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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Warnock Speaks...Trenchant Analysis of the Warnock Appointment....QPR's Mike Keen Remembered: 1967 Players Returning...Watson on Warnock


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- The Warnock to QPR Official Announcement

Independent - Neil Warnock: Leaving Palace for QPR was really tough
Tuesday, 2 March 2010
- You will know by now I am making the short trip (only about two hours by car) across London from Crystal Palace to QPR.
- Leaving a club in administration for one with huge potential must look an easy decision but it has been one of the most difficult of my career, and there's been a few. The reason I am sad, as well as excited, is that of all the clubs I have been at the fans at Crystal Palace have been the best.
- It's easy to say, but I'm not just saying it because I'm leaving. The support they have given me and the players during a very difficult few months, and beforehand, has been fantastic and it is something I will never forget. As everyone knows, I'm a northerner, and we all think that's the only hotbed of football, but after managing Palace I know better.
- It is hardly a secret that QPR have been after me for a while. It's nice to be wanted and they made it clear I was their only choice which is a fantastic vote of confidence. They would not take "no" for an answer. But although I had been advised I could have just walked out on Palace I did not want to sell them short and the reason this has gone on so long is that I wanted both clubs to be in agreement before I moved.
- I owe a lot to Palace. They have rekindled my enthusiasm for management. If it was not for Simon Jordan there is no way I would have come to London (and realised it's not such a bad place after all) and regained my desire to get back in to the Premier League.
- QPR is a great challenge, the type I revel in. It has been a poisoned chalice for many managers recently but with new people taking over I feel I can give them the stability I know the fans and players have been craving. It is a club with a great tradition and a ground I’ve always enjoyed going to. All I can promise is all I ever promise: I’ll do my best. Independent

Dave McIntyre/BBC606 - Warnock is Perfect for QPR
- The appointment of a manager should be - and usually is - a reflection of a board’s aims and objectives.
- And in Neil Warnock, QPR’s owners have installed someone whose targets match theirs perfectly.
- It’s a quick fix. And at any other club, it would be considered a short-term move.
- Not so at QPR, where only one manager has lasted a year since Ian Holloway left in 2006, and none have lasted longer than seven months since the Flavio Briatore-led takeover.
- Warnock should easily buck that trend, but to all intents and purposes his is a short-term appointment by a board hell-bent on short-term success.
- Amit Bhatia has taken the baton from Briatore when it comes to talking about long-term planning and building sensibly.
- Bhatia is very different in terms of style, and may turn out to be different in terms of substance too.
- But after the recent ’takeover’ or moving of chairs on deck, depending on how you see it, it seems there will still be a big difference between the owners’ words and actions.
- It also seems that the general ethos of the club will remain unchanged.
- The ‘new’ regime’s first managerial appointment - its first real statement of intent - suggests they are still focused on little more than trying to get into the Premier League as quickly as possible.
- Forget the immediate task of keeping QPR up. Warnock’s arrival is all about trying to win promotion from the Championship next season.
- The threat of relegation is real. But the perception that Briatore has departed will have increased the managerial options open to the board, so finding someone else to keep Rangers up would not have been difficult.
- Warnock, who is 61 and admits he is approaching retirement, wants another crack at the Premier League. He is, like QPR’s owners, driven by short-term ambition. It’s a perfect match.
- In the week when Rangers - for the third time in three years and second time since Briatore’s takeover - lost a promising youngster before he even made a first-team appearance, the hiring of Warnock speaks volumes.
- Raheem Sterling's move to Liverpool is yet another consequence of QPR not having Academy status.
- Restoring it, which would be an expensive and meaningful sign of the owners’ long-term commitment, may well be on their radar.
- But no board looks to Neil Warnock at this stage of his career if long-term improvements to the club’s infrastructure are in any way a priority.
- After brief spells in the top flight with Notts County and Sheffield United, he wants to get back there before he retires. It’s that simple.
- He was quietly confident of doing so with Crystal Palace before they went into administration and were deducted 10 points.
- At Palace, his reputation has been further enhanced.
- But there he benefited from a good youth system; something he won’t have at QPR.
- Instead he will be able to spend on players, and he certainly signed plenty of them in order to get Sheffield United promoted.
- It’s a great job for Warnock; a cash-rich club chasing immediate success, that can’t stop signing players and is now likely to give a manager total control having been criticised for not doing so previously.
- A manager in Warnock’s position may not want his transfer budget affected by things like spending on a youth set-up he is unlikely to be at the club long enough to benefit from.
- After all, Gerry Francis felt the academy system was uneconomical when he was in charge and championed the switch to a centre of excellence.
- And an improved scouting system that builds a squad for the future by picking up potential gems is of little use to Warnock’s specific short-term ambition.
- If longer-term foundations were the name of the game, the likes of Gary Johnson and George Burley would have at least been considered.
- These are managers who, as well as producing attractive, promotion-winning teams, have shown at more than one club that they can actually build something.
- With the players and money at his disposal, Warnock is easily capable of getting QPR to at least the play-offs next season if he is allowed to do his job, although I believe the same is true of many managers - including most of those Rangers have had since 2007.
- But for what the Rangers board want, Warnock is a very good choice.
- He is underrated, has got better with age, and deserves another go at the Premier League, where lesser managers than him have carved out a reputation.
- He knows the game inside out and despite his no-nonsense approach, there is no reason to think he won’t also get the best out of Rangers' most talented players.
- Despite his reputation, Warnock has tended to accommodate matchwinners. He did so at Palace and at previous clubs he nurtured the likes of Michael Tonge and Tommy Johnson.
- Warnock will also galvanise players and fans alike, which is desperately needed at such a fractured and troubled club.
- With his ‘them and us’ mentality, he could restore unity and pride at QPR in the way Holloway did so successfully.
- But his ability to do that will largely depend on season ticket and admission prices for next season.
- That will be the second major test of the board and another important statement of its intent. BBC606

- Flashback: April 2009: QPR Contemplated Warnock as Manager

- Past QPR Managers Arrival and Departure Statements

- Ben Watson Highly Praises Neil Warnock


- The R's will be paying tribute to our legendary League Cup winning captain Mike Keen this weekend when we host West Bromwich Albion at Loftus Road.
- Keen sadly passed away on 12th April last year, aged 69, but the Club are eager to remember what an important role he played in our history.
- Having started his career with the R's, Keen spent ten years at Loftus Road, famously lifting the League Cup aloft after an incredible 3-2 win over the Baggies at Wembley Stadium.
- His inspirational leadership was pivotal as the R's came back from 2-0 down to triumph.
- On Saturday, as we welcome West Brom to W12, we will be holding a minute's applause prior to kick off in memory of Keen.
- At half-time, a number of the victorious Cup-winning side from '67 will be introduced to the crowd, while we are also paying homage to Keen in a commemorative matchday programme.
- To book your tickets for the Championship clash, contact the Box Office on 08444 777 007. QPR

- See also: Memories of Mike Keen

WBA Official Site - Watson wary of Warnock factor
- BEN Watson says his former boss Neil Warnock will have new charges QPR fired up for Albion's visit to Loftus Road on Saturday (ko 3pm) - but insists the Baggies must focus on their own job.
- Warnock was appointed Hoops manager last night and Watson knows all about the manager he believes he played his best football under when the duo were together at Crystal Palace.

The on-loan Wigan midfielder will also be back in familiar surroundings as he returns to the club where he spent four months on loan before the turn of the year.

"I played for Neil Warnock for over 18 months," he said.
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"Until you've played under him then you don't realise what he's like but I had 18 fantastic months under him and played my best football under him.

"It's not ideal timing him being appointed QPR boss because he will get the lads up for it.

"But it's not about Neil Warnock or QPR, it's about West Bromwich Albion."

Watson admitted his spell with Rangers was a rollercoaster ride as he watched three managers come and go in four months.

And he reckons without all the disruptions the West London club would have been pushing at the top end of the table instead of languishing just three points above the relegation zone in 20th place.

"They've got some quality players, which they've proven this season," he added.

"When I was there we looked like contenders at one stage.

"Things behind closed doors go on and it does affect players.

"They need stability.

"I had Jim Magilton, duo Steve Gallen and Marc Bircham, and Paul Hart - three managers in just a few months.

"As a player you don't know from one day to the next who the manager is going to be.

"As much as they say it doesn't affect players, it does affect players.

"It's probably a big reason why they're not up at the top of the table.

"I went there from Wigan and the plan was to go back to Wigan in January.

"I would have stayed there but Wigan recalled me and I believe they were one of the teams who were in for me this year."

Watson got off to a winning start on his Albion debut as he helped Roberto Di Matteo's side come from behind to seal a 3-1 victory on Saturday and move back up to second in the table.

And he enjoyed the added bonus of getting 81 minutes under his belt after only chalking up just over half-an-hour on the pitch in the past two months at the DW Stadium.

"I was very tired," he said.

"It had been a while since I'd played properly, about eight weeks, so it was nice to be back out there on the pitch.

"My legs felt heavy towards the end but that's to be expected.

"I enjoyed the game and we deserved to win.

"They had a little spell where they were on top but once we got a goal there was only going to be one winner.

"I've played everywhere in midfield and I probably prefer to get forward and get in the box to try and score goals - but the gaffer asked me to do a job and you can't argue with the boss." WBA

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