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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Harsh Critique of Briatore at QPR...QPR Play Luton Closed Doors...Captain Speaks...13 Years Since THE Port Vale Comeback...Bobby Keetch Remembered

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- Matthew Connolly Makes Football League's "Championship Team of The Week"

Evening Standard Poll - 94%: Flavio Should Stop Meddling in Team Selection
- The obviously completely unscientific Evening Standard Poll- Should Flavio Briatore stop meddling in team selection at QPR?
Yes 94% No 6% Vote now Poll

- West Ham vs QPR - FA Youth Cup Tonight

- "The Cold Reality of Life in League Two"

- The Rise and Rise of AFC Wimbledon

- Thirteen Years ago Today: QPR's Port Vale Comeback
January 19, 1997: Port Vale 4 QPR 4 - Roberts --- Brevitt - Ready - McDonald - M. Graham --- Brazier -Murray - Peacock - Sinclair --- Hately- Spencer - SUBS: Impey, Maddix, Dichio- Look Back
- VIDEO: Port Vale 4 QPR 4

A Harsh Critique of Briatore's QPR Tenure- The Guardian/Richard Williams
- Tony Pulis: 'Foreign owners? Don't get me started'The love of a local beats at the heart of Stoke's success, and is exactly what some other clubs are missing
- Tony Pulis would not be drawn into a direct opinion on the subject of Liverpool's problems in the aftermath of Saturday's match at the Britannia Stadium, but there was a smile of quiet satisfaction on his face as he discussed the owners with whom he deals every day at Stoke City.
- "Foreign owners? Don't get me started," he said, thinking back to the time, in the summer of 2005, when he was fired by the Icelandic consortium which had bought two thirds of the club's shares. He had saved the club from relegation but the Icelandic directors appointed a Dutchman, Johan Boskamp, to replace him. Although Boskamp spent money, results did not improve and he left at the end of his first season, along with the owners, who sold out to Peter Coates, a former majority shareholder, who returned as chairman and restored Pulis to the manager's office.
- Coates had secured his initial stake in the club with money made from stadium catering in the north of England. By the time he bought his second shareholding it was with a fortune made from a Stoke-based online betting company whose logo now appears on the players' shirts.
- "I've got a fellow here who was born and bred in Stoke," Pulis continued. "He's an absolute Stoke City nut. So is his son. And his grandson. All Stoke City nuts. It's reassuring to know that he puts this club first and foremost, above everything."
- Stoke City are operating at a loss, which means that Coates has to subsidise them – just as Nigel Doughty, a private equity investor, has spent eight years funding the efforts of Nottingham Forest, his local club, to regain a place in the top flight, or, among other examples, Dave Whelan and Bill Kenwright have used their own money to support Wigan Athletic and Everton. There is no suggestion that conditions have been attached to Coates's generosity, believed to amount to at least £10m, or that his plans involve preparing the club for a profitable sale.
- "Whatever other clubs do is up to them," Pulis said, "but I know what my parameters are, what I can and can't do. We're desperately trying to stay in this league for the next three years, for the benefits of the Sky TV money and everything that comes with it. The chairman realises it's three years. It's about looking a little further than the end of your nose."
- Contrast Pulis's experience not just with that of Rafa Benítez at Liverpool but that of whoever is managing Queens Park Rangers this week. Since Flavio Briatore, the egregious Italian playboy-entrepreneur, took over just under two-and-a-half years ago – never having previously set foot in the ground – as the front man for a triumvirate completed by his pals Bernie Ecclestone and Lakshmi Mittal, no fewer than six "permanent" managers and several caretakers have occupied the home bench at Loftus Road.
- Whatever Briatore's record may be in other areas of business, his stewardship of a club founded more than 120 years ago is a scandal, violating every tenet of tradition and common sense. Chairmen should not impose their will on managers when it comes to picking the team (although there is nothing wrong with them plaintively issuing requests via the media, as Silvio Berlusconi, Briatore's compatriot, used to do to catch the ear of Carlo Ancelotti, mostly without success) and when it comes to changing managers, they should err on the side of patience and trust rather than behaving like Caligula, who disposed of his senators with a brutal whimsicality.
- Caligula ended up by making his horse a consul, which suggests that he would have felt right at home in English football, among the current breed of owners who see the game as a suitable vehicle for their vanity or greed. Perhaps Briatore will one day give in to the urge to occupy the dug-out himself. There is nothing, sadly, to stop him
. The Guardian

Ealing Gazette/Yann Tear -Cook set for first action in nine months
- LEE COOK will play his first competitive football of the season tomorrow (Tuesday) when he takes part in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Luton Town at the training ground.
- The match has been set up specifically for the QPR winger, who had keyhole surgery on a troublesome knee in June last year.
Cook has been back in training for three weeks but not had a chance to play any reserve team football because of frozen pitches.
“It will be nice to get a game in and to get in a few tackles again to build up the confidence,” Cook told the Gazette.
- “It's been great getting back with the lads and I'm starting to get right back into it.”
- Cook spent two months on crutches after going under the knife last summer to clean up the joint after suffering a micro fracture.
The 27-year-old has not played for the first team since the 0-0 draw at home to Plymouth Argyle in April and did not kick a ball for either of Rangers' last two managers. Ealing Gazette

Ealing Gazette/Chris Slavin - Rangers skipper orders repeat of fightback Jan 19 2010
QPR skipper Mikele Leigertwood has challenged his side to repeat Saturday's spirited fightback at Blackpool on a regular basis.
- The departure of Paul Hart came after a week of in-house fighting behind the scenes at Loftus Road, including a bust-up between the departed manager and Morrocan playmaker Adel Taarabt.
- But the 2-2 draw at Blackpool at least ended a week of turmoil on a positive note for QPR.
- "We showed great character and worked very hard, we knew it would be tough against a Blackpool side that pass the ball so well," said Leigertwood.
- "We knew we had to match them and we worked hard to do that.
- "We need to get back to letting the football do the talking at this football club. Obviously, there is a lot of stuff that goes on at the club, but it is ultimately performances and winning games that will get people talking in a positive way about us.
- "That is what we need to do now, there is no doubt that things that go on will affect players, but we as a group just have to stick together and work hard for one another like we did in the second half
." Ealing Gazette

REMEMBERING BOBBY KEETCH - PFA's Give Me Football/John Harding
On This Day In History: January 18th
There was no-one quite like Bobby Keetch – a real one-off

By John Harding January 18, 2010
- Keetch certainly lived life to the full. (©PAphotos)
- Fulham’s Bobby Keetch announces that he wants a transfer: “My life is coming to a standstill. I’m getting nowhere. I am unsettled in my life and, being an ambitious type, I resent not getting on,” he complained.
- “I am intelligent enough to kick against failure. I see a lot of the world outside the confines of soccer. I travel abroad and buy paintings and I live in Mayfair.”
- He signs for Queens Park Rangers, playing 52 more league games before retiring in 1968. Bobby was a ‘one-off’: according to Michael Parkinson who said: “He drove a silver Lotus Elan sports car, bought his suits from a Mayfair tailor, ate at the Chanterelle in South Kensington, and drank with Annigoni, the opera singer, and one of two train robbers at the Pheasantry Club in Chelsea.
- “He had great natural style and a compelling attraction for the opposite sex, particularly ‘Debs’ who had seen nothing quite like him; nor had the rest of us.”
- Bobby later became a successful businessman and was the moving force behind the opening of the themed Football, Football restaurant in London. Sadly, he died after a stroke in June 1996. He was 54." PFA
- More Bobby Keetch Memories

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