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Monday, August 22, 2011

QPR Report Monday Update and Transfer Gossip

- "Spot The Ball!"
- 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

- Sunday Compilation of QPR's Win Over Everton Reports and Comments....Tony Fernandes on Possible/Eventual Move From Loftus Road

- QPR Youth Win on Saturday

- Garth Crook's "Team of the Week" XI (NONE from QPR!)

- Three QPR Birthdays Today

- Five Years Ago Today: Gary Waddock' QPR Cup Win

- On This Day: Forty-One Years Ago - Phil Parkes' QPR Debut

Dave McIntyre/West London Sport - QPR look to offload Gorkss

QPR are close to agreeing a deal with Southampton for the sale of Kaspars Gorkss.

Winger Jason Puncheon may move to west London in exchange for the Latvian defender, who joined Rangers in 2008.

Rangers recently made Gorkss available for a transfer if the right offer came in, and Southampton were one of the clubs that showed an interest.

And as Neil Warnock had been looking to sign a wide-man, a swap deal involving Puncheon was discussed.

Warnock’s options in the transfer market have been increased by the recent Tony Fernandes-led takeover at Loftus Road, but the Saints seem keen to sign Gorkss regardless of whether the R’s boss still wants Puncheon.

Gorkss, who recently turned 29, was a key player in QPR’s promotion campaign but has fallen down the pecking order following the summer signings of Danny Gabbidon and Bruno Perone.

Puncheon, 25, is out of favour at Southampton and has not made an appearance for them this season.

He has Premier League experience, having spent the second half of last term on loan at Blackpool.

While with MK Dons, Puncheon was a target for the then QPR manager Ian Holloway, who has since signed him for both Plymouth and Blackpool.

Rangers’ willingness to part with Gorkss will come as a bitter disappointment to the centre-back, as he is desperate for a chance in the Premier League.

If a deal between the clubs is struck, he will then have to decide whether to drop back down to the Championship or reject the move in the hope he can eventually force his way into the Rangers side. West London Sport

Jacob Murtagh/Fulham Chronicle - Warnock expects more QPR exits *

NEIL Warnock expects more of his fringe players to leave Loftus Road before the transfer window slams shut at the end of the month.

QPR cancelled the contract of Leon Clarke this week to allow him to join League Two Swindon, with Martin Rowlands and Lee Cook among those expected to move on within the next 10 days.

Boss Warnock said: "There will be some more leaving. We've had some offers for a couple of players, which we've been considering over the weekend.

“We've had quite a few players who want moving on in the past few weeks. We'll try and help them get the best club they can." Fulham Chronicle

SKY -Warnock considers Cole bid - Takeover means QPR can afford to pay more of midfielder's wages

Neil Warnock admits Queens Park Rangers can now afford to pay a larger portion of Joe Cole's wages as he plots his moves in the transfer market.

Tony Fernandes' takeover at Loftus Road last week has given Warnock added funds to strengthen his squad before the transfer window closes.

The QPR boss has up to a dozen targets and is hoping to bring in 'four or five' fresh faces to improve his options.

Liverpool midfielder Cole is among the players to have been linked with the newly-promoted club after failing to make an impact since moving to Anfield last summer.

"This man coming in, Tony Fernandes, is a dream come true. You do not often get the opportunity to look at players I have only dreamed about. I am in Utopia."
Neil Warnock Quotes of the week

Cole started just nine Premier League games last season and has not been involved in Kenny Dalglish's squad for the opening two fixtures of the current campaign.

The England international's wages have previously been mooted as a stumbling block for any transfer away from Liverpool and Warnock refused to be drawn on whether he would bid for the 29-year-old.

However, Warnock acknowledged the injection of funds by Fernandes has given him a stronger hand to play in the transfer market over the coming days.

"We will not just spend money for the sake of it," said Warnock. "We have to get quality players in to the club.

"Joe Cole? We can probably afford 30 or 40 per cent of his wages now. The chairman knows all my targets and we are discussing them.

"This man coming in, Tony Fernandes, is a dream come true. You do not often get the opportunity to look at players I have only dreamed about. I am in Utopia."

TELEGRAPH/Rory Smith - Neil Warnock set for spending free to boost Queens Park Rangers

Saturday's 1-0 victory was a day of firsts for Neil Warnock: Queens Park Rangers' first Premier League goal, and points, of the season in a victory over a limp, lifeless Everton.

It was also the club’s first win in the top flight for 15 years, and the first — and most likely only — use of the word Utopia in the corridors of Goodison Park this season.

The QPR manager was using it to describe his delight at the successful conclusion of the club’s search for new owners.

He was using it with the Cheshire Cat grin of a man who has been told by his new boss, Tony Fernandes, that money is no object, that he can sign the sort of players he has always coveted.

Scott Parker and Joe Cole are first on the list. He was using it with genuine glee.

“I have given them names and they are as excited as I am at bringing some of them in,” said Warnock, his off-pitch euphoria matched only by his joy at Tommy Smith’s winning goal, half an hour in, which exorcised the ghosts of his side’s opening day, 4-0 drubbing by Bolton. “It is wonderful.”

Warnock does not even have to contend with the usual lingering fear that new owners mean new managers.

“His passion and enthusiasm are very infectious,” said Fernandes, the new Rangers majority shareholder, yesterday. “He is the kind of guy that can motivate the team to perform as they did [at Goodison] and I think he’s a special guy. He is a good guy and we are very happy with him.”

The affection is clearly reciprocated. Only Warnock’s almost childlike inability to conceal his glee stops it short of being nauseating.

This is a man who has spent his life at football’s coalface and who now finds himself invited to a glittering soirĂ©e. It would be tasteless to accuse him of a lack of class.

“In 10 days we have got to get four or five players,” he said.

“That is something that should have taken us 12 weeks so we have got to be a little bit lucky as well.

"But we will not just spend money for the sake of it. We have to get quality players in.

“Joe Cole? We can probably afford 30 or 40 per cent of his wages now. The chairman knows all my targets and we will be discussing them.

“This man coming in, Tony Fernandes, is a dream come true. You do not often get the opportunity to look at players I have only dreamed about. I am in Utopia.”

In truth, so is Moyes, though he may not know it. Utopia is a shimmering chimera of a word. It does not just mean an ideal place. It also means no place at all.

As his players trudged from the field, jeered by their own fans, that familiar sinking feeling settling in, the Scot would have been forgiven for thinking that the Premier League’s nearly men have become the nowhere men.

One defeat should not be enough to write off a season — Warnock, for one, insists that Everton “always” struggle early on and invariably “end up in Europe by Christmas” — but the manner of this surrender was troubling.

Other than the teenage Ross Barkley, a glimmering shaft of light in the gloom, Everton created little.

Tim Cahill headed wide from two yards in the first half and fired straight at the impressive Paddy Kenny after the interval.

There was no concerted pressure, no guttural Gwladys Street roar. Evidence enough for Moyes to reiterate his prediction that Everton may struggle to make the top 10.

“I don’t say that because of what we can do but because of what other teams have done as regards spending,” he said.

“A lot of teams have improved. You could hear after the game [negativity setting in].

“The team always dictates the mood of the supporters,” added the Everton manager.

“It was not because we weren’t trying, it was because we lacked the quality to win in the final third of the pitch.

"But that should not surprise anyone who watched us last season.”

That is the concern, of course. Everton’s travails are nothing new.

QPR are just the latest side to find their land of milk and honey. Moyes and his team remain condemned to wander their no-man’s-land, hamstrung by penury.

They are in Utopia, too. Just not the sort they want to talk about.

GUARDIAN/Andy Hunter -QPR and Neil Warnock cock-a-hoop with post-takeover win at Everton

• Warnock plans transfer-market plunge before window closes
• Victory at Goodison is one of manager's 'best career results'

* Andy Hunter at Goodison Park

Goodison Park, all faded grandeur and growing resentment, resembled the Garden of Eden to Neil Warnock. Having savoured "one of the best results" of an extensive career, the Queens Park Rangers manager outlined plans to enjoy the fruits of Tony Fernandes's £35m takeover in the final days of the transfer window. It was almost as if he had been hand-picked to increase the torment for David Moyes.

Not content with condemning Everton to another false start to a Premier League season, and their first home league defeat since November, Warnock spoke afterwards of making four or five signings before the deadline. He now works for an owner with ambitions for a new stadium, who has stated support for his manager and who is the fourth wealthy individual to invest in QPR in four years. As with all takeovers, the proof of Fernandes's worth is yet to be determined. But he fatally undermines the Everton owner Bill Kenwright's argument that no one is in the market for a Premier League club these days.

Scott Parker and Joe Cole are two Warnock targets and their experience would be invaluable to QPR's survival efforts, although his team showed admirable composure in defence and on the ball without them on Saturday. Nervousness was understandable in a side beaten 4-0 on their return to the Premier League the previous weekend. Once Tommy Smith had rounded off an incisive move from Phil Jagielka's poor clearance with a finish to match, however, and Tim Cahill had squandered a chance to equalise from two yards out, QPR banked their first top-flight victory for 15 years without alarm.

"I am in Utopia," said Warnock. "When we pulled up there was a sense of 'Wow, this is Goodison'. There was a sense of trepidation after losing 4-0 at home, but we are going to get beaten 4-0 again so it just goes to show that life is too short. You have just got to look to the next game.

"It has been a difficult summer but with this man coming in, Tony Fernandes, and with Amit Bhatia, who was instrumental in me coming here in the first place, coming back, it's like a dream come true. I know sometimes when a new man comes in they like to bring a new manager, but he will support me to the hilt. At the end of the day you have to get results but if you have got the support and don't get the results, you don't mind getting the bullet. That is why I am going to enjoy it. You don't often get the opportunity to look at players I have only dreamed about. It is the first time in my career I have had that."

Fernandes, who has confirmed he is looking to build a "bigger stadium and a nicer stadium" than Loftus Road, said: "Neil's the kind of guy that can motivate the team to perform as they did against Everton and I think he's a special guy. He's a good guy and we're very happy with him."

The money and the mood around QPR provided a stark contrast with Everton. Only Ross Barkley, a 17-year-old debutant, impressed in royal blue as fans condemned Moyes's decision to withdraw his only striker, although the introduction of Marouane Fellaini for Jermaine Beckford improved the team and some jeers may have been for Kenwright, whose exasperated face appeared onscreen at the same moment.

"The team will always dictate the mood of the supporters," said the Everton manager, whose captain, Phil Neville, has signed a contract extension to 2013. "If we had won they would be saying we don't need players and we are all right. It wasn't because we weren't trying and were not organised, and it wasn't because of the way we train them. It was because we lacked the quality which is required at times to win games in the final third of the pitch. But that shouldn't surprise anyone who watched Everton last season."

Man of the match Fitz Hall (QPR) Guardian

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- Flavio Briatore re QPR/Footballers, Post-Fernandes Takeover

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- Wigan Game, August 27th: Change of Time

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- Premiership Attendance Stats: With QPR's Stadium Capacity - QPR will be near or at the bottom.

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