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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

QPR Goalkeeping Options Still Open...Looking at Players...Gorman on Goalscoring and Patience....Advocating Youth Develoment

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- Argentinean Football Halted by Debt

- Punishment for Red Cards Could Change

- Championship Leading Goalscorer Odds: Helguson 25-1

- Football League Championship Preview

- The Championship Players to Watch

- QPR's Official Supporters Club (OSC)

- Football Fan Census: If Happy With QPR's Summer Transfers?

- WBA Bid for Jermaine Beckford

- The Dropping of David Pleat

- Crystal Palace Transfer Ban

- Amazing Gesture by Northampton Players

- A Year Ago: ABC Loan Paid Off

- Non-QPR: Give The Team talk Competition

Dave McIntyre/Kilburn Times - Keeping his options open
- QPR are still in talks with goalkeeper Andy Marshall in an attempt to secure his signing before the weekend.
- Marshall was offered a one-year contract following a recent trial but, for the moment, an agreement has still not been reached with the 34-year-old.
- At least one Premier League club are believed to have expressed an interest in signing Marshall as a third-choice keeper.
- Rangers were still expected to capture Marshall, but alternative signings were being discussed in case he went elsewhere.
- He is a free agent after leaving Coventry at the end of last season and has plenty of Championship experience, having played for the Sky Blues, Millwall, Ipswich and Norwich.
- Marshall, who played alongside new Rangers boss Jim Magilton at Portman Road, is seen as a good choice to compete with Radek Cerny.
- Rangers' need for another keeper was underlined last week, when Cerny was ordered to rest at home after going down with swine flu.
- Marshall had already been pencilled in to play against Southampton on Saturday, when Rangers strolled to a 3-0 win in a pre-season friendly.
- Matt Connolly sat out that game, but is likely to play at left-back in this weekend's opening match against Blackpool if he is passed fit following a calf problem.
- Akos Buzsaky also missed the Southampton match with a thigh strain but returned to full training on Monday and featured in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Chelsea on Tuesday, which the Blues won 4-0.
- The game gave the Rs management team a chance to look at Chelsea youngster Patrick van Aanholt, who is one of a number of players Rangers have considered in recent weeks as they look to add a left-back to their squad.

- Van Aanholt, a Dutch Under-18 international who was previously with PSV Eindhoven, turns 19 later this month and could be available for a loan move.
- Rangers are assessing their options after deciding not to offer former Liverpool and Portsmouth left-back Gregory Vignal a contract.
- Midfielder Mikele Leigertwood and summer signing Alejandro Faurlin are expected to sit out the Blackpool game, but could be available for Rangers' Carling Cup tie at Exeter City next Tuesday - Kilburn Times

KILBURN TIMES/Ben Kosky - It's not all forward thinking
- IT'S stating the obvious to cite goals as QPR's Achilles heel last season - but assistant manager John Gorman sees no cause for panic.
- Along with Doncaster Rovers, the men from Loftus Road found the net fewer times (42) than anyone else in the Championship last term - and have just old the only player to reach double figures.
- Little-known Alessandro Pellicori is the only orthodox striker to arrive at Rangers since Dexter Blackstock's departure, yet Gorman feels the club can be confident of a much better scoring return this year.
-"We feel we've already accomplished a team that's strong defensively and everyone keeps telling us we need more goals, but there are goals in this team from all over the place," Gorman told the Times.
- "Everyone's got to stop thinking it's only meant to be the forward players who score. We're expecting goals from midfield, from the wide players and we're hoping defenders will pop up from set plays as well.
"That's happened already in pre-season. Angelo Balanta's hit a few and Gavin Mahon's come up with a couple. I think that's what makes a good team, if they share goals around.
"I wish people would stop asking if we're going to buy players. Fans all over the country are almost forcing managers to go out and buy players, but what does it do?
- "No disrespect to Man City, it takes time for players to settle in together. We will bring people in when we think it's right, but look at the ones we've got back from injury - having them is like brand new players coming to the club."
With the likes of Rowan Vine and Martin Rowlands ready to begin the new campaign, there is a fair degree of optimism that Rangers, under new manager Jim Magilton, can make a concerted push towards the top six.
And Magilton's number two, whose lengthy coaching career has included previous experience at this level with five different clubs - most recently Ipswich - is well placed to assess the Rs' prospects.
"We've got a very good opportunity," insisted Gorman. "We've kept a number of players from last year and, while we've lost two or three, that's inevitable and it was ongoing anyway.
"Without a doubt, we want promotion, but at this stage every club has got those expectations. Even teams who just stayed up will be thinking 'this is our year'.
"We're hopeful of being one of the clubs that are up there. Even though things look dodgy at Newcastle at the moment, they're still a big club with good support and that'll help them along.
"Middlesbrough and West Brom have kept most of their players, Ipswich have a new manager and high expectations, Sheffield United nearly made it and they're always a strong team to play against.
"But I think there could be another team out of the pack that nobody would predict. Leicester, for instance, have been on a high - they might start well and be one of those teams that keep going.
"Sometimes you can start the season not so well, build gradually and finish on a real high and get promoted. But if you do start well, you have to maintain that the whole season. Kilburn Times

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - Time to restart Rangers' production line
- REMEMBER the days when the youth set-up at QPR churned out first-team players at a regular rate? So do Steve Gallen and Marc Bircham.
- No one could accuse Gallen - the newly-appointed youth development manager - or Bircham, a former Rangers captain and now back at the club as Gallen's assistant, of lacking hooped credentials.
- The pair are determined to recharge the conveyor belt that once spawned Gerry Francis, Clive Allen and Steve's brother Kevin - but, since Richard Langley broke through 11 years ago, has drawn a shocking blank.
Gallen, who follows in the footsteps of his other brother, Joe, by taking charge of the Rs' Centre of Excellence, is confident of turning that slide around in time.
- However, any chance of regaining the Academy status QPR surrendered as they hurtled towards administration at the beginning of the decade may rest, he believes, on the fortunes of the first team.
- "In the last three seasons our under-18s have finished first or second in the league and reached a cup final last year, so what we're producing on the pitch is not bad," Gallen reflected.
"We might think 'we've cracked it', but we haven't - we're not playing Arsenal, Tottenham or Chelsea. We've only won one FA Youth Cup game in about the last 10 years and that's disgraceful.
"No-one has told me this officially - it's my opinion that we will be an Academy when we get promoted, because it's going to cost a lot of money.
"If you're an Academy, you get no funding and I believe the cost would be between £800,000 and £1m a year to fulfil the criteria. At the moment, getting promoted is the main focus of the people upstairs and I understand that.
"But when we both get our feet under the table, I will go in and say 'this is what I feel we need to do as a club'. If we're up amongst it this season, I think the manager would be in a better position to start pushing for that.
"He and John Gorman have been very complimentary about the young players - not only the way they play, but their behaviour and discipline as well, which is important to me."
Gallen estimates that the annual cost of running the Centre of Excellence comes to around £600,000, with approximately half of that funded by the Football League.
But, although upgrading to Academy
status might have to go on the back burner, Gallen is adamant that the number of scouts and development centres at his disposal must increase now.
"Last year we had no development centres, now we've got two going [at Linford Christie Stadium/Westway Sports Centre and Brunel University] - and I hope we'll have four by the end of the season," he said.
"But Tottenham have eight to 10, so we're miles behind and we want to start clawing it back. Can you believe that Charlton have a development centre in Kilburn? I don't like that one bit."
Gallen, who grew up in Acton, captained QPR's youth team, but was released after a series of injuries and joined Doncaster before a spell in the Far East and then non-league football.
After completing his coaching badges, he began working with QPR's under-10 side - which included goalkeeper Jake Cole - and has since coached at every level up to the under-16s.
But he stressed: "When I was the under-10 coach I didn't have a say in what was going on higher up. This is the first time I've been in a position to have any influence.
"I'm really pleased to have Birchy - his excitement has gone into overdrive - and I want him to embrace the schoolboy section, as well as managing the under-16 team.
"It's so important to get the foundations right for the seven, eight and nine-year-olds, which sounds unbelievably young - but if we don't, Chelsea will, Watford will and Fulham will."
There are other positive side-effects of recruiting Bircham, the lifelong Rangers fan who wore his colours with pride before, during and after his five years as a player at Loftus Road.
The fiery midfielder spent only two seasons away from the club, during which he played for Yeovil, quit due to a persistent ankle injury and began studying for the coaching licence he is due to complete early next year.
"Having Birchy is helping to sell the club to youngsters because he's just stopped playing," Gallen added.
"The other day some of them started singing the song about when he used to have blue hair. I was surprised they knew it, but no-one remembers me as a player, so it's really helpful - and Birchy loves it, of course! Kilburn Times

Paul Warburton/London Informer - Warbo's word: Rowly has a key to the Premiership
- A QPR insider told me the club had blown it last year when they didn't at least make the play-offs.
- Talk of a 'soft' 2008-09 Championship was pretty much well-founded, with only Wolves making a late surge from the rest, and a so-so Burnley side still unable to believe they'll be playing Chelsea and Manchester United this season.
- This campaign is going to be tougher.
- Reading have probably learned their lesson, and the likes of Middlesbrough and West Brom are ready to play a major part in going straight back up.
- However, it should be interesting to see whether the train crash that is Newcastle sort themselves out through sheer fan power, or whether the likes of Scunthorpe are looking forward to a few major scalps.
- That's why I can't help but feel Martin Rowlands will play a major part for Rangers this campaign.
- Absent through injury for most of the last one, the captain has dominated the pre-season games like no other player, through a mixture of classy passing and presence.
- Rowly galvanises the team in a way only Gareth Ainsworth could do
- not that it's likely the veteran winger is going to see much game time.
With Rowlands, you know you're going to get a steely performance rain, wind or shine - not something that could be said of the foreign legion that fetched up in all manner of guises last season.
- It may well be that £3.5million record signing Alejandro Faurlin lives up to his 'El Majo' (Magic One) nickname, and Alessandro Pellicori becomes a surprise hit around W12.
- But for me, if Rowly stays fit - QPR can get back to the Premiership 14 years after they left it. ..SUPL: London Informer

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-Helguson 25-1; Vine 33-1; Agyemang 40-1; Taarbat 80-1 (Blackstock 33-1)Betfair365

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