QPR Report Twitter Feed

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Club-by-Club Review of the 2009/2010 Championship Season


- QPR REPORT Available on TWITTER!

- For continuously updated throughtout the day news about QPR - as well for football only-discussion: Also visit the football-only, QPR Report Messageboard/quasi-blog

- QPR's Pre-Season Calendar (including, thus far: Two games in Italy; and matches vs Torquay, Crawley, Tavistock and Bodmin)

- Linked-to-QPR Julian Speroni Wins Crystal Palace's Player of the Year Award - For the Third Straight Year!

- QPR Video from 1923

- Lord Triesman Out from World Cup 2018 and from the FA

- John Gregory Linked to Another Israeli Club

- Video Flashback to 1977: QPR Crush Manchester United at Loftus Road

- Video Flashback to 1973: QPR Beat Burnley

- Hill and Speroni?

- Saracens at Loftus Road?

- Almost 3/4 of Premiership Clubs Based in Overseas Tax Havens

- VIDEO: QPR CRUSH Chelsea 6-0

- Do Not Watch Video!: QPR-AEK Athens

- QPR Being Sold?

THE TIMES the Coca-Cola Championship Review

re QPR (Full Times Piece below)

QPR - Finishing position: 13th
High point: Derby County 2 Queens Park Rangers 4, October 24. Fans talk of a return to the top flight after scoring four goals for the third successive match to move into a play-off place.
Low point: Middlesbrough 2 QPR 0, February 27. This defeat extends their run to 21 matches without a clean sheet, the longest record in all four divisions. A pitiful farewell for Mick Hartford, the caretaker manager, as Neil Warnock waits in the wings to take charge.
- Verdict: Six permanent managers have failed to live up to expectations amid talk of Flavio Briatore’s alleged interference in team selection but with the Italian now sidelined, fans will believe that they can mount a genuine challenge — assuming Warnock gets the money he will want for players."

The Times
The season in review: the Coca-Cola Championship
The Times’s club-by-club analysis: the highs, lows and final words from the 2009/10 season of the 24 teams in the Championship


Finishing position: 18th
High point: Barnsley 3 Burnley 2, September 22. A Barclays Premier League scalp in the Carling Cup, with Hugo Colace claiming a late winner to seal the upset.
Low point: Newcastle United 6 Barnsley 1, March 6. Scoreless until the stroke of half-time, when Luke Steele, the goalkeeper, was sent off, Newcastle ran amok with five goals in 23 minutes.

Verdict: A season of change and consolidation after Simon Davey’s sacking and the arrival of Mark Robins. The play-offs looked realistic at one stage, with Barnsley rising into the top ten, but they faded badly and could have been relegated had the season been longer. Robins will shuffle his squad and look to secure a mid-table finish in his first full season in charge.


Related Links
The season in review: Coca-Cola League One
Le Fondre adds to his worth with late winner
Great Scott hits four as ‘pub team’ eye up final
Finishing position: 6th
High point: Nottingham Forest 3 Blackpool 4, May 11. DJ Campbell, the forward, scores a hat-trick to leave the club 90 minutes away from returning to the top tier for the first time since 1971.
Low point: Sheffield United 3 Blackpool 0, March 16. This comprehensive defeat leaves Blackpool five points adrift of the top six with only nine games remaining.

Verdict: No matter what happens at Wembley, Ian Holloway’s achievement in taking Blackpool, favourites for relegation at the start of the season, to within one win of the Barclays Premier League is a magnificent feat. Charlie Adam, the midfield player, has been a revelation and Holloway will be looking to the Scotsman to help to finish off the job on Saturday.

Bristol City

Finishing position: 10th
High point: Steve Coppell appointed as manager, April 22. The former Reading and Crystal Palace manager knows what it takes to get clubs similar in size into the top flight.
Low point: Bristol City 0 Cardiff City 6, January 26. An amazing capitulation a week after losing 1-0 to Cardiff in an FA Cup third-round replay.

Verdict: The departure of Gary Johnson in March after 4½ years was inevitable given results and reports of a dressing-room bust-up. The admirable Johnson’s reign had gone stale and too many signings had made the squad too large. Coppell is an excellent replacement and the play-offs look realistic next season. Keeping Nicky Maynard, who scored 20 league goals this campaign, is important.


Finishing position: 4th
High point: Possibly still to come when they take on Blackpool in the play-off final at Wembley. Ten-match unbeaten run towards the end of the season guaranteed not missing promotion chance for second campaign in a row.
Low point: Financial squabbling, within and outside of the club. Battle with the taxman is not settled but significant and imminent Malaysian investment should ease the pressure. Promotion might help, too.

Verdict: Dave Jones continues to prove that he is one of the best managers outside the top flight. A third trip to Wembley in two years is a just reward for his understated, yet hugely effective, style of leadership.


Finishing position: 19th
High point: Peterborough United 0 Coventry City 1, March 6. Chris Coleman’s team rise to eighth after Jon Stead scores the winner.
Low point: Coventry City 0 Watford 4, May 2. The crowd finally turn on Coleman not only because of the result, or the 11-game winless run, but because Marcus Hall, a substitute, is not given a farewell appearance for the club. Coleman is sacked two days later.

Verdict: Disappointing, even after having lost Scott Dann and Danny Fox last summer and Leon Best in January. Tony Mowbray is favourite to take over, but the new manager will not have much money. Must keep Kieran Westwood, the promising goalkeeper.

Crystal Palace

Finishing position: 21st
High point: Sheffield Wednesday 2 Crystal Palace 2, May 2. Palace withstand a late onslaught from Wednesday, who fail to secure the win they need to survive and send their opponents down.
Low point: Entering administration, January 27. The team are two points outside the play-offs, but enter a relegation battle when awarded a ten-point penalty.

Verdict: Survival was paramount, but they will not be out of the woods until a takeover is completed. That may prevent a fire sale of the best players, but the likes of Neil Danns, Nathaniel Clyne and Julian Speroni may still be offloaded.


Finishing position: 14th
High points: Derby County 1 Nottingham Forest 0, January 30; Derby 3 Newcastle United 0, February 9. Successive home triumphs turn the mood as Rob Hulse bags a late winner against the traditional enemy and scores again as the champions-elect are beaten.
Low point: Derby 1, Sc*n*horpe United 4, January 9. Jeers mark the first anniversary of Nigel Clough’s appointment.

Verdict: Pretty much how Clough and the fans, who provided the second-best average home support in the division, anticipated: pruning a top-heavy squad and wage bill has been painful. Clough can be judged from this pre-season.


Finishing position: 12th
High point: Doncaster Rovers 1 Nottingham Forest 0, February 13. The manner of victory leaves the greatest impression.Low point: Doncaster Rovers 1 Tottenham Hotspur 5, August 26. Rovers are confident of an upset but finish up being blown away as Harry Redknapp’s side show their class. A humbling experience.

Verdict: A stand-out season for a club who continue to punch above their weight on a limited budget. Sean O’Driscoll enhanced his reputation as one of the finest young managers in the game, but that the leading scorer, Billy Sharp, is only on loan from Sheffield United is a concern.


Finishing position: 15th
High point: Ipswich Town 1 Derby County 0, October 31. Roy Keane’s team’s first victory, at the fifteenth attempt, one of only 12 wins in a season from which much had been expected.
Low point: Ipswich 0 Plymouth Argyle 2, March 23. Plenty to choose from, including failing to beat Peterborough United in three attempts, but this home defeat by a team destined for relegation was made worse by the presence in the visiting team’s dugout of Paul Mariner, the Ipswich legend — emphasising how far the club are from past glories.

Verdict: Keane has avoided the flak that might have been expected after assembling a very poor Ipswich squad, but a better finish will be expected next season. Hanging on to Connor Wickham is essential.


Finishing position: 5th
High point: Leicester City 3, Nottingham Forest 0, February 27. Gaining revenge for the thrashing at the City Ground was sweet as late goals from Bruno Berner, Paul Gallagher and Andy King satisfied the majority of a sell-out 31,759 crowd.
Low point: Forest 5 Leicester 1, December 5. Welcome to the Coca-Cola Championship. Humiliation against the club’s fiercest rivals.

Verdict: After winning the League One title in his first season in charge, Nigel Pearson can take pride in reaching the play-offs at the higher level. Perhaps missing out on another promotion may help overall, allowing exciting young talent such as Jack Hobbs and King more time to develop.


Finishing position: 11th
High point: Queens Park Rangers 1 Middlesbrough 5, December 5. The highlight of the season, even though it proves illusory.
Low point: Gareth Southgate’s dismissal, October 20. The timing of the decision to get rid of the manager, immediately after a 2-0 victory over Derby County, was not ideal.

Verdict: Southgate’s departure ensured that this was a transitional season for Middlesbrough, who have a very different feel under Gordon Strachan’s management. Another summer of upheaval beckons, with the Scot eager to inject experience into a first-team squad that did not adapt adroitly to Championship football. With only one more year of parachute payments to come, what happens next is crucial.


Finishing position: 1st
High point: Promotion, April 5. Return to top flight was confirmed before the home game against Sheffield United.
Low point: The Kevin Keegan tribunal verdict and sportsdirect.com@St James’ Park, although after announcing their plan to sell the naming rights to the stadium, it never happened.

Verdict: Returning to the Barclays Premier League at the first attempt was an excellent achievement given the uncertainty of last summer and a testament to the renewed spirit of unity at Newcastle. With finances tight on Tyneside, more will be required next season and Chris Hughton will need to demonstrate some imagination in the transfer market.

Nottingham Forest

Finishing position: 3rd
High point: West Bromwich Albion 1, Nottingham Forest 3, January 8. Probably the best performance from a Championship team this season, with Radoslaw Majewski scoring a gorgeous volley as Forest extend their record unbeaten away run.
Low point: The loss through injury of Paul McKenna for the run-in. Without their midfield anchor and with the brilliant away form gone, Forest stayed in the promotion race by going a record 20 home games unbeaten.

Verdict: Overachieved, even after investment in the squad last summer. A team who just avoided relegation the year before played wonderful football and should count their blessings they avoided a premature promotion.


Finishing position: 24th
High point: Peterborough United 4 Cardiff City 4, December 28. Despite being 4-0 down at half-time, the team produce a stirring comeback, capped by a Josh Simpson’s last-gasp equaliser.
Low point: Sc*n*horpe United 4 Peterborough 0, March 23. The team’s deficiencies are laid bare by a team prospering on a restricted budget.

Verdict: After delivering back-to-back promotions to a club with no expectations of second-tier status, Darren Ferguson deserved more time in which to attempt to avoid relegation. His dismissal in November solved nothing. Mark Cooper and Jim Gannon could not halt the slide, and Gary Johnson became the fourth manager of a wasted season.


Finishing position: 23rd
High point: Home Park is announced in December as a host stadium if England win their bid for the 2018 World Cup.
Low point: The Times reveals in the same month that Argyle are under a transfer embargo because of unpaid debts.

Verdict: Financial and footballing problems went hand in hand, with Paul Sturrock, then Paul Mariner, without the funds to improve a weak squad that never really looked like escaping the drop. Mariner has reverted to his former role as first-team coach after winning only seven of 29 games and the club aim to appoint a new manager towards the end of the month, but money will be even tighter.


Finishing position: 17th
High point: Leicester City 1 Preston North End 2, September 26. OK, there are 37 games to go after this, but the victory leaves the club third in the table.
Low point: Reading 4 Preston 1, May 2. The sacking of Alan Irvine prompted the arrival in January of Darren Ferguson, who insists there is time to qualify for the play-offs. But this defeat sums up his first four months in charge.

Verdict: A poor season and much of the blame must be directed towards the board for the hasty decision to dismiss Irvine, seven months after the Scot had led the club to the play-offs. With Danny Welbeck and Matt James poised to return on loan from Manchester United, can Ferguson engineer a promotion push next season?


Finishing position: 13th
High point: Derby County 2 Queens Park Rangers 4, October 24. Fans talk of a return to the top flight after scoring four goals for the third successive match to move into a play-off place.
Low point: Middlesbrough 2 QPR 0, February 27. This defeat extends their run to 21 matches without a clean sheet, the longest record in all four divisions. A pitiful farewell for Mick Hartford, the caretaker manager, as Neil Warnock waits in the wings to take charge.

Verdict: Six permanent managers have failed to live up to expectations amid talk of Flavio Briatore’s alleged interference in team selection but with the Italian now sidelined, fans will believe that they can mount a genuine challenge — assuming Warnock gets the money he will want for players.


Finishing position: 9th
High point: Liverpool 1 Reading 2 (aet), FA Cup third-round replay, January 13. Defeat at Anfield beckoned until, in time added on in regulation play, Gylfi Sigurdsson slotted in a penalty. Shane Long did the rest in extra time to earn a deserved victory.
Low point: The dismissal of Brendan Rodgers, the manager, December 16. Rodgers found it hard to live in the shadow of Steve Coppell, his illustrious predecessor, but appeared to be turning the corner when the axe fell.

Verdict: In 23rd place in late January but they made a remarkable late surge for the play-offs under Brian McDermott. The former chief scout has to keep the momentum going next season but has little hard cash in the pot for squad strengthening.


Finishing position: 20th
High point: Sc*n*horpe United 2 Newcastle United 1, October 20. A game that was difficult to comprehend. Both Sc*n*horpe goals were scored by Martyn Woolford, who was playing non-League football two years ago.
Low point: Leicester City 5 Sc*n*horpe 1, February 13. Needing points to survive, Sc*n*horpe capitulated, much to the chagrin of Nigel Adkins, the manager.

Verdict: A remarkable achievement for a club who survive on crowds averaging 7,000 and a budget that is the lowest in the Championship. Adkins deserves his chance at a bigger club, but appears happy to continue working miracles at Glanford Park, where the likes of Woolford, Gary Hooper and Matt Sparrow have excelled.

Sheffield United

Finishing position: 8th
High point: Sheffield United 3 Sheffield Wednesday 2, September 18. The biggest game of the season and the side cruise into a three-goal lead before the interval. Then the inevitable Wednesday onslaught falls just short.
Low point: Sheffield United 1 Port Vale 2, August 11 (Carling Cup, first round). Humiliation and a warning that United may not be as good as they thought.

Verdict: Eighth was a fair reflection on the season. United have gone backwards, irrespective of the injury problems. More worrying is the prospect of losing influential players such as Chris Morgan, Nick Montgomery and Paddy Kenny.

Sheffield Wednesday

Finishing position: 22nd
High point: Barnsley 1 Sheffield Wednesday 2, January 16. Alan Irvine’s first game in charge after the dismissal of Brian Laws brings a priceless derby victory to ease relegation fears.
Low point: Sheffield Wednesday 2 Crystal Palace 2, May 2. Wednesday need to win to avoid relegation but are always playing catch-up and get what they deserve.

Verdict: Wednesday let in too many goals and scored too few. Replacing Laws with Irvine was correct but the Scot could only do so much. Not for the first time, the club appear to have too many players on high wages. It promises to be a summer of upheaval.


Finishing position: 7th
High point: Defensive resilience, apart from the 5-1 defeat away to Blackpool in March. A tough team to break down, thanks to the organisational skills of Paulo Sousa, the manager.
Low point: Simply could not score goals. The goalless draw with Doncaster Rovers at home on the last day of the season said it all. Only one goal would have taken them into the play-offs.

Verdict: Must find a prolific goalscorer from somewhere, otherwise another season of frustration beckons. Future of Sousa has to be resolved sooner rather later; close-season speculation can be ruinous.


Finishing position: 16th
High point: Watford 3 Queens Park Rangers 1, December 7. Skill, courage and panache as Watford move into the play-off places, amid financial uncertainty. Lloyd Doyley scores his first goal in his 269th match.
Low point: Threat of administration, December 16. Shares are suspended after Jimmy Russo, the former chairman, demands repayment of a £4.88 million loan. The club stave off administration with hours to spare.

Verdict: Over the worst. Shareholders will be asked to endorse proposals to improve the club’s finances today, but players will still have to be sold, if not on the level of last summer.

West Bromwich Albion

Finishing position: 2nd
High point: Swansea City 0 West Bromwich Albion 2, March 16. This win brings promotion within touching distance, a rearguard action backed up by late goals from Graham Dorrans and Ishmael Miller.
Low point: West Brom 1 Nottingham Forest 3, January 8. Roberto Di Matteo’s side are blown away by their promotion rivals, but while West Brom win their next nine home games, Forest fail to win away again.

Verdict: After a fourth promotion in nine years, West Brom are entertaining but must tighten up defensively. Jeremy Peace, the chairman, wants to invest in higher salaries more than transfer fees.

Reporting team: George Caulkin, Tom Dart, Gary Jacob, Peter Lansley, Russell Kempson, Nick Szczepanik, John Percy, Ian Edwards, Chris Brereton, Sam Christie, Neil Johnston, Jason Mellor, Graham Chase, Jeremy Cross

The Times

- An older 2010 Video of Mike Flanagan (talking, not playing)

- Briatore Guest of Ecclestone at Monaco Grand Prix

- Year Flashback: Ipswich Fans Discussing
the Prospective Appointment of Jim Magilton as QPR Manager

Independent - Tower power: Old pals' act for Evatt and Ollie after settling scores

Blog Archive