Queens Park Rangers: New Year's Resolutions for QPR in 2013
Tumultuous—the best word to describe Queens Park Rangers' 2012.
Having won just seven games all year and seen three men in charge of the club since last January, Rangers have had an agonizing and unstable 12 months.
Despite the last gasp survival at the end of 2011/12—thanks mainly to Jonathan Walters' brace against Bolton in May—there has not been much to cheer about for the boys in the blue and white.
Much has been written about what has gone wrong, what is likely to go wrong in 2013 and where QPR will be playing their football come next season. But what should Harry Redknapp and co. be focusing on in the New Year? And what resolutions should the club make as a whole?
And I don't just mean try and stay in the Premier League.
Sell Jose Bosingwa
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Singling one player out could be considered unfair, but when a player refuses to sit on the bench for the team is he payed extortionate amounts to be a part of, Jose Bosingwa has left himself wide open for criticism (via Independent).
According to the BBC, when fining Bosingwa for his actions, Harry Redknapp was astonished to discover two-week's wages equated to £130,000. That's £65,000 a week. And for a player who has not been among the top five performers all season (and probably not even the top 11) and one whom seems to lack the real desire to play for QPR, that sort of salary is ludicrous.
Players like the Portuguese need to be gotten rid off in 2013, and the earlier the better. Different people have different views on the likes of Esteban Granero, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Ji-Sung Park and Djibril Cisse. But there is one player all are united on: Jose Bosingwa, and Harry seems to be in agreement.
When asked if the defender would play for the club again, 'Arry said: "I will have to look at it in the future. Let's see how we go" (via Independent).
Overhaul the Transfer Policy
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Leading on from the Bosingwa debacle, Tony Fernandes and Philip Beard need to sort out their transfer policy.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and when Rangers were signing ex-Champions League winners, Brazilian goalkeepers and Real Madrid stars, the majority of fans would be lying if they said they weren't thrilled.
But there were of course concerns that QPR were buying too many players. Some pundits were already predicting potential failure when the summer transfer activity became busier than Westfield on Boxing Day, and Ian Cooper from the Kilburn Times was one of them:
Does this bode well for the new campaign? It would be a surprise if there is a repeat of last season’s trauma. But does throwing money at the transfer window and players into the squad guarantee improvement? The evidence of last season suggests it does not...The Rangers revolution is underway and nothing is going to stop it. Apart, perhaps, from a failure to learn from their previous mistakes.
There were 14 players brought in in 2012, 11 of which were in the summer (via transfermarkt), with the majority of those are on extremely high wages (via Sky Sports). Agent fees is the only table that puts QPR in the top three, with nearly £7 million being spent on securing "big names" for the club (via Premier League).
And for what? To be rooted to the bottom of the League, with just one win all season.
Something needs to change, and if Rangers stick true to form and get relegated then this will be essential in keeping the club afloat.
But it will be even more important if QPR stay up—as if Fernandes wants his dreams to become reality, a complete rethink of the players he brings in, and what he pays them, will be required.
Otherwise a relegation fight will become part and parcel of the Premier League for the R's.
Reduce Ticket Prices
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So this is more of a request that a resolution, but Tony Fernandes and his team need to reconsider the ticket pricing for 2013.
Whatever happens—whether Rangers stay up or go down—QPR fans have been treated to 12 months of dross. And paying extortionate prices for the privilege.
Granted, football is a business, and QPR need to recoup some of their losses from the extravagant wages. But if they get rid of these overpaid players in 2013, perhaps Fernandes should look at giving some of that money back to the fans in the way of reduced costs, rather than lining his own pocket.
Or paying for plastic flags to be placed in seats.
Have One Manager for the Entire Year
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In the last four years, QPR have had 10 managers. In 2012, QPR have had three.
The revolving managerial door of Loftus Road has become a laughingstock since the day Ian Holloway left the club—with just one manager spending more than 13 months at the club.
The recent revival of Rangers was masterminded by Neil Warnock, who lead QPR to the Championship title in 2010-11, and was rewarded with a New Year's axing in favor of Mark Hughes after nearly two years in charge.
Once the Welshman himself was inevitably fired due to the horrendous run of results this season, Harry Redknapp was installed at the helm.
Fernandes has put his faith in "Harry Houdini" to lead Rangers from the mire and into 17th (anything higher would be grossly overexpectant). But if he doesn't manage to avoid relegation, Tony needs to leave 'Arry where he is.
Yet another change in manager will do more harm than good, and Fernandes needs to start focusing on consistency in both his backroom staff and his players to build a solid team.
So let's try and get through 2013 with the same manager, eh Tony?
Give It Everything
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Commitment. Desire. Passion. Effort. Hard bloody work.
That is all that QPR fans want to see from their team. They want to see heart, they want to see fire and they want to see players wanting to play in the hooped shirt.
Of course, they want results as well, but if Rangers go down, they want to go down fighting, and not go down like a damp squib.
Defender Clint Hill told the BBC that this resolution will be high up on his priority list:
As much as I can, I've spoken to those players. I'm 34, I've played most of my career in the lower leagues and we are talking about Champions League winners, people who have won Premier Leagues, FA Cups. You hope there is a desire within them - to win those kind of medals there must have been. We need that as a team; we need it as a unit...If you don't fancy it then off you pop, simple as that.
If everybody thought the same as Clint Hill, perhaps 2013 will be slightly more bearable.