth of goals? The unexpected cup run or the predictable cup failure?
-I'm going to start with General Melchett.
- For the benefit of under-25s or non-fans of historical comedy, Melchett was a character in the last - and arguably best - series of popular 1980s TV classic Blackadder.
- Set in the trenches of the First World War, the series revolved around Blackadder's attempts to avoid being dispatched to inevitable doom on the battlefield by his inept, barking mad commanding officer, Melchett.
-In one episode, Blackadder is presumed dead after crashing his plane behind German lines and Melchett tries to demonstrate that the sacrifice had not been futile.
- His underling Captain Darling, asked how much land had been retaken from the Germans, self-importantly measures what turns out to be a lifesize map and proudly announced: "Seventeen square feet, Sir."
- "Excellent," Melchett responds. "So you see, young Blackadder didn't die horribly in vain after all."
- You'd have to be fairly dim-witted and/or insensitive to follow that kind of reasoning. Which brings me back from that flight of fantasy to events at QPR.
- Three points. Three measly points. That's the extent of the much-vaunted 'progress' the board would have you believe has been achieved this season.
- Has it been worth the ceaseless interference, the changes of coach every few months, sizeable sums of money squandered on players who didn't improve what was already there, for three more points than last year?
- At that rate of progress - judging by this season's final Championship table - it'll be another five years before Rangers can hope to sneak into a play-off place.
- It might seem harsh to dismiss the club's prospects on the basis of one disappointing season - which, with generally uninspiring football and a plethora of 0-0 draws, it has clearly been.
- But, while there can be no doubt that the initial wave of investment DID bring about a noticeable improvement as Rangers moved from relegation candidates to mid-table, there has been next to no progress since.
- Akos Buzsaky, Rowan Vine, Matthew Connolly - these were all signings who raised the standard. Since last year, it's hard to make a case for any new arrival bar Kaspars Gorkss doing the same.
- That wouldn't matter if there were any indications that the owners have learned from their mistakes. But, as they are attempting to replace Dexter Blackstock with Dele Adebola, a journeyman 10 years his senior, you suspect not.
- Football logic plays no part in virtually all decisions now taken at Loftus Road. The next coach will be appointed more because the board want to shift season tickets than because of his credentials to build a promotion-winning side.
- The close season is often viewed as a crossroads. But in the case of QPR, it's more a crossroads for the supporters rather than the club itself.
- To quote Melchett once more: "That's the spirit, George. If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through. Kilburn Times

Dave McIntyre and Ben Kosky - Prat's your lot
- QPR have had an approach for Swansea midfielder Darren Pratley turned down flat by their Championship rivals.
- Rangers have been told to forget about signing the 24-year-old and have all but abandoned their interest in him without tabling a formal offer.
- Pratley had been earmarked as a possible summer signing some time ago but Swansea have made it clear he is not for sale - at least not for the kind of price the Rs were looking to pay.
- The former Fulham man, who also had two loan spells down the road at Brentford, played an important role as Swansea enjoyed an impressive first season in the Championship.
- Despite closing their campaign with a 1-0 home defeat to Blackpool, the Swans still finished in eighth place - three positions and seven points ahead of QPR.

- Rangers are assessing their midfield options for next season, with skipper Martin Rowlands and Akos Buzsaky still not certain to be fit in time for the start of pre-season training on July 1. - They have not yet made a final decision on whether to offer a new contract to Spanish midfielder Jordi Lopez, who impressed during his three months at Loftus Road and netted a stunning goal in the 2-1 win over Bristol City.
- But Republic of Ireland international Liam Miller, who was also on a short-term deal until the end of the season, will not be kept on.
- Miller, 28, made 13 appearances for Rangers, but was substituted in the vast majority of them and was left out of the squad entirely for Sunday's last match of the season at Preston.
- Meanwhile, the club are no further down the line in their attempts to sign Bristol City striker Dele Adebola, who is still holding out for a two-year contract.
- The experienced frontman, whose current contract at Ashton Gate is about to expire, has been offered a one-year deal by City, while Rangers will only agree to the option of a second season conditional on how many appearances the player makes in the first year. Kilburn Times

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times -Connolly: new boss will lead a happy camp
- MATTHEW Connolly insists team morale will remain high at QPR whoever gets the nod to succeed Paulo Sousa as coach.
- Rangers are expected to appoint a new boss within the next two weeks and Connolly told the Times: "Whoever they appoint will inherit a very good group of players, young and old - we've got a great team spirit.
"If Gaz [Ainsworth] gets the job, all the players will be very happy. If he doesn't, we'll make whoever comes in very welcome and get on with the job next season."
- The Rs displayed astonishing character on Sunday at Preston in what was a meaningless game for them, with Connolly almost sending Deepdale into despair as his last-minute header was cleared off the line.
- "It would have been nice to score, but it was obvious there was going to be a pitch invasion, so maybe it's better that it didn't go in," added the defender.
- "All the players want to do a job for themselves, first and foremost, but I think it was only fair on the other teams who needed to get in the play-offs.
- "If we were in the same situation, we'd want other teams to give everything. My aim's to do my best for the team and Gaz and that won't change. Kilburn Times

Richard Langley/Kilburn Times Looks Forward and Back
- WITH the end of another exciting season, it's a time for reflection for a lot of clubs throughout the Football League.
- Mistakes that could have been avoided... chances that could have been taken... in other cases the need to rebuild is essential.
- Congratulations to Wolves and Birmingham, who made it to the Premier League, and good luck to those who made it into the play-offs.
- As always I will be keeping an eye on QPR and the action taking place over the summer. Our final position in the league is hard to stomach, considering the amount of money we have invested and the resources available to the team.
- I am looking forward to careful planning of the next manager. We all want Premier League football and to get there I believe the squad needs strengthening.
- Someone making the decisions needs to know the league well. Players were brought in this year who didn't have the desired effect on the pitch.
Looking at Wolves and Birmingham, they have had a settled side for the last two seasons. Additions have been made but the managers have had total control - this is something that the current regime at QPR can learn from.
- Once the manager has been chosen, I believe - as I have mentioned in the past weeks - that faith and time are needed to give us the best chance of success. With the amount of managers we have seen in and out of QPR, it is no surprise where we finished in the table.
- Although we are looking up towards the Premier League, we need to consider that so-called bigger teams with recent top-flight experience have felt the repercussions of mismanagement. Charlton, Norwich and Southampton have now dropped to the third tier of English football and we all know as much as anyone how hard it is to get out of this league.
- Unless consistency is brought to our club, promotion or Championship survival is not guaranteed.
-I hope the current players enjoy the break and come back fit and ready for another tough season - with the ultimate goal in mind. Kilburn Times

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