QPR’s Short-Term Thinking Shows Promoted Teams Not What to Do

Stability in football is an exceptionally unsexy, yet necessary topic. While fans and the media love big-money buys and managerial changes, the truth is that there is only one surefire way for teams without ridiculous money or talent to outperform expectations: familiarity. Swansea and Wigan are but two examples of how focusing on clear playing strategies instead of expensive player recruitment can pay dividends in the long run. Queens Park Rangers, on the other hand, show how short-term thinking can damage an organization.

The side propping up the Premier League table has been through wealthy owner after wealthy owner, from Bernie Ecclestone to Tony Fernandes, who decided the best way to ensure Premiership survival was to splash the cash. At 40 players, QPR’s current squad is extraordinarily bloated, and not with rubbish players either. Four Champions League winners amid other players recruited from the likes of Real Madrid should surely make a squad too big to fail. Yet failing they are, proving that you cannot throw players into a mixer with no discernable strategy and expect them to succeed.

Not only have playing staff and formations been changed, but the side has no overall identity. Teams like Napoli or Arsenal are known for something, holding possession or being lethal on the break. Harry Redknapp’s deployment of Adel Taarabt as a false nine was just the latest example of Rangers trying something, anything, with the myriad number of players they have.

It’s always better to identify a strategy and recruit players to specific roles, rather than buying talented players and hoping they will be able to contribute in any system. This is especially true for a club like Queens Park Rangers who can’t offer European competition, meaning they aren’t in the market for the very top talent. But QPR are only the most extravagant example of a long-standing problem. Too often newly promoted sides, conscious of the financial rewards of staying in the Premiership, smash their transfer record or wage budget on some superstar in the hopes that individual quality will keep them in the top flight, rather than the system that they’d used to get themselves into the top flight.

Southampton, for example, spent £12m on Gaston Ramirez and made him their highest paid player by some distance. The Uruguayan certainly hasn’t been a disaster, and actually does fit into Southampton’s system, but if that money had been spent on two or three lesser players that could fill roles in Southampton’s fluid offense, the Saints would have more depth and may have coped better with their injury list that has included Adam Lallana and Ramirez himself.

Currently, for a team like Cardiff City, once again close to winning promotion after spending several years in the Championship, QPR must prove a warning. After their own recent spending splurges and financial problems, Cardiff have been admirably more prudent. They developed a consistent style of play under Dave Jones and now Malky Mackay, and bought sensibly this summer after several seasons of solidification. If they do reach the top flight they would be better served emulating their fellow Welsh club and focusing on how they play rather than who they play.

12 thoughts on “QPR’s Short-Term Thinking Shows Promoted Teams Not What to Do”

  1. I came on here at the start of the season and posted that QPR’s glut of signings reminded me of Sunderland’s mistake the season prior. It got berated by Rangers fans who knew better, they’ve been nowhere to be seen since.

    The fact they’ve gone through a succession of wealthy owners and none have been able to make it work is what they need to worry about now. Purchasing them becomes a less attractive proposition if men wealthier than you can’t make it work.

    1. Good point about the QPR supporters deserting the comments section. Maybe they gave up like their team did?

      The Gaffer

    2. I don’t think there’s a lot to disagree with here. Like a lot of QPR fans, I thought our summer purchases were a mixed bag – some good solid names (Nelsen for one) alongside some potentially exciting purchases – Hoillet, for instance.

      How wrong we were.

      Most QPR fans blame Hughes for our sorry state but the truth runs deeper; we have a board that, well-meaning as they are, doesn’t have enough football experience and what we ended up with is what they were sold – Hughes himself being the prime example. Our current owners are far, far better than Tango & Cash and we have to hope that when we do crash down through the trapdoor they continue to support us. Some stability after the past few years would be first on most QPR fans’ wish list.

      I don’t think QPR fans gave up. The team has flickered into life under Harry and our win against Chelsea was great.

  2. And not only is Napoli known for a certain style, their ownership has basically been a 2nd-echelon Italian movie producer making the club work on a wing an a prayer. That guy is a quasi-celebrity, but cannot possibly have a fraction of the resources of Tony Fernandes.

    English football is just littered with Clubs that took this QPR approach, imploded spectacularly, and ended up wandering the lower reaches of the Football League for years. (Pompey, etc) Hell, Bradford City was one of these before recently becoming the bete noire of Arsenal and Villa.

  3. Norwich. Fulham. Stoke. These teams are the model QPR should be following. But instead they tried to be big-time too soon when you only need to look at their ground to see they are small-time. Hughes will never get another job after condemning QPR to the wilderness. I don’t think Harry will keep them up. Shame. Dave Sexton’s team of Stan Bowles, Gerry Francis and Phil Parkes ruled west London for few years in the mid 70s. This lot will never get there.

    1. Spending on players at Stoke is quite high not in the same league as the top few granted but they are much nearer the top than the bottom with a squad costing around £65m. I think this is Mr Pulis’s version of little Brittan’s ‘look in to my eyes, look into my eyes, not around the eyes but into the eyes’ hypnotism lol.

      Fulham have also been quite big spenders in fact some years ago one of the biggest.
      Norwich fair enough.
      QPR have made mistakes in signings sure, but their biggest by far was letting Mark Hughes spend money he is useless at that. And now giving the job to Arry is suicide QPR are no Spurs they cannot attract the kind of player they can especially down at the bottom.
      QPR owner has bought a club that doesnt really have the potential to grow to my knowledge the ground would be hard to redevelop the fan base isn’t or wasn’t the biggest Mr Fernandes must be a fan I cannot see his investment paying off. It looks like trouble ahead big time, that’s a shame as it’s my favorite ground in the country with a cracking set of friendly fans and an off licence built into the ground!!

  4. No mention of Stoke when talking about teams that have moved up and stayed up with a strategy suited to their resources??

    I understand the almost universal distain for Stoke, but the fact is that this “little” team has managed to secure its place in the Prem with a style that suits its coach and the team’s resources. Many Stoke fans wish we were more “entertaining”, but we also recognize that Tony’s system brought us up and has kept us up. I certainly wouldn’t trade that for playing pretty football in the Championship.

    Swansea have managed to stay up in much the same way. Obviously, not with the same system as Stoke, but by continuing to dance with the one that brung you. QPR should have taken notes.

    1. Guy
      great point would be proud to be Stoke or Swansea fan.does not matter how you do it as long as your side stays up.hope my side are not regulated to league one.

      you have been missing in action hope all is well.

      1. Yeah. Doing Christmas Part II in Raleigh, so out of the loop for a bit. Ready to get cranked tomorrow a.m. :-)

        Dust should have an easy day.

        1. never know maybe The BRAD will get a start.that would put a crimp in his early morning maybe even Dawson now that would put him in a foul mood.

          1. I hope not! I see brad doing a Nelson and after getting his coaching badges coming back to the states to manage a team.

            I hope he never appears in goal again in any competition, ‘array tried that last year and we got thumped 5-1 by chav’s. very upsetting

        2. I hope it’s an easy day, but mid-day away games are not ones we perform, then add the fact it is on espn and the superstitions go through the roof!

          I think QPR will be doing everything they can to not concede early, to keep it tight until as late as they can. I need the boys to be clinical, I’m sure we will create the usual 20-30 chances, I just hope it’s not the usual lack of clinical striking.

          Good luck tomorrow, I hope you can get a result agains the chavs in blue!

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