End of season review: A season to forget for QPR, who got what they deserved
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
We look at QPR’s season from Redknapp to relegation:
Only one man in the running for this award – stand up and take a bow Charlie Austin.
Eighteen goals in a team which finished bottom of the league is a remarkable achievement for the former Burnley striker, who received a well-deserved England call-up for the upcoming matches against Ireland and Slovenia.
Aside from the goals, Austin’s all-round game came on tremendously during his debut season in the top flight.
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Rangers boss Chris Ramsey has stated that the club will try to keep hold of the prolific hitman, but there’s about as much chance of Austin playing in the Championship next season as Adel Taarabt running the London marathon.
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There are so many deserving candidates for this award, who have gone above and beyond what is usually required to pick up this particular gong, but Taarabt is taking it on his early morning jog past the shisha shops on Edgware Road.
Having returned from a loan spell at AC Milan last summer, Taarabt did everything to force through a move to the Italian giants.
When it failed to happen, rather than getting himself in condition to make an impact for Rangers in the Premier League, he sulked and, with his poor performances in training coupled with ongoing fitness issues, he only played in seven Premier League matches and the League Cup defeat away to Burton Albion.
A wonderful player on his day, a fit and focused Taarabt could have made a big difference to a Rangers team lacking in quality. But instead he was content to pick up his big wages and alarmingly still has two years to go on his current deal at Loftus Road.
QPR will attempt to get rid of the Moroccan and his bad attitude to the highest bidder during the close season.
Goal of the season
Austin’s goal at Southampton was a class finish, as was Zamora’s lob away at West Brom, but Matt Phillips’ thunderbolt against Crystal Palace was one of the best any QPR player in the history of the club has scored.
With Rangers 3-0 down, Phillips picked the ball up just inside the Palace half and took three touches to bring him level with the centre circle before unleashing a dipping drive which sailed over Julian Speroni into the top corner.
How Phillips hasn’t been recalled for Scotland remains a mystery.
Chant of the season
QPR fans at Crystal Palace to the tune of ‘In the jungle, the mighty jungle’: “We never win, we never win, we never win, we never win... We’re the Rangers, the mighty Rangers, we never win away!”
Flop of the season
If there was one signing in pre-season which looked like an excellent bit of business it was Steven Caulker’s arrival from Cardiff City.
The former Spurs defender is from west London and was the stand-out performer for the Bluebirds during their time in the top flight.
As young English players go, a fee of £8million looked like money well spent. However, like other youngsters who have joined the club after showing potential elsewhere (yes you, Junior Hoilett), Caulker has flopped.
Initially starting in a back three alongside Rio Ferdinand and Richard Dunne, Caulker looked hesistant and it was hoped that reverting to a flat back four – something the player himself was pleased about –would lead to better performances.
Caulker played alongside Richard Dunne for most of the season and was shown up by the veteran Irishman, who lacks the speed he once possessed but read the game better than Caulker and used his physical attributes to deal with the likes of Diego Costa.
Caulker’s worst performance was away to Burnely when he was outmuscled by Danny Ings, who went on to score a crucial second goal. Caulker was subsequently dropped by then boss Harry Redknapp and never recovered.
Off-the-field incidents have also led to concerns that Caulker is another young English player who is struggling to cope with life in the goldfish bowl of English football.
Best breakthrough act
Striker Reece Grego-Cox, 18, made four first-team appearances – a superb effort from the Republic of Ireland Under-19 international, who is set to play a key role next season.
Best excuse for failure
Harry Redknapp walked out on QPR in February stating that he needed treatment on a bad knee. Nothing to do with not being able to spend more money on new players in January then...