QPR Report Twitter Feed

Saturday, June 15, 2013

#Warnock on John Terry Incident and Taarabt...Birthday for #QPR's #LakshmiMittal....Give #Redknapp Transfer Control: QPR Legend...DJ Campbell?.....Flashbacks: MK Dons Cancelled..."Bournemouth Star" Signs

Birthday Today for QPR's Lakshmi Mittal! (Hopefully long-associated with the club)



- QPR's 1969-1970 Season in Photos - Bushman Archives

- Flashback 7 Years: QPR Announce Friendly with MK Dons...Next Day: QPR Cancel Friendly with MK Dons!

- 13 Year Flashback: " Bournemouth Star Signs" for QPR

- Bothroyd Faces Driving Ban

- Rupert Murdoch Plans Summer Football Competition for Top Clubs

- Guardian Q and A With Neil Warnock

- Year Flashback: Tony Fernandes on New QPR Stadium (Unlikely to GroundShare and re Staying up)

- Year Ago: Funeral of Dennis Signy

- Six Years Ago:  QPR Owners (Paladini and Caliendo) Prepared to Sell QPR

- Flashback: Jim Gregory's Reply to Tommy Docherty

- BBC: Recalling Robert Maxwell's 1983 effort to merge Oxford and Reading into "Thames Valley Royals"

Guardian/Ian Lynam - In the era of Financial Fair Play clubs must pay smart, not pay more

QPR Summer Key Dates

-  Paulo Sousa Takes over at Maccabi Tel-Aviv

Wanock's 'The Gaffer' exclusive extract: Anton Ferdinand has not been the same since the John Terry storm

In excerpts from his new autobiography The Gaffer, Neil Warnock lifts the lid on the explosive episodes of his QPR career and their effects
Neil Warnock Author Biography

Friday 14 June 2013

I was looking forward to playing Chelsea. I’d been told at the start of the season if we beat them QPR director Amit Bhatia’s father-in-law, Lakshmi Mittal, the steel billionaire, would give me a million pounds. That was quite an incentive.

Our build-up was difficult. Training had not been very good. The players had heard Adel Taarabt was out the night before the games against Fulham and Blackburn and they had a meeting among themselves that had come to my attention. Adel said he wasn’t out. He doesn’t drink anyhow so even if he was it wasn’t the issue it would be with some. You have to give him the benefit of the doubt, but all week it had been festering.

Then there was selection and tactics. We were a bit at sixes and sevens. Joey Barton and Dezza [Shaun Derry] wanted to play three in central midfield and one player wide. I felt we needed Adel or someone putting his foot on the ball or doing something to stretch Chelsea. Curly [coach Keith Curle] wanted wide players to stop their full-backs pushing on but I thought we’d then just end up in our own half and get beat anyhow.

I decided to pick Adel and have a go at Chelsea. I’m the one responsible for results after all, but I had to convince the players it would work. I started with the full-backs. They like to stay out, but Chelsea’s wingers like to come in and Juan Mata and Daniel Sturridge would cause problems if we allowed them to do so untracked. So the full-backs had to come with them and the spare centre-half would cover the space.

Then I brought in Joey (below) and the midfielders and we had a really good morning running through how we were going to play. I decided to bring Clint Hill back from Forest as I wasn’t convinced either Danny Gabbidon or Armand Traoré would be fit. Armand had an adductor strain and he’s the type that if he sneezed he felt he had flu or pneumonia.

We started well, the plan with the full-backs worked, we won some great tackles and headers and Chelsea began to show signs of panic. That was underlined when David Luiz made a stupid challenge on Heidar Helguson. The ref gave a penalty and Heidar tucked it in. Then Adel put a great ball through for Shaun Wright-Phillips and José Bosingwa pulled him down and got sent off. They were just rejigging their line-up when Didier Drogba made an horrific lunge on Adel and got a straight red. They were down to nine and a goal behind. It seemed unreal. Watching it from the bench it seemed like Drogba’s dismissal was in slow motion.

Then a minute before the break they pulled off Juan Mata and put on Nicolas Anelka, which I couldn’t understand. Not only was Mata the player I thought could rip us apart, doing it then meant we knew how they would play in the second half. I thought they would have given themselves a bit more time and decide what to do during half-time.

At half-time I said to my lads: “We can’t sit back because of the quality of their passing, be positive.” But it was difficult. We let them have the ball and their players are so good technically they kept it, even with nine men. We were chasing shadows.

I substituted Adel with Tommy Smith with about 25 minutes to go to give us fresh legs. Once again he stormed off down the tunnel. He never shook any hands, not mine anyway as I didn’t even look at him – I could see what he was going to do. There was a tense finish and I saw John Terry having a set-to with Paddy Kenny, and another with Anton Ferdinand, but it didn’t seem like there was anything out of the ordinary given it was a competitive derby match. We held on to gain a fabulous result.

I went out on the pitch to savour the atmosphere, which was deafening, and immediately had Adel coming up to me for a moan. “Gaffer, why you substitute me, blah, blah, blah.”

“Look around you,” I said, “this is not about Adel Taarabt, this is about Queen’s Park Rangers. Queen’s Park Rangers are more important than you. A lot of people would not even have picked you. You should be thanking me for picking you instead of having a go at me.” I think he’s a lovely lad, and he is unique, but he hasn’t got any idea sometimes as he only worries about himself. Most players do.

Joey and Anton lingered on the pitch with me. I said to them: “Just take in the atmosphere, I’ve never heard anything like it.” I drank it in. A lot of our fans had never seen a victory against Chelsea – it had been 16 years – and they were revelling in it.

When the three of us got to the tunnel all hell had broken loose. The tunnel was compacted with bodies; there was shouting and screaming. Chelsea weren’t very good losers to say the least and, as our players had to go past their dressing room to reach ours, there was plenty of opportunity for confrontation. I screamed at our lot: “Get in the dressing room.” They did.

Mick Jones, my assistant manager, who had come down earlier, said the referee must have sensed what was going to happen, as he got off quickly, into his room, and shut the door behind him, leaving the players to sort it out themselves like in the old days. I thought it was a good move. The police were there too and one of the officers said to Mick: “Keep your lads in check and this won’t go any further.” These things normally last a minute or two and are then forgotten, and with neither the ref nor the police looking to pursue the matter, that is where it would have ended. But, of course, there was another aspect this time with the Terry–Ferdinand incident. That would take almost a year to play out.

We weren’t aware of anything out of the ordinary when we left the ground and I drove home still feeling elated. I’d just got in the front door when I received a text telling me there were these scenes on YouTube of John Terry shouting “you black c...” or whatever, towards Anton. There was a link and even viewing it on my phone I thought it looked pretty obvious.

Anton hadn’t seen it at the ground because I don’t let them have phones in the dressing room. So when John had pulled him after the game and asked, “There’s no problem?”, Anton agreed because he hadn’t seen it. But when he did see it he was furious. I spoke to him and told him not to say anything to the press. Then I spoke to [QPR owner] Tony [Fernandes], who said he would ring Anton and give him the club’s total backing. The previous week the Luis Suarez–Patrice Evra affair had erupted and I realised this had the potential to become a big issue – but I had no idea how big the ramifications would be long term.

That night John Terry made a statement saying he was just repeating what Anton allegedly had said, and that was why he said it. That confirmed he had used the words. He should have just kept his mouth shut, as Anton never heard anything.

The police were probably the first to appreciate how things might escalate, as the following day they called Mick Jones (why they chose him neither he nor anyone else knew) and told him Anton’s home had to be secured, and would he go along with them to the house to help them do that. Then they rang him and said they wanted Mick to be responsible for Anton’s safety getting into the ground at the next home match – they needed to know where to take him to minimise the risk of anyone attacking him. Mick’s my assistant manager, not a security expert, so he replied: “You must be joking, that’s your job.”

We were off Monday, but matters continued to develop. Anton was still very angry, so the club made an official complaint to the FA. The Met Police also got involved more formally after someone made a complaint to them.

On Tuesday the FA announced, in response to our complaint, they would investigate. We trained as normal, but FA people came to the ground in the afternoon to talk to Anton and myself, plus Shaun Derry and Clint Hill, who the cameras showed were nearby when the incident happened. But what could we say? None of us had heard anything.

I wanted to carry on as normally as possible, so at lunchtime we had a couple of presentations. I gave extra Championship winners’ medals I’d had struck to reward some of the unsung staff, and we had birthday cake for Shaun Wright-Phillips, but we didn’t really enjoy that buzz you get at the training ground after a great result because it was overshadowed by the controversy.

The FA came back on Friday and interviewed Anton again, for two hours. It wasn’t the best preparation to face Tottenham and it showed. Anton was poor and continued to be so. I don’t think he ever played well for me again. His mind was affected – understandably given he even had a type of bullet sent to him in the post – and I don’t think he has ever been the same player. His concentration levels were poor and he had that many meetings with solicitors, the police (who by Tuesday after the Spurs game said they were launching a formal investigation), the FA and PFA that he missed a lot of training and his sharpness dropped. It didn’t help the team’s preparation either because you need your centre-half, especially if working on defending set pieces.

Shortly before Christmas the Crown Prosecution Service said they were charging Terry with racially abusing Anton. By the time Terry appeared in court to plead not guilty I had left QPR, but I followed events from afar. When, in September, the FA found him guilty of racially abusing Anton and banned him for four matches it finally seemed to indicate a line could be drawn under the events of 23 October, 2011.

Actually, there is still one outstanding issue. I’m still waiting for that £1m bonus from Amit’s father-in-law for beating Chelsea. I’m sure it’s in the post.

QPR couldn’t sign campbell – they didn’t have any money

On trying to make signings as QPR prepared for their return to the Premier League, I was finally allowed to bring in a player who actually cost money, verbally agreeing a £1.25m fee with Blackpool for DJ Campbell. He’d not only scored goals for them in the top flight, he was a QPR fan as well. Crucially co-owner Flavio Briatore rated him and wanted to sign him too. I had DJ round the house, he agreed terms, he passed a medical, he even trained with us. It was a done deal, or so it seemed. Then, before a press conference, the media guy told me not to talk about DJ and when I asked what he meant, he said: “We can’t put it through yet, we haven’t got enough money.” We hadn’t sent the letter to Blackpool making a formal bid because we couldn’t pay if they accepted. It turned out there was no money in the pot until we got the first payment from the Premier League.

‘I’ll ram that bottle down your throat’

It is QPR’s promotion run-in. The players are due back in Saturday ahead of a televised Monday-night match against Derby County, but Adel Taarabt fails to turn up.

I found out he’d been with his Moroccan friend from Arsenal, Chamakh. Then he rang up and claimed I’d said “come in Sunday”. He’d put weight on as he was not training and it was not good enough. I had a one-to-one with him on the Sunday and told him what I expected of him.

When the game arrived, Adel’s lack of sharpness showed. Robbie Savage, who’s more than a decade older, man-marked him and Adel didn’t work hard enough to lose him. I had to pull him off after about 65–70 minutes. When he came off Coxy [Nigel Cox], like a stupid physio, gave him a bottle of water that he deliberately threw down in disgust. All the while the TV cameras were on him.

I didn’t say anything at the time but later in the week, during a staff meeting, I said to Nigel: “If you ever give another bottle of water to Adel when he’s been substituted I will ram it down your throat.” I think he understood. We laughed about it later.

Arsène has the final word

At the Emirates the technical areas are a long way apart. When I went there with Sheffield United for my 1,000th game as a manager, I stood with Arsène Wenger (above) in the centre circle and turned towards them. I said: “Look at the dugouts, Arsène, they are miles apart, you’ll never hear me.”

He pondered, looked down at me from his great height, smiled wryly and said: “You will find a way.” Independent


QPR manager Harry Redknapp must be given control of transfers, insists club legend

QPR manager Harry Redknapp must be given control of transfers, insists club legend

QPR legend Ian Morgan believes Harry Redknapp must be given freedom in all transfer dealings if the club intend to compete for promotion back to the Premier League.
By: Nick Lustig
Published: Fri, June 14, 2013

Former-R-s-player-Morgan-believes-Redknapp-must-be-given-control-of-transfers-at-the-club Former R's player Morgan believes Redknapp must be given control of transfers at the club

The club's failure to sanction the transfer of key target Wayne Bridge, who subsequently joined Reading, brought Redknapp's future as manager into doubt.

And Morgan, who played alongside his twin brother Roger during his time at Loftus Road, feels the owners must back the former Tottenham manager in the transfer market.

He exclusively told Express Online: "Harry has got a proven track record and knows the market inside out. The club must give him the support and trust that he wants.

"There has to be a trust between manager and chairman. But Harry is experienced and has been a very successful manager.

"I think they should give Harry a free role to select the players he wants. It is a must for the club."

QPR, Harry RedknappThe relationship between Redknapp and the QPR hierarchy have strained the club's transfer policy

Redknapp took over from Mark Hughes mid-way through last season, however was unable to stop the club's slide out of the top flight.

But the former winger, who was part of club's 1967 League Cup triumph, is adamant that the R's have got the perfect man for the job.

He said: "There is not a better man-manager to motivate players than Harry. I think he is probably one of the best around in getting the most out of his players.

"If he left it would be a tragedy for the club because he is the right person for the job. If he went I would not know who would replace him."

QPR, Harry RedknappQPR suffered relegation in May after only two seasons back in the top flight

I think they should give Harry a free role to select the players he wants. It is a must for the club

QPR legend Ian Morgan

Star players such as Julio Cesar, Christopher Samba and Loic Remy are all expected to depart in the summer.

And the QPR legend believes the club need to bring in proven Championship players as they seek promotion back to the Premier League.

He said: "You need to have players that are experienced in the Championship, know what it is about and will give 150% for the club.

"QPR need players who are desperate to play in the Premier League and can deal with the pressure of expectation as the Championship is a very hard league to get out of.

"If there in contention after half-way through next season than I would expect Harry and the team to push on.

"I expect them to be in contention for promotion." Express

- Flashback:  Roger and Ian Morgan

West London Sport/Dave McIntyre

QPR yet to make final decision on Campbell

QPR have yet to make a final decision on the future of DJ Campbell, who looks likely to leave Loftus Road this summer.

The striker’s contract is about to end and he has not been offered a new deal.

He is therefore free to join another club, but if he does not he could yet be given a chance to impress during pre-season, especially if Rangers have not signed another forward by then.

Campbell’s name was included on a list recently published by the Premier League of ‘released’ players from each club, as his contract is expiring and he has not been given another one.

A number of clubs have shown an interest in the 31-year-old, who is considering his options.

Having scored 10 goals in 17 appearances during a loan spell at Ipswich last season, he ended the campaign on loan at Blackburn.

Signed from Blackpool for £1.25m in 2011, Campbell has made only 11 first-team appearances for Rangers, nine of them as a substitute.

Last month he told West London Sport that he would like to stay at the club.

Meanwhile, Rangers appear to have made progress in their attempt to sign Danny Simpson despite top-flight clubs being made aware of the full-back’s availability.

Talks with Simpson, 26, are ongoing. He has not been offered a new contract by Newcastle and will soon be available on a Bosman free transfer. West London Sport



Ian replaces outgoing Kevin Cruickshank as Scouting Coordinator …

My job will be to search for players, identify players, and then present them to Harry"

Ian Butterworth

IAN BUTTERWORTH has joined QPR as the club’s Scouting Coordinator, replacing the departing Kevin Cruickshank.

Butterworth, a former defender who represented Coventry City, Nottingham Forest and Norwich City, is looking forward to his new role.

“This is a big challenge and I hope I can assist Ian Broomfield (Chief Scout) in bringing the right type of player to the club,” Butterworth told www.qpr.co.uk.

“There are good people at the football club, and you can’t get a better manager than Harry Redknapp.

“Everyone will be pulling together next season and my job will be to search for players, identify players, and then present them to Harry.

“I have a team of scouts that I will need to organise. At the moment there are six or seven involved with the club who are based across the UK and some parts of Europe. We’ll be looking to put them in the right areas to cover the games and players that we want to see.

“There are good people behind the scenes and good players already at the club. Let’s hope we can build a team to challenge next season. That’s what the manager wants and he is working around the clock to do his best, and we’ve got to make sure we back him up.”

The 49-year-old, who has enjoyed assistant manager spells with Darlington (1998 – 2000), Cardiff City (2000 – 2004), Hartlepool (2006 – 2009) and Norwich City (2009), believes the arrival of Financial Fair Play has placed greater importance on teams to have a successful scouting system.

“If you look across all the clubs now, there’s a strong scouting network in place,” he adds. “Players cost a lot more these days but you don’t have to spend lots of money because there are players out there who can develop under the coaches at the club.”

Butterworth says player acquisition is a difficult business where as much research as possible is vital.

“Obviously, to a certain extent, every signing is a gamble,” he admits. “But what you’ve got to do is your due diligence. That’s the important thing. If you do that, it’s more a calculated risk than a gamble.

“When a club gets relegated there is obviously a turnover of players and the team has got to be rebuilt. That’s football, players come and go. Hopefully we can find the right ones for the manager and he will be presented with a list to pick from.

“You’ve got to look into every aspect of a player. And if the manager wants a ‘certain type,’ then we’ve got to make sure we find players who have those qualities.”

Redknapp, and Chairman Tony Fernandes, have spoken on a number of occasions about bringing the ‘right sort of player’ to Loftus Road. And Butterworth fully understands the requirements they’re after.

“We all love to see the artist who can thread a pass through and the great goalscorer, but you need experienced soldiers in the Championship,” he says. “And that’s got to be sprinkled with youth and athleticism. You’ve got to get the right balance.

“But character is vital. You want people who want to play for the club and who want to be successful.” QPR

Blog Archive