The world of football is home to many things. Eye watering transfers, haircuts that defy everyday life and clichés.
Last season Queens Park Rangers lived up to the newly promoted club cliché of guaranteeing their survival by the narrowest of margins on the final day of the season.
After the game, manager Mark Hughes said that whilst he’s manager, QPR won’t be in that position again. The right thing to say at that time? Yes. Chance of it being likely, well actually the odds look good.
Hands up, as a QPR fan, it’s hard to be objective, but I’m genuinely optimistic this time around. Releasing a lot of dead wood was the clearing of the decks needed at Loftus Road.
The signings of Rob Green, Andrew Johnson, Park Ji-Sung and Ryan Nelsen bode well even if they do tip their cowboy hat in the direction of ‘one more pay day before I wander West into the sunset, or failing that the MLS’.
Add that to the cream of last season’s regular starting 11, Cissé, Zamora, Mackie, Ferdinand, Taarabt and Hill, and dare I say it, but QPR actually might be clear of the relegation dogfight (okay I used a cliché).
It’s also worth mentioning that the return from injury of Alejandro Faurlin and the signing of last season’s standout loanee, Samba Diakité, could make for a potent midfield pairing. Joey Barton, who frustratingly grabs more headlines than he is worth, should take note.
With the capture of one more centre-half, most of my usual fears (eg how many goals will we ship today? Will Fitz Hall ever consistently trap a ball?) will be allayed.
The board have certainly dipped into their pockets, but they have also made great strides with improving the training facilities and looking at potential sites for a new 45,000 seater stadium. As well as this, our Chairman, Tony Fernandes has given the club a plane to travel on for our longer distance away games. The sky’s, ahem, the limit. Although, with a 45,000 seater stadium we might need some more fans…
Normally, pre-season for a QPR fan is a source of upheaval. Take the end of last season. Despite dominating the Championship, the hoops only secured promotion on the final day because the Alejandro Faurlin transfer saga (and possible points deduction) had been resolved. On top of that, the then owners of QPR, Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore refused to release any transfer funds as they were so keen to sell the club. A move which undoubtedly had an effect on our 2011/2012 Premier League campaign.
If we contrast that with the preparation for this season where Mark Hughes looks to have done most of his transfer deals already, QPR fans have reasons to be cheerful and pre-season to enjoy.