x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

QPR should realise that signing new players is not always the solution

Given his reputation, Harry Redknapp should possess the coaching skills and tactical nous to get the best out of an underachieving squad of players, writes Thomas Woods.

Harry Redknapp, centre, signed six new players last month. Reuters
Harry Redknapp, centre, signed six new players last month. Reuters

St James' Park on Saturday provided an example of a few savvy purchases in the transfer window paying immediate dividends, as Newcastle United - and their five new French players - saw off Chelsea to record a second consecutive win.

A season that was threatening a relegation scrap now sees Alan Pardew's side looking upwards, six points above the drop zone. They should feasibly have at least nine more points and be safe by the time they play Manchester City at the end of March.

Newcastle needed a jolt; the club moved fast to snap up long-term targets at good value and their business was mostly done with a week to go in the transfer window.

The opposite has happened at Queens Park Rangers where big money signings have arrived en masse over the past two years.

The London club are bottom of the Premier League and have won twice all season. They needed some changes, but should not have mortgaged their future on big wages and transfer fees.

QPR narrowly avoided the drop last season. They had brought in 11 new players in the summer of 2011, then spent £12.5 million (Dh71.8m) in January 2012 on three more arrivals - with Bobby Zamora and Djibril Cisse signed on deadline day.

Last summer, 10 more new faces arrived - the likes of Julio Cesar, Esteban Granero and Park Ji-sung. But poor form necessitated, according to club bosses, another outlay of more than £20m on six new players last month, with three of those deals done late on deadline day. Where is the stability? That is almost three full teams worth of players going in and out of Loftus Road in two years.

The club's reasoning behind the recent changes is that, being five points from safety, they had to take a chance. The current squad was not good enough and the reward of staying in the top flight - especially the television money - was worth the risk considering how the club could suffer financially with relegation.

The point QPR forgot is that they already made a big change, with Harry Redknapp replacing Mark Hughes as their manager.

Redknapp was considered good enough to be a candidate to manage England. Given his reputation in the game, he should possess the coaching skills and tactical nous to get the best out of an underachieving squad of players.

But his solution was to bemoan the quality of his team, as if absolving himself of the responsibility when they lost, and demand signings.

It is a short-term, knee-jerk vision - from the club and its manager - and with only 13 games of the season remaining they will have to hope their new arrivals adapt quickly to life in the English capital.

But that is surely where Redknapp steps in to do his magic, right?

 

twoods@thenational.ae

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