After the rollercoaster that was the 2011/12 season culminating in a truly heart stopping final game at the Etihad Stadium, or ‘theatre’ as it turned into that day, Mark Hughes promised that QPR wouldn’t be in such a position again whilst he’s at the helm. Last summer QPR were scrambling to get new ownership in place which left the then manager Neil Warnock also scrambling to make what some people called ‘panic buys’. But this summer it’s different.
Mark Hughes, with the backing of Tony Fernandes and the Mittal family, has been able to bring in the players he wanted relatively early. There was always going to be a massive overhaul with QPR just surviving last season with a squad that many felt was full of Championship quality players and a number of those players have been shown the door. With the likes of Tommy Smith and Heidur Helguson joining Cardiff, and Fitz Hall finding himself a metro line train away at Watford, space was made for Hughes to bring in the quality that QPR seemingly needed. He's always said that he wants two quality players for every position and he’s making pretty good on his word.
There was always going to be a massive overhaul with QPR just surviving last season with a squad that many felt was full of Championship quality players and a number of those players have been shown the door.
Robert Green was brought in to a few ‘ooh’s and ‘ahh’s of negativity and they weren’t helped by the 5-0 thumping at home by Swansea on opening day; Brazilian number one Julio Cesar has since been brought in to challenge for that goalies jersey. The already fan favourite Samba Diakite signed a permanent deal to the delight of the QPR faithful. Andrew Johnson and Ryan Nelsen, 2 players that Mark Hughes knows well have been brought in to give the squad a bit more Premier League experience and quality. Manchester United starlet Fabio was then acquired on loan right before what fans would probably call the first really significant signing of the summer, the now QPR skipper Park Ji-Sung (at an absolute bargain price most would probably add). The next signing that was announced shocked quite a few people, Canadian David ‘Junior’ Hoilett is regarded by many as a potential world beater so for him to join the Loftus Road revolution was seen as a massive sign of ambition by some, and just another win for the big wage offer by others.
Following Hoilett, Jose Bosingwa was then signed up to sure up the defence that little bit more, a defence that was noticeably struggling against Swansea and Norwich. Then the names started to shower down, names from every corner of the globe, if a player was leaving, he was on his way to QPR. Sam Magri was then signed from Portsmouth, an England youth international which reminded everyone that Mark Hughes pays a lot of attention to his youth set-up and with QPR having what I would call a pretty impressive youth squad already, it’s definitely something that every club needs. QPR then showed that they really mean business with the acquisition of Real Madrid’s Esteban Granero, a player that can really pull strings in the middle of the park, a real gem of a signing for 9million quid.
Canadian David ‘Junior’ Hoilett is regarded by many as a potential world beater so for him to join the Loftus Road revolution was seen as a massive sign of ambition by some
People may worry about the wage bill, but a lot of people have been taken off that same wage bill so there’s something to think about. Fulham spent over 20million in their first 2 seasons into the Premier League, so did Sunderland and Stoke City and they’re all now established Premier League clubs. The plan is there for Mark Hughes and the people he has around him, and the plan is to progress. 2 seasons ago QPR were a ‘boutique joke’ run by Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone (or ‘Tango and Cash’ as they were not-that-affectionately known as). They were playing wheel of fortune with managers and there was no stability at the club whatsoever. Now they have an owner that cares, a vice chairman that loves the club, plans of a new stadium and they’re buying players from Inter Milan, Manchester United and Real Madrid.
Say what you want about QPR but they’re giving it a bloody good go.
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