Despite His White Boots

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


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