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Sunday, September 04, 2011

QPR Report Sunday Updates and Flashbacks: Taarabt Supposedly Wants a Raise!


- - QPR's Les Allen Turns Seventy-Four Today!

- 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

- Audio: QPR Report Perspective re Transfers (16 minutes into the progamme)


- On This Day: Seven Years Ago - Raymond Diaz to Replace Ian Holloway?...Four Years Ago: QPR Coach Richard Hill Axed

- Fifteen Years Ago: Ray Wilkins Axed. Terry Venables and especially Alan Curbishley pursued as Replacement Manager.

- On This Day: Frank Sibley and Clive Clark (almost OTD) made their QPR Debuts...QPR Chief Executive, Clive Berlin Exited QPR.

- QPR "On This Day" Games

- Les Allen Turns 74

- Amit Bhatia's Generosity to his US College

- Malaysia: The Making of a Sports Industry

- QPR Season-by-Season Average Attendances Over Past Few Years

- Next at QPR: Newcastle

Dean Jones, The People - Taarabt seeks contract improvement after new recruits earn bigger wage

ADEL TAARABT will push for an improved contract from boss Neil Warnock after mega-earners Joey Barton and Shaun Wright-Phillips arrived at QPR.

Barton has joined from Newcastle on a deal worth around £65,000 a week, while Wright-Phillips will pocket £55,000 a week after signing from Manchester City.

That leaves Taarabt suddenly lagging well behind in the Hoops wage table – as he earns around – £25,000 a week.

And as a result he will seek talks over a better deal.

The Moroccan, 22, was the key behind their promotion to the Premier League last season and almost joined PSG this summer.

Rangers blocked the move as they insist they do not want to lose their best players.

But Taarabt will now look to boost his salary on the basis of Barton and Wright-Phillips having changed the pay structure. Taarabt has a contract until 2013 – but is understood to have a break clause which allows him to leave next summer if the right offer comes in.

At least the midfielder should be a bit happier at Loftus Road as close friend Armand Traore joined the club this week from Arsenal. People

- Neil Warnock threw lifelines to a string of accident-prone recruits

NEIL WARNOCK will return from a break in his Cornish hideaway this week – and open the doors of football’s Last Chance Saloon.

That’s what QPR are now being dubbed after Warnock threw lifelines to a string of accident-prone recruits, most of whom are getting what is almost certainly a final opportunity to crack the Premier League and restore their reputations.

Warnock, now 62 and also having one last fling in the top flight before hanging up his boots, is taking a huge gamble on players with equally big points to prove for one reason or another.

His biggest gamble is undoubtedly Joey Barton, who arrives at Loftus Road on a four-year deal despite baggage that includes an astonishing catalogue of clashes with authority – and colleagues – the latest being with the owner of his last club, Newcastle United.

Barton’s roll of shame includes a six-month jail sentence for assault and affray, a £100,000 fine for attacking team-mate Ousmane Dabo at Manchester City, a label branding him “the dirtiest player in the Premiership” and an enforced course of anger management therapy.

Neil Warnock threw lifelines to a string of accident-prone recruits

But Warnock insists: “I don’t worry about that. Joey wouldn’t be signing for us if he didn’t have some baggage.”

Barton, however, who will make his QPR debut against Newcastle next Monday, is not alone.

Also joining him in QPR’s Rogues Gallery is injury-jinxed Kieron Dyer from West Ham.

Apart from a string of injuries that restricted him to just 30 appearances there in four years, Dyer was also involved in a notorious on-field brawl with Lee Bowyer when the volatile pair were both at Newcastle.

Then there is Danny Gabbidon, another ex-Hammer who missed an entire two years at Upton Park through injury and also admitted improper conduct by abusing fans on Twitter.

Striker Jay Bothroyd is another bad boy trying to finally turn over a new leaf at Loftus Road.

He was booted out of Arsenal as a youngster for throwing his shirt at coach Don Howe and has been trying to kick-start his career ever since at Coventry, Perugia, Blackburn, Charlton, Wolves, Stoke and Cardiff.

At 29 this really is his last chance.

“I’ve come full circle and have to turn my life around,” he admits.

Also joining Warnock is Shaun Wright-Phillips, a less controversial former room-mate of Barton’s at Manchester City, who is trying to get his career back on track in west London.

Wright-Phillips even delivered a plea to QPR fans to help him, urging them: “Get behind me as best you can and I’ll give 110 per cent every time I go on to the pitch.”

Ever since Malaysian businessman Tony Fernandes released Warnock from the financial straitjacket provided by former owners Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone, the Yorkshireman has wasted no time recruiting what he hopes will be an army of reformed characters.

They include Anton Ferdinand – a former partner of Gabbidon’s at West Ham – from Sunderland and defender Luke Young from Aston Villa.

“Signing Joey showed everybody we mean business,” added Warnock.

“It took a lot of hard work to get him and the rest have just followed.

“I can’t remember how many I’ve brought in now, but it was work we had to do to give us a chance.” Express

Ian Holloway/The Independent

Ian Holloway: We must get rid of this window that only the big boys can see through

The teams that suffer most are the ones that come up through the play-offs

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Swansea have a problem. So have QPR and Norwich. It is called the transfer window and it's why so many promoted clubs struggle.

My Blackpool were staggering about the ring fighting the champs with one arm tied behind their backs last year, all because the rules in the Premier League are so against the smaller clubs. It is OK for the established big boys who have nice settled squads and the money and the plans in place to buy the players they want, but what about the rest of us?

Put simply, the transfer window should be scrapped because it makes life difficult for everyone. There was nothing at all wrong with the old system. You could make signings up until the third Thursday in March and it was great, no one had a problem with it. Then we had the Bosman ruling and suddenly we had to change our entire system to match the way Europe did it. But in my opinion we were doing it right and they had it wrong. Unfortunately no one wants to admit that now so we are stuck with it.

The least fair aspect of it is that the teams that suffer most are the ones that come up through the play-offs. They have less time than anybody else to get their squad in place. So in other words the very clubs who need all the help they can get are penalised. How do you know who will get injured? And unlike the Football League you can hardly make any loan deals either so if you don't get it right first time you're knackered.

The whole transfer window is a restriction of trade and I don't get it. It is like a glass manufacturer watching one batch blow over in the wind and smash, then being told he can't make any more. Those are the rules we are operating under. How stupid is it? That is why most promoted clubs come straight back down. The system is a shock to them.

The big boys, like Manchester United, don't suffer. They are a perfectly run club because the minute the season finishes they do their business. They get their players quickly, like they did with Ashley Young and Phil Jones. Sir Alex identifies his targets and gets them in the summer. Very rarely does he spend in January. So everything is settled, whereas everyone else has to scrap around and that is when mistakes are made.

It also isn't good for the health of us managers. Transfer day is carnage and can be a complete nightmare if you get too wound up and emotional about it.

At the end of the day you have to realise what your job is, what you can do, what part you play. At Blackpool, I identified loads of players and that was it – I left it to the chairman. It's a far cry from the old days, when managers used to make the calls themselves, then tell their chairman what price they could get a player for. Now we managers aren't involved in any negotiations. There is a chief executive or the chairman doing it.

I don't mind that because there is only a certain amount you can do as a manager. It is also very transparent now. The chairman and people who own the clubs do the deals and that is probably how it should be. It is their money after all.

I didn't pay too much attention to what the big clubs did on deadline day, I was too busy fretting about my club because we had a bit of a nightmare and only made one permanent signing.

Owen Hargreaves' move caught my eye though. I wouldn't say it was a surprise because he is a quality player and City, because they are loaded, can afford to take a risk.

If I was to pay a lot of money to a lad who hasn't been fit for the last two years and he broke down again, I guarantee the axe would very quickly fall on the back of my neck.

But City can do as they please. They can build their squad as big as they like and no matter how you cut it, they are going to be a threat this season because the quality of players they have is immense.

I hope Arsenal do well but what has happened to them this past month sums up the modern day game. If you don't compete with these big boys now they will leave you behind. The players want the money that the biggest paying clubs are offering, so that's why Fabregas and Nasri left. Does that make Arsène Wenger a bad manager? I don't think so. I think that is just the game.

With the likes of City coming in and offering mega-bucks, it makes it tough for everyone else and even United had a scare with that last year. When Rooney was dithering over his contract it looked as though he might leave, and City would have taken him. But Fergie got him a better deal, Rooney re-signed and it settled everyone down. That was huge because he is their talisman and who knows how the season would have panned out if he'd gone?

Football is getting tougher every year. Which brings me back to my original point: why make it tougher? By having a transfer window? Like so many things in the sport, it is nonsense.

Lay off Di Canio – he's only showing the passion we all have

When I was player-manager at Bristol Rovers in the '90s we ended up losing a game we were leading 3-1. I remember it well because I had a right rumble with one of my players afterwards. Fortunately the TV cameras weren't around, which is where Paolo Di Canio has been unfortunate. His skirmish with his on-loan striker Leon Clarke after Swindon's Carling Cup defeat at Southampton was broadcast for all to see.

But before anyone rushes to criticise Di Canio, let me tell you that in football it happens a lot – normally behind closed doors. As a manager you have to control yourself and act in whatever behaviour is appropriate for the situation. But you have to care because the day you stop caring is the day you should pack in.

I am a big fan of Di Canio's. A lot of Italians speak with their hands and use body language and are very passionate. He is exactly the same and I don't want to stop that because it adds to the game. It's not as if he pulled a knife on someone. It was a minor dust-up which, as usual, has been blown out of all proportion by the media. It's football and what people don't realise is it is more than a job. Everybody out there needs to understand that.

Look at Arsène Wenger. Look at his face. That should tell you that it is much, much more than a job.

The art of living in the north

Before I got the job at Blackpool, I'd never lived up north. I'm glad I moved, though, because it is fantastic and the people are great. First time I walked in my local – a little village pub at the foot of Pendle Hill near Burnley – and wearing my best grey pinstripe suit, this old bloke screamed at me: "Ey up young Stanley, call that a suit." That's the kind of welcome you get in the north-west!

Fortunately I knew who the fella was. He's called Riley, a larger-than-life local character who paints for a living. He has his own stool in the pub and his paintings hang all around the bar. So that day, quick as flash, I shouted back "ey up, you must be Riley, call that a painting". He laughed, we got talking, and now he's agreed to give me painting lessons. It's something I've always wanted to have a go at, mainly because the only subject I liked at school other than PE was art.

It is good to have something to take my mind off football because being a manager is so intense and full-on and brings so much pressure with it. My wife Kim has always been artistic and to be honest she's a better painter than me, so she is joining in too. My first painting – a wall near Pendle Hill – was pants. But I've got a bit better and you never know, if the football management goes pear-shaped, I might be able to make a few quid out of it.

Every party needs a driver

Despite the nightmare of transfer deadline day, I did manage to have a good weekend. My father-in-law turned 70 and he celebrated with a big bash. He is the chairman of Cadbury Heath FC in Bristol. They had no game yesterday so he put a marquee in the middle of the pitch for an all-day party.

Thanks, too, to my daughter for getting us there safely. She has just passed her test and the journey there was the first time she had driven on the motorway. I'm happy to say we survived and she did brilliantly! Independent

- The Joe Fagan Diaries...Southampton Player Attacked

- Today is NON LEAGUE DAY - Reminder: September 3rd is "Non-League Day" (an idea originated by a QPR Fan)

- The Premiership Club-by-Club 25 Person Squads, including QPR

- QPR for Beckham: The Sun

QPR Youth Academy Returning?

- Puncheon Had Been Set to Join Leeds before Switching to QPR

- Joey Barton's Cousin Plays for...Vauxhall Motors!

- Ron Phillips: QPR Club Secretary of the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s - and the man who designed the Checkered QPR Programme (and removed the apostrophe from Queen's Park Rangers!) Looks back

- Four Years Ago: Briatore & Ecclestone Buy QPR - Announcement & Report

- Malaysian Players to QPR?

And Courtesy of Bushman...

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