Beat around the Bush: Phillips signing proves QPR are finally learning their lesson

QPR owner Tony Fernandes

QPR owner Tony Fernandes - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Rangers blogger Jordan Foster sees light at the end of the tunnel after last season’s relegation nightmare, and is encouraged by the signing of Blackpool’s highly-rated winger

It took them a while to get there, but it seems that Tony Fernandes and the QPR board have finally entered the player market they should have been shopping in years ago.

The signing of Matt Phillips on a four-year deal is a huge coup for the club. Without a shadow of doubt the best signing and more importantly the type of signing that we should have been making since becoming ‘noveau-riche’.

Not only is he an exciting, direct winger who will excite fans with his explosive speed and trickery; his potential, sell on value and age make him the perfect signing for Rangers after two years of lacklustre recruitment.

Phillips represents another player that is the ‘right sort’. Along with Charlie Austin, Gary O’Neil and co, the summer signings are finally showing that QPR no longer sign individuals coming towards the end of their career.

Unfortunately for many fans like me, the promised land of the Premier League was utterly disappointing and that feeling was made even worse by the type of players who were wearing the famous blue and white hoops.

Fernandes’ desire to make QPR a global was a key component of the catastrophe that was our spell in the top flight. The ‘showbiz’ signings such as Park Ji-Sung, Julio Cesar and Jose Bosingwa led to the season becoming embarrassing for all involved.

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They had won some of the highest accolades available on the club and international stage, so playing for QPR in front of 18,000 people and training at a site in which the club shares with a local university was probably not as enticing as the big pay check they would receive from Fernandes – and ultimately it showed on the pitch with a general lack of application.

But this season has seen the ‘right sort’ signed. Richard Dunne and Karl Henry are grafters ready to dig in for the Saturday-Tuesday games that Harry Redknapp has talked about so emphatically in press conferences. O’Neil rejected a contract extension at Premier League West Ham in order to play more regularly and looked a class above during his debut against Ipswich Town.

Joey Barton has split opinion in the past but seems to be getting his head down and putting in the performances similar to those that made him one of the best English midfielders during his time at Newcastle United - whether he stays is another matter altogether.

Work on a new training ground has started and last week the club looked closer to securing the Old Oak common site for a stadium which will propel the club forward.

QPR have done well to shift some of the deadwood this summer and the signs are there that the transfer policy has, if not changed altogether, at least been altered, which is to be commended.

The parachute payments from relegation will obviously be able to aid the lavish spending, but if it continues to be on players of similar ilk as Phillips and Austin then I’m sure it will be easier for fans to take.