I really really belive in our players. Thy need to bit of luck no injuries. They have worn the badge with pride and have played like lionsRT @Scottwalker84 @tonyfernandes COME ON YOU R'SSSSS
When Harry Redknapp arrived at QPR, there were always likely to be big-name casualties among the Loftus Road playing staff. But having surged back to his best form in the past few months, goalkeeper Júlio César was only ever likely to be packing his bags in the January transfer window if speculation linking him to Manchester United or Arsenal came to fruition. QPR fans will be pleased it did not.
Redknapp has rightly been credited with the team’s big defensive improvement – even if it hasn’t led them out of the woods just yet – but the manager and team owe a huge debt to their Brazilian keeper, who has been outstanding of late. In the Hoops’ past five Premier League games, César has conceded only one goal.
The 33-year-old got his just reward for those displays this week, when he returned to the Brazil squad for the first time in little under a year for the game against England at Wembley. Many in Europe and Brazil thought César had had his chips at international level, but not him.
When I spoke to the player at Rangers’ training ground last year, it seemed necessary to ask if he still thought about the national team. “Always,” he replied, quick as a shot. As with most Brazilians, absence makes the heart grow fonder when it comes to the seleção.
César’s recent career trajectory is not dissimilar to that of Wesley Sneijder, his former team-mate at Inter and now of Galatasaray. César fell quickly from his playing pinnacle of spring 2010, when he completed a historic Serie A/Coppa Italia/Champions League treble with José Mourinho’s Inter. Just as Sneijder was a genuine contender for the Ballon d’Or that year, many made a persuasive case for César being the best keeper.
Ironically, Sneijder was to be complicit in the start of César’s fall from grace. The Dutchman sent over the free-kick in the 2010 World Cup quarter-final that, between them, César and Felipe Melo bungled to allow the Netherlands to equalise, en route to shunting Brazil out of the competition. The keeper cried bitter tears of disappointment on the pitch after the game and again on the squad’s return to Brazil.
César’s club form subsequently slipped and on several occasions when pivotal errors cost his team, he would leave his car at the San Siro and pensively walk back to his Milan home. Like Sneijder, he was all but forced out of Inter as the club sought to shed its biggest earners.
But his ability to turn things around has hinged on extraordinary belief and dedication. Like Paris Saint-Germain’s excellent Salvatore Sirigu (currently unbeaten in 868 Ligue 1 minutes), César grasped how important nailing the local language is for a goalkeeper. He is already giving media interviews in English and his command of his defence speaks volumes for his assertiveness.
Another significant change has been playing for a bottom-half side. In essence, César has been learning to play a different game over the past few months. Like Hugo Lloris at Spurs, he has had to adapt to a more physical game in England, but César has also had to get used to being busy during a match, rather than maintaining concentration while his team dominates. He has dealt with this admirably.
His re-adjustment to playing for a footballing giant at Wembley was fairly smooth, even though Brazil were without their world-best central defender Thiago Silva, who was injured and replaced by 29-year-old debutant Dante.
Few could have imagined a QPR player representing Brazil against England, but César has always shown a talent for making the highly unlikely possible. Whether he will be there next season is anyone’s guess, but he has been great for QPR – as they have been for him. Life's A Pitch
CPR CEO PHILIP BEARD -
A communication from the club to fans often involves statements on club affairs or a marketing campaign to encourage you to buy the latest top or purchase tickets for the next game. It shouldn’t always be like that.
As a Board, sometimes we need to contact you just to say how grateful we are for your support. No sales tactic. No marketing ploy. Just thank you.
In January, the most difficult month of the year when it comes to finances, we hosted three games at Loftus Road in the space of eight days. And yet, your support for those fixtures against MK Dons, Manchester City and Norwich City was just incredible.
The noise you generated when we battled to a deserved draw against the champions of England was amazing.
We, as a Board, are tremendously appreciative of the effort and cost involved for you to attend those matches in such numbers.
We are hugely grateful, and that level of support – particularly the vociferous backing you gave Tony Fernandes – merely reaffirmed his belief that becoming involved with QPR was a fantastic decision.
As I’m sure you noticed, there has been a lot of media coverage afforded to our activity in the January transfer window. Our intention is clear. To stay in the Premier League.
And we believe the acquisitions of Tal Ben Haim, Loic Remy, Yun Suk-Young , Chris Samba, Andros Townsend and Jermaine Jenas have improved our chances of doing that.
Tony and the rest of the Board are completely committed to the future of this club. Despite what you may have read in the papers, the club is not facing financial ruin if we suffer relegation this season. All possible outcomes have been considered.
But right now our focus is on staying in the best league in the world. We believe we can achieve it. And it’s what you deserve.
So, on behalf of the Board, thank you.
Philip Beard, CE0
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