by, 30-06-2011 at 01:27 AM (2206 Views)
Published 30 June 2011
The Godfather's Column
Please give us some signings!
One only has to look at the WATRB message board to sense the frustration amongst the QPR fanbase. Why has there been a lack of transfer activity? Where is the ambition? It is clear that Warnock will have to strengthen his squad if Rangers are to avoid relegation next season. But is he really receiving the necessary financial backing from Briatore and Ecclestone? Do they even intend to keep him as manager of the club?
As usual, Queens Park Rangers have been linked with dozens of players this summer, ranging from Peterborough strikers (Craig Mackail-Smith) to former World Cup-winning defenders (Fabio Cannavaro). Jimmy Bullard, Jay Bothroyd and DJ Campbell are the names that have been most frequently mentioned on the message boards and in the media. But would these players be enough to avoid relegation next season?
In my view, DJ Campbell would be an excellent addition because, in contrast to the likes of Mackail-Smith and Bothroyd, he has demonstrated that he is capable of scoring regularly in the Premiership. Last season, the 29 year-old netted 13 times for Blackpool, a very impressive record given the standard of the Seasiders' squad. Unfortunately, Campbell does seem to have attracted interest from a number of Premiership teams and QPR might have to spend substantially if they are to secure his services.
As for Bullard, this is a player who has divided opinion on the WATRB message board. His critics have argued that he has suffered numerous injuries and, of course, will probably demand a very high salary. On the other hand, one cannot deny that, at his peak, Bullard is an excellent footballer, who has shown he has what it takes to succeed at Premiership level. Consider, for example, his talent at set pieces and ability to dominate the middle of the park, as evidenced by his first-half display in the QPR V Ipswich match last season. If he is able to avoid injury, Bullard could prove to be an excellent addition. But is that a realistic expectation?
Jay Bothroyd, meanwhile, is an excellent striker at Championship level, as he showed in the Rs' 2-2 draw at Cardiff City in April. Can he cope with Premiership football? Possibly - and it's probably a gamble worth taking given that he is available on a free transfer.
Of course, this is all mere speculation. Last summer, many of Warnock's eventual signings had not been mentioned at all by the "in the know" brigade. I just hope that something is announced soon. When one looks at the Swansea and Norwich online forums, one senses overwhelming excitement at the season ahead, which is a stark contrast to the apprehension amongst Rangers fans. That might change with some news on the official website.
Warnock must remain as manager
Neil Warnock worked wonders with Queens Park Rangers last season. It is fair to say that, on paper, QPR did not have the strongest squad in the division, but the team spirit that the manager fostered meant that the players approached every game with extraordinary belief and were able to grind out results. It was Warnock who built the Championship-winning side; it was Warnock who was the driving force behind the remarkable team spirit; it was Warnock who did not allow a lapse in concentration during the FA investigation.
And yet, incredibly, several journalists, including 'Smudge' on Twitter (a Daily Mirror writer who claims to have 'inside knowledge' of events at Loftus Road), have speculated that Warnock's relationship with the Board is now so strained that there is a possibility of him leaving before the campaign begins. More worryingly, Peterborough's Director of Football, Barry Fry, has claimed that Craig Mackail-Smith refused a move to Loftus Road because he "failed to receive assurances" on the manager's future.
Indeed, it is likely that the departure of Amit Bhatia and Ishan Saksena will have weakened Warnock's position. On many occasions did the manager speak of his bond with the former Board members, who were responsible for bringing him to the club in the first place. Bernie Ecclestone has declared that he supports Warnock - but can we really trust him and Briatore after all that has happened at Loftus Road since their arrival?
Needless to say, the removal of Warnock as manager would be a disastrous move by the Board. He is immensely popular among the supporters and quite clearly deserves an opportunity to manage Rangers in the Premiership. In addition, the squad really seems to admire him: imagine the response of the players! For instance, would goalkeeper, Paddy Kenny, the Rs' Player of the Season, want to stay at Loftus Road after hearing such news? Possibly not. Please let's not go back to the days of sacking coaches for very little reason, especially when we are talking about the most successful QPR manager in years.
Taarabt...time to sell him? Both sides of the argument explored
YES! - According to reports, Paris St Germain have offered £10 million for QPR's star midfielder, Adel Taarabt. Some supporters won't like it, but it is definitely time for the club to cash in on his reputation. Why keep a player who repeatedly shows disrespect for the supporters and who doesn't really seem to care about Queens Park Rangers FC? For example, in a recent interview, he stated:
"I like the London clubs. I do not hide my liking for Chelsea. I would prefer to play regularly at QPR to being on the bench for a season at Chelsea. Now, if they told me I'd play 20 games per season, I think I'd be very tempted..."
He added: “I helped QPR win promotion but they will not offer me a better contract. They say I am already on big wages. They want me to stay four years on the same terms...No disrespect, but if we keep the same players, it will be very difficult to stay in the Premier League when you are playing Man United and Chelsea"
Taarabt will be aware of fans' hatred of Chelsea and therefore it is disrespectful to declare his "liking" for them. Let's face it, he has delusions of grandeur. There is no doubt that he is talented and played a crucial role in the Rs' promotion, but there have been so many matches in which his sheer arrogance has severely affected his performance. Take the Hull City away match, for example. Angry at his teammates for not passing to him, he asked to be substituted. When this request was denied, he sulked like a child. These attitude problems will not get him anywhere in the Premiership. £10 million is an excellent offer and, frankly, the club would be mad to reject it. The funds could be used to buy players who are proven in the top tier of English football.
NO! - I don't think that any QPR supporter would deny that Taarabt's attitude does at times impede his performance, as evidenced by the Hull display. But this is a player with extraordinary talent, who has the potential to be a world-class footballer. Without his vision, pace and skill, it is unlikely that the Rs would have been promoted last season. The club should do all that it can to hold on to Adel for as long as possible because he is capable of making an impact at the highest level.
Many of the statements in Adel's interview are perfectly understandable. It is true that the club will be relegated unless there is significant investment in the squad. What is wrong in suggesting this? In addition, surely his request for a salary increase is justified given his excellent performances last season?
Taarabt is worth much more than £10 million: it would be madness to accept the offer. Connor Wickham has been sold for more and he has nowhere near the talent that Adel possesses. In addition, how much of this fee would go towards buying new players? Won't Spurs demand a sizeable chunk of the amount? It's simply not worth it: we must try to keep our best players!
Which side are YOU on?