- Three Year Flashback: QPR1st AGM and Club-Fan Relations
- Four Year Flashback: Is Briatore Holding the Club Back?
- Update: Gianni Paladini and Birmingham City
"STAND BY YOUR MAN"
"Completley right. Mark has my backing and the shareholders. We need a little luck and no injuries. What's written in the press is all rubbish." RT @wayneoeyers: @tonyfernandes we must stick with Hughes. We haven't been playing poorly. The club needs stability, manager change would be suicide
QPR's London Call In on Thursday In with QPR Chairman Tony Fernandes
#QPR owner @tonyfernandes will be joining us live in the London Call-In studio this Thursday from 7-8pm! More soon on @OfficialQPR #QPR
EXCLUSIVE: Under-fire Hughes has SEVEN days to save his job
Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Hughes is facing a seven-day battle to keep his job.
Winless Rangers sit rooted to the bottom of the Barclays Premier League on three points.
Hughes must deal with the very real possibility of being sacked if he cannot win next weekend's home match against Reading.
Running out of time: Queens Park Rangers are without a win this season
Sportsmail understands that a number of senior Loftus Road officials have lost patience with the manager.
The same QPR chiefs feel the club's start to the season simply is not good enough.
Members of the Rangers hierarchy do not feel the team's performances represent value for money after the significant transfer funds given to the ex-Manchester City boss.
And the opinion among influential members of the club's top brass is that the visit of Reading will be a make-or-break game for Hughes.
The final decision will be left to co-owners Tony Fernandes and Amit Bhatia. Fernandes has remained loyal to his first managerial appointment, despite calls from other QPR officials to end Hughes's tenure.
Phone a friend: The final decision on Hughes' future will rest with Fernandes
Fernandes feels a sense of loyalty to Hughes and is desperate to see his appointment succeed, but the growing disquiet at Loftus Road could see the tycoon change his mind next weekend.
The cost of appointing a new boss will become a key issue. Hughes is only eight months into a two-and-a-half-year contract and compensation packages for him and his back-room staff will not come cheaply.
Out-of-work Harry Redknapp is understood to be high on the list of contenders to replace Hughes, but Fernandes is fully aware that the appointment of a new manager is likely to lead to further heavy investment in January. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/footbal....angers-job.html
One game to save job: Mark Hughes is on the brink at rock-bottom QPR
28 Oct 2012 22:32
Under-fire Sparky will see his struggling Hoops take on Reading next Saturday – and it's turned into a win-or-bust clash for the Rangers boss
Almost done? Mark Hughes manager of Queens Park Rangers
Mark Hughes is facing a new battle to keep his job as QPR boss, after the 1-0 defeat by Arsenal.
The under-pressure Welshman faces a make-or-break game with Reading next Sunday which could decide his fate.
QPR chairman Tony Fernandes has publicly backed him, but Hughes accepts results must improve after a controversial 1-0 defeat at Arsenal left them rooted to the bottom of the table.
Fernandes and the board met with the manager last week and their biggest concern is that they do not want to be cut adrift. Fernandes still passionately believes in Hughes, but QPR desperately need a win – and soon.
The owner knows relegation would be a financial disaster, and other members of the board are aware that former Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp is available.
Hughes insisted after the Arsenal game that Fernandes – who was at the Emirates – is behind him and they will turn it round.
Out of patience? QPR owner Tony Fernandes
The former Blackburn, Manchester City and Fulham chief said: “I’m sure he has the same view we all have, that in terms of performance and what we’re producing football-wise, he feels more than happy.
“I’ve got a better team than I had last year, and I won Premier League games last year with a squad that wasn’t at the level we have now.
“I know that at some point in the future we will start winning games. We will go up against a lesser team than Arsenal at the Emirates and we will get points.
“We’re playing good football. And it’s not just against teams in and around us, it’s against the top teams in the country, the top teams in Europe.
“It’s hard to win these games, everybody understands that. But we need to get maximum points and I hope in the games coming up that’s what will happen.”
ARSENAL 1 QPR 0
Barney Ronay at the Emirates Stadium
The Observer, Saturday 27 October 2012 12.04 EDT
A difficult week on and off the field for Arsène Wenger ended with some grudging cold comfort as Arsenal left it late to score a scrappy winner against a well-drilled and energetic Queen Park Rangers, Mikel Arteta prodding home from what looked, with the benefit of a replay, an offside position. In the process Wenger's team avoided a third scoring blank of the week, but still delivered a performance of notable entropy until a surge in the last 10m minutes, sparked by the sending off of Stéphane Mbia.
The encouraging midfield rhythms of early-season were almost entirely absent here. By the end Arsenal were even hanging on a little, Vito Mannone forced to save with his legs as Jamie Mackie beat three defenders and shot straight at the keeper.
"I'm very happy with the result," Wenger said. "We lost two big games and we were a bit jaded but we were serious and we moved the ball quite well. We needed to be patient against a QPR team that have quality, even though they are at the bottom. We were a bit lucky that they lost one player, it made it easier for us in the last 10 minutes."
The result leaves Rangers still clamped expensively to the bottom of the table and without a win. Mark Hughes may not, as the Arsenal support repeatedly insisted, find himself sacked in the morning, but he is a manager under gathering pressure, and here infuriated by a winning goal that left his team with nothing to show for a resilient performance.
"Arteta was offside twice," Hughes said. "He's offside on the initial header and then in the melee it comes back to him in an offside position and he scores. We've gone in and asked for an explanation and [referee Anthony Taylor] came up with some story about Ryan Nelsen playing everybody onside. I have no idea what he's going on about, but that's what you're up against. We've matched what they produced and prior to the sending off we looked most likely to win."
For Arsenal, fourth in the table now, there was also the encouragement of Jack Wilshere's return: a player charged with being, not just the future, but also the present in a midfield that has missed his snap and drive in recent weeks. Running out with a freshly clippered suede-head hairstyle on the day London's weather turned bitterly cold for the first time this season Wilshere's appearance was greeted with a genuinely affectionate cheer around a stadium that has of late been a place of fretful reflection. As Arsenal kicked off Wilshere's first touch – a familiar lithe, rolling, pigeon-toed pass out towards Lukas Podolski – was cause for the game's first concerted cheer. They started promisingly too, Olivier Giroud drawing a low save from Júlio César. Moments later Aaron Ramsey flicked a header on to the top of the bar.
Rangers were far from passive visitors as Hughes sent out a team of some attacking intent, with Shaun Wright-Phillips on the right of midfield and Junior Hoilett playing closest to Bobby Zamora in a 4-4‑1-1 formation.
Absorbing Arsenal's early thrusts, by midway through the first half the midfield pair of Esteban Granero and Samba Diakité were more than holding their own. As he had been against Norwich, Santi Cazorla was again surrounded here, the hulking Diakité shadowing him constantly in the first half. Giroud, linking with Podolski, produced a powerful skimming shot that César palmed away on 30 minutes, but by that stage it was the away fans producing a series of olés as Hoilett, Adel Taarabt and Granero took the chance to show that they, too, can keep the ball in tight areas.
Arsenal emerged with greater energy after the break and finally managed to disconcert César as Arteta's whipped free kick skimmed off the heads of Per Mertesacker and Zamora, drawing a clawing save from the Brazilian. With Rangers beginning to tire Theo Walcott and Gervinho – before he departed with an ankle injury – finally brought some drive to the flanks and Arsenal created the game's first clear-cut chance after 78 minutes. Walcott's cross struck Mbia on the back and fell to Cazorla unmarked and in space 10 yards out. He thrashed the bouncing ball horribly over the bar.
Then the match turned decisively Arsenal's way as Mbia was sent off, receiving a red card for a petulant kick at Thomas Vermaelen by the corner flag ("He deserved it," was Wenger's verdict). With Rangers now defending a very deep line Arsenal began to lay siege and the goal duly arrived on 83 minutes, Arteta poking home from a yard out after heading against the bar and then having the ball returned to him by Giroud. The scramble had been sparked by a fine cross from the right by Andrey Arshavin, another substitute. There were scenes not so much of jubilation as relief around the ground, repeated again as the referee blew full time on what has been a fraught week, albeit one spotted at the last with cautious note of hope.
ROBBIE SAVAGE - BBC
QPR's resilience against Arsenal should give hope to Mark Hughes
They were beaten again on Saturday, but only by a late Arsenal goal after Stephane Mbia was sent off.
Mark Hughes's side have been accused of being poor defensively but in fact their performance at the Emirates was quite the opposite - they were set up perfectly to stop the Gunners but were let down by a moment of madness.
And there were still enough signs to show there is no need to panic at Loftus Road, despite a poor start to the campaign.
Resilience that deserved a rewardQPR knew that, by starting without Theo Walcott or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arsenal did not have any natural attacking width.
Everything was going to come down the middle and they were ready for it. Hughes's game plan was to hold a defensive line on the edge of the 18-yard box and make Arsenal play in the areas where his side were strong.
When I played for Hughes at Blackburn we had a decent record against a very strong Arsenal team. We beat them a couple of times and gave them some difficult games. The key to that was the way we tried to limit the opportunities their creative players had on the ball.
The way Hughes operates when his teams are defending is to use triggers, where you wait for the ball to get into a certain area and then react.
For example, at Rovers, as soon as Arsenal got over the halfway line, the centre-forward and central midfielders were expected to close the ball down, and the centre-backs pushed up to reduce the amount of space their creative players have to operate in.
Hughes would make it clear to us that we could not do it on our own. If I went to close Cesc Fabregas down and Tugay did not go with me, I would be out of the game because Arsenal would just pass around me.
Arsenal winner shows QPR's luck is outArsenal's winner was offside, no question about it. QPR's assistant manager Mark Bowen texted me and said he had asked the officials afterwards what had happened with the goal and the referee said condescendingly 'do you realise Ryan Nelsen was off the pitch and playing Arteta onside'. If you watch the replays, Nelsen was never off the field at any time.
Across the midfield they were saying to each other "show them inside" whenever Arsenal had the ball, because that is where all QPR's players were.
The likes of Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey play intricate football but they are far less effective if you make the middle of the pitch congested, which is what QPR did.
It was working too, until Mbia's red card. After that, Rangers were not just down to 10 men, they were without a big tall centre-half in the middle of their defence, which was exactly the area they had been dominating.
By then, Arsenal had brought on Walcott and Andrey Arshavin because they had realised they needed width against a team that was so strong defensively in the central areas. Their goal came from an Arshavin cross.
Rangers rack up the red cards
When I played for him, Hughes did not have a problem if people got sent off for a tackle but his reaction to red cards like Mbia's was always to come down on the player concerned like a tonne of bricks.
I understand what people are saying about QPR but individual idiotic moments like that do not mean the whole team is ill-disciplined. A manager just cannot legislate for a player to react like that.
Hughes certainly is not to blame. He would tell me to go out and make my mark in games but he would never encourage us to go and kick people off the park.
At Blackburn, we were a physical team but not a dirty one. We had a good work ethic and we played good football - and you could say exactly the same about QPR. We had skilful players like Tugay and David Bentley; they have the likes of Taarabt.
Why there is still hope for HughesQPR's home game against Reading on Sunday is a huge one but Hughes knows his side are playing well enough to win it.
I would expect Hughes to set up his team the same way, with a variation on a 4-4-2 formation, but with the likes of Taarabt and Granero being asked to show more of their attacking qualities.
Bobby Zamora will not be so isolated up front either. Junior Hoilett played off him against Arsenal but whoever is the support striker will be further forward too.
People might look at QPR's results this season and think the worst but I am not worried when I watch them because they are not just defending well, they are playing good football and also creating chances. They managed a few on the counter-attack against Arsenal. The only thing that they did not get was the right result.
In football, you get out what you put in and their luck will change soon, I am sure of it.