Friday Football Feature: Queens Park Rangers heading towards another relegation scrap this campaign


QPR’s squad contains Champions League and Premier League winners – yet they are currently bottom of the table going into tomorrow’s trip to West Brom.


By Alex Christian

Queens Park Rangers boast a squad containing four Champions League winners, four Premier League champions, a winner of La Liga, and another of Serie A.

They possess the rarity of a billionaire owner who actually injects their cash into the club.

Their captain has 100 international caps to his name and played in a World Cup semi-final. Their goalkeeper was widely considered the best in the world at the turn of this decade.

A starting-XI of Julio Cesar, Jose Bosingwa, Park Ji-Sung and Djibril Cisse would have been title contenders around five years ago.

Yet, in October 2012, Queens Park Rangers sit rock-bottom of the Barclays Premier League going into tomorrow’s trip to West Bromwich Albion.

Mark Hughes’s side still await their first win of the season, with their Monday night home defeat to West Ham a major blow – the Rs’ home record was pivotal in narrowly keeping them up last season.

The 2-1 loss to the Hammers is made worse considering QPR looked a vastly improved team in their previous two league matches.

Their 0-0 draw against Chelsea makes them the only team to take points off the European Champions this season and against Tottenham they should have taken all three, having dominated much of the game.

Although Mark Hughes’s effect upon managing a new side is a slow-burner, the former Barcelona forward has been in the Loftus Road hot-seat for nine months and the West Londoners look headed for another relegation scrap this campaign.

QPR’s current plight is exacerbated when considering Malaysian owner Tony Fernandes’s heavy investment into the team, with 19 players signed using his chequebook since his takeover in August 2011.

Furthermore, a side with such experienced internationals and household names should not, on paper, be rooted to the bottom of the league with two points from six games.

But a side with so much experience at the game’s pinnacle could in fact be a cause of QPR’s problems.

The aforementioned Champions League winners plus the likes of Esteban Granero, Stephane Mbia and Shaun Wright-Phillips arrived at QPR following stints at elite clubs across major European leagues.

However, most of them are unaccustomed to a fight for survival and seem to play as a collection of individuals rather than a team.

And Hoops fans need little reminding about their wretched away form since their promotion last year.

QPR have only won three Premier League away games since 1996 – the one-year anniversary of their last away victory is fast approaching.

Yet at White Hart Lane two weeks ago the Rs finally looked like an established Premier League side and at times played Spurs off the park – only a nightmare 90 seconds in which they twice-conceded cost them.

Such a performance should give QPR hope for tomorrow’s game at The Hawthorns.

They will need it – West Brom have won all of three of their home games and sit one point outside the Champions League places.

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