Queens Park Rangers: Season Preview


Taken from QPR Official News Facebook page

taken from QPR official News Facebook page

Last Place Finish: 4th in Championship (Beat Derby County 1-0 in Championship Playoff)

Did QPR deserve to return to the Premiership? That’s debatable. Lament the Championship playoff all you want, Queens Park Rangers fought hard for the final promotion spot and rightfully earned it. After finishing fourth in the Championship table, the Hoops eliminated Wigan Athletic 2-1 in the playoff semifinals and then edged out Derby County 1-0 in the final despite playing with only 10 men.

Back in the Premiership, the Hoops now want to avoid repeating the same mistakes they made two seasons ago when they purchased a large collection of old players and found themselves in the bottom in a blink of an eye. The oddly assembled squad that featured Park Ji-Sung, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Djibril Cisse, and Jose Bosingwa blended together like water and oil. They were all serviceable players, but they just couldn’t play together.

This season Queens Park Rangers will look to put the past behind them. Bringing in a fighting spirit that carried them through the Championship playoffs, the Hoops look to develop into an EPL mainstay for the coming years. With a fine manager in Harry Redknapp and a pocketful of talented players, QPR are aiming for a fresh start to their campaign.

Transfers In:

Steven Caulker (Cardiff City FC, £9.46 million)

New center back Steven Caulker was a smart move by QPR. The young center back was considered for the England national team during the 2014 FIFA World Cup due to his athleticism, marking ability, and height. Unfortunately, his association with the struggling Cardiff City side hurt his chances of making the team. Now with the newly promoted QPR, Caulker is hungry to show his country that he is an EPL-caliber center back and hopes to reach his ceiling as a star center back.

New signing Rio Ferdinand will provide experience and leadership to the newly promoted QPR side. – Taken from QPR Official News Facebook page

Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United, Free Transfer)

The legend from Manchester United is looking to prolong his career by providing some assistance to a newly promoted side. Rio’s legs certainly aren’t what they used to be and he cannot cover as much ground as he used to, but his work ethic, fitness, and most importantly leadership make him a valuable asset to QPR. Alongside a young burgeoning center back, Steven Caulker, Ferdinand hopes to fortify QPR’s defense and help the young Caulker reach his potential. He might not look like much now, but trust me; Rio Ferdinand is a game-changer for this franchise.

Mauricio Isla (Juventus, Loan Fee: £1.06 million)

The tricky Chilean midfielder provides a much-needed talent boost in the midfield and full-back position. As seen from Chile’s World Cup campaign, Isla did a phenomenal job in bringing the ball forward from the right flank and was able to hold his ground on the defensive end. His main flaw during his tenure with Juventus and the Chilean national team has been his aggressive positioning, wandering forward too often and moving out of his position. Still with his talent, he will likely spend more time at right-back, causing the athletic Danny Simpson to see more time on the bench.

Jordan Mutch (Cardiff City, £6.66 million)

Not much to say about Mutch aside from the fact that he is a solid playmaker. One of the bright spots of the recently relegated Cardiff City, Mutch nabbed 7 goals and 7 assists in 38 EPL matches last season. Playing with more competent strikers like Loic Remy, Mutch will see those assists numbers increase this upcoming season. With more talent surrounding him in the midfield, Mutch will find more breathing room to operate than he did at Cardiff City.

Transfers Out

Yossi Benayoun (Maccabi Haifa, Free Transfer)

This marks the Israel international’s career in English football. Yossi Benayoun hardly contributed to QPR’s campaign last season, playing in only 14 matches and scoring three goals. While the former Liverpool winger’s experience would have been much appreciated, there’s nothing he can contribute at his current age (34) in this physically demanding league.

Loic Remy (???,???)

Look is he staying or not? His presence affects how this preview will be written.


Loic Remy is a gifted athlete who can score in various ways. – Taken from QPR Official News Facebook page

– Athleticism

Caulker’s height and aerial control makes him a beast in finishing set pieces. Danny Simpson, Isla, Yun Suk-Young, and Armand Traore are more than capable of darting the ball down the flanks in a blink of an eye. Junior Hoilett is probably the fastest man in Canada and Loic Remy can beat his defenders on the ground and in the air.

– Wingback Options

Harry Redknapp has an abundance of wingbacks to utilize. Although their positional awareness and skills on the ball vary, QPR’s fullbacks all possess similar physical attributes. They’re fast, light-footed, and deceptively strong. At the left Redknapp must juggle between the emerging Yun Suk-Young and the established Armand Traore. At the right side he has loanee Mauricio Isla and Danny Simpson. Losing one of these players shouldn’t be detrimental, given that QPR has a viable replacement that is capable of doing the job.

– Money/Willingness to Spend

In the strange case that Queens Park Rangers performs better than expected and find themselves fighting for a European spot, they can easily swoop up any grumbling star who is stuck in a bottom-dweller during the January transfer. They have the money to buy them off. In other words, if this team wins a lot of games in the first half of the season, they will find themselves winning more. Isn’t money great?


– Possession

Whether Harry Redknapp utilizes the 4-2-3-1, 5-3-2 or 3-5-2, formation changes won’t solve QPR’s problem in holding the ball. They have players who can win the ball and move the ball effectively, but they don’t have a quality player who can slow the game down and help the team keep possession. You don’t have to be a football pundit to know that QPR will struggle heavily against top league clubs, but don’t be shocked when they have trouble against the likes of Aston Villa or West Ham United, teams that slow down the pace of the match.

– Attacking Options

Outside from Loic Remy, QPR doesn’t have another attacking option who can notch more than nine goals this upcoming season. Wingers Adel Taarabt and Junior Hoilett don’t have the composure to finish at a clinical rate and Bobby Zamora magically scores only in life-or-death scenarios. Moreover Shaun Wright-Phillips, who will see time on the bench, has a proven track record of being that guy who has great legs but not shot.

The most interesting case coming into the season is Charlie Austin who scored 20 goals 37 appearances last season. The 25 year old was phenomenal for QPR and was a major factor in their promotion, but it’s questionable whether he can carry that same form with him in the EPL. Will he become the next Adam Lallana? It will be fun to watch him develop in this coming season.

– Central Midfield

Aside from Jordan Mutch, who else can create chances from central midfield? Joey Barton and Karl Henry are enforcers and Alejandro Faurlin is still getting back in form. The lack of creativity from the middle will be problematic, especially if Mutch gets hurt. In the case that Mutch becomes absent, Queens Park Rangers’ offense will consist of heavy wing play and aimless crosses.

Projected Starting XI

GK: Robert Green

DF: Armand Traore, Rio Ferdinand, Steven Caulker, Mauricio Isla

MF: Joey Barton, Karl Henry, Jordan Mutch, Adel Taarabt, Junior Hoilett

FW: Loic Remy

Harry Redknapp and his coaching staff have a major task at hand as Queens Park Rangers return to the EPL. – Taken from QPR Official News Facebook page.

Projected Finish

11th is a plausible finish for Queens Park Rangers. This is a club that is relishing for a chance to show that they learned from their mistakes and prove that they belong in this league. A midtable finish isn’t farfetched if 1. Loic Remy leaves halfway through the season and 2. Charlie Austin finds the net at an efficient rate. My prediction rides heavily on the latter given that Remy will likely leave for greener pastures during the season. They have many players who possess the physical tools to compete in the EPL, but their cohesiveness and ability to score rests upon whether Harry Redknapp can carry out the correct gameplan. Don’t mistake this club as the next Southampton, but do understand that this club is better than how most people make them out to be.