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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

QPR Report Wednesday: QPR Man Moves to #10 (Downing Street)...A Blackburn Fan Perspective...Flashback: Eusebio at Loftus Road...Gossip...Indian Youths

Eusebio and Gordon Banks at Loftus Road: Enlarged Photo Eusebio vs Banks: Enlarged Photo
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- QPR Man at Number 10 (Downing Street)

- QPR-India: Two New Youths Coming to Train (Update)

- Audio: Keith Curle Interviewed Today on Talksport (Click to Listen)

- Vaagan Moen on the Official Site

- Three Ex-QPR Birthdays

- News of Ex-QPR Ricky Sappleton: "Lose Weight"

- Three More Managers Axed

- Charlton's New Owner...Criticism of Beckham

- Twenty-Six Managerial Departures Since July 1

- Routledge Linked to Liverpool and 8 Million Pound valuation!

- An appeal from the family of seven year old QPR Fan, Grace Murphy in need of operation

Daily Mail - Curtis Davies?
Meanwhile, Curtis Davies returned to Aston Villa yesterday, and was subject of an inquiry by Queen's Park Rangers.
- Davies finished a loan spell at Leicester City and was waiting to hear whether their £2.5m offer would be accepted. QPR's request comes after Villa asked to take Kyle Walker on loan from Tottenham who has been key to QPR's promotion drive this season. Daily Mail

Mirror/Alan Nixon - Austin's powers in demand at QPR- QPR boss Neil Warnock has made a £1.6million bid for Norwegian side Brann Bergen’s Jamaica striker Rodolph Austin to reinforce Rangers' push for promotion to the Premier League. Mirror

Blackburn's Topman has very kindly responded to a series of questions re Blackburn prior to Saturday's FA Cup Tie. Very, many thanks to Topman for doing this Q&A

- How long have you supported Blackburn?

I've been supporting Rovers for around 14 years, so I just missed out on Uncle Jack's golden era. I'm not a local lad, and I have to admit my first reason for supporting Rovers was their kit (hey, I was only young!) The blue & white halves are unique to Blackburn Rovers and as I learned more about the club and its proud history I knew they were the one for me. They're in my blood now and even when my faith in the game has been pushed to the very limit, I could never turn my back on Rovers. Unfortunately due to distance and financial constraints, I don't get to Ewood Park as much as I would like. However, that's something I plan to change in 2011.

Who are Blackburn's big rival? Bolton and Burnley? Is it a dislike or a hatred?

Burnley – affectionately known as 'The Dingles'. The poor buggers have been living in our shadow for generations and haven't beaten us for 32 years, so you can imagine they're a bitter bunch of bastards. It was a hoot watching them fall apart last season with Owen Coyle leaving them high and dry for Bolton. On the flip side, a fierce local derby was great for the area and offered some rare excitement from the usual humdrum of the Premier League. It would be great to meet them again in a cup competition but they should stay in the lower leagues where they belong.

- What DID you think of Allardyce?
Allardyce was the perfect appointment to clear up the ungodly mess left over by Paul Ince. He was a safe pair of hands and although his style of football was rarely pleasing on the eye, to say the least, it was a small price to pay to stop us going under. The same could also be said for the man's mammoth ego and the way he'd take all the credit whenever we won but blamed the players whenever we lost. In his first full season, we finished 10th after a healthy run of results and even our football improved. Not bad for a team with a -£18m budget. This season, I was hoping we'd pick up where we left off, but if anything we went backwards. Back to playing percentage football and no Plan B for away games. Sam's brand of football had sucked any fun out of watching Rovers. I didn't expect us to be playing fast, free-flowing football on our budget but Big Sam was unwilling to let the players express themselves. It was either his way or the high way.

I wasn't Allardyce's biggest fan come the end but to sack him at this stage of the season was astonishing. It would've made more sense to keep a settled side until the Summer (when Allardyce's contract expired), then the players could benefit from a pre-season under their belts with a new manager. I only backed the decision on the condition Venky's had a proven replacement (Martin Jol or a Jurgen Klinsmann) waiting in the wings. The scary thing is Venky's didn't appear to have a clue *who* they wanted and there was even talk of Maradona at one stage! So now coach Steve Kean has been handed the keys until the end of the season... or four months.... it's hard to keep track of Venky's official party line. The whole decision lacks professionalism from the new owners and an insult to how we've done our business in the past. Let's hope Kean has what it takes and the new owners back him in the transfer window, otherwise things could get very messy.

- What do you think of Kean? Are you afraid?
Kean is an intelligent and highly-rated coach but we all know it takes more than that to be a PL manager. I struggle to think of a PL coach who's made the successful step-up to management (you only have to look at recent failures like Sammy Lee and Ricky Sbragia). There's also some controversy surrounding his appointment, because Kean is on the books of football agency Kentaro, who are working behind the scenes for the new owners. However, he's our manager for the foreseeable future and he's already made some positive steps. Our away win at WBA was especially encouraging in the way we played and the players pulling together with only ten men showed there's no shortage of spirit. Kean wants to play less rigidly and actually take the game to teams on the road – whereas with Big Sam it was all about avoiding defeat. It's very much early days for the new manager and he has my support.

- I thought with the Jack Walker Trust, you'd be safe. So I don't understand how you got sold?
The Trust was set up to look after Jack's assets, which means it was only out of obligation that they owned the club. They withdrew funding three years ago and we had to sustain ourselves through player sales and slashed ticket prices. They refused to put a penny into the team, despite the accumulated wealth from their other businesses, meaning we started the season with a big fat ZERO transfer budget and had to scramble around for freebies like the legendary Benjani. As a result, our team is showing years of underinvestment and players like David Bentley and Roque Santa Cruz have still yet to be replaced. It's all well and good becoming a trading club again but it means diddly squat if you can't afford to sign anyone. The Walker Trust were simply sitting on their hands until a suitable party could take over.

The club couldn't hold out much longer and badly needed new owners. At the same time, with the Portsmouth debacle, we had to proceed with caution. There isn't a magic Sheikh waiting around every corner, and If I'm perfectly honest, I wouldn't want my club to go down the Man. City route. There's no glory in playing fantasy football, lining the pockets of mercenaries with wages that could feed a small country. People make comparisons nowadays between Man. City and Rovers of old but they couldn't be farther from the truth. Sure, we broke some transfer records and bankrolled a new team, however, it was about astute management as it was big-spending, and people conveniently forget how many of the title-winning side were bargain buys from the lower divisions. Furthermore, look at the profits we made on key players like Le Saux, Sherwood, Sutton and Shearer. You'll never see the like of which at Man. City or Chelsea.

Since the Trust put us up for sale two years ago, we've had our fair share of time-wasters, more recently Indian businessman Ahsan Ali Syed, who featured on BBC's Radio 5 Live Investigates. There was talk of him investing £300m into the club, which naturally turned out to be hot air, and he also made a private donation to a local cathedral as a last-ditch PR stunt. In the end, it was Indian poultry firm Venky's who did enough to satisfy the conditions of a takeover. Initially, they made the right noises, talking about consolidating our PL status and upholding the old-fashioned values of the club. Nothing too far-fetched. Of course, it didn't take them long to go back on their word. The sudden sacking of the manager and ever conflicting stories between chairwoman Mrs. Desai and her two brothers have turned us from a well respected club into a media circus. The club has obviously been bought, first and foremost, as a flagship for promoting their chicken company. As the saying goes 'any publicity is good publicity'. Let's just hope they can put their money where their mouth is if they're truly seriously about making Rovers a global brand.

Who are you Dangerman?
Junior Hoilett
Young Canadian winger who the fans have high hopes for. He can play up front or out wide and has bags of pace. Needs to work on his final ball, which hopefully will improve in time.

Mame Biram Diouf
Another young striker, this one on loan from Man. Utd. Drifts in and out of games but has a good engine on him and an eye for goal.

David Dunn
Has been largely disappointing this season and needs to work on his weight. However, Dunn is always capable of pulling something out of the bag, so you'll need to watch him.

Most overrated player(s)?
Morten Gamst Pedersen
Pedersen's very much a MOTD player and his form has been more miss than hit over the past few years. He's lost the legs to play out wide and has been converted into a centre-midfielder. Take the set-pieces out of his game and he offers very little from that position. Despite this, he still manages to be a fans' favourite.

- Most underrated player(s)?
Nikola Kalinic
This guy is a talented player with a lot of potential, however, Sam obviously didn't do his homework before paying £6m for him. Kalinic likes the ball to feet or down the channels, where it makes the best of his ability. Sam just shoved him up front on his own and hoped he'd become the next Kevin Davies. With a decent midfield behind him, this guy could easily be a 15+ goal a season striker.

What is your view and the general Blackburn view of QPR?
I'm pretty neutral towards QPR, although I'm quite pleased to see you doing well this season. Neil Warnock knows that league inside out and if he gets you promoted maybe he could form a comedy duo with Ian Holloway? I also think Adel Taarabt was an absolute steal for you guys and someone I wanted us to take a chance on.

Best Memory/Worst Memory of Past Blackburn-QPR Encounters?
The one which stands out most is the 2-0 defeat at Ewood Park back in 1999. That was a serious low point for the club and signalled the demise of Brian Kidd's reign. Next season we were promoted under Graeme Souness, so you could say it was the beginning of our revival. Cheers!

- Are you looking forward to playing QPR?
It'll be a good challenge for both sides, provided neither team rests too many players. We don't have the strength in depth to get away with it, especially with a mounting injury list.

We'll edge it 2-1. It really could go either way.

- Where, realistically, do you think Blackburn will be in five years time? -I'm more concerned with where we'll be in five months time!

- Thanks for agreeing

Thank you. It's been a pleasure to give you an insight into our club.
Good luck for the rest of the season! (Cup games aside!).

Thanks again to Topman!

TWID - The Indepdent Ipswich Site - QPR's Derry Confirms He Almost Joined Town
- QPR midfielder Shaun Derry has confirmed that he was close to joining the Blues in the summer. The 33-year-old, who was out of contract at Crystal Palace at the end of last season, says Town boss Roy Keane made a “huge impression” on him but that he was unable to agree terms at Portman Road.
- Derry, who has been a key man for the league leaders this season, said: “I was close to joining Ipswich. I met Roy Keane and he made a huge impression on me.”
- The club’s failure to sign Derry has been a source of frustration for Keane throughout the season, the Irishman outlining the situation in August: “Ten weeks ago, I had a player in my office who would have signed that afternoon, but we couldn’t do a deal for him. He’s now playing for a good team and doing well,” said Keane, who later confirmed that Derry was the player involved.
- The former Sheffield United and Leeds man similarly says that the move broke down after unsuccessful contract negotiations with Town’s money men before he was reunited with one of his former bosses at Loftus Road: “You’ve hit the nail on the head there.
- “Fate took me to Loftus Road and I couldn’t be happier. I also have the utmost respect for Neil Warnock. He’s the one who gave me a chance when I was in the wilderness at Leeds and I felt I owed him. It was a tough decision to make but I am satisfied that I made the right one.” TWID

- Three Year Flashback: Fitz Hall Joins QPR (on a 4 1/2 Year Contract)

- Recalling the QPR-Chelsea "Union"

- Two New Books About Bernie Ecclestone

Enlarged Photo!

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