Queens Park Rangers
Tony Fernandes hasn’t gone all ‘Arab Sheikh’ with his spending, but few teams have been busier in the transfer market than QPR. It’s not all been about signings, because Mark Hughes has also been busy sweeping away some of the chaff in his squad, which is actually quite a lot of sweeping. Gone are a lot of players who you probably recognise, but wouldn’t know actually played in the Premier League anymore and in come some pretty useful signings who could make strengthen the team.
Something to be positive about
Some of the transfer deals look pretty shrewd. Park Ji-Sung for cheap, Fabio on loan, Robert Green, Andy Johnson and Ryan Nelsen for free and Junior Hoilett for kind of free aren’t the most attention-grabbing of signings, but they will improve the overall strength of the squad. After been called into action thanks to Neil Warnock not being able to manage in the Premier League, Mark Hughes initially struggled, but by the end of the season there were signs Sparky was beginning to make progress. They just about avoided the drop, but some of the performances in the last couple of months were very encouraging and the future looks bright.
Something to be a bit worried about
The away form needs to improve if the Rs are to move away from the relegation scrap. When it came to playing away from Loftus Road, QPR looked about as comfortable as Jim Davidson in G-A-Y. They took just 11 points on the road, which was less than everyone else in the Premier League. Even Wolves.
An optimistic season bet
The odds suggest QPR are expected to move away from the relegation battle and with Hughes’s record of improving teams and some good moves in the transfer market, that is a distinct possibility. Getting them up to the top half of the table is a bit optimistic, but it’s also not completely mental. It’s 5/2 that QPR are in the Top 10 at the end of the season.
A more realistic season bet
If you think QPR are improving, but not to the point of making the Top 10 the Over 42.5 points bet @ 5/6 may not be a bad call. That’s likely to be enough to avoid the bottom three, but not quite enough to sneak into the Top 10.
Park Ji-sung (Manchester United, undisclosed)
Samba Diakite (Nancy, £3.5m)
Robert Green (West Ham, free)
Ryan Nelsen (Tottenham, free)
Andrew Johnson (Fulham, free)
Fabio (Manchester United, loan)
Junior Hoilett (Blackburn, tribunal)
Packing their bags
Peter Ramage (released)
Danny Gabbidon (released)
Danny Shittu (released)
Fitz Hall (released)
Gary Borrowdale (released)
Lee Cook (released)
Rowan Vine (released)
Patrick Agyemang (released)
HeidarHelguson (Cardiff, undisclosed)
Paddy Kenny (Leeds, £400,000)