The funfair continues at Loftus Road as the Queens Park Rangers have appointed Paulo Sousa as their new first-team coach. He takes over from caretaker Gareth Ainsworth.
Flavio Briatore placed player/coach Ainsworth at the helm following the surprise sacking of Iain Dowie. Briatore had a major say in team affairs under Ainsworth, which is why many big-named English managers chose to stay out of the running because of the involvement of the board.
Ainsworth was the initial favorite to get the job before QPRs victory over Burnley last Saturday leaving them a disappointing tenth in the league.
Sousa had a very successful club-playing career, when he had spells with Benfica, Sporting Lisbon, Juventus, Inter Milan, Parma, and Borussia Dortmund. He won consecutive Champions League trophies in 1996 and 1997 with Juventus and Dortmund respectively.
The 38-year-old was one of the most celebrated and highly regarded Portuguese footballers in the modern game. He was a classic defensive midfielder, hunting down every ball and possessing the ability to provide precision passes for the rest of his teammates to take the glory.
Sousa played 51 times for his country without scoring. The Rangers hope he can take his organization qualities and motivation skills into management.
He has very limited experience as a coach, with only a small stint as assistant coach of the national side to his name; he will have his work cut out in the Championship.
Briatore decided to act and instantly installed Sousa to carry the club forward. He described Sousa's appointment as "very good for this football club".
Briatore added "He has great experience after working with the Portuguese national team and he is part of the new generation of coach."
Sousa was the assistant coach for the Portuguese national side before accepting the role. He told QPR's website “It is an honor to be part of this project."
“I have always wanted to work for a big club and I am very excited about the opportunity to work for Queens Park Rangers."
“I have great belief in my ideas and my coaching ability and I firmly believe I can achieve the objectives set by the management."
“I believe in playing positive, attacking football and am looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead.”
Sousa first got to know Briatore from his time in Italy where they struck up a close bond. Now, Sousa takes over and has already drafted in Bolton Wanderers striker Heidar Helguson on loan to supply another attacking threat.
The QPR faithful will be excited at the thought of flair and an attack minded philosophy that has been promised. They may be worried about Sousa’s lack of experience and knowledge of the English game, but it is another new start for QPR.
Those fans just hope they can see a manager stay around long enough to impart their ideas upon the club.
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