Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Mark Hughes appointed Queens Park Rangers manager

New boss Mark Hughes at Loftus Road yesterday
Yesterday Mark Hughes was named new manager of QPR. The West London club have had a turbulent return to the Premiership to say the least, with off field issues such as ownership issues, and race rows, have been an ever presence in the background at a club who had a reasonably good start to the season before going on an alarming slide going nine games without a win, last beating Stoke 3-2 away on the 19th of November. This saw Neil Warnock, a little surprisingly losing his job.

Warnock saw QPR not win for nine games

The egos in the dressing room haven’t caused the major problems as some pundits predicted, with the combustible characters at Loftus Road, including names such as Adel Taraabt, Jay Bothroyd and of course, not forgetting, Joey Barton have yet to caused any headlines in the national newspapers. Unfortunately, the notably poor on field performances have been the subject of much criticsm and caused Warnock his job.

Now, enter a similar person with a no nonsense approach to management, adding to the name of combustible names in that dressing room; Mark Hughes. The 48 year old former Barcelona, Manchester United and Chelsea striker has managed at many different scales, beginning his career as Wales’s national coach, then spending four good years at Ewood Park as Blackburn manager learning the ins and outs of Premiership football, then taking the coveted Manchester City role, somewhat controversially due to his ties with the red side of Manchester.

He signed a majority of the players who are still currently at the club, and fighting for the title. These include the current club captain Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta, Gareth Barry, Kolo Toure and Nigel De Jong.
He made some excellent signings as Blackburn boss as well, signing Christopher Samba for £400,00 from Herta Berlin, Benni McCarthy from Porto for just £2.5 million, David Bentley from Arsenal for £500,00 (who went on to be sold to Spurs for £15 million) and even brought in Ryan Nelsen on a free from DC United. Proof that he has an eye for a bargain, and knows who is and isn’t good enough to play in the Premiership.

Mark Hughes signs Vincent Kompany from Hamburg for £6m in 2008
Crucially for QPR fans, ignoring his odd tenure as Fulham boss, Hughes will add some discipline to the squad and hopefully some more stability. He is ultimately more tactically astute that Warnock, who was more of a motivator. He’s signed a three year contract, and those dreams of managing a “big club” have hopefully gone from his system, and he should look to create his own success.

Another plus, which I have to praise Hughes for, is that he has a proven he has a knack for making good purchases when there is a little amount of money available (at Blackburn) and with lots of funds available (at Man City). At QPR where there are a reasonable amount funds available, Christopher Samba and Alex are both names who have been linked, as a centre-back is the top priority. A striker is needed as well, with Andy Johnson linked, and possibly another central midfielder, as Alejandro Faurlin is out for the rest of the season.

QPR have a good range of players in the squad, the likes of Joey Barton, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Anton Ferdinand with lots of Premiership experience, with some raw potential in Adel Taraabt and Armand Traore, adding to a side who are good enough to stay up, it’s just up to Hughes to get the club back on the right track and steer them clear of relegation.

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