As all my regular readers know, I am an avid Queens Park Rangers FC supporter. It's in my blood, my family, my life. At the start of this season I felt very optimistic and happy with the clubs situation. We had stayed in the Premier League the previous season by the skin of our boots, brought in new expensive players and had a manager in Mark Hughes well versed in the top flight of English football. I like to stay positive, and was convinced that we would not be involved in a relegation fight. During the first 10 games of this season, we had injuries and a bout of bad luck, but mostly leaked cheap goals which cost us dearly. But I still remained upbeat. I have defended our manager, players and owner to the point of arguing with some of my fellow supporters. The Facebook groups and QPR forums have been awash with fans calling for Mark Hughes' job since our defeat to Reading in the League Cup; some more articulate then others, some just plainly stupid, xenophobic and abusive. This was not helpful for either the club nor the fans moral, and for the most part, I did not agree with them. I believed in our owners words of stability and encouragement, and was sure things would get going soon. I was not alone. Many other fans shared my optimism, including my family members.
However, for the first time in a long while, my faith has been broken. It started with the defeat away to Stoke. This was yet another game in which we dominated for long periods and should have at least left with a draw. That hurt, it really did, and my hopes in the club hinged on the next home game against Southampton. This was a team that like us had not won a game yet, and not even got a single point away from home. So, I did felt that inclin of confidence return. This was not to be. My team performed awfully, and Southampton took advantage of this, winning the game 3 goals to 1. In a similar position to us, they showed the fight, gameplan and spirit that is needed to escape the dreaded drop. We did not. Our collection of highly paid world-wide 'stars' hardly showed up. Our manager appeared to have little effect of what was going on, and while he admitted afterwards that the performance was bad, still refused to admit to his own misgivings as the core problem. It was typical that the players that had got us promoted 2 seasons back were the only ones who seemed to care. Jamie Mackie and Adel Taraabt are excluded from this rant because of this.
We are in a position now that relegation seems inevitable. No team has made a start to a season like this and survived in the top flight. As a club, we are 1 loss away from our worst EVER start to ANY season in the clubs history. We are the ONLY team in the top four divisions of English football to not record a win. How can that be? We have money, strong fanbase, rich shareholders, expensive players and management staff. Never have we had such an affluent state of affairs but we somehow cannot win any games, and at other times put in terrible performances when the shit needs to go down big style. So despite my previous good feelings, I have come to a point that enough is enough. Firstly, I so want our owner to stay on; he is excellent with the fans and has put a lot of time, money and work into the club. I respect him greatly and think he is a wonderful chairman. Unfortunately he also seems to be rather naive and stubborn. He has to swallow his pride and admit that on the appointment of Hughes he was wrong. Hughes has had his chance, with HIS players and it just has not worked out. A change needs to be made as soon as possible, this may result in either safety or relegation, but I think at this stage that matters little. The chances are we are going to be relegated. We need a minimum of 36 points from the remaining games to have a chance of staying up, and I just cannot see it happening. 10 wins and at least 6 draws from 26 games? Unlikely, given our crappy form so far.
So whats the solution? I have no answers, I'm not a football manager or a football statistician, I'm just a fan, but it doesn't take a total moron to see that things are simply just not right. Is it confidence? Coherence? Tactics? Training? I could go on with no definite answer. But, what does need doing is a change in the management staff. The cash and time has been given by the owner with no return, and if we cannot even hype ourselves up to beat another struggling team at our home ground then things are very VERY desperate No team can have the likes of Junior Hoilett, Djbril Cisse, Jose Bosingwa, Bobby Zamora, JS Park.... all highly rating players and somehow cannot put their skills into a competitive match. It's the managers job to put these pieces together, inspire and train them up and if Mark Hughes was doing a jigsaw, he would still be trying to finish the edges! I hate to be penning these words I really do, because I cannot stand the manager sack-race that happens every season in the English leagues. I believe all managers should be given a chance at success, and strongly think stability is a key aspect to any clubs endeavours. Hughes has now had this chance and for even a hope of staying in the Premier League he has to go. Now. Times up.
|We know how you feel Tony, Do the Right Thing. Please.|
Relegation is something all QPR fans have to come to terms with. It seems a long time ago now that I was partying in Shepherds Bush singing 'Championos!' that now we face dropping back down into the Championship. It's very unlikely that we can now avoid that, so all we should hope for now is some better showings from a team put together by a manager who can make it work. I sincerely hope that the board of directors and our owner Mr Fernandes have not factored into the clubs finances the money the Premiership gives it's clubs, especially the upcoming big money TV deal with Sky and BT. This could prove costly to the clubs future. Clearly the wage bill will have to be cut, players will have to leave, but its the only way we can return stronger is to learn the lessons, regroup, lick our wounds and do it right.
Whatever the future brings, I will always be QPR. Once a Superhoop, always a Superhoop. I am still fully behind our owner and hope he makes the right choices going forward, I still have optimism with my beloved football club and believe we can make it to the upper echelons of the football elite. I say this to all my fellow fans. I know you are all upset, but stay resolute. QPR is your team, through the thick and thin, that's what true supporters do.
'Bug..... Out! (And Hughes please Tony)