QPR barely avoided relegation last season under Mark Hughes, and have started this season appallingly. They are currently one of two Premier League teams without a win to their name. However, this is down to a number of reasons such as the amount of signings they have made, the manager unsure of his best eleven and the players not gelling as a unit completely.
However, QPR should have no reason to worry and Tony Fernandes is right in backing Mark Hughes at this point in time. There were more than just a few fans calling for Hughes’ head after the defeat at West Brom, but he has survived and has not been given the bullet to his head just yet.
Tony Fernandes, who is also owner of the Formula 1 team Caterham, has been showing his faith in Hughes. I believe that this faith will soon pay dividends despite what football fans and readers of this article think of Mark Hughes.
Hughes has credible Premier League experience as he turned Blackburn from potential relegation candidates to Europa League candidates: when he was manager of Blackburn, David Bentley and Chris Samba were both signed for less than or exactly half a million pounds; Roque Santa Cruz was signed at £3.5 million, Steven Warnock was signed at £1.5 million and Benni McCarthy at £2 million.
All these signings have had either massive or at least some success at Blackburn, so it proves that Hughes at least has an eye for talent.
Hughes has had massive success at Blackburn, and while he’s had two blips at Manchester City and Fulham, he is fully capable of taking on the QPR job. Hughes has signed Diakite, Onuoha, Nelsen, Julio Cesar, Green, Andy Johnson, Bosingwa, Hoilett, Park, M’Bia and Granero. Other than Johnson and Bosingwa, these are all shrewd permanent signings for the club.
In total, QPR has signed fifteen first team players. Out of all these signings, there are two that stand out and are pivotal towards QPR’s Premier League status, and Mark Hughes’ job. Junior Hoilett and Esteban Granero are the two as they stand above the rest. Hoilett came for free (subject to compensation to Blackburn) to QPR and Granero has played the highest level of football possible at Real Madrid and the Champions League.
Another reason why despite Hughes – being on borrowed time – has not been shown the door, is potentially down to the fact his players believe in him.
Ryan Nelsen stated: “I think every player has let the manager down at some stage this season. It’s not good enough.”
Others echoed his statements, as evidenced my Clint Hill: “The gaffer’s confident he can turn things around – he wouldn’t be here if he wasn’t. He’s still got the full support of all the boys, we’re fully behind him and the staff.”
Despite QPR being rock bottom, they have had a few credible performances too as they were the only side so far, which has been able to get a clean sheet and a draw against Chelsea. Against Everton, Junior Hoilett countered quickly after dribbling up the pitch and made a goal out of sheer individual brilliance, although he had help with the deflection from Baines.
Samba Diakite produced a man of the match performance against the Toffees as he was solid in the midfield and helped the team carry out attacks by moving futher forward, once Pienaar was sent off.
Other players in that team are also capable of brilliance. Adel Taarabt scored a screamer against West Brom, and Nelsen holds him in a high regard: “He [Taarabt] has those flashes of brilliance which no-one else has. It’s consistency with him. Hopefully he can string out some performances week in, week out. Then he’ll be a valuable asset.”
Attacking wise, QPR are capable of scoring goals, it’s defensively that they have problems.
Defensively, they still have issues to sort out as Hughes has to take some fault for fielding Clint Hill down the left vs West Brom as he constantly got skinned. Also, Anton Ferdinand is a player I believe not capable of playing at this level as his concentration and overall awareness of the game as a centre-back is extremely poor.
Stephane M’Bia may have been signed to solve the centre back issue, but is more of a defensive midfielder who is adept at playing centre back rather than the other way around.
QPR still have a lot of problems that they need to find solutions to and they will need Mark Hughes to solve them and when they do find that first win, and Hughes understands his best eleven, they will be a force to reckon with.Published 23 Oct 2012, 22:34 IST