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Saturday, February 26, 2011

QPR Report Saturday: Warnock's Weekly...Kenny Profiled...Decade Flashback: Ian Holloway Appointed QPR Manager

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Throughout the day, updates, comments and perspectives re QPR and football in general are posted and discussed on the QPR Report Messageboard...Also Follow: QPR REPORT ON TWITTER

- At Game time: Join in the QPR Report "Live Chat"

- Next: Middlesbrough - Stats/Past Results/Past Match Reports

- QPR Report Interview: The Middlesbrough Perspective

- Great Video: QPR vs Ipswich - As much for the close-up/Match Atmosphere (As posted on Twitter)

- Neil Roberts Dying Wish for More Runners (Race for Life Herne Bay: June 2011)

- Port Vale Manager Gannon Removed From Team Bus

- Change of Date for Last Match of the Season: QPR's (and all others) will Now played on Saturday May 7 (12:45 kickoff) instead of Sunday, May 8.

- Gavin Mahon Extends QPR Stay by Another Month (till mid-March)

- "Spot the Ball II:" - The Answer!

Irish Independent/Daniel McDonnell - Kenny's Indian summer plenty of food for thought - QPR 'keeper gives Trap

Saturday February 26 2011

FROM Ziggy's Spice House to the Premier League. Paddy Kenny's road to redemption is almost complete.

The in-form Irish 'keeper made his 500th appearance in English football on Tuesday and marked the occasion with his 18th clean sheet in the league for QPR this season.

Kenny can reflect on the landmark with particular pride, given that his career has twice threatened to go off the rails in recent years. In fact, when he takes the field for the Championship leaders at Middlesbrough this afternoon, he will be just 63 miles away from his hometown of Halifax, where his life seemed to be unravelling on an October night four and a half years ago.

An ill-advised night on culminated with Kenny having part of his eyebrow bitten off outside Ziggy's, a late-night Indian curry house, by a man who claimed that he was having an affair with the goalkeeper's wife Karen.


The front page headlines didn't stop there. It turned out that Karen had left Kenny for another man, a friend who had been a guest at their wedding. "I was a baddy to my Paddy," screamed the headline in 'The Sun.'

Such public humiliation perhaps puts any football shame in comparison, but those personal issues came only a few weeks after he was the man between the sticks in Ireland's 5-2 thrashing at the hands of Cyprus. Hesitant that evening, Kenny pulled out of the following game with Czech Republic and hasn't represented the country of his parents since.

Indeed, in the turmoil that followed, he asked then boss Steve Staunton not to consider him for international squads. He changed his mind in 2008, but no subsequent call has been forthcoming.

There is a clamour for Giovanni Trapattoni to extend that invitation in the wake of Shay Given's latest setback, yet it seems that goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly -- who was part of Staunton's backroom staff -- was leaning towards other options when he spoke earlier this week.

After the Cypriot debacle, there were repeated murmurings in Irish football circles that his withdrawal from the Czech game was less to do with injury and more to do with his desire at that point.

Perhaps the stigma remains, yet Kenny has the appearance of a reformed character now, a physical shadow of his former self who looks in better shape than he did in some of his burlier days at Sheffield United.

His eight years with the Yorkshire club ended last summer in controversial fashion, when he accepted a double-your-money offer to move to London on a £20,000-a-week contract.

The outrage in Sheffield derived from the fact that the Blades had supported Kenny through his second major controversy, an incident with grave implications in 2009. He tested positive for ephedrine in a routine drugs test which followed a play-off semi-final with Preston. Tablets bought to cure a chest infection were blamed, and a nine-month ban was the punishment. Sheffield United stayed loyal, and the supporters felt it was thrown back in their face when a key player walked out for a better offer.

The other significant factor, of course, was Neil Warnock. The ever-divisive manager -- nicknamed Colin W***er by opposition fans (work out the anagram) -- gave Kenny a chance at his first senior club, Bury, and then splashed the cash to bring him to the next level with Sheffield United. When Kenny was coping with headlines about drug shame, Warnock, then with Crystal Palace, vocally spoke out on his behalf.

"It's a tragedy," he said. "He's a big softy who has got no malice in him whatsoever. But it won't stop him from getting a club because he's a good 'keeper, the best in the Championship."

In the end, Warnock waited until he moved to a club with the cash to move for the 32-year-old and secured his man. His unique style of management strikes a chord with the player. Famously, after the incident outside Ziggy's, Warnock praised his 'keeper for not having dessert. "That's the positive for me," he said. "The other guy must have been hungrier." Behind closed doors, the approach would have been different, but in a testing period, he kept the player on-side.

The bottom line is that Kenny has emerged from his travails to a new happiness in a Warnock dressing-room packed with characters, of which the goalkeeper is one of the more vocal members. Earlier this week, in a piece with the QPR programme to mark his 500th outing, Kenny suggested that he hasn't reached his peak.

"I don't think being the other side of 30 is a big issue, particularly for goalkeepers," he said. "With age comes experience and I don't actually think you really gain that decent level of experience until you are in your late 20s or early 30s. I hope my best years are still to come.

"This has got to be the best form of my career now. Team spirit is so important -- and the gaffer makes it happen.

"All the players love him, love playing for him and he knows what to do to get the best out of every individual."

Certainly, Kenny can vouch for that, as he prepares to embark on an exciting chapter in his tale, even if the suspicion lingers that the desire to revive his Irish ambitions may remain unsatisfied for a little bit longer. Either way, he's on track for an Indian summer rather than an Indian supper. - Daniel McDonnell Irish Independent

Neil Warnock: Where have I seen him before? How Razak did a runner after I had tried to help him at Palace
What I Learnt This Week
Saturday, 26 February 2011

I would like to tell you a story from my previous club, Crystal Palace.

We had a young lad there who had come over from Ghana to play in a junior tournament and clearly wanted to stay in Britain. He told us he was 15 years old, though he was very reluctant to tell us anything about who he was or where he had come from. He had no passport. What he did have was bags of ability. In fact, I've never seen such a talented 15-year-old.

Palace helped him in a way that I've never seen any club support a young player. They spent a year coaching him and giving him all the support he needed. They made sure he was living in a safe environment and had money in his pocket. When Palace played Manchester City I went out of my way to introduce him to Emmanuel Adebayor.

However, without a passport he had problems staying here. The club worked tirelessly to help him. I went to four meetings with the immigration people in Croydon to speak on his behalf.

Then one day, without even telling us, he vanished. We couldn't get hold of him at his home and never saw or heard from him again. His name was Abdul Razak.

I read the other day about an 18-year-old African player who made his debut for Manchester City earlier this month. The article said that he had come from Ivory Coast but was facing deportation because he had been given only temporary leave to live here. His name? Abdul Razak.

You can imagine how the steam came out of my ears when I read this, after all the time and help we had given him.

2. Wenger is right to keep Fabregas out of cup final

Leaving Cesc Fabregas out of Arsenal's team to play Birmingham in tomorrow's Carling Cup final will have been a tough decision for all concerned. However, given his injury I'm sure it was the right one.

Arsène Wenger and Fabregas must be desperate to win some silverware, but it's vital that their captain, who is such a key player, is fit for the challenges that lie ahead. Arsenal are still going strong in the Champions League and FA Cup and they are the only serious rivals to Manchester United in the Premier League. A fit Fabregas can lead them to great things.

As soon as I saw him walk off with a hamstring injury against Stoke City I knew there was no way he would be fully fit to play four days later, although I'm sure he would have done anything to make the team.

Over the years I can remember a number of occasions when players were desperate to play in matches when I knew deep down that they weren't really fit. At other times a player who seems to have recovered can just break down again. It happened to us at Queen's Park Rangers a fortnight ago with Tommy Smith, who had also been out with a hamstring injury. He'd had two weeks of treatment, had trained hard and had been running and tackling without any problem. He returned against Nottingham Forest and scored a cracking goal but had to come off with a recurrence of the injury. He hasn't played since and is likely to be out for another week.

What an extraordinary last 10 days it's been for Arsenal. There was the wonderful Champions League victory over Barcelona, the FA Cup draw against Leyton Orient (a result which I predicted on talkSport last weekend), the win over Stoke, who are never easy opponents, and now tomorrow's cup final against Birmingham. To come through such contrasting tests unbeaten would show that they can cope with anything and would help them enormously in their final push this season.

As for Birmingham, it's a massive achievement for Alex McLeish to have got his team to Wembley. I bet he can hardly believe he is there, given the state of play at half-time in the second leg of their semi-final against West Ham. How Avram Grant's team threw away their place in the final I'll never know.

3. Championship should ban the unfair 'multiball' system

Watford are the latest team to fall foul of the "multiball" system, whereby ballboys and ballgirls can speed up play by throwing back a different ball after the original has gone out. Watford were leading 1-0 in midweek when some nifty work by a ballboy enabled Bristol City to launch a quick attack and equalise. Malky Mackay, Watford's manager, complained that play should have been stopped because there were two balls on the pitch at the start of the move.

We don't use the system at Loftus Road
. Human nature being what it is, I think the system is always likely to be operated unfairly, to the advantage of the home side, even though it was the away team that benefited at Watford.

Reading have used the system for years. As soon as the ball goes out at the Madejski Stadium it's thrown straight back into the hands of the home players. When it's a throw-in for the away team there are occasions when the ball is rolled towards them on the floor rather than being thrown. The multiball system is banned in the Premier League and I think it's time we followed suit in the Championship.

4. I could kick myself for taking defeat out on an anvil

Reading about Ricky Ponting's dressing-room tantrum at the Cricket World Cup this week, which left a television set in disrepair, brought back painful memories of a time when I took my Burton Albion team to Macclesfield. We were winning 1-0, but the referee played seven minutes of injury time and Macclesfield scored with the last kick of the game.

In the dressing room afterwards I saw what I thought was a piece of plastic on the floor and took a huge kick at it. Next thing I knew I was feeling pain like I'd never experienced before. What I'd kicked was one of those old-fashioned metal anvils you used when hammering studs into boots. Not wanting to tell the players how much pain I was in, I went straight into the shower room and bit my fist.

The nearest I've come to lashing out like that again was when we conceded a 93rd-minute equaliser at home to Bristol City this season, but I kept my cool. It's just as well that I've mellowed over the years.

5. Dress-down match days suit me so much better

Sports scientists at the University of Portsmouth have discovered that players pay more attention to managers when they're wearing tracksuits for training and suits for match days. I tried wearing a suit on match days after my Sheffield United team got promoted. It was at the start of the season and the weather was sweltering. I've never sweated so much and after three matches I was back in my tracksuit. What was good enough for Brian Clough and still works for Martin O'Neill will do for me.

6. McCoist's time has come – but he'll never be punctu-Ally

I'm delighted Ally McCoist will be succeeding Walter Smith as manager of Rangers. Ally's a wonderful guy, very humorous and good to be around. However, I did think to myself: I wonder if he'll get to all of the games on time? Ally's the worst timekeeper I've ever met.

7. Poor reward for Green Army's loyal service

I was sad to see my old club Plymouth Argyle going into administration. I just hope Argyle can survive because they're a wonderful club with magnificent supporters who follow the team in vast numbers all over the country.

When I was Argyle's manager we played at Hartlepool, where the Green Army were out in force as usual. I remember meeting two fans, a father and son. I said to the father: "I bet you had an early start today. When did you leave – about 6am?" He said: "Oh no, we left at 2am." They lived near Land's End, so they had to drive for up to three hours just to get to Plymouth. That's what you call loyal fans. Independent


February 26, 2001


IAN HOLLOWAY was this afternoon unveiled as the new manager of Queens Park Rangers at a press conference at Loftus Road.

The 37-year-old who managed Bristol Rovers for four and a half seasons left the Memeorial Ground earlier this season and returns to Loftus Road where he spent five years as a player. Further details and quotes from the new boss will appear here later.


NEW RANGERS boss Ian Holloway insists his return to Loftus Road is a challenge he is cannot wait to undertake.

Holloway, who spent five years as the club in the mid '90s takes over the reins at Loftus Road less than a month after leaving his post as boss of Bristol Rovers, and follows the path of Rangers' Director of Football Gerry Francis, who also swapped the West Country for a return to West London in 1991.

Subsequently Holloway's respect for Francis, who he served under as a player for ten years, is very high, but the 37-year-old insists that he is very much his own man.

The new boss has signed a contract until the end of the season with a view to another year and he is very glad to be back at Loftus Road.

"I was lucky enough to work with Gerry for over ten years at two different clubs and when I met him I thought I knew a lot about football," he said.

"After I met him I realised I knew nothing. What he doesn't know about the game you can write on the back of a postage stamp and the affect that he had on my overall career was so strong that I think without him I wouldn't be say here right now.

"However, I am my own person, I have my own ideas and I motivate players in a different way to Gerry and I want to rub off on these players here and if I need anybody watched or any guidance then I can talk to Gerry.

"I am one of life's optimists but my policy is to be honest and open with our fans. They are the ones who pay the money to come in. Anyone who knows me will tell you I am a wholehearted, passionate person and I was brought here before to rub off on the other players.

"I am hoping I can do that here with the players at the club and I am desperately looking forward to meeting them tomorrow morning and getting down to work." "I am absolutely delighted to be taking this on this challenge and I believe that by all pulling in the right direction we can get out of the position we are in."

More comprehensive quotes and a closer look at the new Rangers boss will appear here this afternoon.


DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN Nick Blackburn believes the Rangers board have appointed the right man in Ian Holloway to take over as manager from Gerry Francis.

"We set a certain criteria in appointing a new manager; we wanted someone the ability to motivate, coach well, had experience of management but also someone who was on their way up in the game, someone to help re-structure the club in terms of the academy and the youth system and finally a man who knows players at a lower level in the game or people from Academy league clubs," he said.
"We also knew that Ian made a lot of money in the transfer market with Bristol Rovers which is something we have failed to do in recent years and also his ability to spot and develop players which he has done with the likes of Barry Hayles, Jason Roberts and Bobby Zamora in his time there.

"I know he brings a lot of passion in the way he works and has a lot of passion for this football club and after last Saturday's performance at Wimbledon, I hope some of that passion transmits to the players.

"Ian has signed a contract until the end of this season with another year with options and he is very heavily incentivised especially if he can keep us in the First Division this year which is absolutley crucial to the future of this club.

"He is also heavily incentivised in terms of league positions so I hope he is going to be here for another few years because if he is it will be because he has been able to bring success to the football club.


THE appointment of Ian Holloway as the new manager of Queens Park Rangers was not a huge surprise considering the 37-year old's links with the club and speculation which had linked him with a move back to west London.

'Olly' spent five years as a player at Loftus Road in the mid '90s, being brought to the club by Gerry Francis from Bristol Rovers as one of his first signings to play the role of a combative midfielder who, along with Simon Barker and Ray Wilkins, formed an midfield engine room which more than held their own with the Premiership's finest. .

Holloway, by his own admission was not a player who was up there with the likes of Ferdinand, Wilson, Sinclair and Wilkins, in terms of ability, but his whole-hearted, determined style made him a warm favourite with the Loftus Road faithful. .

"It was a huge part of my playing career and I was so proud playing here, anyone who watched me in my time here could see what I was about; wholehearted, determined and I was delighted to work for Gerry. Without doubt this was the biggest club I ever played for and for me to be sat here today is fantastic," said Ian today after being unveiled as the new incumbent in the Loftus Road hotseat.

Holloway's family life has been well-documented with two of his children being profoundly deaf and his wife having bravely beaten Cancer during his time at Brentford over a decade ago, but Holloway's positive attitude in times of adversity made him a hugely popular figure with his team mates in his first spell in west London.

Such positivity is something he is desperate to bring back to the club and Holloway insisted today that there will be no room for negative vibes in his dressing room despite the fact that he is taking over a side which has just experienced conceding five goals or more in a game for the third time in a month.

"I fully aware and realistic of what we have to do but I am fed up with pessimists, I am an eternal optimist and I am so looking forward to this challenge.

"The players will get from me honesty and enthusiasm. I sincerely feel in my heart of hearts that I can keep this club up. We've had some cruel luck with injuries but all I am saying is that with determination, belief it is amazing what you can achieve. .

"I look for people who give me a positive when there is a negative and there are a few negatives at the moment but I know we can turn these things around."

Ian comes into the club with no fewer than 18 players out of contract in the summer and the new boss today warned that those who want to stay with the club would have to earn the right to be a Queens Park Rangers player.

"It is amazing what a new face can do there are an awful lot of players at this club out of contract and if they want to prove to me with hard work and determination that they want to be here next season by showing pride and passion for the club then they will have every chance for me to deal with them fairly.

"I won't criticise people before I start as the players don't know me I don't know them, it was a bad result on Saturday at Wimbledon but the two previous ones give me hope. As long as it is mathematically possible to remain in this division then we are in with a shout. I am a people person and I cannot wait to work with these people."

Prior to his arrival in Shepherds Bush Holloway has spent four and half seasons trying to get his home town club Bristol Rovers into Division One and he narrowly missed out in two heartbreaking occasions in 1999 and last season.

However, in his spell at the Memorial Ground he did add over £5 million into the club's coffers with the sales of Barry Hayles, Jason Roberts, Jamie Cureton and Bobby Zamora and his eye for a player is something what enhanced his reputation as a bright managerial prospect.

Last season was a heartbreaking one for everyone concerned with the Pirates as their promotion dream ended in disaster when a final day of the season defeat to Cardiff saw them drop out of the top six for the first time all season and miss out on the play-offs completely. .

"It was disastrous time for the club especially Olly who very much built that team and in the summer things went from bad to worse when Roberts and Cureton had to be sold," said Chris Swift, the Rovers Football Correspondent for the Bristol Evening Post.

"In his time here he did produce a team which liked to get the ball down and play but a combination of some of the bigger players being tapped up by agents for moves to larger clubs and injuries they missed out at the final hurdle twice.

"It was rotten luck for the whole team really last season as coming into the last eight games he lost his whole midfield with season-ending injuries and he simply didn't have the squad to cover the cracks.

"It was a horrible feeling for everyone concerned as a year earlier they missed out on a Wembley appearance after losing in the play offs to Northampton 3-0 after winning the first leg 2-0 at home and this season the team hasn't really recovered from the loss of two players who bagged 50 goals between them in a season," said Swift.

Holloway left the Memorial Ground a month ago after struggling start to the season but says his enthusiasm for the game has not been diluted one little bit.

"I am very proud of the fact that I have only been out of work for four weeks which has given me a chance to spend with my family something which you can't do too much as a manager, but once you are bitten in the neck you are a vampire and I can't wait to get back in there and start work with the lads here.

"When you go into a new job you never know what other people think of you. However, I know what some of the lads that I have taken from a lesser standard and worked with have done and I am very proud of them and I know what they think of me.

"My relationship with Jason Roberts was fantastic and it broke my heart when I had to sell him to West Brom, but I have faith in my ability and I am determined to succeed here with these players.

"If they want to work with me morning, noon and night to improve themselves then I am willing to do that. I will work with them as much as I can and I can't stress enough just how excited I am to get this opportunity and I honestly cannot wait to get started." .

Deputy chairman Nick Blackburn admitted at this afternoon's gathering that he was unsure as to how assistant manager Iain Dowie would react to the news of Holloway's appointment after he failed to get the job, and Holloway said he was unsure of Dowie's position in the new set-up.

"I am convinced that Iain Dowie will have a great career as a manager. I have not spoken to him since the appointment but it is up to the two Ians to decide what they will do for the future," he said.

Holloway did not rule out the likelihood of Dowie remaining at the club, but insisted that until he had spoken to the staff and the players at the club he wasn't prepared to comment.

"Until I have spoken to everyone here I cannot comment on what will happen but I have my own ideas which I want done my way. I know football is notorious for managers bringing their own people in, but until I have assessed the whole set-up I cannot say what will happen." .

BBC - Monday, 26 February, 2001, QPR name Holloway as boss

Queens Park Rangers have named Ian Holloway as the new manager at Loftus Road.

Former QPR midfielder Holloway - sacked as Bristol Rovers boss last month - takes over from Gerry Francis who announced he was standing down 10 days ago.

I can't wait to take it on and I feel we can kick on from this
QPR boss Ian Holloway

He said: "I'm absolutely delighted to take this challenge on and motivate some of these players.

"It was a huge part of my playing career and I felt so proud. Anybody that watched me play could see what I was - whole-hearted and determined.

"This is the biggest club I ever played for and what we achieved in those five years, I was delighted.

"I can't wait to take it on and I feel we can kick on from this."


Holloway has joined Rangers on a contract for the remainder of this season and the whole of next term with options for an extension.

He is optimistic that he can keep the struggling club in the First Division, but insists that it is not just down to him.

"The players have got to work hard and they'll get honesty and enthusiasm from me and hopefully that will rub off.

"We are fully realistic of where we are and what we've got to do."

The former Rovers boss takes charge of first-team affairs on Tuesday and will work alongside his former mentor Francis, who has become the club's director of football.

But Holloway's appointment - which Francis is widely reported to have supported - throws the future of Rangers' assistant manager Iain Dowie into doubt.

Dowie was desperate to take over but, having failed in his second bid to land the job, could be set to leave the club altogether especially if - as expected - Holloway brings in Gary Penrice as his assistant. BBC

MAIL/STANDARD - Football: Holloway's back as QPR manager
by DAVID BOND, Evening Standard

Former Loftus Road favourite Ian Holloway was today appointed manager of Queens Park Rangers and handed the task of steering his old club clear of relegation.
Holloway, who played 147 games for QPR, has just 13 matches left to guide them to safety. Saturday's 5-0 defeat at Wimbledon left Rangers one place above the drop zone on goal difference.
His appointment comes 10 days after Gerry Francis announced he was standing down as manager. The game on Saturday was his last in charge of the team and he is now expected to take up the club's offer of a place on the board.
But Holloway, who was sacked as manager of Bristol Rovers last month, will be in full control of the side for Saturday's home League clash against Sheffield United.
The club refused to reveal the length of his contract but confirmed it was not a stop-gap measure and that Holloway's deal was "multi-year".
Iain Dowie will remain as his assistant for the time being even though he was interviewed and turned down for the manager's position.
Chief executive David Davies said: "Ian is one of the club's most enthusiastic sons and we are delighted he has decided to join us. He will be fundamental in keeping the club in Division One this year."
With the club facing an uncertain future following chairman Chris Wright's decision to sell his majority stakeholding, finding a new manager has proved difficult. Last week Dave Basset, Wycombe's Lawrie Sanchez and former Huddersfield manager Steve Bruce all distanced themselves from the job. But Davies says Holloway was always their No 1 choice.
He added: "No one else was offered the job. Steve (Bruce), Lawrie (Sanchez) and David (Basset) were never actually offered the post in the first instance. Two of those three were seen in interviews along with Ian and we only made one offer and that was to Ian.
"We believe he is the man to take us forward. His four and a half years at Bristol Rovers typified his character and in the end he got no reward for that work. We think he was unlucky to get sacked from Bristol Rovers but we are certainly not complaining as it has been to our advantage.
"He has never courted publicity but if you examine the statistics both with wins, losses and points and also in player trading, he has done extremely well.
"He has worked with financial restraints and in our current situation that's what we need. I think one or two of the other people we saw might not have been comfortable with that.
"When Ian was a player he instilled a great deal of affection with our fans. He never gave up and that's the attitude we need to get us out of trouble now.
"We've got 13 games to go and I'm sure the first thing he will do is to work on the dynamics of the team and the players' willingness to go that extra yard. Woe betide any of them who aren't prepared to do that."
There still remains the job of finding new owners and Davies said: "We can now devote all our energies to finding a buyer."

Monday, February 26, 2001 : Soccer: Holloway named QPR boss

Ian Holloway has been named as the new manager of struggling First Division side Queens Park Rangers.Holloway was sacked as manager of Second Division Bristol Rovers last month and takes over from Gerry Francis, who recently resigned as QPR boss.Holloway made more than 200 appearances for the Loftus Road club between 1991 and 1996.He will take over another club fighting relegation - Rangers are fourth bottom of Division One and were on the wrong end of a 5-0 drubbing at Wimbledon on Saturday.Bristol Rovers almost won a play-off place under Holloway last season, but have endured a dramatic change of fortune this season.Despite beating Everton in the Worthington Cup under Holloway, they failed to win a home game prior to his departure on January 30.

- QPR Report's "Spot The Ball" - Week II

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