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Saturday, February 25, 2012

QPR Report Saturday: Fulham...Fulham Q&A...QPR and Social Media...Ferdinand Profiled/Interviewed...Warnock's Weekly Column...Flashbacks

- QPR and Fulham's Shared Manager! More From Bushman's 1967-68 Photo Archives

- Photo - of course -from the Bushman QPR Photo Archives

- QPR REPORT MESSAGEBOARD - Visit the cutting-edge, football-only, QPR Report messageboard

- Visit the truly-fascinating Bushman QPR Photo Archives
- On This Day in Football: February 25...Waddock's QPR beat Neil Warnock's Sheffield United...In 1968/69:Old First Division: QPR's second Worst Defeat: Crushed 5-0 by Coventry.

- One-Time "Wannabee" QPR Owner, Andrew Ellis Apologizes re Glasgow Rangers (Flashback to Ellis' QPR-Takeover Effort)

- See series of further Great Photos from QPR's Unbelievable 1967-1968 Promotion Season (From the Bushman Archives)

- The New QPR Official Supporters Club (OSC) Team "Lineup"

- Next: Fulham - Previews...Past Shared Players...Past Videos...Updates

- Remaining Fixtures: Bottom Six Clubs

- Ali Russell Exits Glasgow Rangers

- Neil Warnock Writing about his New Leeds Job...His Coaches, etc

- David Conn/The Guardian on the Big Money in the Championship - and the Two Sheffield Clubs/What They've Spent

Daily Mail/Sami Mokbel - QPR stars 'playing for their futures' as Hughes ready to wield the axe

Mark Hughes has begun to plan a mass summer clear-out at Queens Park Rangers.
But, as the disciplinarian boss continues to stamp his mark on the relegation-threatened club, a clutch of players remain surprised by Hughes' methods.

A source told Sportsmail: 'The players know they are playing for their futures.
'The manager is analysing each and every player very carefully at the moment and the squad know that. It will certainly be a very interesting few weeks leading into the summer.'
Saturday's west London clash at home to Fulham will be the first time Hughes' side have played since their winter training camp in Portugal.
But spirits in the squad are not as high as they could be.
The source added: 'Certain members of the squad thought the trip would be more of a team-bonding exercise. But it didn't work out that way.
'Hughes' methods have certainly been a bit of a culture shock to some of the players.' Daily Mail


MaudesfishnChips Q&A With Fulham Supporter, Kristian Balkin of http://www.cottagersconfidential.com

How long have you supported fulham?

It's been about five years now for me - I'm only 18 as it is. As a youngster, I wasn't a big football fan but when I did watch it was mainly Manchester United. When I was 13, though, I tagged along with my Dad, a lifelong Fulham fan, to a friendly at Craven Cottage and I've loved Fulham ever since. It's a fair distance for me - I live near Portsmouth - but I go when I can.

How did you get to your blog? Has it evolved how you would of expected?

I was a writer for another website when a friend of mine decided to leave his post at Cottagers Confidential and we agreed I would take the reigns. It's great to have the opportunity to vent my anger/express my joy and have people take a genuine interest. I was slow getting into it but, of late, the site's gained popularity and I'm updating quite regularly.

Who are fulham's biggest Rival (or Rivals) and why?

Now, I'd say Queens Park Rangers. This time last year I would have said Chelsea, but we know that feeling has never been truly reciprocated from the Blues - to them we're just any other team. When you guys got promoted, though, it gave us another derby and what with the Hughes/Zamora link, it's intensified on our part since we met you in October.

Are you happy with your team and how things are to date? � What are your opinions on your manager ? His spending/selling so far?

I think we've finally reached a point of acceptance with Martin Jol and what he's doing with Fulham. At first, we were somewhat apprehensive as to his plans - he wanted to overhaul the squad and bring in some younger blood. It made sense on the periphery but the team that Hodgson/Hughes had built were so successful that it seemed counter-productive to build from scratch. The early signs were that it weren't working, too - we were struggling in the league and his signings were fruitless at best. When we were knocked out of the Europa League by Odense, things hit a new low. The majority were still content in the knowledge that we are a team in transition and, as such, it's going to be a difficult season. As it stands, we're putting together a reasonable run of results - although we still haven't won back-to-back league games, and Jol's purchases are proving to be, at least, decent. Bryan Ruiz was the Dutchman's biggest outlay and while his performances have been sporadic, when he's at his best he's a sublime player.

Your views on mark Hughes, then and now ?

Even though our final standing under Hughes was impressive - eighth place - it kind of masked what was a turbulent season for us. The first half, at least, was depressing at times. Our predictable away day blues were not treated and we were in a relegation fight by Christmas. Hughes made many promises about being a 'second half of the season manager' and he proved as much - the rest of the season was as good as we could have imagined. What must be taken into account, though, is that in the first half of the season, he tried to stamp his own mark on the team and, when this didn't work, we resorted back to the way we functioned under Hodgson. He was good for us, but it's not just bitterness speaking when I say he wasn't breathtaking. Now, I, and the rest of us, dislike him with a great amount of passion. He used the break clause in his contract to walk out amid talk of a lack of ambition, though we all know he was eyeing either the Chelsea or Villa job. When they didn't come knocking on his door - in some part because of what he had done to us - he probably felt a little foolish. We're glad he's back in the game now, but only to get one over him

What do you think of your current Owner? WHY is he involved? What do you expect from him?

As Jol said today in his press conference, Mohammed Al Fayed is one of the best chairmen you will ever find. His loyalty is probably his most endearing factor, but his finances and resources have driven us from the basement days of Division 3 football to the heady heights of the last eleven years. He's done everything for this club and he's done it in good faith. As for what we expect, we've become a little needy of late. I think we all saw his sale of Harrods as the opportunity to spend but it didn't happen until we lavished a fair amount of money on Bryan Ruiz. We're still realistic, however. We know that it was the money he pumped in that has got us this far, but we also know that we are no Chelsea or Man City. We live within our means and we like it that way.

How do you think fulham treats its fans? Appreciates them? Listens to them? Screws them?

It's difficult to dislike Fulham and the way they treat us - the ticket prices are respectable, the food is good and everything else is up to par as it should be. There are no real bugbears to speak of, in all honesty.

Who are you Dangermen/Most valued/most overrated/most underrated players?

Someone who consistently performs and yet doesn't receive all the praise he deserves is, undoubtedly, Moussa Dembele. He's a talent that stretches well beyond the �5.5 million we paid for him, and it's your current gaffer that unearthed him. The ball, most of the time, is practically glued to his feet and, most importantly, he knows what to do with it. He doesn't score many goals but his involvement is crucial in almost everything we do in the final third. Meanwhile, Clint Dempsey is of course grabbing the headlines - he's been fantastic of late. He's great in the air and can do wonders with his feet. The new boy, Pavel Pogrebnyak, is looking good too.

Are you happy with your youth set up? Is your club doing enough to bring young/local talent through the ranks?

It's taken a while to truly perfect it, but in the last few years there has been a steady production line. In the early Premier League days, the only noticeable graduates were Zat Knight and Elliot Omouzusi, but since Hogdson came in, Chris Smalling, Matthew Briggs, Kerim Frei and Marcello Trotta have proved themselves to be potential stars of the future. Jol is more inclined to using them to their full potential, while Hodgson and Hughes were a tad wary, so the next few years should see some of our academy graduates flourish.

Who would you say was the greatest fulham player that you yourself personally saw? And past player? (You can name more than one if it's that close!)

Obviously my scope is somewhat restricted, but I think I'd have to say Danny Murphy. The captain has been a mainstay since I started following Fulham and, even though a lot of Fulham fans won't agree with me, he's been invaluable to our success. His passing and vision is second to none and his influence on the pitch is palpable. Without him, there are many games over the past few years that we probably wouldn't have won - and for that, I personally thank him. As for past player, you cannot surpass Johnny Haynes

What is your prediction for fulham this season?

This season is all about consolidation and we'd do extremely well to claim a place in the top half. I think we have the squad to do it, but we're still adapting to the style of Jol and wins have been at a premium. I think we'll finish around 12th but I know it's plausible to finish higher.

Who do you predict to be in the bottom three at the end of this season

Bolton, Wolves and Blackburn. I feel a little uneasy saying Blackburn, because I think it's possible they'll stay up. Either they will go or Wigan will.

Are you aware of any past player or manager links between our two clubs ?

Of course we have Zamora and Hughes at the moment, and we can add Heidur Helguson to that list - although I believe he's injured for Saturday's tie. Rufus Brevett and Leroy Rosenior have played for both clubs, but that's the extent of my knowledge.

What is your view and the general fulham view of QPR?

I can't lie and say we like you, I'm afraid. In general, you've always been our closest rivals in terms of achievement and that means we view this tie as having a little extra spice. QPR are, of course, a good football club and you'll probably play some decent football under Hughes, but there won't be many of us cheering you on.

Who(if any) is your most memorable/favourite QPR Player over the years?

Adel Taarabt has always struck me as a quality player - sometimes selfish and a tad arrogant - but talented nonetheless. Zamora's good, I can assure you of that.

Any memorable matches between our two clubs that stand out for you? And the reasons why?(not including the 6-0 thrashing this season)

Well seen as I can't include the 6-0 hammering we dealt out in October, I would probably say the time before that. We won 2-0 at the Cottage and followed it up with promotion to the Premier League. We haven't looked back since while you guys were, unfortunately for yourselves, relegated that season.

Your score prediction for QPR v fulham?

I've put down on my site a 2-1 win for us, and I know it's going to be a close encounter. You guys will be up for it and you've added a lot of quality in January. Hughes will look to prove a point but the pertinence of the game will be known by every Fulham player too. Hopefully the Pog will be the difference on the day, and Zamora will miss a sitter or two.

What, realistically, do you think fulham are capable of achieving in the next five years?

The greatest thing we could plausibly achieve is a cup win of some form, because it's been a while. The last trophy we won was the inter-toto cup, and I don't think that really counts. Another European journey like our voyage of 2010 would be nice, and also establishing ourselves as top 6 contenders isn't beyond comprehension. We'll have to wait and see.

How embarrassed, on a scale of 1-10 are fulham supporters of THAT statue

At first I would have said 10, and then went away to weep in a corner. It's pretty tasteless but, at the end of the day, Al Fayed has done so much for Fulham that I wouldn't be bothered if he turned the Johnny Haynes stand into a nightclub and invited Garry Glitter onto the field. It's not classy but it's quirky and I'm not one to bemoan something that Al Fayed has done. He's a great man.

Many thanks to MaudesfishnChips and to Fulham Supporter, Kristian Balkin of http://www.cottagersconfidential.com


Fulham have a greater stature than QPR - Martin Jol

Fulham manager Martin Jol has said it will be several years before Saturday's Premier League opponents Queens Park Rangers share his club's stature.

QPR manager Mark Hughes quit the Cottagers in the summer after he claimed they lacked ambition .

Continue reading the main story
“He [Al Fayed] wants to help us and I don't think you can find a better chairman than him

Martin Jol
"We have been in this league for years now and QPR came up in the summer," the Dutchman stated.

"We are established and they have to try to get established in the next couple of years."

Despite more than one relegation fight since being promoted to the top flight in 2001, Fulham have cemented themselves as regulars in mid-table or better, and were beaten finalists in the 2010 Europa League final.

QPR are in their first Premier League campaign in 15 years and sit in 16th place in the table, level on points with Wolverhampton Wanderers who are in the final relegation spot.

Fulham's own return to the top division followed the arrival of chairman Mohamed Al Fayed in 1997. When the Egyptian took over, the side were in the third tier of English football - though they had just won promotion from the bottom division - and had not competed in the top flight since 1968.

•Chris Coleman (£2m from Blackburn Rovers, 1997)
•Louis Saha (£2.1m from Metz, 2000)
•Steve Marlet (£11.5m from Lyon, 2001)
•Edwin van der Sar (£5m from Juventus, 2001)
•Diomansy Kamara (£6m from West Bromwich Albion, 2007)
•Andrew Johnson (£10.5m from Everton, 2008)
•Bryan Ruiz (£10.6m from Twente, 2011)
Despite QPR chairman Tony Fernandes spending more than £10m in the January transfer window, including £4m on Fulham striker Bobby Zamora, Jol insisted he is working under the best chairman in the league.

"At Fulham we are quite sound, we're healthy and we have got the chairman," the Dutchman said.

"Every time we want something, like Bryan Ruiz - although maybe not the reported £10m fee - he has been very willing to help us because he is almost a legend here.

"He wants to help us and I don't think you can find a better chairman than him.

"Here I have to go to his office every two or three weeks and the only thing he always asks is 'can I help you?' and 'are there any problems?'

"If there are any problems he will help us, which is what he did with signing Pavel Pogrebnyak on transfer deadline day last month." BBC

Australian Goalie Going Out On Loan - West London Sport Loan deal agreed for QPR youngster

QPR have agreed to loan Australian goalkeeper Aaron Lennox to non-League Maidenhead United for a month.

Lennox, 19, was signed by Rangers last year after impressing during a trial.

He was previously with the Australian Institute of Sport, which also produced former R�s full-back Andrew McDermott.


Brand E Biz
Topping the Premier League social media rankings

Which Premier League football club can boast the fastest-growing Facebook page? Take a bow Queens Park Rangers, whose QPR page has seen a 234% spike since the season kicked off. The west London club currently sits in 11th spot in Freestyle Interactive’s Facebook rankings, with 49,000 ‘likes’.

And how has QPR managed to grow on social media?

The club tells Freestyle Interactive that it makes sure its Facebook page is kept topped up with content from live press conferences and match reporting, while QPR also makes efforts to get fans to share views online.

And what has social media done for QPR and its supporters?

“We are more transparent as a club, allowing fans to hear the latest news first via our official channels, and not the morning papers.”

English Premier League clubs now have a combined total of 50 million Facebook likes – though Manchester United make up just under half of this number with a huge 22 million likes. The league’s 20 clubs have a total of 3.2 million followers on Twitter.

QPR Official Site


As the Club strives to go from strength to strength off the park, as well as on it, we are delighted to report a significant achievement in our social networking figures.

Since the start of the 2011/12 Barclays Premier League season, our Facebook page has seen a remarkable 234 per-cent spike, with over 49,000 of our loyal supporters 'liking' our page.

QPR Press Manager, Ian Taylor, told www.qpr.co.uk: "We are really proud of the growth in our figures since the start of the season.

"We are making huge strides day-by-day, as we attempt to put QPR on the map - both on and off the pitch.

"Our supporters have embraced our social networking platforms and this set of results are as much about them as they are us, so thanks to the fans for their continued support."

QPR's official Twitter feed - @OfficialQPR - has over 22,400 followers, which places the Club in 13th place in the Premier League Freestyle Interactive rankings, ahead of the likes of established top-flight duo Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion.

Our Facebook statistics are even more impressive, with 49,233 QPR fans liking our page, placing us just outside the top-ten.

To follow us on Twitter, click here

To like us on Facebook, click here

To view the full story on brand-e.biz, click here QPR Official Site


Meet Anton Ferdinand, the defender determined to realise his potential
Tim Nichols\Potential. It's the word that has followed Anton Ferdinand from West Ham to Sunderland and back to London with Queens Park Rangers - and he has had enough.

"People always talk about potential when it comes to me," Ferdinand admits. "It came to a stage when I was sick of hearing that word because I always knew I had potential and what I wanted to hear was that I was a good player. People need to start saying I've fulfilled potential and become a good player."

As the younger brother of Manchester United and England defender Rio, it was ever thus for Anton.
They both play in central defence, both came through the ranks of West Ham's famed Academy and both are comfortable on the ball. Comparisons were inevitable.

But playing in the shadow of the world's most expensive defender clearly doesn't bother the 27-year-old former England Under-21 international. Not that he has ruled out emulating the considerable achievements of his brother's career.

"Rio has definitely helped me," says Ferdinand. "That's the beauty of having a brother who does the same job and is in the limelight the same as I am. Obviously, he is in the limelight to a bigger scale. Seeing what he has been through and learning from some of his mistakes has made me learn a lot. It's good to have a brother who does that for you.

"He wants me to do well, he's my big brother, he wants to me to do better than him. Whether that will happen or not, I've not got much time but we'll see, there's still time to do it."

But as he approaches what should be the peak years of his career, is there still time to earn a senior cap?

"I want to be the best I can be," he says without hesitation. "I would like to have a chance of playing for my country. I played a lot of games for the Under-21s and if you ask the managers who were there with me, Stuart Pearce and Peter Taylor, I never looked out of place, I looked comfortable at international level. It's more of a thinking game and I thrive like that.

"If I'm playing well, I'd like to think I'm in with a chance because I believe I'm good enough to play for my country and if given a chance I'd take it with both hands."

For now, though, he has more pressing matters to worry about. Of course, there is the distraction of John Terry's upcoming court case for allegedly racially abusing Ferdinand, a matter the QPR player is unable to discuss publicly.

On the field, his focus is firmly on ensuring Rangers retain their Premier League status.
The club have had a difficult season on their return to the top flight after 15 years. With less than two weeks of the summer transfer window remaining, Malaysian businessman Tony Fernandes bought the club, ended speculation about Neil Warnock's future as manager and provided funds to buy proven Premier League performers Ferdinand, Joey Barton, Luke Young and Shaun Wright-Phillips.

But a bad run of results before Christmas sealed Warnock's fate and Mark Hughes was appointed - his first job since leaving tomorrow's visitors, Fulham, at the end of last season.

Hughes strengthened the Rangers squad in January, bringing in Bobby Zamora and Djibril Cisse to add some potency up front and Nedum Onuoha to provide cover at the back.

Not that Ferdinand ever considered the prospect of relegation. He says: "Even without the signings, I never had any doubts. We've added Bobby and Djibril and I've played with them before - it's nice to be playing with Bobby again. He is not just a fantastic footballer, he is a good person and someone I got on well with at West Ham. The same with Djibril. I played with him at Sunderland and I have only good words to say about him. He's a fantastic person and his goal stats speak for themselves."

As with Chelsea and Manchester City - clubs that have also benefited from wealthy benefactors - QPR have seen a considerable turnover of players since Fernandes bought the club. Eleven new faces have arrived since the start of the season and more will surely follow. But rather than fear who the owner and manager wish to bring in, Ferdinand welcomes the investment.

"I am confident that no matter who would have come in this window I would have backed my ability to claim my shirt for the rest of the season," he says. "The more players coming in the better.

Quality players coming in can only be good for the club. I can't talk about other players but, for me personally, I thrive on that. If there is another player next to me or ahead of me I want that shirt and I will do anything to get it. When there is more players in the squad, it breeds competition and that is healthy for any squad."

Nothing much appears to faze Ferdinand - certainly not adjusting to a new manager halfway through the season.

"I'm used to it because when I moved from West Ham to Sunderland I'd worked with Roy Keane for just three months, then he left," he says.

"I've not got a bad word to say about Warnock, he brought me to QPR and restored my confidence and let me play football week in, week out again which is all I wanted to do. But it wasn't meant to be and we have a new manager.

"I watched an interview Hughes did when he was appointed and he said he believes he has the best staff around him in the League. After being with him and his coaching staff, I'd say he is not far wrong.

"I'm a player who likes to learn who is not scared of being told the truth. Eddie [Niedzwiecki] has been brilliant with me, same as Bo [Mark Bowen] and the same as the gaffer. I'm enjoying working under them. I'm learning things from them which is brilliant. It's not just in games, I'm learning Monday to Friday, during training. Any professional will tell you that is key.

"You never stop developing until you hang your boots up but I was going through a stage when I was only really learning in games and not in training. Ask any professional - if you're learning in training, games become easier."

Professionalism is a theme Ferdinand keeps returning to during the interview. At West Ham he was, by his own admission, enjoying the life of a footballer a bit too much.

"When I was younger, I was enjoying life and playing football," he says. "As you get older, that life has to stop and take a back seat. With moving out of London to Sunderland, I could do that. I've come back a different person, which is good. I've matured. Yeah, that's the best way to put it. I've matured and become a better pro with age."

Just don't mention his potential.

Anton Ferdinand appears courtesy of New Era Global Sports Management - Standard


- On This Day: February 24: QPR Crash to Wimbledon and Gerry Francis Quits (Again)...39 Years Ago: FA Cup Loss to Derby County...5 Years Ago: Three New QPR Directors

- Neil Warnock Talking about "One Last Season" - and his heartache at QPR Axe

- Ex-Bristol City and Hereford Defender Off to Prison

- Two Year Flashback: Antonio Caliendo on the (Seeming) Departure of Flavio Briatore: "The Clown Has Left The Circus"

- Spot The Ball: The Answer!"

- On This Day in Football: February 23

- Football and QPR's Fight Against Homophobia

- Very Interesting David Conn/The Guardian re The Tax Man and Football Clubs and Portsmouth Layoffs and Manchester United and the Glazers' Debt

- Several Other photos of the Danny Shittu-Prince Charles Meeting!

- Jay Bothroyd Talking re QPR and Football

- 35 Years Ago Today: QPR's Losing League Cup Semi Final to Aston Villa - at Highbury

- On This Day in Football: QPR Sell Phil Parkes...Mark Lazarus Returns to QPR...Birthdays for Ian Dawes and Others

- 11 Years Ago: QPR's Managerial Search: Bruce, Jewell, Bassett!

- QPR, Fulham, Chelsea Police Chief: Hooligan Mentality and Football Violence Must End

- In Photos: The QPR Path to Wembley 1967 (From the Bushman Photo Archives)

- QPR Nostalgia: QPR's Unbelievable 1967/68 Season: Photos and Programme Notes. (From - of course - The Bushman Archives)

- Memories! Claims re Portsmouth/Administrator "Conflict of Interest"

- Tony Fernandes: Airline, F1 and QPR: The Profile of and Interview

- Football Aid 2012 – Play at Loftus Road. And Help Charity!

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