Despite His White Boots

Football, football, football and, if the mood takes me, more football.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sympathy For The Devil

It may well be that Marlon King ends up elsewhere but it does seem to be the topic du jour among Rangers fans. I have no intention of trawling every message board but here's a sample thread :

QPR Report Message Board Thread

I would like to make a couple of points. Firstly, one poster, who goes by the name of "bowles" firstly says


and then follows it up with

"is it really worth it for a average 30 year old player??? "

Either this is a moral issue or it isn't. Adding in how good he is as a player is effectively saying that if it was Wayne Rooney that would be fine. And where are your morals then ? Do we have to start checking the background of every single player and weighing it against his ability before deeming him fit to "wear our shirt" ? Another recent QPR signing Bradley Orr served a brief jail sentence in 2006. Should he be "booed and spat on" by his own fans as people are suggesting King should be ?

Secondly, what I would say to the people who are so opposed to King joining QPR is this. That's all absolutely fine with one proviso. If Rangers fail this season, then you say "Well, never mind, at least we have morals and nice guys in our team, that's what's important". Is that what they will say ? These forum posters who are already frothing at the mouth at the prospect of a transfer that hasn't even happened yet ? We will see.

Finally, when you hitch your fortunes to a football club, this is what you sign up to. This is what you get. Your club might sign anyone in any capacity, and a lot of them might be bad people. Warnock himself has been called one of the most disliked people in English football. But here he is. What are we supposed to do, switch allegiance and follow whichever team, I don't know, Sven Goran Ericsson manages, he seems like a nice guy ? Nope. This is it. I've said it before, I'd cheer the Devil himself if he scored 30 in a season for QPR. I don't have to like him but if he scores I'll go "Yes ! Stitch that, fans of the opposing team !" That's football.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Here We Go Again ...

Already ? Fraid so. It seems like only last week it was all Spanish matadors and Dutch cloggers, but here we go again as the Football League starts on Saturday. It's all change at QPR as Warnock starts to shape the squad. I didn't want to comment on all the comings and goings but it's really hard not to, you know you're trying to analyse decisions that have a huge random factor in how they'll turn out but damn it, it's just fun :)

The biggest surprise for me is the departure of Damion Stewart together with Fitz Hall being retained and, I see today, being made captain. That's a huge turnaround for Hall who was completely frozen out in January. But he's come back to the club and seems to be firmly part of the plans, as does Heidar Helguson who has been the main striker in pre-season. Rowan Vine might just be paid off, never mind sold, and that's understandable given what I've heard about his wages and how far off the pace he's looked since the injury. Warnock at least seems to have the sense to put together a system that suits the players he has to work with, ie a lot of attacking midfield types and few strikers, and so it's generally been 4-2-3-1 with players like Buzsaky, Ephraim and the new guys Clarke and Mackie buzzing around in the 3.

Back to Stewart though, and you can see that if Peter Ramage is considered a centre-half, which seems reasonable, we had one too many. It's still surprising that Stewart was the one shipped out but it all depends how much Bristol City paid. All this "Undisclosed" is bollocks IMO. Why shouldn't we know how much was paid ? Without knowing that, it's impossible to evaluate the sale. If they paid £300k, it's a bad deal, if they paid £1m+, fantastic. Good luck to Stewart though, he was pretty raw when he arrived and also had to overcome the considerable handicap of playing alongside Zesh Rehman, but he improved a lot and I always like to see that in a player.

Also out of the picture is Gavin Mahon, no squad number, no involvement pre-season but also no indication on the entire Interwebs that he's moved on. Truth will out I suppose. I liked Mahon but I suppose Derry is viewed as a like-for-like replacement and if Martin Rowlands can get fit that will be another huge boost in the midfield. There is also a report this morning that Tottenham have decided to cut their losses and let Taarabt go for less than £1m, which would be an absolute steal. It was in the Mail though, so we'll wait and see. Finally I wouldn't be surprised to see one more striker arrive. If it's Marlon King, we'll assess it when it happens.

So it's a big season for Rangers, they've spent money, the directors box looks a lot more stable, Flavio seems to be out of the loop thank fuck, but as I say "looks" and "seems", you never know with QPR. Me, I'll be keeping an eye and popping along every now and then. If they're doing well, I'll go more often. If you don't like that, bite me :) I've done my time watching shit football and I'm not going to waste any more if it's no good and everyone in the ground is still angry. Every season it's a little more "If they win, great, if they don't, never mind, life's good". And that works for me.

Finally, I won't be posting a lot on here but I will be talking football on Twitter, home of the one-liner, so feel free to follow me

Oh and finally finally, I was just flicking through past entries and I came across this one, What QPR Should Do . To be fair, the club/Warnock do appear to be 1) Buying rather than loaning 2) Buying players with experience of this division 3) Bringing in leaders (Derry, Hill) and hopefully 6) giving the manager some time. And looking back it does seem like 2) and 4) (buying from lower divisions) contradict each other. So credit where it's due, and let's hope it works out.

Update 10/8 : Gavin Mahon is currently marked "Unattached" on Wikipedia ; given that his contract did expire in the summer I expect he was just quietly let go. Good luck to him but at 33 it might be difficult for him to find a gig. There are a lot of players without clubs at the moment and which ones get signed really depends on how much of a wage cut they take. And of course Taarabt did sign, and starred in the win at the weekend by all accounts.