QPR: Sign Defoe, Keep Barton & Don't Do A Wolves...
Pre season: Good, bad or ugly? A mixture of all the above. Two decent wins against Southend and Besiktas, a brain-achingly dull draw against Exeter, an honourable defeat to Udinese and a turgid loss to Peterborough.
Hopes for the season: As all fans of QPR learnt the hard way last season, hope (and signings like Ji-Sung Park), is the first step on the road to disappointment. My hopes for this season are therefore not particularly extravagant; ‘back to basics’ ought to be our mantra. I want QPR to stop being a punchline of a football club. I want to see a team of hungry, committed footballers playing with honesty and passion. I don’t care about or expect a promotion challenge this season.
Fears for the season: The overriding fear is that we might ‘do a Wolves,’ which isn’t that outlandish: a run of bad results early on would probably see ‘Arry take off, leaving Dutch-spouting brolly-wally Schteve McLaren in the hot-seat. That’s just one of a veritable panoply of nightmare scenarios. I worry that the papier-mâché like front trio of Johnson, Zamora and Austin might break down like Basil Fawlty’s car, resulting in the chilling prospect of Richard Dunne punting the ball up-field for poor little Shaun Wright-Phillips to chase for most of the year.
Absolute bare minimum you’ll accept: Not getting relegated again. Can you tell that my expectations are seriously low for this season? Seriously, a season of rebuilding is necessary and expected; I’d be very surprised (and obviously delighted) if we competed for automatic promotion this season.
Fixture you’re most looking forward to? Reading home and away. Hopefully we can put the fake hoops in their rightful place.
Got the right manager? George Orwell used to say that a man has the face he deserves at the age of forty. Harry Redknapp is 66 and he has a face set permanently like Pat Butcher licking bleach off a nettle. Harry has been about as happy as Morrissey locked in a KFC during pre-season, he didn’t even attend most of it. The impression many have been left with is that he is dying to get out of here and slump back into the groove he left last autumn on the Match of The Day 2 sofa. His decision-making has been odd to say the least – getting rid of fan’s favourites like Jamie Mackie and Adel Taarabt, signing Karl Henry (why!) and persevering with one of the more glib and swift falsifiers of our time, the odious Joey Barton.
By Christmas you’ll be… I’m going to purposefully avoid answering this question. I genuinely have no idea, if paper won football matches I’d expect us to have the quality to be around the play-offs but you’d have to be clinically insane to try and predict what will happen to QPR this season.
Player you’d most like to sign? ‘Arry has promised us ‘mind-blowing’ signings and Gary O’Neil would certainly fit that bill. I’m kidding. Jermain Defoe would be a pretty amazing signing wouldn’t he? I’d expect him to score about a thousand million goals though, so no pressure if you do rock up at Loftus Road Jermain.
Which player should we look out for? Junior Hoilett could be a revelation this season. He’s come back from pre-season looking less like the Krispy Kreme addicted sideman of last term and more like the swashbuckling winger we all thought we had bought from Blackburn the previous summer.
Which player would you love to ditch? Barton. He may be a necessary evil this season though.
Opposition hate figure? What do you mean I can’t say Karl Henry?! We signed him?Fuck. Err. I will have to go for Noel Hunt then, the kind of maggot-minded wretch who you find yourself despising long before he starts playing his abominably cynical brand of football.
Tell us something we don’t know about your club? It would probably be harder to tell you something you don’t know about QPR. The club has been run like an open wound ever since the dismal days of the Flavio Briatore/Bernie Ecclestone axis of evil. Between them, the Four Year Plan (a fly on the wall documentary on the club), current chairman Tony Fernandes’ frankly embarrassing social media presence and Harry’s pull-down-the-car-window-on-deadline-day rampages, there is actually very little you don’t know.
What won’t happen this season? It looks like Adel Taarabt won’t be knocking in any worldies whilst wearing the sacred blue and white hoops. Excuse me whilst I weep hot tears of impotent rage about this.
Favourite chant? My favourite chant only makes an appearance when Marlon King and his rudely stamped face appears.
Where will you finish? 13th.
Any other news? None, but QPR being QPR it won’t be too long before we are the butt of another one of BBC Sport’s hilarious “jokes”.