Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Time to Start Again

This week’s blog is a little late as I have been waiting in anticipation, monitoring the media desperately seeking confirmation that Leslie Mark Hughes has finally parted company with our beloved Queens Park Rangers. It’s now Tuesday afternoon and apart from a speculative frenzy last night, when the social media was frantic with rumours of Leslie’s demise, the latest from the Club, is that Hughes is still in his position.

Time to weild the Axe... NOW
Looking back to the debacle that was last Saturdays game against Southampton, which I’m sure you all know, was a game in which we were comprehensively beaten in what I think was our worst performance since we were promoted back to the Premiership. Worse even than the disgraceful displays away to Fulham and Chelsea and they were bad as well as painful and embarrassing. 

Hughes managed to surpass even his dizzy heights of ineptitude as he failed to inspire his team of now demoralised players. From start to finish we looked like a team beaten, without spirit or fight. These are the same players that looked to have turned a corner at Spurs, the same players that looked like they were going to take QPR to the next level. Sadly that no longer looks the case. Hughes has managed to take a group of talented and proven players and turn them in to quivering wrecks, devoid of any direction or hope and with no idea how they are supposed to be playing. Like us R’s fans they have also had to endure the complete rubbish that Hughes continually churns out. They now know he’s not up to this task, they have seen through all the spin and patter that he used to entice them to sign for QPR. We all fell for it, especially Fernandes and Beard.

The players, like the rest of us, have now realised there is no substance to Hughes, so imagine how they must feel. If we the fans are sick, angry and gutted,  imagine how the players feel. Imagine running your socks off in training working really hard only to see him pick SWP. Imagine how the likes of Hill, Derry and Mackie feel and in particular Hill who obviously doesn’t like playing at full back or he wouldn’t have publicly admitted his short comings in that position. (Hughes wasn’t happy with that) Imagine how Ferdinand felt when Zamora  said Terry was a top bloke before we played Chelsea this season, not the most tactful act in the interest of team harmony. How did  Granero, our best  central midfielder this season, feel on Saturday when Hughes played him on the right effectively taking him out of the game. The same applies to Hoilett, removed from the left (where he made his name at Blackburn) to do an unconvincing job playing just off Cisse, even though he did score. Hughes again wasted Taarabt by playing him wide and when we did attack there was never more than one man in the Saints area, why wasn’t  this addressed during the game?  I could go on but you’ve all seen what a mess he makes of picking this team. The point is he has unsettled the players (And that is putting it mildly). Many of  us have worked at places where the management hasn’t got a clue what they’re doing and meddling with what works. Sooner or later that wears you down and you can’t be bothered or at the very least you do not work at your best, it’s human nature. That’s what we have here,  the players have lost faith in Hughes and his staff. Nelson, Taarabt, Mackie are still fighting for our cause but they can’t do it on their own. It’s even got to the fans, the atmosphere on Saturday was far from what it should be at QPR. Even when we scored early in the second half, the R’s faithful seemed subdued, worn down and battered by Hughes repeated failings. Deep down we knew we weren’t going to turn this around today.
Some people feel the players are to blame, that they are showing no passion and are just here for the money. But it is also a fact that these players with the exception of Bosingwa and Traore( who should never wear  the hoops of QPR) started off playing well for QPR, but I think they are now completely demoralised and have no faith in the management.  Some of the players just are not good enough (SWP, Ferdinand, Traore, Bosingwa, Onuoha and Zamora) and are part of QPR’s flawed transfer policy (or lack of policy). The rot started with Warnock’s panic buys of Barton, SWP and Traore and continued with Hughes even worse transfer dealings. Quite simply Hughes was given too much power and secured “jobs for the boys” as he brought in his equally useless  backroom staff and he has had far too much input in the infrastructure that we are putting in for the future.
Taxi For Leslie
Hughes said he would complete QPR’s transfer deals early in the summer so that we could hit the ground running. We all new that the defence needed to be strengthened, but that did not happen. Not until Swansea destroyed us in August then it was more panic buying. Despite having the best ever transfer budget and resources in QPR history, Hughes has continued to make bad decisions and has wasted the talent and resources he has been afforded by Fernandes and the board. Ultimately this has culminated in Hughes being the worst manager in our history and his excuses for his continued failings no longer wash with us. (His latest was that it was difficult against  the Saints because we failed to perform. I thought it was his job to get the players to do that.) As I said before, Hughes and QPR peaked at Spurs,  (and we still lost) it was the only time we looked like an established premier league side, but that was the peak. It’s been all downhill from there with Reading in the cup being the catalyst in our downturn and Hughes had no answer or idea how to pick the players up after that disappointment. (This is the cup Hughes thought we could do well in) I thought that we might just get up to the next level after the Spurs performance, but now think we are fated never to have it good at the Bush, not while Hughes is at the helm. The time to have acted  was after the Everton game, but I think it may now be too late and we should be prepared for the worst.
The time has come for us to start again and this has to be done now to have any chance of avoiding relegation or a good chance of promotion should we fail to survive. This all starts with  the dismissal of Hughes and his staff. But will Tony Fernandes have the balls to fire him. We don’t want to make the same mistakes as Bolton and Blackburn where they did not fire a failing manager or worst still as Wolves who fired their manager too late. All three were relegated. On the other hand Sunderland successfully took evasive action in time last season, when they replaced Bruce whilst hovering at the bottom of the table and Chelsea sacked AVB and won the Champions League.

So Mr Fernandes you have to bite the bullet and remove Hughes from our club…NOW. It takes a big man to admit when something isn’t working and I believe you are big enough to do that. Failure to do so will only alienate you from the supporters you claim to listen to. The same supporters you have been trying to get to fill Loftus Road, a task you still find difficult to do, alienating them will only keep them away.  The stability  you should be aiming to achieve is continued membership of the premiership, essentially next season for the enormous amounts of money that will provide financial security as the new TV deal kicks in.

We at QPR have been the subject of ridicule in recent years due to the very instabilities that Fernandes fears, but at the moment some people pity us for the plight we find ourselves in, others are gloating and wish total oblivion on us and we are again  seen as a laughing stock. This is not good for the brand Fernandes is trying to cultivate on the world stage. Either way R’s fans love our club, but QPR is the cause of misery in the lives of many a QPR fan at the moment and that is down to one man.

As I come to the end of writing this blog, the media is reporting rumours that Beard asked Hughes to resign in a meeting yesterday but he refused. Has he got no shame. No one wants him at QPR, why doesn’t he do the honourable thing and go before Fernandes comes back to England and eventually sanctions the millions it will cost us to get rid of Hughes. A small price to pay for the chance to get someone else in to try and save us and the reward of next season’s multi millions on offer.
Here’s hoping to QPR being a Hughes free zone very soon.
Come on you R’s 

The Bush Ranger.


  1. Superbly written, agree with every word. Excellent & I hope Hughes is gone asap !!!

  2. Very good article, which hits the nail on the head in every sense. There seems to be a deliberate strategy not to hold MH to account with regards to his failing ambitions:
    1. This club will not be in this position ever again, as long as I am manager. (remember this one, after the Man City match last season?)
    2.I'd like to make the transfer deals early in the summer so that we can hit the ground running. (as you point out above)

    I can understand that there may be contractual issues to contend with if he is sacked, but the consequences if we keep him are surely far more grave.

  3. very forthright and totaly correct in your observasions im of the opion that following the next two matches we will see a new manager in place and will have enough time to cement our place in the premiership