QPR's Stadium, Loftus Road

The rise of QPR manager Michael Beale

If you’ve been following the English football news recently, a name that has been popping in many news reports has been that of a young manager who is only 16 games into his managerial career.

Yet despite only being in charge for a total of 147 days, Michael Beale has become one of England’s hottest managerial commodities, as the manager of Queens Park Rangers (QPR).

Beale’s squad has had an outstanding start, as QPR have been among the best teams in the Championship after the first 16 games, currently second behind Burnley with a game in hand and a two point gap.

Beale’s prior experience in coaching comes in the form of spells with the under 7’s and under 9’s at Chelsea, and the under 16’s to under 23’s at Liverpool.

He eventually had stints as assistant manager at Sao Paulo under Rodrigo Ceni and Rangers and Aston Villa under StevenGerrard, before being offered the QPR job this past summer.

It has been almost nine years since the club was among the top 20 teams in the country, before being relegated in the 2014-15 season, which has followed continuous mid-table disappointment and managerial changes.

Indeed, prior to Beale’s appointment, the best QPR have finished in the second tier of English football was ninth last season under Mark Warburton, who was let go at the end of his deal.

The football on show has been both successful and exciting, as Beale has implemented a high-paced, short passing style complementing key players Ilias Chair, Chris Willock and Lyndon Dykes going forward.

The stats reflect well on Beale’s impact with this being QPR’s best opening 16 games in a Championship season since their last two promotion winning seasons in 2010/11 and 2013/14.

With his star rising, the 42-year-old has seen his name linked with other jobs. He was approached for the vacant managers position at Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The Midlands club had sacked Bruno Lage after a tough start to their campaign, seeing them in the relegation zone.

Despite what seemed a tempting opportunity, the Bromley-born Beale declined the formal approach to remain with QPR, in a turn of events that brought cheers from every Hoops fan.

When talking on TalkSport about the opportunity, Beale was clear that the move was never really on for him, preferring to focus on his current project at Loftus Road.

“It was tempting in terms of finances, it was tempting in terms of the Premier League, but I do believe that if you do well, those things will come both for coaches and players.

“But it’s important that you do well and you show you can do that over a consistent period. I hadn’t felt that I had done that yet, so overall, it was an easier decision than it may seem to people on the outside.

“As I say, I’m building with my staff and this group here, trying to build a football club, but at the same time trying to build a reputation as a promising young coach/manager.”

The talk did not stop there as Beale was linked with a return to Aston Villa as a replacement for friend and old boss Gerrard who was subsequently sacked and replaced by Unai Emery.

In regards to replacing his friend at Villa Park, Beale quickly ruled himself out of the running, stating in another interview with TalkSport there was “no chance” he’d go for the job, citing his commitment to his current side and loyalty to friends who lost their jobs.

It is still very early to determine where Beale’s QPR side will end up once the season closes, but only time will tell whether his choice will be Wolves’ loss and the Hoops’ gain.

Featured image credit:

Credit to Zakarie Faibis via Wikimedia Commons under the license (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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