Beat around the Bush
QPR have just been promoted. Fan’s favourite Les Ferdinand has heaped praise on the manager and the fans are celebrating outside Loftus Road. It was a struggle; a mid season blip of only one win in nine and with Kaspars Gorkss ruled out for five months towards the end of the season, there were doubts about the Rs’ promotion credentials.
I press the space bar button on my keyboard. If only it was that easy, I think to myself. Football Manager gives you the chance to live your dreams, but when you realise that signing David Beckham on a season-long loan rarely happens in reality, it’s time to bring yourself back to real life and remember we’re only in November of the actual season.
It does pose the question, however: do QPR possess the same qualities as previous sides who have gained promotion? The likes of Newcastle and West Brom were firm favourites to achieve promotion last season, but can comparisons be made with the current Rangers side?
Neil Warnock has certainly instilled a large amount of resilience coupled with a true battling spirit amongst his players and with the unbeaten run still going strong, surely any team looking to gain promotion to the ‘holy land’ requires such characteristics.
Still averaging over two points a game, QPR look like they are well on their way to achieving what many fans have long desired.
However, with seven draws from their last nine games, are the Rs starting to stutter? Some have claimed the unbeaten run is starting to hinder the team’s ability to go out and express themselves, with cautiousness at the forefront of many players’ minds.
Newcastle undoubtedly had the luxury of many top-class players in their squad, whilst the likes of Wolves and West Brom from previous seasons had a mix of youth and experience in their promotion winning teams.
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QPR certainly have a first 11 that many teams in the Championship envy, but has the initial impact of surprising teams with our mix of quality and ‘bread and butter players’ started to deteriorate?
Of course, having experienced such mid-table mediocrity and relegation warfare the past few seasons, many Rs fans are still very watchful over their team’s impressive start to the season, and will be quick to tell anyone how things can change at the click of a finger – or even a supposed head-butt.
Many comparisons with promotion -winning sides can be made to the current Rangers team, and many other football fans will be quick to insist QPR are one of the best teams in the league, but when you see your team above the dotted line separating the playoffs from the automatic positions, sometimes it really is hard to believe.