QPR Report Twitter Feed

Friday, June 24, 2011

QPR Report Friday: No Routledge Signing...Taarabt Assessed...Relegation Odds...Remembering Leon Jeanne...Flashback: Bill Power QPR's New Chairman

- Seven Year Flashback: QPR's New Chairman
- Throughout the day, the QPR Report Messageboard has news updates, comments and perspectives - even links to other board comments of interest re QPR matters (on and off the field) along with football (and ONLY football) topics in general....Also Follow: QPR REPORT ON TWITTER

- The Reported Names of the Committee Members of the Official Supporters Club (OSC)...The QPR-OSC Meeting Minutes Scheduled for Monday "Publication"

- Current Premiership Relegation Odds

- Two Year Flashback: QPR Reject Parma Friendly!


- Leeds Ban Great Grandmother for Pitch Invasion

- Intimate piercing leads to red card for Australian

- Flashback: 2008-2009 Youth Team Reviewed

- Ex-QPRs: Where Are They Now?

Paul Warburton/Fulham Chronicle - QPR pull out of Routledge deal
-QPR last night abandoned plans to sign £1.5million Wayne Routledge on a permanent basis.
-It appears Hoops will now be forced to spend the £12 million budget for new faces on shoring up other parts of the squad instead.
- The winger himself left a message on his Twitter account this week he expects to start pre-season training with parent club Newcastle at the beginning of July – and Rangers are reluctantly pulling the plug on a player who gave them the final impetus in the Championship when he signed on-loan in January.
- Routledge made 20 appearances and hit five crucial goals – including a late match-winner at Reading on February 4 when Rs were down to 10 men.
- However, the former Tottenham and Fulham player’s second spell at Loftus Road, following his sale to the Magpies in January 2010, only came about after Jamie Mackie suffered horrific cruciate damage in the FA Cup at the beginning of this January.
- Mackie is on course for a return to action in August, leaving Routledge no option but a return to St James Park.
- The south Londoner was the first man on boss Neil Warnock’s list for Rangers’ return to the Premiership.
- But after the treble disappointments of losing strikers Danny Graham and Steve Morrison to other clubs as well as being priced out of a bid for Peterborough’s Craig Mackail-Smith, the manager is clearly keeping his wallet closed until he can nail down a quality forward.
- An Rs insider admitted: "It’s a question of budget and priorities." Chronicle

David McIntyre Blog -Show Taarabt the reports

Adel Taarabt is doing all he can to avoid ending up back at QPR this season. Which makes this summer no different to last summer and the one before.

Taarabt, as everyone knows, is convinced he should be playing at the very top level. He believes his mistake was to join Tottenham rather than Arsenal, and that having taken a downward step it’s a matter of time before he is taken to his rightful level.

There are plenty of fans and reporters who share Taarabt’s belief that he is good enough – or at least will be – to be a major star. But they’re not the people he needs to convince.

Taarabt’s emergence at Rangers has boosted his profile massively, leading to him being touted as some kind of new sensation. He isn’t. All the major clubs knew everything there was to know about Taarabt already – good and bad. There’s nothing new there. He’s been on the radar for years.

There is certainly lots of interest out there in how Taarabt fares in the top division for QPR. If he cracks it this season he may well get that big move.

My view of Taarabt has always been very straightforward, and why I never considered for a second that Rangers might miss out on him a year ago, when an almighty fuss was made over whether he’d return. There were never going to be any other takers.

For all the hype surrounding Taarabt and the excitement he generates, the bottom line is that no Premier League club will even contemplate taking a player who can’t play up front, can’t play wide, can’t be given the ball in his own half and can’t be spoken to by his team-mates. It’s that simple.

He might have a chance of getting a move abroad, where clubs are structured differently and non-football people make football decisions – as we’ve seen happen at QPR in recent years – but he’s a long way short of Premier League material.

I think one of the biggest challenges he’ll face from August is that in the Championship, where the ball pings around almost non-stop, he could lose possession and quickly be handed another chance. That won’t be the case now.

At a higher level, he’ll find that if he loses the ball he could go five minutes without getting it again. When that happens, I think he’ll get frustrated, making him likely to overdo it when he does finally get the ball back. Eventually, I think this frustration will spill over, leading him to lose the plot totally. I’m happy to be proved wrong, but that’s how I see it going.

A further problem Taarabt will face is that despite his array of tricks, in many ways his game is extremely one-dimensional. He looks to operate in the same areas and do the same things over and over again.

In the Championship, sooner or later he always created something doing this. At a higher level, he’ll be much easier to shut the door on and will need to be clever enough to drift into other areas and pick up space. I don’t think he is clever enough.

Which leads me to the issue of how much Taarabt has actually developed during his time at QPR. I keep hearing that he’s matured, improved as a player and so on. I don’t see that. I see a player who Neil Warnock has allowed to do what he wants, knowing that what he does well makes him too hot for the Championship to handle.

By having everything built around him, being indulged in his every whim and playing in the areas of the pitch he’s best in, I fail to see how Taarabt has in any way developed as a person or player, or been equipped for the future.

An indication of Taarabt’s shortcomings came after the signing of Wayne Routledge, which led to the three men behind the lone striker being rotated much more, taking Taarabt out of the central zone he likes and often into wide areas.

When this happened, Taarabt was given very little change when going one-versus-one against merely decent Championship defenders with top-flight experience like Hermann Hreidarsson and Paul Konchesky. A glimpse of the future, perhaps.

That said, although Taarabt was quieter in those games, there were signs that he was learning. He also showed signs of being able to drop deeper to receive the ball and pick the right pass. That suggests there is a chance he will be able to take his game to another level.

Another challenge facing him is that not only are Premier League players far more likely to suss him out than second-tier defenders, they’re infinitely more likely to also then create something.

Give the ball away 10 yards inside your own half in the Premier League and fail to track back, and it’s very likely you’ll concede a goal. Much more likely than in the Championship.

If that happens, Taarabt will feel the wrath of team-mates and fans in a way he hasn’t before. There’s a world of difference between a dressing room in which he’s regarded as infuriating but likely to get his team promoted, and one in which he is seen as likely to get them relegated.

Sparks will fly, and Warnock’s proposed signing of the ultimate spiky character, Jimmy Bullard, is, mark my words, a sign that Taarabt’s days of being shielded from internal criticism are over. Bullard does not suffer fools.

Scepticism of Taarabt is often seen as typical of the English football mentality – the tide mavericks from Marsh, Bowles and Currie to Waddle and Le Tissier swam against during their careers.

No-one is more despairing of that mentality than me, or usually more eager to defend that type of skilful player. But Taarabt is not in their mould. His all-round game just isn’t there, and comparing him to skilful players from the past does them a great disservice. In fact I take great exception to him being mentioned in the same breath as Roy Wegerle, my all-time favourite player.

Wegerle, like any flair player worth his salt, did the bare minimum without the ball and often much less. In a way, I loved him for it. But this was a player who could play up top, or off the front, who worked both channels, was able to link play and do a host of other things. He was an all-round forward. Taarabt isn’t.

And even Wegerle knew when to drop into the right areas and stop his team being flooded when they didn’t have the ball. The same is true of Le Tissier – who often carried Southampton - and other flair players. They didn’t work hard enough for some, and sometimes went missing during games, but they were not passengers in the way Taarabt is.

It’s not an English thing either. Barcelona have the world’s greatest player in Lionel Messi and before that had Ronaldinho. Both have all the tricks in the book but neither is a liability defensively.

Barc, the best and most beautiful team on the planet, work fiendishly hard off the ball. Any notion that Taarabt could play for a team like that in the near future is frankly ridiculous. Real Madrid and top Italian sides have a similar work ethic without the flair.

So where would Taarabt fit in? Not in top European sides. Not in English teams with superior individual talents than him, and certainly not in those that don’t have those kind of players so rely on a team ethic.

Why, then, is Taarabt convinced the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and others are watching him? The answer is because they are. Every Premier League club is. But they watch all Championship players.

That’s not to say they and a number of European sides are not monitoring Taarabt more closely than most. Of course clubs are watching him; a 22-year-old with obvious ability, once touted as the next Zidane and who was often so unstoppable at Championship level.

But too much is often made of scouts watching players. I’m always amused at reports of ‘scouts’ from a club being at a game to watch someone. As in scouts plural. As if more than one or even a group of them turn up.

Clubs sending someone to games – especially games in the division below – is standard practice. Any player who makes a name for himself in the Championship will be watched by Premier League clubs. It’s a certainty. Taraabt has been checked, just as the likes of Buzsaky, Rowlands and the late Ray Jones, to name a few, were looked at in previous seasons.

Most scouts are hired on an informal basis, sent along to games in return for merely having their expenses paid, send in a report, and that’s that.

Often, scouts are sent along largely to placate agents, who tend to badger clubs to look at their players.

It’s easy for any decent agent to get top clubs to send someone to watch their clients. A host of Spanish clubs were invited to look at Taarabt towards the end of the season before last (which I’m convinced was a bigger factor in his improved displays than any chemistry with the newly-appointed Warnock).

So the scout goes along, the club in question updates their database and is able to tell the agent they’ve obliged their request to have a look, and are monitoring the player. Simple as that.

In Taarabt’s case, there’s more reason than usual to take notice of the standard agent spin that their man has really matured since last time they had a look, and they need to check him out. So they do, seemingly convincing Taarabt that the world’s best are clamouring for his signature.

Clubs watching players isn’t significant. What is significant is who those clubs are sending.

A random example here, but go to a Coventry game during the second half of last season and you’d find chief scouts, heads of recruitment, managers and assistant managers from Premier League clubs. The reason is that goalkeeper Kieran Westwood was of serious interest to them, and they were at the stage of strongly considering him as a signing.

That’s when scouting players gets to the business end. I haven’t seen any evidence of that level of interest in Taarabt.

Warnock isn’t bothered by Taarabt’s musings about being in demand, and in any case has more pressing priorities at the moment. But if he was bothered, there is something he could do that might have some effect.

To counter Taarabt’s excitement at being watched by top clubs, Warnock could show him what they actually think of him. The manager is very well connected and I’m sure could easily get hold of a couple of reports on Taarabt. Let him see them. I would.

These reports would include an assessment of Taarabt that is, at times, damning, and certainly very different to his or his advisors’ view of his ability. Even he might have to take stock.

I can’t claim to be mates with the great and the good of English football, but I know some of those who’ve been sent to watch to Taarabt and have spoken to a few more.

I’ve heard many words used to describe him – many of them complimentary. Yet one word has cropped up more than any other: bargepole.

So the next time Taarabt talks about his inevitable move to an elite club, I say show him a couple of reports on him. And then suggest he stops waiting by the phone." David McIntyre Blog

The Sun/Justin Allen - McAnuff just the Job for QPR
- QPR manager Neil Warnock is weighing up a £2million bid for Jobi McAnuff.
- Reading winger McAnuff was wanted by Warnock last summer but Royals chief Brian McDermott rejected a £1.5m offer.
- But the Hoops supremo remains a big fan of the 29-year-old, who has just one year left on his Madejski contract.
- New Birmingham boss Chris Hughton is also monitoring the situation.
- But a source said: "Jobi would love to have a crack at the Premier League League.
- "He's had his entire career in the Championship. He loves Reading so QPR need to make a decent bid."
- Warnock is ready to rescue Tal Ben Haim from his Portsmouth nightmare.
- Defender Ben Haim, 29, wants to quit after claiming Pompey have withheld his £36,000-a-week wages since January.
- And Rangers keeper Radek Cerny, 37, has signed a new one-year deal. The Sun

Mark Pitman/WalesonLine - The Hollywood twist in the Leon Jeanne story

During the summer months Football League clubs up and down the country will offer trials to talented young players, all of them desperate to earn themselves a professional contract to justify the sacrifices made in their teenage years just to find themselves in that position. One trialist looking to impress at newly-promoted Championship club Brighton & Hove Albion however will be one of Welsh football's modern day enigma's, as Leon Jeanne, 30, attempts to win over manager Gus Poyet and with it make a football comeback worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster. The final twist in Jeanne's rags to riches and back to rags story will depend on his physical and mental strength as he attempts to show he can once again compete against the best, and if he can achieve what recently seemed an impossible dream the scriptwriters will be waiting, but this story is one that is all too real.

Leon Jeanne came to prominence as a teenage sensation with Queens Park Rangers. Manager Gerry Francis showed great faith in one of Welsh football's stars of the future but the Cardiff-born winger struggled to adapt to life in London and suffered the first of a string of well-documented problems during his time at Loftus Road. Jeanne talked candidly about his time at QPR a few years later, describing how earning so much, so young with too much time on his hands resulted in him becoming involved with the wrong crowd as the easily-influenced Jeanne encountered run-ins with the law as often as he did with Francis as he slowly but surely lost his grip on opportunity he had been handed in the professional game. His release from Loftus Road however would result in his first 'second-chance'.

I have no intention to repeat the well-documented times and troubles of Leon Jeanne in this blog. Versions of many events vary and Jeanne himself will shortly have his opportunity to tell his side of the story when his up-coming autobiography is released. Instead, I will concentrate on my own memories of Leon Jeanne's footballing ability, having witnessed him make a number of debut's for different clubs at contrasting stages of his career, as well as seeing him play on the stages that his talent was not meant for. An internet search of his name generates headlines not usually associated with those of a professional footballer, but Jeanne is now attempting to re-write the wrongs, and once again be talked about for his football ability.

Following his release from Queens Park Rangers, Jeanne was offered a return to his home town by then Cardiff City Chairman Sam Hammam. Not one to skirt away from controversy, Hammam realised the potential benefits that the local youngster could bring to his recently acquired club and invested time and money in protecting Jeanne and eradicating the drug problems that he had developed. Jeanne appeared for Cardiff City as a second-half substitute in a midweek friendly against Merthyr Tydfil at Penydarren Park in the summer of 2001. With the part-time side already tiring from the opening half, Jeanne showed the large crowd, myself included, all the ability and talent that Hammam had taken a chance on and his performance became one of the biggest talking points of the night.

Within a year however Jeanne had his contract at Cardiff City terminated having tested positive for a class A drug and then providing a false specimen for a drug test later on in the season. Sam Hammam had tried and failed to eradicate the demons that haunted the player he eventually saw as becoming a local hero at Ninian Park. His debut had showed all the potential and promise that had surrounded him at QPR but his off the field actions continued to mirror what had cost him the life as a professional footballer in London. Within a few weeks though I would again almost witness another debut from Jeanne. Barry Town had arranged a friendly with English pyramid side Havant & Waterlooville at Jenner Park in 2002 in preparation for their upcoming European campaign. The team line-up for Havant surprisingly included Leon Jeanne but Barry Town questioned his involvement due to his recent suspension and Jeanne was withdrawn from the match less than 30 minutes before kick-off.

A popular football figure in the Grangetown area of Cardiff, Mark Jones had taken charge of Welsh Premier League side Port Talbot Town the season before and knew all about Jeanne and his past. Jones invited Jeanne to train with his squad with the intention of it mutually benefiting both parties as Jeanne was firmly out of the only profession he had ever known while Jones was actively searching for any available talent to strengthen his side within the constraints of his clubs budget. On the 16th October 2002, Jeanne sat in the stands of the Millennium Stadium as Wales claimed one of their greatest results in the modern-era with a 2-1 win over Italy. The reality that he could have been part of Mark Hughes squad that night hit home as the anthems rang out amongst the packed stadium as he passed that same comment to those in his company. Within 48 hours Jeanne would make another debut.

A Friday night derby between Llanelli and Port Talbot Town at Stebonheath in the Welsh Premier League would be the next stage to be graced by Jeanne. Despite showing signs around the waist that he was no longer training as a professional, Jeanne scored a sublime second goal in his sides 2-0 win. The S4/C camera's followed him throughout the match for their highlights programme and the paternal instincts of Mark Jones made sure the post-match interview with Jeanne would focus only on his nights work for his new team when the reporters present were only interested in his past. Jeanne remained at Port Talbot Town for a couple of months but his desire to play part-time football quickly diminished as outside activities became his main focus.

Over the course of the next seven years Jeanne played at a host of small Welsh clubs. From Welsh League sides like Dinas Powys and Maesteg Park to turning out for local league outfits like the Carpenters Arms and Cardiff Draconians. Jeanne was almost unrecognisable when I was present for a match he played for the latter with his weight problems hiding the pace he showed that night he impressed for Cardiff City at Penydarren Park. The touches and technique still included his trademark leg-lifting dummy but Leon Jeanne, the talented footballer, no longer existed. Only Jeanne himself can explain those lost years as his disappearances became expected by the tolerating local league coaches who enjoyed the kudos of working with the disgraced star.

In 2009 Leon Jeanne was once again listed on the team-sheet for an English non-league club in a friendly that I attended. This time it was Weston-Super-Mare who had offered him another opportunity to prove himself in pre-season as he made a brief appearance against his former club Port Talbot Town as a second-half substitute. His time at Weston would be unsurprisingly brief however and within a few weeks he was back in the Welsh pyramid with Maesteg Park and Cardiff Corinthians. With his best years as a footballer seemingly behind him, few expected Jeanne ever to find himself back playing any kind of semi-pro standard again, but if his advancing years meant his career was coming to close, they also brought with them a new-found maturity.

Jeanne would have one more chance. Bath City manager Adie Britton would be the latest to offer the former Wales Under-21 International the opportunity to show that his undoubted ability was now matched with motivation. Jeanne for once appreciated the opportunity. With his act cleaned up off the field, a leaner and fitter player arrived at Twerton Park in November 2010, his motivation fuelled by the promise of interest from a Football League club if he made a success of this last chance. Dual-registration with Cinderford Town offered him regular football as Britton monitored his progress and his change of attitude became apparent as he stuck with the task in hand longer than his customary few weeks.

Receiving help from all corners along the way, Jeanne was exposed to the harsh realities of what he once had and lost as work began on his autobiography. The final chapter and title would revolve around this last opportunity to salvage his footballing reputation, and as Jeanne put in the hours at Cinderford Town and in the gym, a new-found focus appeared to have brought the best out of this once prestigious talent. His chance of making a Football League return remained a significant outside bet, but his own belief cut the odds considerably, and this week he begins what will be the most important few weeks of his football career.

Brighton & Hove Albion are a club on the up. Under the high-profile guidance of former Chelsea and Spurs favourite Gus Poyet, the club claimed the League One title last season and will start the new Championship campaign in their brand new stadium as they look to repeat their former glories that saw them play in the top-flight and reach an FA Cup Final in the 1980's. One unfamiliar face reporting for pre-season training however will be Leon Jeanne. When former Uruguayan International Poyet took charge at Brighton in 2009, Jeanne was a local league ex-pro lost in the lower levels of the Welsh football pyramid. Both have enjoyed significant rises since then, but even more surprisingly, their paths will this week cross as Brighton prepare for their return to the Championship.

Jeanne still has a lot to prove and the opportunity of a trial at Brighton & Hove Albion does not constitute a return to the professional game. On reflection however, the fact that he does have this second-chance after the problems that ruined his potential as a youngster, and his subsequent years spent in footballing wilderness ,will mean his new-found dedication over the last year has been worthwhile and he can be rightfully proud that his determination to finally succeed has brought with it this reward. Whatever the outcome of his time at Brighton Jeanne still has a unique and powerful story to tell, and even if his football career does not provide the Hollywood ending, he can move on from the professional game without the regret at not taking on and making the most of one last challenge.

Visit www.markpitman1.com for links to all blogs, news stories, features, reports and opinion as the big Welsh football news stories break.
You can also follow Mark Pitman on facebook and twitter.

Four Year Flashback: QPR Chairman Gianni Paladini Talking About Selling the Club

- QPR Official Twitter (More than 7,000 Followers)

- Ex-QPR Trialist Gets Three Years in Prison over Killing

- Ex-QPR's Ali Russell Update: Speaking About His New Job at Glasgow Rangers

- Ex-QPR Gigi De Canio Supposedly Expecting to Return to England This Summer

- QPR's Last Fan Forum: More than One Thousand, Five Hundred Days (1,500) Days Ago. Flashback to that last forum.

- Yeovil Looks to Fans to Act as (additional) Scouts

- *****QPR FANS SPEAKING OUT IN PROTEST: QPR 1st & LSA Statements re QPR, Tickets, Actions...Still Waiting for Answers from the Official Supporters Club (OSC)

The QPR Official Supporters Club (OSC)

- There remain questions starting with the very simple one of who is actually on the board; how they got there; etc.

QPR and the Official Supporters Club: Some Open Questions

- Almost three weeks ago, (June 3rd) QPR and the QPR Official Supporters Club (OSC) issued a joint statement about the OSC meeting with Club Representatives about among other things, ticket prices.
- The joint statement went on to say "The meeting also highlighted the importance of the OSC as a mouthpiece for the fans. It was agreed that moving forward, the OSC would continue to meet frequently and will aim to meet monthly with the Club to discuss any issues or concerns that the fans might have. The Club proposes to publish a reminder of the upcoming meeting a week in advance and encourage the fans to contact the OSC with any topics they would like discussed. A summary of the points of discussion and the agreed next steps will be made available on the Club website following each meeting. The Club hopes that other supporters groups will also be able to hold regular meetings with the OSC, in order to allow the OSC to better communicate their views to us."

- As others have noted, the OSC Constitution sets out certain things and a number of questions have been asked re the Official Supporters Club and how things are run. And a letter to the OSC was sent from 30+ fans, meeting the OSC bylaws. Two weeks later, things remain as unclear as two weeks ago.

So: Four Open Questions to the OSC and the Club (and there are probably quite a few other questions that could be posed.

[Note: These Four Questions were composed by someone else and were sent to the club several days ago. Thus far, the questions have yet to be answered.]

1) What was the response by the club to the OSC comments regarding the incredible rises in the cost of season tickets?
2) When will the minutes of the meeting be published?
3) As a member of the OSC (by being a ST holder) please could you inform me as to whom the representatives are?
4) How are the representatives of the OSC elected?

- Recalling QPR's 1968-1969 Season

- Five Year Flashback: "The Trial" Verdicts

Blog Archive