QPR – An opposition view

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Want to know more about our opposition on Sunday? I posed Wayne, more Hoop than man, a few questions –

A view from @HoopsRUs99 – life long QPR fan.

How was last Saturday? Disappointed to lose I’m sure. Was it a fair result?

Despite losing to Hull at the weekend, the mood amongst the R’s faithful is still very positive, the new look team played really well and we certainly deserved to come away with more than we did.

There have been a number of changes since our play off triumph back in May, the new players have settled in quickly and the new 3,5,2 formation seemed to work well. Hull barely had a sniff of goal until our 50th minute lapse that allowed them to score from a corner. We had most of the possession and territorial advantage, we missed a penalty in the 84th min and when we had 2 chances cleared off the line we were all hoping that the newly installed goal line technology would come to the rescue, but to no avail.

In the end we lost because we couldn’t convert our chances but still felt that a draw was the least we deserved.

I’ve taken a moment to read through the Q&A we did before we played you in September 2012. In that article you talked about big name players such as Park, Granero and Cesar joining the R’s and how this would give you great hope for the future. Now skip forward two years, do the signings of Caulker, Rio and Mutch give you the same feeling and if so, given that you ended up going down that season, what’s the difference this time around?

What a difference 2 years makes. With hindsight the Spurs game in 2012 may have been the beginning of the end for Mark Hughes. We went in 0:1 up at half time but then capitulated in the second half and ended up losing. After that it wasn’t long before people began to question the big-name players commitment. Hughes was soon sacked and the Redknapp era began.

Given my enthusiasm ahead of that match, the irony is that most of the big name signings (some would say mercenaries) that I was so optimistic about, have been shipped out. Cesar who couldn’t even make the bench under ‘Arry, despite being Brazil’s No1 keeper, is finally gone along with several others. In contrast Joey Barton, who spent a season on loan in France, derided as the villain of the piece, is now captain and very much back on favour. 

What’s different this time? We haven’t thrown money at the problem. Instead we’ve brought in players who (hopefully) want to play for the club and are bought in to ‘Arry’s vision (rather than Hughes left over rejects). The new signings, a strong mixture of youth and experience, have really given the R’s faithful something to be optimistic about again.

Also, the addition of a certain Mr Hoddle to the back room staff should make a real difference. We’re hopeful that his appointment is part of a longer term strategic move to install a successor for ‘Arry when he retires. 

What is the club’s ambition this season? Relegation avoidance or something more positive?

Whilst we have to remain realistic I’d like to think that our ambition this year is more than just survival. I’d be very pleased with a finish somewhere between 12th -15th .

Which of your players should we look out for in particular? Remy’s a pest we know from experience. Anyone else?

We’re hoping that Mauricio Isla makes his debut this weekend (the relevant paperwork wasn’t in place last week) and we’ll be expecting Rio to keep your strikers in check!  Others to watch for are Mutch, who was strong in his debut last week and Charlie Austin who will be desperate to redeem himself after his unfortunate penalty miss last week.

Our latest signings, World Cup stars Leroy Fer & Eduardo Vargas, may not play given that they only signed this week, but if they get a run out, the travelling R’s will go crazy.

Finally, you can forget any ideas you have of buying Remy, he is not for sale!

And how about Harry? Triffic lad or motor mouthed embarrassment?

I’m a big fan. He has been very shrewd in this transfer window and I think he’s got something to prove before he retires. I also believe the the Joey Barton transformation has had a lot to do with Redknapp’s management skill.

Spurs looked ropey at Upton Park and just scraped through. Any thoughts on events at WHL in the last twelve months? (You’re not allowed to use the words ‘comedy’ or ‘shambles’).

We’ve had lots of change at Loftus Road but looking across town at Spurs makes us feel better. So much has changed since we were last here. Your big name stars Bale and Modric out the door, a couple of new managers and a range of new faces from across Europe to top it all off, it’ll be fascinating to see how it pans out. 

In 2012 I asked you if there were any Spurs players you were looking forward to seeing – “Dempsey, Dembele, Defoe and Bale” was your reply. Ah. Not many of those left. How about this time around?

I have no idea really, but my boys tell me that we need to watch out for Vertonghen, Soldado and Paulinho.

While were on the subject of Spurs players, we’d like you to send our man Andros Townsend back across town. He blossomed when he was on loan at our place and we’re sure, if he’s honest with himself, he enjoyed wearing the blue and white hoops ! Tom Carroll on the other hand, you can keep.

Did you enjoy the World Cup?

Loved it! Apart from England not really showing up it was one of the best I’ve seen. It was especially great to see unexpected teams like Chile and Mexico doing so well, I would’ve loved to have seen one of them win it. Overall I think is great for world football that so many of the sides are now so evenly matched.

Which player do you wish QPR could sign who played in the tournament?

We have 3 World Cup stars at the club already Fer, Isla & Vargas. So I’m happy.

And finally, a result and score prediction for Sunday.

I’m gonna go for a draw this time, 1:1

#COYRs

Cheers Wayne, thanks for your time.

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