Have the Hoops accepted their fate?

January 22, 2013 12:03 pm

Occupying the dreaded bottom spot of the Barclays Premier League at the turn of the year, QPR were staring down the barrel of an ignominious return to the Championship after a summer of exorbitant spending by the ousted Mark Hughes (closely supervised by super agent and Sparky afficionado Kia Joorabchian). However, hope springs eternal for the boys from Shepherds Bush with the appointment of everyone but Geoff Shreeves’ favourite wheeler dealer Harry Redknapp, recently recovered from the very public snub by the blazers and old school ties at the FA. With Arry primed to work his trademark magic in the transfer market, the R’s looked to mount one last assault at survival.

However, the cheque book has largely remained closed (bar the signing of Tal Ben Haim, a defender who was last seen in the Premiership in 2010/11, participating in the relegations of both Portsmouth and West Ham, whilst recently languishing near the bottom of League One) except in regards to the appointment of back-room staff. With Joe Jordan and Kevin Bond previously installed next to Redknapp, the appointment of Ian Broomfield as chief scout of the club appears another sensible installation of a trusted lieutenant by Redknapp. The appointment of Steve Cotterill represents a stranger mentality altogether.

Queens Park Rangers

A ubiquitous feature in the regular speculation generated when a Championship side loses its manager, Cotterill has never had a Premiership employment other than an ill fated assistant position alongside Howard Wilkinson at Sunderland (that partnership just screams glamour). A manager who flits in and out of vogue with Chairmen, Steve Cotterill has garnered a reputation as someone who could potentially flourish into a very able lower league manager if he is not hamstrung by events. With no experience of the top flight and extensive experience as a manager who has no previous relationship with Harry Redknapp, this appointment appears to be an acknowledgement by the club that QPR are doomed to relegation.

For Rangers fans, this may prove to be a bitter pill to swallow, especially in light of recent encouraging performances against their London rivals. It may also prove to be a rare example of astute forwarding planning by a eager if naive board at Loftus Road. Seemingly an example of “hope for the best, prepare for the best” as Redknapp is certain to leave if the club do get relegated, this little noticed appointment may help QPR long term but could puncture the short term optimism growing around W12.

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