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Sunday, January 13, 2013

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QPR vs Spurs  - Reports & Comments

Club Pld Pts
Man Utd 21 52
Man City 21 45
Chelsea 21 41
Tottenham 22 40
Everton 22 37
Arsenal 20 34
West Brom 22 33
Liverpool 21 31
Swansea 22 30
Stoke 22 29
West Ham 21 26
Norwich 22 26
Fulham 22 25
Sunderland 22 25
Southampton 21 21
Newcastle 22 21
Wigan 22 19
Aston Villa 22 19
Reading 22 16
QPR 22 14


Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp sees survival plan personified by Shaun Derry's endeavour
Harry Redknapp made another significant point on Saturday. Always known as an inspiring motivator of players, QPR’s manager now shows his ability also to organise a group of players tactically.

Fighting spirit: Shaun Derry tackles Sandro as QPR earn a valuable point against Spurs Photo: PA
By Henry Winter11:00PM GMT 12 Jan 20131 Comment
Never noted as a defensive type, Redknapp has eschewed old cavalier attacking tendencies, the type that thrilled during his Spurs days, for a more roundhead approach seen at Loftus Road in a stalemate with his old club.
Redknapp has recruited Steve Cotterill to coach the players more, but his own influence is abundantly clear. He knows that the Rs are in a dogfight, that the life will drain away from their Premier League season unless he applies the tightest of tourniquets.
He again devised the right game-plan, 4-1-4-1, defending deep and in numbers as in QPR's victory over Chelsea, and certainly set the right mood among the players, fostering a feeling of togetherness in a dressing-room that has not always been united. It is a testament to the respect players have for Redknapp that he has achieved a strength of spirit at a time when he is also scouring the market for replacements.
Take Shaun Derry. All the headlines about Redknapp’s pursuit of Rennes’ defensive midfielder Yann M’Vila did not stop Derry, a grey-haired warhorse, putting in another immense shift in front of the back-four. Maybe it will be Ji-Sung Park or Stephane Mbia making way for M’Vila if he arrives yet Derry plays that role. And plays it well. He was even more impressive than in the surprise win at the Bridge.
For 90 minutes at Loftus Road, Derry made tackles and interceptions, read Spurs’ attacks expertly and refused to be beaten in the air. One moment he was nipping in ahead of Emmanuel Adebayor to nick the ball, the next he was calmly picking out Fabio on the left.
Derry was a celebration of football made simple: get it, give it. It was not the beautiful game but it was productive. His industry was relentless. When he lost possession to Gareth Bale midway through the first half, Derry bustled back to guarantee no further damage.
When the danger subsided, Derry held up his hand apologetically to acknowledge his mistake. Such honesty and determination to make amends is what Redknapp wants. Spurs boasted far more individual talent in midfield, Moussa Dembélé and Sandro (who limped off to be replaced by Scott Parker), but they could not rival Derry’s application.
Derry’s hunger and positional nous were an example to all. When Adebayor was replaced by Clint Dempsey, Derry was quickly present to ensure a ball did not reach the American. When Bale dribbled through, Derry stood firm on the edge of the box.
When Gylfi Sigurdsson curled over a free-kick, there was Derry heading clear. He spotted a ball about to come in from Kyle Walker and duly placed himself in the ideal place to collect. This is what Redknapp wants: planning one step ahead.
As well as teaching an oft-criticised bunch of players to think more, Redknapp has got them believing in themselves again.
Take Shaun Wright-Phillips, the matchwinner against Chelsea but here a constant help to his defence. The game finished with him closing down Bale, a current Redknapp flair player stymieing one of his past flair players. It felt symbolic of Redknapp’s new approach: frustrating more gifted opponents in the fight for survival.  Telegraph


Harry Redknapp’s assessment was typically blunt. “If you think that’s going to happen,” he said, “there will be a rude awakening at the end of the season.” It was in response to a question about whether he could actually get by without strengthening the Queens Park Rangers squad during this transfer window following this tactically fascinating, hard-fought draw against his former club, Tottenham Hotspur.
Redknapp is pushing very hard for reinforcements and flew out to France again last night where he will hope to tie up a deal for Marseille striker Loïc Rémy after his latest offer was rebuffed. He will also talk to Rennes again about midfielder Yann M’Vila and is hopeful of soon announcing the loan signing of another midfielder, Jake Livermore, from Spurs. A further bid, for West Bromwich Albion striker Peter Odemwingie, has been rejected.
This whole campaign so far has been a “rude awakening” for QPR and even now, as Redknapp pushes to spend, he is being told that only a couple of players can be brought in unless he can move others out. QPR’s owners have spent their money but Redknapp’s shopping list is a bit more ambitious.
“People might look at the last couple of results and think there is a chance for us,” he pleaded.
True. Four points taken – from Chelsea away from home and here against Spurs – is encouraging but there was a moment yesterday when Redknapp had to decide whether he would stick or twist. Eighty minutes into this close encounter and he called Djibril Cissé, the QPR striker, over. Was he going to throw the substitute on and go for the victory that would have pushed his team even closer to safety? Cissé was told to sit down. Redknapp would stick.
A point against a previously vibrant Spurs team, who failed to score for the first time this season away from home in the league and failed to fire on occasions was precious, but there was a nagging feeling that Redknapp was more concerned about not losing than winning. Perhaps by May, however, this draw will prove to be the precious point that made all the difference to QPR’s survival.
“Both teams want to reach their objectives: QPR with salvation and us with Champions League qualification,” said Spurs head coach Andre Villas-Boas, who will now lose Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor to the Africa Cup of Nations. “Hopefully we can both achieve what we want.”
There were so many shades of grey to this encounter – and not just in Spurs’s two-tone away strip – that it is impossible to assess if it was a case of points lost or gained for either team. Both managers will be pleased not to have lost; neither though will be fully satisfied following a difficult game on an even more difficult pitch.
At times it appeared to be attack against defence as QPR replicated their approach that had worked so spectacularly against Chelsea. That was away from home, of course, and ended in victory. At home, they eschewed any need to take the game to their opponents.
QPR’s tactics may have smacked of desperation but they were also effective: a blanket midfield with Shaun Derry sitting in front of the defence and Adel Taarabt operating as the lone striker, dropping deep and trying to use his trickery to occupy the opposition.
“If we had opened up against them we would have been destroyed,” Redknapp argued understandably.
The recent humiliation at home to Liverpool appears to have been a watershed. It could have been very different in terms of entertainment had Julio Cesar, “a world-class goalkeeper” according to Redknapp, not produced two outstanding saves within the opening minutes. Firstly he tipped Jermain Defoe’s fierce shot on to a post and then recovered to prevent Adebayor from turning in the rebound.
“It was important to get that first goal to unlock them,” Villas-Boas said. Instead the QPR goal was bolted shut. Cesar was not worked enough.
After a dozen minutes Taarabt threaded a pass through to the impressive Shaun Wright-Phillips and after he feinted, sending Hugo Lloris to the ground, Michael Dawson intervened smartly to divert his goal-bound shot wide.
Spurs lost Sandro in the 25th minute, although fears of suspected ligament damage from a twisted knee proved unfounded, and the game lost its way until Cesar was called into action again to block Gareth Bale’s dipping free-kick and then did even better to turn away another Defoe shot. Adebayor delayed, when given a sight of goal, and Aaron Lennon was clipped marginally outside the penalty area.
Spurs were dominant, QPR were disciplined but they did start to manufacture some half-chances with Lloris sprinting from his line to thwart Wright-Phillips and then the winger missed his kick when he again linked up with Taarabt.
Another chance came courtesy of Fabio da Silva, who crossed low and dangerously from deep into the area but failed to find a team-mate as the contest petered out to the inevitable, imponderable draw. Telegraph


Harry Redknapp's QPR cl
aim point off Tottenham Hotspur
Paul Doyle at Loftus Road

QPR's Harry Redknapp gestures, watched by his successor as Tottenham Hotspur manager, André Villas-Boas. Photograph: Paul Childs/Action Images
Last laugh to Harry Redknapp? Not quite, but the Queens Park Rangers manager could at least afford himself a satisfied smile after his first encounter with Tottenham since being sacked by the club last summer. Meanwhile, the watching Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy, was left to reflect on being frustrated by Redknapp again. A hard-earned draw boosted QPR's chances of avoiding relegation and dented André Villas-Boas's hopes of emulating his feat of leading Spurs to a top-four finish.

Redknapp maintains that he was a victim of internal politics at Tottenham and although gathering points for QPR is the most important thing on his agenda now, doing so while exacting a small measure of revenge for his dismissal from White Hart Lane must have made it a little sweeter. Redknapp and the man who replaced him at Spurs made sure they appeared statesmanlike, shaking hands warmly before the game and even adding a hug to banish any talk of a cold war.

Redknapp made sure, however, that his players came out with fire in their bellies. Tottenham were going to have to fight for the victory that Villas-Boas had said was essential on a weekend when two of their main rivals for Champions League qualification, Manchester City and Arsenal, could weaken each other. At Tottenham Redknapp sought to build a bold attacking side but, reflecting the different demands of his current job, here he set out to stifle the side he once helped build. He said he had no qualms about making that adaptation.

"You have to play with the hand that you've got," he explained. "I played 4-4-2 against Liverpool [when losing 3-0 on 30 December] and we got ripped to pieces. So we had to change the mindset when we went and won at Chelsea and we tried to do that again here. That's what you have to do against the better teams."

QPR pestered the visitors frantically early on to prevent them finding any fluency, with Stéphane Mbia proving especially meddlesome, much to the annoyance of Mousa Dembélé, whose every touch was tracked by the Cameroonian. Tottenham's challenge was to find the wit to rise above the determined heckling of the relegation-threatened side and in the fifth minute they delivered a tantalising assertion of their superiority. Jermain Defoe skittered across the pitch, exchanging deft passes, before unleashing a fierce drive from 20 yards. Júlio César excelled to tip the shot on to the post and then produced an even better save to foil Emmanuel Adebayor on the rebound. Tottenham failed to build on that promising start, as the diligence of QPR's five-man midfield made the visitors look ponderous and unimaginative.

Tottenham's wingers seemed unable to get into the game and got little help from their central midfielders and full-backs. Adebayor's impact after his early miss was such that one wondered whether he had already left for the Africa Cup of Nations. The most piercing pass of the first period came from Adel Taarabt, who dissected the visiting defence with a wonderful ball to Shaun Wright-Phillips in the 11th minute. The winger took his time getting a shot off and when he eventually did so, Michael Dawson deflected it behind for a corner.

Villas-Boas had to use the break to come with a plan to circumvent the wall erected by Redknapp. He might have thrown in a good old-fashioned rollicking too, as his team had not only been unable to out-think their opponents but were also being outfought. The resumption brought signs of change. Gareth Bale forced an awkward save from César with one of his wobbly free-kicks and moments later, as the seemingly invigorated visitors applied sustained pressure, Kyle Walker fired another free-kick inches wide.

But soon Spurs shrivelled up again. Once more it was left to Taarabt to show a flicker of class, as in the 77th minute he again put Wright-Phillips through with a perceptive pass. Hugo Lloris hurtled out of his area to eradicate the threat. After that the match, much like Tottenham's last season under Redknapp, fizzled out. But this time he at least got a measure of satisfaction out of it. Redknapp knows it will probably take more than keen bluster to get QPR out of trouble but Spurs must be concerned that was pretty much all it took for their Champions League campaign to stall here. Guardian



R's boss encouraged by Spurs stalemate ...

Today’s result is equally as impressive as our win at Chelsea."
Harry Redknapp
HARRY REDKNAPP was delighted with a share of the spoils after QPR held Tottenham to a goalless draw on Saturday.

In a game of few clear-cut chances, Redknapp's troops battled tirelessly to pick up another valuable point towards the R's bid for survival.

The Rangers boss hailed the recent win at Chelsea as one of his finest ever as a manager but ranked Saturday’s stalemate just as highly.

“That’s a great point for us today,” Redknapp told www.qpr.co.uk. “I couldn’t have asked for more effort from the players, every one of them.

“We were playing against an absolute top class team and I felt we were fantastic.”

“For me, today’s result is equally as impressive as our win at Chelsea.”

Shaun Wright-Phillips went closest to breaking the deadlock for the Hoops whilst a resilient display at the other end secured back-to-back clean sheets in the league for the first time this season.

Redknapp paid credit to his players’ efforts including goalkeeper Julio Cesar, who pulled off an outstanding double save inside the first five minutes to keep the visitors at bay.

“He’s a world-class goalkeeper, there’s no doubt about that,” Redknapp said.

“The couple of saves he had to make were important but he wasn’t over-tested.

“They had one or two opportunities but that’s always going to happen, they’re a top team.

“They had a lot of possession, especially in the second half. But on the break we got into some fantastic positions where we could have taken a goal.”

A point apiece means Rangers continue their unbeaten start to 2013 following their morale-boosting victory at Stamford Bridge in the R’s previous Premier League outing.

Since shipping three goals to Liverpool last time out at Loftus Road in the top flight, the R's defence has been breached just once in three outings.

Redknapp changed his tactics following defeat to the Reds and the R's boss has been thrilled with how his side have responded.

“You’d take four points from Chelsea away and Tottenham at home,” the R’s boss added.

“That’s how it’s got to be, we’ve got to be difficult to beat. That’s the only way you get results.

“We played 4-4-2 here against Liverpool and got ripped to pieces. We went to Chelsea with a different mindset, completely changed the way we played and came away with three points.

“We had to do that again today.

“They all put a shift in and that’s all you can ask for from your players. They gave me absolutely everything.” Guardian



Midfield-general confident Rangers can get out of trouble

R’S MIDFIELDER Shaun Derry believes the recent appointment of Harry Redknapp has galvanised the Rangers squad. 

Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk following the R’s goalless draw against Tottenham Hotspur at Loftus Road, Derry credited the Rangers gaffer for the Hoops recent revival.

Redknapp said: “We’ve managed to register two great results on the bounce now.

“The win against Chelsea and the point against Spurs has given everyone at the club a massive boost.

“We’re a different group of players here now. There’s huge belief amongst the squad now. We’re a lot harder to beat.

“The changes over the last few weeks since the manager and his backroom team have come in have made a big difference.

“Each and every one of us now knows what our jobs are now on a Saturday afternoon.”

In a game of few clear-cut chances, Julio Cesar’s early double-save was arguably the highlight, whilst at the other end, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Adel Taarabt were a constant thorn in the Spurs rear-guard.

Derry added: “Julio’s double-save was world class – game changing.

“If we’d have gone a goal down after five minutes it could have been a completely different game, but Julio made a couple of fantastic saves and that gave us a boost.

“We had to make ourselves hard to beat because that hasn't been the case in a lot of game this season – we’re doing that now.

“We’ve gone back to basics and we’re not making it nice for the opposition. It might not be nice to watch at times, but it’s got us another great result today.

 “This result, coupled with the win at Chelsea, will put a lot of pressure on those teams above us.

“No-one would have expected us to get four points from six from the last two games, but we have and it’s fantastic for everyone associated with the club.” QPR Official



Posted 12 January 2013 8:22pm
Andre Villas-Boas felt an early goal would have made all the difference after it ended goalless at QPR on Saturday.

It looked like we were heading for that key opener inside six minutes only to be denied by a magnificent double save from Julio Cesar.

Jermain Defoe’s 20-yarder was destined for the top corner before Cesar tipped it onto the post and the goalkeeper was up in time to save Emmanuel Adebayor’s follow up effort from point-blank range.

Cesar later showed the reactions that have kept him at the top of the game for so long when he managed to turn away Jermain’s deflected shot in the second half.

That was the difference in a game of few chances with a shot count of 15-4 in our favour at Loftus Road.

"It was a difficult game," said Andre. "We created a couple of good chances and we told the players that it was important to score early.

"That was the only way we were going to bring QPR out a little more.

"We had a couple of good chances at the beginning of the first half and then the start of the second half, but maybe not so much clear-cut chances as we normally do.

"As I said, it was a difficult game, difficult conditions and not as good as we wanted, but a point away from home is always positive."

The draw stretched our current run to one defeat in 10 in the Premier League, including seven wins, stretching back to November and we sit fourth after Saturday's fixture - Tottenham

Delighted QPR boss hails ‘world class’ Cesar

QPR manager Harry Redknapp paid tribute to goalkeeper Julio Cesar after the 0-0 draw against Tottenham.

Rangers got men behind the ball and hung on for a point at Loftus Road, where Cesar produced an important double save early in the game.

The Brazilian dived to his right to tip Jermain Defoe’s shot onto the post and then did brilliantly to keep out Emmanuel Adebayor’s follow-up.

“He’s a world class goalkeeper, there’s no doubt about that,” a delighted Redknapp declared.
Fabio was also excellent against Spurs.

Fabio was also excellent against Spurs.

“You don’t win the Champions League like he has unless you’re world class, and that’s what he is.”

Following their shock victory at Chelsea, the stalemate against Redknapp’s former club continued Rangers’ encouraging recent run and maintained their hopes of avoiding relegation.

Redknapp said: “It’s a great point. I couldn’t have asked for more from them. They stuck to their jobs and did everything I asked.

“We were playing against a top-class team and have taken four points from Chelsea and Tottenham – and that’s how it’s going to have to be if we’re going to stay up.

“We had to be set up like when we went to Chelsea and make sure we were difficult to beat. We have to do that against the better teams. You take a point from these sort of games.

“We played 4-4-2 against Liverpool recently and were ripped to pieces. Open up against them [Tottenham] and you are going to be destroyed.”

Meanwhile, Redknapp has confirmed he is signing Jake Livermore on loan from Tottenham and wants West Brom’s Peter Odemwingie
.  West London Sport


 Rangers boss back in France for talks over Remy and M’Vila

Harry Redknapp went straight from QPR’s draw with Spurs to France to pursue talks with transfer targets Yann M’Vila and Loic Remy.

Redknapp flew to see midfielder M’Vila in action for Rennes against Bordeaux and on Sunday he plans to watch Marseille’s Remy against Sochaux.

Newcastle also want Remy, who declined to even meet with Redknapp when the R’s boss recently travelled across the Channel in the hope of speaking to him.

But Rangers still believe there is a chance the France striker could be persuaded to move to west London rather than stay at Marseille or join the Magpies.

M’Vila has attracted some interest from Arsenal, with Fulham also believed to be ready to make an offer for him.

He was reported to have rejected QPR but the club have still not received a firm answer and hope to hold discussions with the 25-year-old.

Redknapp said: “M’Vila is an interesting player – a player I tried to sign when I was at Tottenham – and there will be other clubs interested in him I’m sure.

“And it’s difficult when you’re at the bottom, sure. It’s difficult to attract players to your club.

“But I think players might look at our last couple of results and think ‘there is chance for QPR’.

“It may be an exciting end to the season and a challenge they might want to take up.

Redknapp delighted with point against old club Spurs

By James CunliffeSaturday, January 12, 2013
Harry Redknapp hailed a hard fought draw against former side Tottenham and insisted that four points from the two home London derbies against them and Chelsea was nothing to be sniffed at in their battle to beat the drop.

The stalemate moved Queens Park Rangers off the foot of the Premier League table for a couple of hours at least but they can be proud of the way they restricted Spurs and left their wide threats of Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon feeding off scraps.

The R’s did have their chances to take more from the contest with Adel Taarabt unlocking the visitors’ defence on four occasions but Shaun Wright-Phillips couldn’t make the most of three of them, while Fabio da Silva got caught in two minds with the other.

“It’s a great point for us,” Harry Redknapp said afterwards. “I couldn’t have asked for more effort than what I got from those players today, every one of them. They stuck to their jobs, did exactly what I asked them to do.

“We were playing against an absolutely top class team and I felt we were fantastic.

“We had our opportunities on the breaks to score like we did at Chelsea. If you’d have said to me you can take four points at home from Tottenham and Chelsea [I’d have taken them].

“That’s how it’s got to be. We’ve got to be difficult to beat and we have to work as hard as that week in, week out. That’s how you get results.”

Redknapp flooded the midfield and his men were the better team at times in the first half as Tottenham struggled to find a way through.

Stephane Mbia bossed the midfield in the first period, getting the better of Mousa Dembele, while Ji-Sung Park and Shaun Derry did the dirty work to great effect.

“We had to set a team up like [we did] when we went to Chelsea and make sure we were difficult to beaten, first and foremost,” said the R’s boss.

“You can’t just come and open up. We played Liverpool here, I played 4-4-2 and we got ripped to pieces.

“We went to Chelsea with a different mindset, completely changed the way we played and came away with three points.

“We had to do that again today.

“If we opened up against them we would have gotten destroyed. The way we shaped up suited us perfectly.

“You take a point from these games. You can’t be silly. These have won seven or eight games away from home this year and they are a top, top team. I think they’ve got as good a squad as any in the Premier League.

“So it was a great point for us today.”

When Spurs did get through the QPR rearguard goalkeeper Julio Cesar pulled off two stunning stops within a couple of seconds.

The Brazilian tipped a Jermain Defoe 25-yarder onto the woodwork and then reacted quickly to deny Emmanuel Adebayor from point blank range with the follow up.

Redknapp said: “He’s a world class goalkeeper, there’s no doubt about that. You don’t play in a Champions League winning team if you’re not.

“A couple of saves he had to make were important but he wasn’t over-tested.”

London 24

Club captain Ji-Sung Park picks his five favourite goals - exclusively in The Inside’R’ - coming soon! #OutOnMonday pic.twitter.com/bvO9gUZj

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