Wednesday, 5 August 2015

#31 That Was The Season That Was

I was planning to write a long and detailed blog about all that was wrong about last season, but didn't want to be negative about our club on the eve of a new football season. We have all moved on so I will review a few key points last season, things that the club have now started to address.

May 2015 saw the R's finish at the foot of the Premier League for the second time in three seasons, having capitulated in the second half of the season. After a promising start, the good home form we enjoyed until Christmas deserted us as the remaining home fixtures pitted us in the main, against top ten sides. Goals were being scored, but woeful defending saw the R's leaking goals all season.

Rebranding concepts by Rs fan Dan Norris
Harrys inept pre season and poor transfer dealings, hardly gave us the best of chances. Alarm bells started to ring after Harry abandoned 3-5-3 following heavy away defeats early doors and went to 4-4-2 despite not having a recognised right back having sold Simpson. And we all know about losing every away game until January and the unwanted Premier League record that came with it.

Yes, there was a bad lot in the dressing room, with still too many at QPR for the money and the money only, happy to pick up their pay whether they played or not. Having said that this side was not as bad as the side that rolled over and submitted to relegation two years earlier. At least this lot had a go, they just weren't good enough.

But in my mind the biggest problem was Harry himself, and I for one was overjoyed after he spat his dummy out 8 hours after the transfer window closed, after uncle Tony finally put a halt to Harrys reckless spending and denied him his deadline day media exposure. There was no dignity in the timing of his resignation nor his fictitious reason. And still the man has no shame. Suffice to say Harry was overrated, well past his sell by date, passionless, clueless out of ideas and losing respect. Most infuriating about Harry was his refusal to take responsibility for the mess we were in on the pitch (or anything else) and he further compounded this by being a compulsive liar. I wont go into detail, but Clive Whittingham of Loft For Words has written an excellent article detailing many of Harrys "factual faux pas" which you can read on their web site.

Sadly, Harry was a very big part in what continued to be bad about QPR, Harry was never really passionate about the R's and only ever showed any kind of exuberance when we beat Southampton at St Marys. I wont go on any more about him as its all been said, but we did manage to get promoted at Wembley despite Harry being in charge.

Another point that has to be mentioned is the embarrassing way the club has been run since we came out of administration, which has got worse year on year. I've lost count of the amount of times we have been the laughing stock of football. Fortunately there are a few clowns running other clubs that have shoved us down the list of ridicule, so hopefully we can slip under the radar as we start to get our house in order.

Stan Bowles - King of Loftus Raod
Then there's Uncle Tony Fernandez......nice bloke, means well, and I genuinely think, loves our club despite his links with West Ham in the past. The problem with Tony is that he is very na├»ve when it comes to running a football club and has surrounded himself with the wrong kind of people. People that maybe good for business, but not good for football business. However, the penny has finally dropped with Tony, and the replacement of Mr Beard (FFP - there's another story) with the vastly experienced Hoos is a major step in the right direction as was the appointment of Sir Les as Director of Football and Ramsay as first team Coach.

Personally I like Ramsey. I think he knows the modern game and can get the best out of what we have. (Look at Matt Phillips) He also loves the club and wants the job and is grateful for it. I think these changes are a major step in getting QPR back to being what it used to be following the chaotic  appointments we have made on and off the field off late. For example, the old QPR would never have signed the likes of Barton, (much as he did for the R's last season) and the day he signed signalled the shape of things to come in terms of our desperate transfer policy over the last 3 years.

This summer we have signed lower league, up and coming, hungry players who see coming to QPR as an opportunity and a step up. Time will tell if our change in buying habits will bear fruits but added to this the last of the dead wood and wrong sorts have almost all gone so hopefully this should drive us forward - plus, the 30 June 2015 was a day to celebrate as SWPs contract ended and we no longer have this parasite at our club.

Sir Les and Chris Ramsay
The other thing about Uncle Tony is that he desperately wants to be liked by everyone and is constantly on a charm offensive, spewing out his spin and courting the media like some kind of media whore, he just cant help himself. Tony really must learn when to keep his mouth shut, as sometimes he can be the cause of more ridicule to our club e.g. "I've got my dream manager" or he can be damaging to his own future plans e.g. the new stadium plans all over the media before he's even talked to, ( let alone struck a deal with) the land owners. (Car Giant) Personally I don't think this stadium is going to happen at Old Oak, but Tony is confident it will happen, we'll have to wait and see. I still like Tony and he is good for QPR and with Ruben taking a more hands on role, if he does learn from his mistakes he could achieve a lot of what he wants for QPR.

So on to the forthcoming season, back in the Championship, which is where I really think we fit. Whilst not being the biggest fish in this pond, we are one of the larger species and should ably compete at this level in what I think will be a season of consolidation. I would like us to have a decent season playing football the QPR way, finishing just outside the play offs, ready for a good crack the following season or maybe the season after. With the acquisitions we have made this summer I would be surprised if we were involved in relegation battle this season, though I would have liked to have see a new centre half come in. Nedum as captain, a new contract for Clint Hill and re-signing Mackie were good decisions and the kind of decisions the old QPR would have made. Once the season beds in I will comment further on the new boys but, on what I have seen so far, Luongo looks like he could be a good buy. Other than that I am not sure what to expect this season but I am hoping that the spirit and attitude of the new squad is back to what QPR is all about.

Stan in action
On a separate note, we were all sad to hear that QPR legend Stan Bowles has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's aged 66. As you all know, King Stanley was the gifted football maverick that lit up Loftus Road for many years and it was truly a pleasure to watch him play for our club. A true QPR man, we could do with more like him and those of his era down at the Bush now. I along with all R's, wish him all the best for the future.

Finally, it's a shame about the back of the new kit. The front is right, but the back isn't - We are Hoops and what Nike has done is unforgivable. Daniel Norris is a R's fan on Twitter that is a graphic designer and his kit and new badge concepts are fantastic. If there is one R's fan the club should listen to about branding its him. I've put a little pic of his work on this blog but follow him on twitter for more @DanKNorris.
or better still click on this link to see his QPR concepts on Tumbler. Design QPR by Dan Norris

That's all for now. Charlton Away for us to look forward too, followed by Cardiff home with Yeovil away in the cup sandwiched in between. What price on three wins I wonder.... what price on a cup run! Time will tell.

All the best for everyone and everything QPR in the new season.

Blog to you soon.

The Bush Ranger.

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