The Ups and Downs of QPR’s Premier League Season So Far
There hasn’t been a dull moment at Queens Park Rangers yet, but that was bound to be the case wasn’t it? With a manager more than willing to share his thoughts in front of a microphone and Joey Barton willing to do the same through social media, the excitement surrounding QPR should not be a shock. When you factor in the last minute signings Neil Warnock managed to secure, it was almost a given that the goings-on at Loftus Road would be interesting.
On the pitch, QPR have had mixed results thus far. Sitting eleventh in the table with two wins, two draws and three loses, QPR have to be happy with their return to the Premier League to this point. They have recorded a pair of impressive wins on the road to Everton and Bolton. However with most things associated with QPR this season, there is a flip side. They were thrashed by Bolton on opening day, albeit with a much different squad than they now possess, and were thrashed 6-0 at Craven Cottage on Sunday. Considering that the Hoops are a newly promoted side and have gone through significant squad turnover, a mixture of positive and negative results is not calamitous.
Speaking of mixed fortunes, and indeed calamity, the player personnel at QPR is an interesting group. Toward the end of the transfer window, Warnock acquired several quality players including Shaun Wright-Phillips, Luke Young, Anton Ferdinand and Armand Traoré. All of these players have Premier league experience and can help the club remain in the top flight. In Wright-Phillips, QPR have a player that could be a match winner if he can return to form. Traoré, though, has been an adventure. On his debut against Wolverhampton, he had a terrific match and created two goals. In a more recent match against Aston Villa he was sent off for a reckless challenge, which Warnock criticized publicly.
Of course, the acquisition that encapsulates QPR at this moment and time is that of Joey Barton. His off-field antics, specifically on Twitter, have been farcical. His play on the field has been solid and influential. Again, this should not be a surprise to anyone. QPR knew what they were getting in Barton, and so far the good has outweighed the bad. His relationship with his equally outspoken manager will be an intriguing dynamic. It may even be a significant factor in deciding where QPR sit in the table at the end of the season.
After all of the transfer activity, and through the media circus, the Hoops have to let their play on the field do the talking. Results have been a mixed bag so far, with plenty of goals and controversy. Given the cast of characters in west London, expect more of the same.