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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Routledge May Be Off...QPR Scouting Changes...A New #2

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Dave McIntyre BBC606 - Routledge could be Off
- Wayne Routledge may have played his last game for QPR.

Rangers have received an offer from Middlesbrough for him and the two clubs are not far away in their valuations.

Reports of offers for Rangers players are often well wide of the mark.

There are always plenty of stories knocking around about offers for QPR players, but actual bids tend to be thin on the ground.

But in the case of Routledge, Boro’s interest is real and the chances of him moving seem to be growing by the day.

Unlike most Championship clubs, Middlesbrough are able to match QPR in terms of wages.

Their offer for Routledge is likely to be rejected, but if a slightly improved bid is then tabled, the player will almost certainly be on his way.

That won’t please many QPR fans, but the harsh reality for Rangers is that their spending has not paid off, and cashing in on a sellable asset is a chance to reinvest - or at least reduce the club’s ongoing losses.

Offloading the likes of Fitz Hall, Matteo Alberti and Patrick Agyemang would also help but there are no guarantees Rangers will be able to do this, although Alberti could be on his way next week.

Signing players on lucrative long-term contracts carries a risk. Rangers found that to their cost during the Chris Wright era.

In Routledge, they have a player they can sell – assuming Boro do not look elsewhere rather than increase their offer.

He is also a player who, as with the likes of Akos Buzsaky and Rowan Vine, signed for QPR believing the club was going places.

Things have not worked out that way, and when a club can offer big money and a fresh start for such a player, it is difficult to keep him.

In my view, Routledge is like so many others Rangers have signed since 2007 – a very good Championship performer who cost more than a player of that standard ought to cost.

If someone else is willing to pay even more, it’s a good deal all round.

Good Championship players should cost what Kaspars Gorkss (signed for £250,000) cost. Not what the likes of Routledge, Hall, Heidar Helguson, Damien Delaney and others cost.

I believe a bigger investment than that is only justified if a player has serious Premier League potential, or can do something specific like score the goals to get a team promoted.

The likes of Buzsaky and Matt Connolly were therefore excellent acquisitions – and there are plenty more potential signings like that out there.

The problem, to return to an old hobby horse of mine, is Rangers’ scouting system.

As I’ve mentioned previously, most of the many managers to have come and gone in recent years have tried to improve this area of the club in their short time at Rangers.

Iain Dowie effectively had to start from scratch and managed to make some much-needed changes.

Paulo Sousa, helped by Gareth Ainsworth, continued to make the best of things and Jim Magilton, helped by John Gorman, did the same.

The departure of Gorman along with Magilton left Paul Hart with a problem, and Martin Allen was asked to come in on the scouting side.

Mick Harford, like anyone coming into the QPR’s manager’s job, has also seen a gaping hole and taken immediate steps to try and make improvements.

Allen has left his role and a couple of scouts employed by the club have been told their services are no longer required. Three others have been drafted in by Harford.

And Tony Coton, who has joined the club as Harford’s assistant, also has numerous contacts in the game.

The main priority is team reports, which are an integral part of a club’s preparations for matches.

And in terms of scouting players, Harford seems to know a thing or two – which is partly why the powers-that-be like him and were keen for him to return.

Harford played a significant role in bringing Buzsaky, Vine, Connolly and Hogan Ephraim to Rangers during his previous spell at the club.

Looking at the long, long list of R’s signings in recent years, that’s four pretty impressive transfers to be associated with. BBC

Posted on: Thu 21 Jan 2010

Queens Park Rangers Football Club are delighted to announce the appointment of Tony Coton as Assistant Manager.

The 48-year-old, who made 500 appearances in the Football League and Premier League playing as a goalkeeper for Birmingham City, Watford, Manchester City and Sunderland, teams up with Mick Harford, who he played alongside at St Andrews in the early 1980s.

Following retirement as a player, Coton spent 11 years at Manchester United as a goalkeeper coach, and established himself as one of the best in his field.

A knee injury in December 2007 prevented Coton from being able to take part in training sessions, and he left Old Trafford at the end of the 2007/08 season.

Coton is now looking forward to helping Mick Harford in any way he can following his appointment as Paul Hart's successor last Friday.

Coton told www.qpr.co.uk: "Mick and I are very good friends. We have kept in touch over the years - we normally speak two or three times a week - and we have the same philosophies on how the game should be played.

"He called me and said he needed a hand, and wanted someone he can trust who he gets on well with.

"This was a big decision for me because I live up in Bolton with my family. But we go back a long way and I am delighted to be here to help."

Coton belives the fact he and Harford have similar views on how the game should be played is vital to a successful relationship between Manager and Assistant.

"If you didn't, you'd be at logger-heads every day," he adds.

"The final decision will be Mick's, and rightly so. He is the boss and we all work for him. I am here to offer my experience from being a coach at Manchester United for 11 years.

"Hopefully we can bring those philosophies into Queens Park Rangers."

It is immediately apparent on meeting Coton that he is nobody's 'yes man,' and that is another trait which he belives is so important to his new role in W12.

"I am definitely not that - just ask Sir Alex Ferguson," Coton says with a smile. "I believe that's a reason why I get on so well with people.

"If you believe in something and you see it, then you've got to say it. That's the way I have been brougt up in my coaching career.

"I'm sure Mick and I won't see eye-to-eye on everything, but he has said on numerous occasions that he respects what I know about football and that I am one of the few people he listens to intently on how the game should be played.

"Obviously we will have our falling-outs, but that won't last for long!" QPR

Rugby's Delon Armitage on QPR
- "...You’re a big QPR fan and a regular at Loftus Road when you are not playing for club or country.
It’s a great team to follow and I really think we have the players to get into the play-offs this season. If we can do that and gain promotion there is definitely the money in the boardroom to enable us to be competitive in the Premier League, so the future looks bright..." Full profile/Interview

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