Queens Park Rangers did a great job last year by cementing their place in England`s top flight for another year and now manager Mark Hughes looks to bolster his squad options during the summer. The club have been linked with many players since the end of the season with many players heading in and out of Loftus Road.
One departure which will not be shock for anyone is the proposed switch of Joey Barton to Sheffield United as manager Dave Jones is said to be extremely keen on bringing Barton into his squad for the upcoming season. Barton has been in the middle of much controversy during the course of last season none more so than the horrible scenes at Eastlands on the last day of the season where he was sent off for a flailing arm which hit Carlos Tevez and then his knee to the back on Sergio Aguero. Mark Hughes is thought to have had enough of his former captain and now wishes to offload the player with the likely destination being with the blades.
Hughes has done great work so far this season with none so astounding as him bringing in former Manchester United midfielder Park Ji Sung after the player had found opportunities for first team football few and far between at Old Trafford. Park who had been at Old Trafford ever since he signed back in 2005 had a great run at united winning eleven trophies during his time with the former champions but as he found it hard to nail down a place in the starting eleven Hughes quickly swooped in and managed to secure the players services for the upcoming season.
QPR fans will again be boosted by the commitment of the Moroccan international Adel Taarbat as the player has now ended all speculation of him leaving the club by choosing to sign a new one year extension to his current contract. Many clubs including mega rich Paris St Germain had been interested in signing the player as his future was not certain but now with this new contract he looks all set to remain at Loftus Road for the foreseeable future.
On the way out of the club is Paddy Kenny who has been QPR`s outstanding goal keeper for many years after the player enjoyed interest from Leeds United who he has just signed a new three year contract with. Hughes is said to have grown less confident in the keepers abilities as of late and this has prompted the keeper to search for a regular place elsewhere.
FA Cup Fourth Round: Team of the Week Another enthralling weekend of FA Cup action saw Premier League leaders Liverpool survive a huge scare to emerge from League One Shrewsbury with a replay, though there were no such concerns for Manchester United who thrashed third-tier opposition in Tranmere at Prenton Park. Holders Manchester City also advanced in comfortable style, though West Ham and …
Five players with the most Premier League wins ever Only the cream of the crop are are at the top of this list, with some of the greatest players in Premier League history present. The upper end of this list is, perhaps unsurprisingly, dominated by homegrown players, with Petr Cech the only non-UK or Ireland player in the top 20, although David Silva looks …
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Ranking the seven managers to take charge of 400 Premier League games Having guided Newcastle to an upset victory over Manchester United at St James’ Park this weekend, Steve Bruce joined an exclusive club of managers to have taken charge of 400 Premier League games. The Newcastle boss became just the seventh man to achieve the feat, an achievement that is a testament to his longevity in the …
Why Southampton should look at Bright Osayi-Samuel as one for the future According to Football Insider (h/t MSN), Southampton have been credited with an interest in QPR winger Bright Osayi-Samuel, who has been in fine form for the R’s in the Championship this season. The report adds that some other unnamed Premier League clubs are […] More
Why Burnley would be wise to recall Nahki Wells from loan According to Lancashire Live, Burnley boss Sean Dyche has ruled out the prospect of recalling Nahki Wells, who is excelling in his loan spell with Queens Park Rangers. Ashley Barnes faces a spell on the sidelines and fellow striker Jay Rodriguez has been laid […] More
Top five Premier League comebacks over the past decade “Keep going until the final whistle” is an old football adage that makes sense in theory but is hard to do when you’re 4-0 down, your own fans are yelling abuse at you and you’re wishing you hadn’t turned up. But, “it only takes a second […] More
Why QPR should go all out for Scott McKenna in January According to Daily Record, QPR are set to make a renewed attempt to sign Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna when the transfer window reopens in January. The R’s had a deadline-day bid for the 23-year-old centre-back thrown out of the window by Aberdeen this past […] More
Why Ryan Manning could be a shrewd signing for Wolves in January According to claims from Football Insider, as cited by the Birmingham Live, Wolves have been credited with an interest in QPR star Ryan Manning, with Nuno Santo keen to make further additions to bolster his squad during the mid-season trading period in January. […] More
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After four years on the sidelines, the Moroccan is now a snarling defensive midfielder and a key man for the derby with Porto
Adel Taarabt has been called many things. Martin Jol, his manager at Tottenham, labelled him “a wizard”. A few years later at QPR, Harry Redknapp described him “three stone overweight.” Both are probably close to being true. But nobody ever dared to call the Moroccan a defensive midfielder, even Taarabt himself: when asked to respond to Redknapp’s criticism, the then 24-year-old simply replied “maybe he expects me to make more tackles. I am not this type of player.”
From nutmegs and flicks to a composed defensive midfielder. Taarabt's transformation has been astonishing, especially considering his tough time in Portugal. Against Belenenses he was all over the pitch. Man of the Match. pic.twitter.com/wZ1ar7GdlX
Allen’s triple drag-back at a muddy Upton Park was the kind of instinctive brilliance that belonged on the Copacabana
For much of her glorious acting career, Edie Falco had a secret: she didn’t know what she was doing. She accepted that, objectively, she was very good – the Golden Globe, Emmy and Screen Guild awards for her work in the Sopranos and Nurse Jackie gave that away – but struggled with her inability to explain why she was good. It all stemmed from her time at college, when she was surrounded by polished students who could articulate what made for great acting. But Falco was the only one who could produce it.
Marcelo Bielsa denied that nerves are affecting his Leeds team after they were defeated 1-0 at QPR’s Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium. It was Leeds’s second successive Championship loss and continued an alarming run which has seen them win just one of their past seven games.
Nahki Wells’s controversial first-half goal secured the points for Rangers, whose goalkeeper Liam Kelly saved Patrick Bamford’s second-half penalty. The second-placed visitors ended the game with 10 men after Kalvin Phillips was shown a red card in the 88th minute for a challenge on Geoff Cameron, who missed three months of last season because of a tackle from the same player.
Well well – so much for QPR’s useless defence. It won them the game here, stifling Leeds throughout the second half despite Bielsa’s side seeing almost all of the ball. Slaven Bilic will be rubbing his hands at that result – West Brom can go four points clear if they win on Monday – while Bielsa is left looking nervously over his shoulder. But the very literal winners here are QPR, who not only showed that they have the attackers to mount a bid for the top flight, but also that their backline are not the mugs we all thought. A late push for promotion? I hope so.
We’ll have a report up shortly – in the meantime, thanks for reading!
And after a bit of time-wasting from the hosts, we’re all done. Leeds players swarm towards the referee, no doubt complaining that the winning goal should never have stood – and they’d be right. But QPR deserved the win here: they shackled the visitors well and attacked with real abandon. The contrast between the tame Bamford and the electric pair of Eze and Osati-Samuel was especially striking. QPR should be setting their sights firmly on the playoffs. Leeds, on the other hand, need a jolt of life.
93 mins: A final half-chance for Leeds as Alioski meets a Hernandez cross at the back post and heads wide. He looks dejected – but he was offside regardless.
91 mins: And that should be that. After a bit of a kerfuffle sparked by the sending-off, QPR get play going again with a one-man advantage. Eze jinks forwards and works some space on the edge of the box, but slashes high and wide.
Phillips loses control midway inside the QPR half and as the ball skitters away from him he lunges in unforgivably on Geoff Cameron. Wildly out of control, two-footed, knee height. A disgraceful tackle. He knows it, and mopes off sheepishly with no arguments.
84 mins: Leeds continue to turn the screw, QPR camped in their own penalty box now. But Bielsa’s men don’t really look like creating a chance. Unless they manage to, this will be three defeats in a row, and one win in eight. Stevens is sent on for Klich.
81 mins: QPR mount a rare attack, Osayi-Samuel electing to pass this time and picking out the overlapping Kane, whose low cross looks for Kane, who does well to get on the end of it but is under too much pressure to muster a decent shot. That’s his last involvement – on comes Pugh.
79 mins: Hernandez takes it, curling the ball low around the ball and leaving Kelly rooted to the spot … but it clips the outside of the post and goes wide. Agonising.
78 mins: A heavy touch by Wallace sees him dispossessed by Costa, who is brought down by the left-back on the very edge of the box – free-kick. It’s the exact same spot of turf which the goal came from.
75 mins: Klich, appearing on the right wing, whips in a magnificent cross and Bamford hurls himself at the ball, but just can’t make contact. He’s been unconvincing today … is he really the striker to lead a promotion charge?
72 mins: Leeds resume their attacking and work a good opening on the left only for Alioski to slip at the crucial moment. Then Eze gathers possession and shows Hernandez just enough of the ball to tempt him into a tackle before whisking it away again, earning himself a free-kick and his team some respite. Double change for QPR: Scowen and Clarke for Amos and Chair.
68 mins: Osayi-Samuel, fast becoming a lone attacker for QPR, is again hauled down, this time by Cooper. The free-kick comes to nothing but he picks up the ball moments later and drifts between two befuddled defenders before sidestepping beyond another inside the box. He’s crowded out before he can get a shot away, but that was magical skill.
66 mins: A half-chance for Harrison, who finds the ball coming his way after a scuffed volley from Klich but can’t react quickly enough to divert the ball towards goal. QPR cling on.
64 mins: Another good save from Kelly, holding well after Phillips blams the ball at him from distance.
The striker gathers his nerves, steps up … and pokes a rather pitiful penalty low to Kelly’s left. Kelly guesses right – well, left – and pushes the ball wide. Good save. Poor penalty. Redemption for Kelly.
Bamford peels away from his marker and is picked out by Hernandez, rounds Kelly is taken out by the onrushing keeper. Clear pen.
58 mins: End to end stuff now. QPR attacking promisingly through wells and Amos until Phillips dispossesses, feeds Hernandez on the counter, and he looks for Costa. But the pass is rushed and Costa is forced too wide.
54 mins: Osayi-Samuel offers Leeds a gentle reminder of the threat they’re facing, latching on to a long clearance and spinning on a solo run towards goal. Alioski matches him stride for stride and manages to put the ball out. From the corner, Oseyi-Samuel gathers the ball again and beats two defenders inside the Leeds box before Alioski intervenes and slashes wildly at the ball, which goes behind. Somehow the referee gives a goal kick. Jack Clarke is preparing to come on for QPR.
51 mins: Cameron’s loose pass is pounced on by Costa, who rampages into the box and lays off to Ayling on the overlap, whose chipped cross is met at the back post by Harrison – but the header flashes just wide. That’s the closest Leeds have come. QPR might need to ride out the storm here.
49 mins: Leeds break again, Alioski feeding the overlapping Harrison down the left and Kelly smothering midfielder’s the drilled cross. The visitors have upped the urgency.
48 mins: Good start from Leeds, who works their way really nicely from back to front, with Bamford engineer a sight of goal and Klich eventually seeing a couple of low crosses from the right cut out. Corner. Cooper heads over.
45 mins: We’re back under way, with Alioski slotting in where Dallas was and giving us the jarring sight of a No10 playing left-back.
Half-time change for Leeds: Alioski comes on for Dallas. Great minds.
That was a fairly great half of football – both teams really going for it, and no shortage of attackers willing to take risks and attempt the audacious. QPR have looked like scoring every time they’ve gone forward, while Leeds have looked nice and classy but notably short of incision. Time for Ezgjan Alioski?
The referee’s whistles is met with deafening boos from the away fans, who can feel rightly aggrieved that the game’s only goal was allowed to stand. That said, QPR have looked the most dangerous side, with Leeds seeing plenty of the ball but creating very little. The two best players on the pitch have been Eze and Osayi-Samuel, who are causing Bielsa’s defence all manner of problems. I’d be surprised if either are playing in the Championship next season.
45 mins: More purposeful play from Leeds, who are moving the ball around well now but can’t find the final killer ball. Eventually Harrison wins a fre-kick in the corner after receiving the ball from Klich and zooming past Kane. Kelly does well to gather Harrison’s low whipped delivery.
41 mins: Eze, a class above everyone else on the pitch, releases Amos with a gorgeously languid outside-of-the-foot pass, and the midfielder charges through the middle and makes it to the edge of the Leeds box before being stopped in his path by White. A minute later, Osayi-Samuel picks the ball up on the right and wrestles his way past Dallas, whose rugby tackle earns him a booking – just what he doesn’t need.
38 mins: A bit more needle, Chair hauling down Phillips in midfield and the Leeds player kicking out in frustration. Both men receive a stern talking-to and clash again – legally – moments later. then Costa find space on the edge of the box but his shot is deflected wide.
34 mins: Again QPR’s wingers cause problems, first Osayi-Samuel gets down the right but is well shackled by Dallas, but then Eze picks up the ball and lures Ayling into a rash foul. He floats in the free-kick from the left, which finds an unmarked Wells who can only side-foot badly wide from five yards out. Then, somehow, the resulting goalkick sets Bamford clean through – and Kelly scampers out into no-man’s land! But the Leeds striker lashes an early strike high and wide when the situation called for calm. Oh dear.
“How awesome is it to watch football without VAR?” writes JR from Illinois. “It’s like being in the past when things were simple and wonderful. It also doesn’t hurt that VAR would have ruled out that QPR goal and I happen to root for the Baggies.” Quite right.
30 mins: It comes to nothing, and QPR counter brilliantly, Eze to Chair, whose raking ball picks out Osayi-Samuel. His trickery gets him into the box and he squares to Chair on the D, but his low effort is rushed and trickles wide.
28 mins: After a shaky start, Leeds have settled into the game. Costa dances in off the flank and looks for Bamford, who can’t escape his marker. From the resulting corner, Costa picks the ball up again and wins a free-kick on the left.
26 mins: Bamford gets his first proper sight of goal, collecting the ball from Ayling and drilling an effort from an acute angle, beaten away by Kelly.
24 mins: The first sign of needle, as Hernandez and Amos contest a loose ball and get involved in some heated but just-about-above-board midfield scrapping, the Leeds player eventually tackling his opponent with needless force.
QPR lead! Eze’s driven free-kick doesn’t get past the wall but Wells gathers the loose ball and taps in from close range. But he controlled it with his hand! Unwittingly, but unequivocally. Leeds are furious. The goals stands. One-nil.
19 mins: From the resulting corner, Osayi-Samuel picks up the half-cleared ball on the halfway line and storms majestically forward, right at the heart of Leeds’ flailing defence, eventually winning a foul right on the edge of the box. He’s been superb so far.
18 mins: Costa draws a foul on the right. Hernandez whips in a glorious cross, but again no Leeds players can meet it. White’s looping clearance forces a save from his own keeper.
16 mins: Ayling scoots up the right flank and is found by Costa. He drills the ball low and hard across goal but no attacker can get a touch and the ball is cleared.
14 mins: Osayi-Samuel drives in from the right against and feeds Well’s, whose first-time layoff is curled goalwards by Amos. Casilla tips wide.
12 mins: Eze carries the ball down the left and zips it into the feet of Wells, who lays off to Osayi-Samuel. He skips into the box but mis-hits his shot. Positive stuff from QPR so far.
10 mins: Dallas steams forward, plays a lovely one-two with Harrison and tries to pick out Bamford in the box, but his pass is loose.
8 mins: QPR hem leeds into their own half, with Chair, Eze and Osayi-Samuel taking turns to run at a Leeds defence that eventually clears. On the counter, Bamford unleashes an audacious chip from almost the halfway line. It sails over Kelly but drifts a few feet wide.
5 mins: QRP are clearly under instruction to send the ball early towards Osayi-Samuel and isolate him against Dallas, Leeds’ stand-in left-back. down the other end, Leeds mount an attack that ends with a volley scuffed into the floor by Harrison.
3 mins: And now Eze, on the other wing, ghosts past Ayling with a drop of the shoulder but can’t quite find a hooped shirt from the byline. Three minutes in and QPR’s danger men look up for it.
2 mins: Osayi-Samuel stretches his legs on the right wing, chasing a lovely long pass from Hall and drawing a hideously rash tackle from Cooper, who misses the ball completely. White sweeps up.
The teams are out, and it’s a glorious afternoon in west London. Handshakes are exchanged and formations adopted – and we’re off. Leeds get going with a bit of keep-ball, before Costa’s driving run is curtailed as he reaches the QPR box.
The hardest-worked defenders today, though, might just be Leeds’ two full-backs, who’ll be up against the combined trickery of Bright Osayi-Samuel and Eberechi Eze, two outrageously talented dribblers with no shortage of final product and who can switch flanks at will. You’d imagine a busy afternoon awaits for Luke Ayling and Stuart Dallas.
Speaking of that defence, 21-year-old former Liverpool youth-teamer Conor Masterson is making his league debut for QPR today at the heart of it. He can’t do any worse than what’s come before him, right…?
Die-hard QPR fan Aditya emails from Mumbai to get us in the mood: “Love to see the way we’re playing this season. We’ve got the best front three in the league (okay, second best to Brentford) and a shocking defence – every game is a rollercoaster. Looking forward to seeing how we square up against a stuttering Leeds.”
Just the one change for Leeds, then, and a forced one at that – Pablo Hernández coming in for the injured Barry Douglas. Bielsa is clearly of the mind that no tinkering is needed despite the ominous downturn in results.
As for QPR, they make three changes with the most notable being the omission of Jordan Hugill who misses out with what the club describe as a “knock”. But the real story here might just be on the hosts’ bench, where there’s a spot for the teenage attacker Jack Clarke who joined this week on loan from Tottenham. Clarke joined Spurs in the summer from – you guessed it – Leeds, and was promptly loaned back to them this season, only to be recalled by Spurs in December because he wasn’t being given a game. Got that? If not, here’s the short version: Clarke has a point to prove.
Funny league, the Championship. Despite being runaway favourites for the automatic promotion spots and sitting snugly in first and second, neither Leeds nor West Brom have won a league game this decade! In fact, the only victory they’ve managed between them in the last month was Leeds’ 5-4 win at Birmingham – a glorious occasion, but hardly the stuff of hard-nosed champions.
And yet here we are, with Marcelo Bielsa’s boys heading down to the capital with top spot in their sights. A win would take them there – at least until their rivals play on Monday night – although leaving Loftus Road with three points might be rather more easily said than done for a side who, just as they started to look dead-certs for promotion, have hit that fabled winter wobble – the one their manager seems to carry with him wherever he goes.
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