While the dust has finally started to settle in the post-Chris Ramsey era, Queens Park Rangers continue to be a work in progress. If a metaphor can be worn out, then QPR have played the roller coaster metaphor a thousand times over, yet here we are again with no other real way to explain the infinite depth of the highs and lows presented by the club ,both on and off the field.
After somehow keeping our best players past the summer transfer window, the plan to consolidate, develop youth players and create a long term foundation for stability was completely thrown out by QPR’s board. Instead, the board adopted an ambitious push for an immediate return to the Premier League.
Keeping Premier League players meant paying Premier League wages, but so far that extra money has failed to make any significant difference. At best, Rangers have only had an outside chance of finishing in the bottom playoff spot, and when Ramsey couldn’t deliver, he got the axe.
A short four-game reunification with the ever adored Neil Warnock was followed by the controversial appointment of former Chelsea man Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. Many fans wanted to see Warnock finish out the remainder of the season, and Hasselbaink’s connection to the club’s most hated rival only served to fuel their disapproval of letting Warnock leave for a second time.
Hasselbaink was immediately coy when asked about his goals for QPR, stating he just wanted to focus on the games at hand. It was all too obvious that he sought to avoid any mention of England’s top-tier, as he seemed well aware the squad he inherited was mid-table quality, despite what the QPR board thought it was paying for.
It took nine games for the new manager to find a win, a stretch led to a slide down the table that left them momentarily closer in points to relegation the playoff. While there has never been a serious threat QPR would fall into the bottom three, it wouldn’t be the first time a team came in one end of the Championship and went out the other.
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Hasselbaink’s determination to get the squad in shape through a new fitness regime that includes extra training sessions has shown in all the wrong ways. Out of their last eight games, QPR have concede a goal after the 80th minute on five separate occasions, and many of the players have looked visibly exhausted by the final whistle. Clearly this a statement of long term intent from Hasselbaink, who seems to be already preparing for next season. Whether he makes it that far at a club with a hair trigger for firing managers will have to be seen.