QPR: Don't Sell Jamie Mackie To Norwich or Fulham, We Need Him To Beat The Drop
After the miserable performance of QPR’s second-string against MK Dons at the weekend, the last thing this writer expected to read in today’s papers was the possible sale of one Jamie Mackie. Mackie, was unfortunately part of that side that lost to so comfortably to League One Dons’ on Saturday, but was one of few who wouldn’t be labeled a Rangers reserve. And despite the reported interest from both Fulham and Norwich, his sale would surely be one the R’s can ill afford right now.
Upon Harry Redknapp’s arrival at Loftus Road, Mackie looked every bit the kind of player the former Spurs boss would love to work with. Commitment, hard work, professionalism, with an eye of a goal all credentials managers love to see in a player, and Mackie has them all in abundance. Indeed, it was no surprise that within a few weeks of being at the club, Redknapp was quoted as saying ‘if only he had a team full of Jamie Mackie’s. It’s easy to understand why.
Mackie has reached the pinnacle of the Premier League the hard way, having learnt his trade in the lower leagues with first Exeter and the Plymouth Argyle, he signed for Neil Warnock’s QPR in 2010, in a move which was questioned among many of the QPR faithful. However, his performances in Rangers promotion winning season and over the past two campaigns have seen him improve season-by-season, and gain international recognition with the Scottish national team. With a record of scoring vitally important goals in games when it really does matter; from the injury-time equaliser at Derby that spurred that year’s Championship win, to the winner against Liverpool that turned last season around, and of course his bullet-header on the last day of last season at the Eithiad.
And that’s what Jamie Mackie gives you, that willingness to never give up combined with a genuine quality on the ball that’s often missed by even some of his own supporters. Like team-mates Shaun Derry and Clint Hill he’s another who’s been discarded by managers too often at Loftus Road, only to come back in and show how important is, and still should be to Queens Park Rangers cause. Yes, there are elements to his game that need work, and he’ll never be a top-draw finisher but his attributes are exactly what Rangers should be keeping at the club – especially whilst they’re in this relegation dog fight.
Of course he’d be a great acquisition for either Norwich or Fulham, especially for the Canaries where his never-say-no attitude would fit in well with Chris Hughton’s managerial style at Norwich. However it would be a body blow for Rangers to even entertain the idea of letting their number 12 leave the club. Especially when there are plenty of other prime candidates who should be heading out the Loftus Road exit door, way before him.
With it being deadline week, the rumours are bound to spring-up, and rumours are exactly what I believe they are. Mackie is a big part of Redknapp’s plan here, and it makes little sense to remove his hard work from a team that needs every bit of blood, sweat and tears before the season’s close.