“The ambition of this club was presented to me by the chairman and the coach and I couldn’t have been more impressed. I have many dreams at QPR, to play well for the fans, the manager, the chairman and myself and eventually finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League, and then one day win the Premier League.” – Julio Cesar on joining QPR
At the beginning of the season I said this would happen. It was too obvious. Remember the Sven Goran Eriksson reign at Manchester City where he tried to buy a team that would get into the Champions League? The difference between his team and QPR’s is that he bought quality players at high prices while QPR just didn’t. It was written in the stars that QPR would be a failure this year: so many players claiming this was going to be a golden age, that the club was moving in an upward direction, nothing could stop them now. And with three games to go in the Premier League season they are down because they couldn’t even beat Reading when it mattered.
“QPR are a club that are certainly heading in the right direction. The ambition to take this Club to the next level was something I really wanted to be part of.” – Junior Hoilett talking about a dream he had, and now he knows the difference between dreams and reality
Not that I’m going to keep on kicking QPR while they are down, but it is worth analysing the wreckage of one of the biggest frauds of all time. QPR was one of the biggest let downs of the season as high spending usually equals some level of success rather than complete failure. A team that was able to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge should not be the same team that loses 9-1 overall against Swansea. Plainly there was some talent in this team but what happened to it?
“The club is getting bigger and bigger, with a new training ground and talk of a new stadium is very exciting. In the time I have been here, QPR’s ambition has changed. Nobody is speaking about what we can achieve but we really want to move up the Premier League.” – Adel Taarabt, where QPR’s early hopes were placed (foolishly)
There have been some suspiscions throughout the season that the assembled squad was there for reasons other than their desire to make QPR succeed. Money may have been a reason for why these players made the move to West London; it may have been considering the rumours that are going around about the wages being given to players. The best example of this is Jose Bosingwa who was being paid £65,000 per week and courted controversy throughout the season: the first incident involved him refusing to sit on the bench against the best team in London, Fulham, which led to Redknapp fining him two weeks wages and a desperate attempt to get organise quick sell (but nobody wanted those wages) and then last week where cameras caught him laughing on his way down the tunnel at the Madjeski Stadium having been relegated. Chris Samba is another great example: signed for £12m in January and being paid ~£100,000 per week he confessed this week that he “wasn’t prepared to come back to the Premier League” so in effect QPR were just throwing money at a problem, their defence, without properly considering how to fix the problem. Some clubs make bad buys (Arsenal comes to mind) and pay players much more than they are worth but for QPR to pick up almost a completely new team in a year and for all of those players to be overpaid, overrated, and underperform is an incredible feat. Their season has been very confusing, they all seemed to be having the same thoughts as Troy Barnes: “I like football but also I don’t.”
I thought I’d finish with my favourite quote that pretty much sums up QPR’s season. After Mark Hughes released himself from his contract with Fulham because he believed he was the cats pyjamas. After being rejected for the Chelsea job, the Aston Villa job and any other job that may have been open in any league anywhere he took the QPR job. Within less than a year he was sacked because QPR started the season with 4 draws and 8 losses. His objectives when taking over the club exemplify the weirdness that has gone on the past two years:
“Other situations and other opportunities I have had in the past, possibly prior to this role, have not matched that opportunity. That’s what I’m talking about when I talk about the ambition that I have and that this club has…We want to get to the point where we are consistently tough to beat and consistently in the top 10.”