Beat around the Bush

SHOULD a player return to a club he has left? Can he be as successful second time around as he was in his first spell? They say you should never go back.

But Kevin Gallen, Rangers through and through, returned to us after a year’s absence and enjoyed his second spell, scoring 54 goals in 194 appearances. Gallen’s return was a success for all the parties concerned.

Wayne Routledge has recently returned to QPR and has had an immediate and important impact, scoring two crucial winning goals and generally making a nuisance of himself in every game he has played for us: terrorising oppositions with his skill and speed and linking up effectively with Adel Taarabt to give us extra guile and creativity.

I was very disappointed when Routledge left originally, so was thrilled when we secured his services once more. With Jamie Mackie out, Routledge was a shrewd replacement.

I believe he is a valuable asset who can help us achieve our ultimate aim of promotion and he hasn’t disappointed me so far – but, if the rumours are to be believed, he has designs away from QPR in the long-term.


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And then there is the ‘prodigal son’ – Danny Shittu! Shittu made an emotional return in January after a four-and-a-half-year absence. It is difficult to know who was more excited – Shittu or the fans.

His appearance on the substitutes’ bench at Hull was greeted with hysterical joy and what a reception he got last week against Ipswich. Raucous and enthusiastic adulation – and that was just me!

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This was not just anybody returning, but someone who you know eats, drinks and breathes QPR, and will do everything in his power to help us win promotion.

I loved seeing him back in the centre of defence, out-leaping the Ipswich forwards, confidently heading clearances, using his strength to drive forward and even having a couple of excellent chances to score and make it a dream (second) debut. He walked off slowly, milking the effusive ovation he received on being substituted, excitedly high-fiving a couple of team-mates en route.

Routledge brings us much needed flair as well as an ability to score, while Shittu brings us heart and courage as well as being a solid and dependable defender. Shittu’s return is obviously emotional; Routledge’s perhaps merely practical.

But, ultimately, does that matter? What we need – and what we want – is for them both to be successful this (second) time round so we can reach this season’s ‘Holy Grail’ – automatic promotion.

Welcome home and good luck!

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