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Saturday, March 20, 2010

QPR Report Saturday...Warnock's Musings...Sousa's QPR Axing

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- Visit the QPR and football-only QPR Report Messageboard (and quasi-blog) - For latest QPR Updates throughout the day

- Opportunity to Sponsor QPR Fan in MS Marathon

- Sousa's Swansea at Loftus Road

- Six Years Ago Today: QPR "Chairman" Gianni Paladini Saw His First QPR Game and then bought into the Club

- Also "On This Day" (March 20)....

- Ex-QPR Roberto Herrera: Where He Is Now

- VIDEO: Three QPR Games vs Oxford (NOT The Cup Final!) - First Game After Relegation

- VIDEO: Mike Keen Playing for England FA

- El Salvador's Goalie Banned for a Year in a Row over sponsorship

- Mike Keen Tribute Match - Wycombe, April 15

- Updated: Perspective of Ex-QPR Star, Mike Ferguson

- Portsmouth's Peter Storrie Responds

- Coventry City Fan/Club Cooperation Praised

- QPR Reserves Win

- QPR Youth Final Date vs Peterborough - Football League Youth Alliance Area Final on Tuesday 30th March

The Independent - Neil Warnock: I turned down Zamora – but what do I know about strikers? - What I Learnt This Week - Saturday, 20 March 2010

What a fantastic game and super result for Fulham on Thursday. It just shows what you can do with the right attitude, and, when you look at the way Juventus played, what can happen to you with the wrong attitude. A few rounds ago I don't suppose Fulham were bothered one way or the other about the Europa League and they were fielding weakened teams. Having almost secured Premier League football next season they can now give the competition a full whack and are really going for it.
- It looked and sounded like a great atmosphere. Craven Cottage is still one of the great football grounds, though I do wonder what some of the Juventus players thought of it with the cottage and the dressing rooms. I can remember playing there at the beginning of my career, with Chesterfield, and a few parts don't seem to have changed.
- Thinking about England, Bobby Zamora is the nearest thing there is to another Emile Heskey, more than Carlton Cole. I could have had him on loan when he went to Brighton about 10 years ago. I'd just taken over at Sheffield United and he was out of favour at Bristol Rovers. I thought he was a bit lazy for me but he did well on loan at Brighton so they signed him and later sold him to Spurs for £1.5m. Now he's all over Fabio Cannavaro and might play for England. But that's typical, I'm absolutely useless at spotting strikers, though I think he works harder now.
- While I was disappointed for Chelsea to go out in the week's other big European game I have to say my admiration and respect for Jose Mourinho softened the blow. Given he had a somewhat lesser side on paper, it does show you how important the manager is. Chelsea dominated that first game and were unlucky to lose 2-1, but the organisation of Inter at Stamford Bridge, and the pressure they put on made for a frustrating evening for Chelsea and another notch on Jose's CV.

2. Don't send referees out until they are ready
- I had to smile when I saw Michael Brown's comments regarding Steven Gerrard's forearm smash, that if it had been the other way around he would definitely have got a three-game ban. He's got a point.

Now I know the rules are that, if the referee sees an incident, the FA can't do anything about it, yet when you see things like that it makes you think ill of the system. That incident apart, I do think Stuart Attwell has improved since his unfortunate goal that never was last year. While on the subject of young referees we had one at Reading the other night, Mr Ward.

He'd only done four games this year. I know referees need to gain experience, but why send him into a derby when he's not ready for it? Do they look at the fixtures? The Madejski, like Loftus Road, can be intimidating and it is wrong to put refs in situations they're not ready for.

We lost (a penalty and a sending-off since you ask) but our performance was good. The other bonus was that at least I could get a haircut. I've needed one for a couple of weeks – I don't know if all managers are the same, but when I'm on a decent run I tend not to bother. I'm looking a bit smarter now.

3. William provided me with the win this week
- QPR were not the only club I managed this week. I was delighted to turn up for William's last game to find the teacher taking the school's other team. I got hold of William's team and was soon telling them what to do. It reminded me of when I played at Hartlepool and managed a group of scruffy urchins who had knocked on my door and asked if I could come training. I ended up coaching them and will never forget them scoring with a corner kick we worked on and running up and down the touchline celebrating.

I felt the same on Wednesday when the lads put up a great performance in winning 3-0. William was captain and he cracked home a penalty which set them off. Then young James got two. We had a team photograph to mark it, although isn't it unbelievable in this modern age where we have to make sure we have all the parents' permission first?
- Amy's been just as sporty, she's been doing the triathlon: running, swimming, and shooting. With a real pistol. I'll have to find out if it is live ammunition before I next tell her off.

4. Sharon gets shirty to the hospice's delight
- Since the move I've been doing some driving. From QPR's training ground to home takes anything from an hour and 10 minutes to two-and-a-half hours. Each way. I can't carry on like that so we are moving. It's one of the downsides of this job, and many others in the world, that you move a lot. We've not been in this house long and we're moving to a smaller house, so Sharon is trying to get the packing done and she's taking a very close look at my stuff. Apparently I'm a hoarder. There are boxes that have not been opened since four houses ago, but I've told her, "Don't you dare go throwing them away."

She's been going through my wardrobes too, shouting at me to get rid of some shirts. She's been desperate for me to get rid of these short-sleeved ones I bought when I was in China with Sheffield United. I finally succumbed and St Christopher's Hospice now has about 35 shirts of mine still with the tags on. Hurry, while stocks last.

5. Man-mark Rooney – it worked against Giggs
- Driving up and down the motorway I've been listening to a lot of radio. I had to laugh during a debate as to who is better, Rooney or Messi, when Darren Gough said: "How can you say he is great when he has only got one foot?" I thought, I wish all my players had got a foot like that. Older readers will remember people used to say the same about Norman Hunter, but when you have a left foot like theirs you don't need a right foot. Incidentally, why is it we only say this about left-footed players?
- They asked me on Match of the Day 2 last week how I would deal with Rooney. I think I'd try and man-mark him, make it 10 v 10. I'm surprised no one does, though it is a dying art. Alongside me on the sofa was some one who could have done it, Martin Keown. I still do occasionally. Against Reading in midweek I went 9 v 9 with the full-backs marking their wingers.
- At Notts County we played Manchester United and man-marked all over the pitch. They were lucky to get a draw. I remember a young Ryan Giggs asking Chris Short, who was following him everywhere: "Just what is it you want?"

6. I wouldn't know if we had plenty in reserve
- We had our first reserve-team match since I joined QPR this week, against Crystal Palace. It was strange knowing the opposition better than my own team – quite a few of them I'd barely seen as I've had to concentrate on the first team. There were some decent performances and as soon as we're safe I'll be looking to give the lads here permanently a chance – at the moment we are picking five loan players. Unfortunately, it was a home game so instead of hopping over the fence I had to travel across London.

- We're playing Swansea today, managed by Paulo Sousa, one of my predecessors at QPR. I'll have to tell him to calm down. Last time we were in opposition at Loftus Road he was sent to the stands. He's done a fabulous job at Swansea, building on the good work by Roberto Martinez, not making big changes, just putting his own character on them. They are the best side Palace played this season and I fancy them for the play-offs. Independent

BBC Swansea Match Preview
- Paulo Sousa returns to Loftus Road - where Swansea have never won a league game - for the first time since his troubled five-month spell at QPR was brought to an abrupt end last April.
- Sousa has since guided Swansea to fifth place despite a number of key players being sold or injured since his arrival - an obstacle he also had to deal with at Rangers.
- But problems on the pitch were the least of the ex-Portugal star's worries during his time in west London, where his management style was deeply unpopular with some members of the club's hierarchy.
- They - and not Sousa - were eventually backed by co-owner Flavio Briatore: a man who thought QPR was a restaurant before buying the club in 2007, but saw fit to criticise the double Champions League winner's tactics and team selections
..." BBC

MIRROR - Swansea chief slams Neil Warnock over bully-boy tactics
Published 05:00 20/03/10 By Darren Witcoop

- Paulo Sousa lit the fuse ahead of today’s return to Loftus Road by claiming Neil Warnock intimidates Championship referees.

Sousa has already clashed with former Crystal Palace boss Warnock twice this season.

But the Swansea chief insists the new Rangers manager’s bully-boy tactics will not be enough to defeat his promotion-chasing side.

Sousa said: “Neil is always pushing the referees for his side.

“It’s something everybody knows and if referees concede to do that it’s because they agree with that.

“I have respect for him but he is a controversial character and the type of manager who will always encourage the players to tackle the opponents to intimidate the players.

“I don’t like it and it’s not something I encourage my players to do because it’s not the type of football I like.

“I remember when I was at QPR playing against Palace, one of my players was kicked in the face and broke his nose. There was blood everywhere.

“His teams are always competitive - they are encouraged to do that to make it difficult.

“They put out the foot in the challenge to try to take advantage. How do we cope with that? We will play football, that is our way.

“My concern is to play football, not to kick each other. I would like to see that.”

Swansea suffered a dent to their play-off hopes with a 2-0 home defeat to West Brom in midweek.

But Sousa added: “The players did not take the defeat well and there was real frustration.

“We have had to pick them up more than usual and they have had to recover mentally. It is important to get a victory.”

Swansea’s Jordi Lopez has put the boot into QPR by claiming his old club will still regret axing Sousa, claiming: “He would have got you promoted.”

Sousa returns to Loftus Road today for the first time since he was booted out by controversial supremo Flavio Briatore after just five months in charge.

The ex-Portugal midfielder has turned the Welsh outfit into strong promotion contenders - while mega-rich Rangers are still wallowing in mid-table.

And Swans star Lopez, who also played under Sousa at Shepherd’s Bush, reckons former QPR chief Briatore knows he blundered by showing his boss the door last April.

He said: “I think QPR made a mistake sacking Paulo. He’s shown he’s a great manager at Swansea.

“If QPR kept him they would now be pushing for promotion. I’m sure they would be doing what we’re doing this season.

“I was surprised when he got sacked because I thought he was doing a good job at QPR.

“He arrived in the middle of the season and that makes things more difficult.

“He was only given five months and that’s not long enough. A manager needs to be given time to get his ideas across.

“The chairman made a decision - but it was bad for QPR and good for Swansea because it gave them the chance to get Paulo.

“I think Paulo will get a good reception because he did a good job there and the fans loved him.

“There was a big pressure at QPR to get into the Premier League so it was a difficult environment.

“They should be challenging for promotion but any manager needs time - and he didn’t get it. But Paulo has shown he’s one of the best managers outside the Premier League. I think he will become a big manager in football
.” Mirror

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