Mark Hughes was finally sacked as QPR manager on Friday morning, now replaced by Harry Redknapp. The Welshmen’s record at the club was frankly awful. After 12 games and no wins the only shocking thing about his sacking was that it didn’t come sooner. Despite a lot of talk about the clubs potential under his guidance. Hughes saved them from relegation, but really did no better than Warnock, as well as outlandishly claiming that the club would not be involved in another relegation scrap under his guidance. Which of course looks ridiculous now. Redknapp will take over properly this week, having witnesses his side lose away at United from the stands.
There are a number of factors that have contributed to Hughes’ demise at QPR and QPR’s current lowly league position. Having signed so many players in the summer, including three Champions League winners (Bosingwa, Park and Julio Cesar) causing many fans had an eye on a top six finish, at the very least a top half finish. But in truth the clubs transfer policy was woefully misguided. It is difficult to say how much this is Hughes fault and whether the blame lies with Fernandes, but one would expect Hughes to have had at least some input into player signings. The club adopted a scatter gun approach to signing players, mainly signing up older, ‘experienced’ Premier League players, with the average age of the squad being quite high. Andy Johnson, being a prime example of this, a strange signing considering the large number of strikers the club already have on their books.
The signings of Park, Cesar and Bosingwa are also indicative of a trend, signing players who are past their best from established clubs. This can also be said for Grenaro, a player with a good reputation, but who struggled to settle at Real Madrid. The balance of the squad is completely off as a result of such a huge influx of players, with Hughes rarely picking a regular side. The talent is there, but QPR resemble a team of individuals, not a collective unit. Compounded by a very poor defence, the club have also not been firing at the other end.
Whereas clubs like Southampton and Norwich have looked for bargain signings and promoting younger players QPR have tried to spend their way up the table, but at what cost? The club could be in too deep now. It is possible that they wont recover from such a huge slump. The playing staff are capable of doing better but a gross streamlining of the squad is required in January. It remains to be seen whether QPR can shift any of their surplus stars though, with high wages and a lot of them having a reputation for being injury prone. Even though Southampton spent money in the summer they targeted younger stars with good sell-on value, something Hughes’ didn’t really do.
In truth he has left the club in a very bad position, bottom of the league, with an aging squad on high wages. Harry Redknapp has a massive job on his hands to turn QPR around, but it is not impossible. Talk Sport Drive presenters went as far as to say that Redknapp would lead QPR to finish above Spurs, obviously a ridiculous claim, but it is possible that Redknapp can improve then situation, which cannot really get any worse. QPR are bottom of the league, but with Southampton winning against Newcastle, they are now seven points off safety. They have a few winnable games coming up though, including an way trip to struggling Sunderland as well as a big clash against Villa, who now find themselves in the bottom three. Redknapp will probably definitely look to sign players in January and could well move on a few players to make space. It will not be easy, but things can’t get much worse, and even if QPR do go down, Redknapp will not be blamed.
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