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Beat around the Bush

PUBLISHED: 16:43 25 November 2009 | UPDATED: 14:47 24 August 2010

By Adam Boxer ONE of the biggest quandaries for the modern manager is how to spread his financial resources to achieve success. The use of loan players, therefore, is key for sides in the Championship, but the dramatic dichotomy of success has been laid b

By Adam Boxer

ONE of the biggest quandaries for the modern manager is how to spread his financial resources to achieve success.

The use of loan players, therefore, is key for sides in the Championship, but the dramatic dichotomy of success has been laid bare.

The success of Stoke City has been built on a bedrock of borrowed talent, from Patrik Berger through to Ryan Shawcross in their promotion season.

Compare that with Charlton, whose glut of players gleaned from the top flight wasn't enough to secure their Championship status, with Addicks fans complaining of a lack of effort and commitment to the cause.

Striking the right balance and complementing an existing squad seems to be the successful formula, rather than flooding the squad with underperforming Premier League talent and risking team morale.

This very decision has fallen at the door of Jim Magilton in recent weeks, as he dipped into the loan market to take Tom Williams, Steven Reid and Rhys Taylor from the top flight, and somewhat controversially the first two started against Doncaster.

After early season prosperity in the successful Stoke mantra, Rangers cast more of a Charlton figure up at the Keepmoat, lacking that necessary committed bite that a permanent player could possibly provide.

The different calibre of loan player is also something to ponder, and we see a vast range in the QPR squad.

The man trying to impress to sign permanently (Williams), the young player with a future at his current club (Jay Simpson, Taylor), the man trying to impress other clubs (Adel Taarabt), and so on.

Combine this with a squad with their own identity and ethos, and there are a lot of conflicting opinions, egos and styles of play in the dressing room. Can that be beneficial for any football club, with many players pulling in different directions?

I would suggest that Rangers could have been better served by keeping the performers and the formation that has made them such a success in the Championship this season - but then again hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Two new starters, who had a week at most to train with the club - and less in Reid's case - could have upset the team dynamic and positioning.

It is embedded in the psyche of a loan player to realise that when the going gets tough, he is not a QPR player - that is not to suggest a sinister motive, purely cognitive reality.

So can loan players really work for the Rs? Striking the balance will remain the key for Magilton.

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