QPR Premier League Preview
Players In: Jose Bosingwa, Rob Green, Ryan Nelsen, Andrew Johnson, Samba Diakite, Park Ji-Sung, Junior Hoilett, Fabio (on loan)
Players Out: Paddy Kenny, Heidar Helguson
The QPR side that will start this season will bear no resemblance to the one that started last season which will be good news for R’s fans as they were thumped 4-0 in that opening game by soon to be relegated Bolton.
QPR now have an established Premier League strike force in Bobby Zamora, Andy Johnson and Djibril Cisse, width in Junior Hoilett, Shaun Wright Phillips and the enigmatic Adel Taarabt. Park Ji-Sung and Samba Diakite should prove to be good replacements for Joey Barton whilst their defence should be bolstered by the signings of Jose Bosingwa, Nedium Onouha, Anton Ferdinand, Taye Taiwo, Luke Young and the warrior Ryan Nelsen.
2011/12 was a pivotal season for QPR as relegation could have led to a complete implosion of this historic football club but securing Premier League survival has led to further investment and what should be some positive feelings for the fans. The quality is there but as many relegated sides will tell you quality means nothing without hard work and a team ethic.
Hughes took Blackburn to 7th in 2008 using the simple formula of a big man little man combination up front. Wide players with great crossing ability, two high energy midfielders and an experienced and BIG back four. This QPR team now has very similar characteristics to that side.
First game analysis:
A goalkeeper error after eight minutes is not the ideal start to any Premier League campaign, but what followed was a catalogue of defensive errors which made Laudrup’s fluid Swansea side look like Holland circa 1974. Clint Hill is not a Premier League player and Fabio has a long way to become one and Sparky may need some reinforcements before August 31st. There are some talented individuals at QPR; Hoillet, Diakite and Taarabt are young and hungry, but the rest of the squad could be described as a retirement home for former players who are on their way out. Joe(y) Barton’s departure should help morale, will that be enough?
Mark Hughes has always taken time to get his teams working the way he wants but was incredibly successful with Blackburn Rovers before his ill-timed move to Man City. If QPR buy into his ideas and play the way he wants they could well surprise a few big teams and finish above some former powerhouses.
Prediction: 11th (watch out for them in the cups too)