It may be worth only whispering this; but it seems that there is a faint glimmer of hope at QPR!
Anyone who follows football will know that QPR’s manner of trading over the past few years is to do it the hard, stupid way. Now whilst the club is still far from perfect, recent events have encouraged me.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s team have not been setting the league alight, drawing far too many games, but the team have become harder to beat and also one that when watching in the flesh seem slightly fitter. However, what’s been most pleasing is the club’s recent transfer activity.
In his time at the club, Rob Green has been a fairly decent goalkeeper. His form has declined over the course of this season and as a result he has become error prone. With the prospect of an automatic one-year extension looming if Green played five more matches; something which he hasn’t warranted this season, the club acted swiftly.
Wycombe Wanderers’ young English ‘keeper; Matt Ingram, was added to the club’s roster and summer signing Alex Smithies has been in between the sticks for the past few matches. As a fan, this comes as a huge relief.
A couple of years ago; QPR bought highly-rated stopper Alex McCarthy from Reading, who then promptly spent most of his time as Green’s understudy before being shipped onto Crystal Palace, without ever really getting a look in at QPR.
It seems that the club might actually be learning from recent mistakes. Smithies is also a breath of fresh air in comparison to Green. For a start he can kick it further and throw it longer. A good servant for the club in the Championship, Green’s time as the Rs number one feels over.
Someone that has actually moved on is Brazilian midfielder Sandro. The guitar playing and visa-approved footballer has somehow managed to secure a loan move away to a real Premier League club in West Brom, signing a six-month deal.
It’s impossible to know quite how Sandro and his agent convinced West Brom manager Tony Pulis to take him on for the remainder of the season. In a bang average QPR team in a bang average Championship league; Sandro has looked at best – bang average.
I can hardly remember a total 90 minutes from Sandro in a Rs shirt where he delivered a top performance. Hopefully, that’s another one of the big name players that have failed to deliver at QPR out of the door.
QPR also dealt quickly with the blow of losing Charlie Austin by signing Conor Washington from Peterborough United. Washington doesn’t quite have the prolific strike rate of Austin, nor is he the same type of player. Washington is smaller, stockier and quicker.
His first touch in a Rs shirt; whilst appearing as a late sub against Wolves, where he brought down a cross field ball with ease and then set up Tjaronn Chery, who somehow contrived to miss, was encouraging to see. Let’s not put too much pressure on him; but again, the club appear to have done well in securing his services.
As the January transfer window closed, my wish was granted as Leroy Fer was offloaded to Swansea City on loan during the dying moments of deadline day. I think the Netherlands international has been the worst number 10 for QPR in living memory. A player that permanently flatters to deceive.
As the rest of the season shapes up, QPR’s rebuilding process under manager Hasselbaink looks to be slowly happening. If he and Les Ferdinand can keep up their smart transfer business, hopefully results on the pitch will turn the Rs way too!