Neil Warnock vowed to press on with the campaign following the thrashing handed to his QPR squad on opening day.
QPR's fans may not have expected to see the Barclay's Cup and fireworks at Loftus Road come May, but the disastrous first game was still a shock to the home crowd. While it was only 90 minutes of football, it seemed to mock their heady notions of promotion and survival, growing worse as the moments and Wanderer's goals ticked by.
At his post-game press interview, Warnock was more sanguine than his frustrated supporters. The Hoop's boss told reporters following the match:
"It was disappointing how we capitulated at 2-0 and we are going to have to learn lessons quickly.We defended poorly and got punished, which is what happens in the Premier League. I am not happy we lost 4-0, but sometimes you have to smile through adversity."
His cool, detached demeanor post-game was a bit of a surprise from the usually fiery coach. He seemed to be taking in the monumental task set before him, but not ready to make excuses and whine over missed opportunities. Warnock's steady hand will be a crucial component to the fate of Queens Park Rangers this season.
The Gaffer's reaction to the loss was fair, admitting the team had made mistakes and let the game get away from him. They did look steady, if unenterprising, in the first half of the game, and he focused on the chances they created, and the need to learn from the experience. Since there's nowhere to go from here but up (aside, of course from back down), let's hope they do.
Tony Fernandes, who is in advanced discussions to acquire a controlling interest in the club from current majority shareholder Bernie Eccelstone, issued a vote of confidence for manager Neil Warnock Monday.
"I think Neil is a super guy and he's done extremely well to have got QPR to where they are. He'd have my full support. I think the manager should get what the manager wants."
No official announcement has been put forth, but reports indicate that Eccelstone and his business partner Flavio Briatore, are set to sell all their shares and depart the club, cedeing control to Fernandes and minority shareholder Lakshmi Mittal. This would likely herald the return of Amit Bhatia, who resigned as Chairman in May after sparring with the owners over the drastic ticket price increases this season. It would be interesting to see whether that move would force current Chairman Gianni Paladini out or if he would remain in some capacity.
For Hoops fans, this is the best scenario possible as things stand. In many ways, a fresh start from top to bottom may be exactly what is called for. There is a bitter resentment amongst the fan base toward the owners, as shown by the vitriol spewed toward Briatore when he exited the stands early on Saturday. The lack of spending on new players, combined with the fee hikes and other factors, have created a rift which does not appear to be easily healed. Just last month, the owners chided their manager for admitting the club would not be spending this summer on new talent, and castigated fans for forgetting that they brought the club back the brink all the way to the Premier League. True as that may be, there remains a strong sentiment among the fans that the clubs ownership simply doesn't care what happens on the pitch, and their behavior this summer has only compounded this view. A new owner, willing to spend money to improve and take an active interest in the success of the club, would invigorate the base and could prove to be another vital piece in the survival puzzle.
Even more interesting is whether Bhatia would restore ticket prices should he return. Doing so would certainly encourage supporters, but it would be a shock to see prices go down in this day and age. Something tells me no matter who runs the club this year, these fees are here to stay.
There are always rumors, and more now that the window is nearly shut. The latest (and most interesting) story comes to us from the London Evening Standard, who claim that Tony Fernandes is eying a big splash once he completes his takeover - but trying to snatch Scott Parker from West Ham for eight million pounds.
Without getting any hopes up, this would certainly be a fantastic move and the possible Taarabt-Parker pairing in the middle would be a great sight to see and be a huge boost to the club.
However, this seems pretty far fetched at this point. Something tells me that the idea of being a club hero and taking West Ham back up has more appeal to Parker, who probably prefers handing out 4-0 wallopings (see West Ham's blowout at Watford this week) to receiving them and possibly going through another relegation. Not to mention the fact that Arsenal have cash to spend, and are losing talented midfielders by the minute, and can pay him hefty wages, and play in the Champions League. And the other top clubs, outside of Manchester City, are also after Parker.
The only saving grace might be Parker's desire to retain his place in the national team, which could be boosted by playing in the Premier League. That said,
So, if it were to happen, fantastic. But...don't hold your breath R's fans.
Despite Warnock's continued optimism about signing a few loanees before the end of the transfer window, it still appears that the team he has is the team he will sink or swim with this year. Accordingly, there are a few options in the reserve squad that should get some running-out, if nothing else to see what they can offer.
Petter Vaagen Moen is available and deserves a chance to show Warnock what he can offer in the first team. With the match at Everton looming, it may not be the time to gamble, but he offers more pace and better passing than Tommy Smith and could be an option going foward.
With all the commentary about the problems in the defense, it is curious that Shittu's name has not come up this week. The stocky defender can't play anywhere but the middle, but why not fix him there and send Danny Gabbidon out wide to clean up some of Clint Hill or Fitz Hall's mess?
Good News for Kieron Dyer
Kieron Dyer's season couldn't gotten off to a worse start, as the midfielder was struck with another injury just moments into his first game in a QPR jersey. As he lay on the ground, agony writ large across his face, the cynical viewers sniggered about his endless visits to the trainers room. Neil Warnock hoped for a bit of luck for the oft-injured former England international, and it appears he has gotten some.
QPR announced that there was no break in the foot, just a bad sprain, and it appears that he may only miss a week or two. Certainly this has raised the concerns about another injury down the road, but its a good turn for the player and hopefully the club gets him back on the pitch soon.
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