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Saturday, December 12, 2009

QPR Report Saturday: Paul Hart's Career...Tabloid: "The laughable circus that QPR has become..." Sousa and Holloway Perspectives

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- For Earlier Posts on Magilton and QPR, scroll down or click on QPR Report

- Paul Hart as The Next QPR Manager? His Managerial History, Background & Interviews

- Next: WBA vs QPR (Monday on Sky) - QPR's last two encounters (saw the final games of two QPR managers)

- What Happens in The Dressing Room - Stays in The Dressing Room

- "Prize-winning" Football Websites and Blogs

- Updated Actim Championship Player Rankings:Routledge #14 Simpson #33 Cerny #56- Actim Rankings
- Out-on-Loans: Ainsworth Injured. Helguson Fit
- Cleared, Martin Allen Departs Cheltenham
- Two Year Flashback: Buzsaky says "Buy" while Curtiss says "Bye"
- Four Year Flashback: Comments of Giani Palladini, Marc Devlin and Bill Power re financial matters

- Impact of Debts on even The Big Clubs
- How to Prevent Clubs Going Financial Way of Leeds
- Cardiff Finances

Mirror/James Nursey - QPR players asked to testify against boss Jim Magilton - Exclusive
- QPR players have been asked to testify against Jim Magilton as the club want evidence before sacking their manager.
-Magilton, 40, has been suspended by the Loftus Road club for an alleged head-butt on Akos Buzsaky after Monday’s defeat at Watford.
- Most of Rangers’ players witnessed the pair clashing in the visitors’ dressing room at Vicarage Road.
- And Magilton is set to be sacked after the club’s next game at West Brom in the Championship on Monday, where Steve Gallen and Marc Bircham will be in temporary charge.
- But Magilton has denied head-butting Buzsaky and fears he may not get another managerial job in football.
- Rangers now want testimonies from some players to use as evidence to force Magilton out.
- But that prospect has not gone down well with QPR stars who do not want to get dragged into a legal row.
- Hungarian midfielder Buzsaky has threatened to take legal action against Magilton and his team-mates don’t want to end up in court.
- Gareth Southgate, Darren Ferguson and Paul Hart are the candidates to replace Magilton.
- But ex-Peterborough manager Ferguson is believed to be holding out for a job with Sheffield United or Bolton should the Premier League strugglers sack Gary Megson" Mirror

Ian Holloway's Perspective - Blackpool Gazette/Steve Canavan - Ollie's men will stick together
- IAN Holloway reckons his players realise the value of sticking together – and that's why he has avoided the sort of fall-outs that marred football this week.
- Stoke manager Tony Pulis and QPR's Jim Magilton were involved in dressing-room spats with players which hit the national headlines.
Magilton has even been suspended while the London club completes an investigation.
Holloway, a former QPR player and manager, has sympathy for his counterparts.
The Blackpool boss said: "There is passion in the game and you have to show that at times. But it just gets blown out of all proportion.
"Tony Pulis is a friend of mine and normally his players do exactly what he wants.
"I'd like to have seen what actually happened between Jim Magilton and (Hungarian midfielder) Akos Buzsaky. For me, Akos should have said nothing to anybody else. He should have dealt with his manager in house, not go outside and tell press people, then go and speak to the chairman.
"Mr Briatore, keep your nose out of things. I suggest you're a complete nightmare from a manager and a player's point of view.
"The player should never talk to someone like him. It has nothing to do with him.
"Football business is football business, and if you are not playing and winning you are not going to be happy, but you just have to stop sulking and do what the team needs.
"My boys realise that and we are trying to achieve something together.
- "Now I might fall out with one or two of them, but I don't expect them to run to the press or the chairman. I think that is a coward's way.
- [b]"I'd suggest the two managers in question are proper people who have tried to deal with certain situations, and the players have got to shut up and put up. That's what they are paid to do.[/b]
"They don't make decisions. They are supposed to do what they are told and it's about time that happened, in my opinion."
Pool bid to follow Tuesday's victory at Middlesbrough with another away win at Ipswich today, but Holloway is concerned about all the travelling his squad have done.
He added: "We were eating pizza at 10.30pm on Tuesday. Now that's not a good thing if you are an athlete.
"You need to get the carbs back in and that's why we did it – because what else is there at that sort of time? You can hardly have a salad.
"So we were all chomping on pizza and we didn't get back till 2am." Blackpool Gazette

Mirror - Former QPR boss Paulo Sousa 'not surprised' by latest Loftus Road drama
- Paulo Sousa admits he’s loving life at Swansea - and says it’s no shock to see the rollercoaster ride continue at old club QPR.
- Sousa has seen Jim Magilton - his successor at Loftus Road - face the axe after he was suspended for an alleged dressing room fracas with Akos Buzsaky.
- Sousa, one of seven different managers to lead QPR since they were taken over by Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone, is no stranger to controversy at the mega-rich Londoners.
- The Portuguese is taking the Hoops to court after he was axed just five months into his reign for “divulging highly confidential and sensitive information”.
- And Sousa, now riding high as Swansea chief, said: “This news off the pitch there doesn’t surprise me. I can recognise the problems there for the manager. It’s run by different people to a lot of clubs.
- “People know what can happen at that club. But that episode there is in the past now.
- “I’m very happy and settled here with Swansea and I haven’t looked back.”
- Swansea are fighting a cold war to win promotion - and their secret weapon is iceman Sousa.
- Midfielder Leon Britton has hailed Sousa’s super-cool style and says his dressing-room manner was stopping the soaring Swansea getting carried away.
- Ahead of today’s heavyweight Championship clash with promotion rivals Nottingham Forest, Britton, 27, said: “The manager is great in making sure we keep our feet on the ground. We’ve lost just once in 14 games and are on a great run.
- “Some manager should and jump about when they win matches, but not Paulo. He’s not like that. He always remains calm and helps us stay focussed. There’s no high-fives as we know if we take our eye off the ball he will be onto us.” Mirror

Des Kelly The Mail - - Silence is golden? It depends on who is doing the talking...
- The idea that the dressing room is some hermetically sealed haven where managers can fight, hurl boots and butt employees, while clothed or naked, without fear of being exposed is a complete fallacy.
- Leaving aside the obvious double entendres in that opening sentence, let us deal with the central issue in a week when two behind-the-scenes feuds became very public indeed.
-First, Stoke manager Tony Pulis is said to have butted striker James Beattie after emerging from the shower, accidentally dropping his towel in the ensuing melee.
Apologies for the detail here, but I don’t want to be the only one watching Pulis prowling the touchline against Wigan today plagued by that disturbing mental image. Now you can share in it, too.

Over at Queens Park Rangers, Jim Magilton allegedly had a similar high-speed tete-a-tete with sulking player Akos Buzsaky.
When asked about the clash in the press conference after the match, Magilton said it was something that ‘would be kept in-house’. He was oblivious to the fact that the aggrieved Hungarian was stomping up and down outside the window and could not have been advertising his unhappiness any more clearly if he had been wearing a sandwich board.

Magilton is now facing an internal investigation, which sounds like some rather painful procedure at Customs, and the unedifying prospect of losing his job. The player is discussing ‘legal action’ and being taken seriously. And all of this would be a shock at any club other than the laughable circus that QPR has become under Flavio Briatore and Co.

But the bulk of the complaints have not focused on the incidents themselves or any perceived injustices, but mainly on the fact that we came to hear about these scuffles in the first place.
A succession of managers and ex-players rushed into print to trot out that lazy old cliché ‘what goes on in the dressing room should stay in the dressing room’ as if it was an immutable law.

‘I have been a manager for 18 years and you have certain golden rules,’ said Pulis. ‘One of them I stick to is that whatever happens in the dressing room stays in the dressing room. The important thing is the spirit, commitment and togetherness stays in that dressing room. And you don’t get that by dropping things out.’
Best keep hold of your towel, then.

This concept that some kind of football omerta still exists is a quaint one, but it’s nonsense.
Sportsmen, and footballers in particular, have been trampling over that so-called principle for as long as I can remember and never more so than now, in an age where even the most inane piece of tittle-tattle is broadcast globally.
They say a rumour without a leg to stand on will get around the world some other way. And these days it’s usually via the internet.

Then there’s the ghosted autobiography, the newspaper column, the personal website, Twitter, the call to a friendly media contact, usually to cash in, occasionally to make mischief, or sometimes merely to highlight what they believe to be an injustice.
Managers also break that code of confidence themselves, the two most notable figures in recent years being Glenn Hoddle and David O’Leary

But in the past few days, Bolton manager Gary Megson has complained about a clique of players undermining morale in his own dressing room, while at Manchester City, assistant manager Mark Bowen was happily discussing a bust-up in the ranks after the draw against Hull.

So everyone opens the door when it suits them. Because David Beckham had a smart publicist we know Sir Alex Ferguson hit him in the face with a boot; and because Roy Keane had a book to sell that Brian Clough once dared to punch him in the face; and Grimsby boss Brian Laws once broke a player’s cheekbone with a plate of fried chicken wings because… well, you’d need a heart of stone not to laugh at the idea that he literally ‘battered’ one of his players. I think ‘Fowl Play’ was the headline. If it wasn’t, it should have been.

The so-called ‘sanctity of the dressing room’ has already been eroded in rugby league, where cameras film the half-time exchanges. And the moment is fast approaching when the press, radio and TV will be allowed inside football dressing rooms immediately after a match, just as they are in all major American sports.

ESPN’s Disney cash will eventually see to that, although I suspect Ferguson will have retired by then.
In the meantime, the dressing room will have to get accustomed to the limelight. It’s not going to go away.
Pity fans can't walk awayAccording to a statement issued by Portsmouth there is absolutely no financial crisis at the football club and the whole fuss is down to ‘inaccurate media speculation’.

It reminds me of a scene from the film Naked Gun, where Lt Frank Drebin tells passers by to ‘move along, nothing to see here’ in front of an exploding fireworks factory.
Maintaining the pretense of authority: Drebin
With a debt of £60m, players going unpaid, a player auction set for January to meet a £17m downpayment deadline and a new clown in charge trying to take out loans secured against TV money he hasn’t yet been given, Pompey are clearly a model of astute business management.

If the players go two weeks without wages they can walk out the door as free agents without any commitment whatsoever to Portsmouth. Sadly, the long-suffering fans don’t have that option.
Young Arsenal player Theo Walcott has signed a deal to write a children’s book. Interesting. Most footballers just call it an autobiography.

At the last count, Rafa Benitez appears to have announced: ‘Liverpool’s season starts here’ on three separate occasions already during this miserable campaign. With that many false starts, surely he should be disqualified by now? And if Liverpool lose to Arsenal tomorrow, will the end start there? It’s all very confusing.

Andrew Flintoff has turned his attention to the financial black hole in Dubai. ‘I’m no expert in high finance,’ he helpfully points out, ‘but I can report that life in Dubai remains good,’ promptly adding ‘for those who enjoy an occasional drink, there’s no ban on alcohol.’

So that’s all right then. What’s all the fuss about? Next week, Flintoff reveals Britain’s banks are on the road to recovery, because the pub next to his NatWest is a bit busy during happy hour.
We shouldn't take flak for fearing crimeNow that South Africa’s World Cup is mapped out there are plans to be made, flights booked, hotels reserved and flak jackets bought.

Flak jackets? Apparently so. The German team’s private security advisor told the players to wear bulletproof vests whenever they step out of their team hotel, only to later disown his remarks after they provoked a political storm.

Overreaction or not, the fear is real. As I was researching this summer’s venues online, I stumbled across the US Department of State’s travel advisory for South Africa.

The dire warnings would lead anyone planning a trip to the 2010 tournament to abandon the idea unless they had pre-booked accommodation on an aircraft carrier and hired a tank to get around while daring to venture out on land.

The US Government says: ‘Criminal activity, often violent, occurs routinely. Violent crimes such as armed robbery, carjacking, mugging and ‘smash and grab’ attacks on vehicles are regularly reported by visitors.

‘Organised gangs target individuals at shopping centres and follow them back to their hotel where they are robbed, usually at gunpoint.

‘Motorists are urged to be extremely cautious, crimes against property such as carjacking are often accompanied by violent acts, including murder … South Africa also has the highest incidence of reported rape in the world … armed robbery surrounding certain hotels … travellers drugged … commercial explosives on ATMs … 500 bombings … immediately take cover.’

On and on it goes.

There is no getting away from the fact that personal security is going to be a serious concern for fans travelling to this summer’s tournament.

But equally there is an enormous political investment in Africa’s inaugural World Cup being seen as an unqualified success and strenuous efforts are being made to discuss anything but crime right now.

Which is why Danny Jordaan, the chief executive of the 2010 organisation, took exception recently to very reasonable British Foreign Office warnings about the dangers of carjacking, even though around 15,000 incidents occur a year.

Of course it is true to say most fans in the tourist areas are likely to be safe. I’ve been to South Africa before and had a marvellous time with some extraordinarily friendly people, although it undeniably pays to have your wits about you. And it is a bit rich for 2010 officials to complain there is an undue emphasis on crime concerns when South Africans themselves feel the need to turn their homes into fortresses, complete with electric fences and private security guards.

At the Confederations Cup earlier this year there were 39 criminal incidents around the venues, which was considered a success. The British and Irish Lions tour was largely uneventful too, although a handful of fans were tracked from the airport and robbed. And there is hardly a peep of concern from the cricketers currently on tour.

But the 2010 World Cup numbers will be on a vastly different scale to these events and visitors will be scattered far and wide, meaning South Africa’s policy of saturating distinct areas with large concentrations of police is going to be sorely tested.

Has the country been awarded this tournament too early? Will visitors spend their trip cooped up in hotels, looking at South Africa through a security cordon? Or will this World Cup be the most accessible, gritty and authentic tournament in recent years? Take a wild guess at the answer. Because that’s what FIFA are doing." Mail

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