Leo's London: QPR fans are feeling down but Neil Warnock can keep them up

10 August 2011 11:31
QPR'S owners have had a car crash approach to managerial changes, a hands-in-their-pockets stance on funding new signings and angered fans with a ticket price hike.

Oh, and one of them, Bernie Ecclestone, is a confirmed Chelsea fan too. But at least Flavio Briatore is not picking the team.

As Rangers head back into the Premier League after a 15-year absence their supporters may have to be grateful for such small mercies.

Tough test: Neil Warnock has been charged with keeping QPR up - for now

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The summer has not gone swimmingly since promotion from the Championship and there has been much gnashing of teeth on supporters' message boards since.

The club's lack of inspirational signings and the laughing stock they feel they have become because of internal squabbles have been the fans' main causes for concern.

But arriving back in the top flight is something in itself and as long as Neil Warnock survives at Loftus Road, they have a fighting chance of staying up.

The players brought in during the close season have all been approved by Warnock too - and you can bet the other promoted sides, Norwich and Swansea, wouldn't mind swapping squads.

West Bromwich, Wigan and Wolves will be in QPR's mini-division too and at least Rangers' owners have the ability to spend in January if things are not going to plan.

Whether they are prepared to (or are still there) is another matter, but QPR are still in a better position than a lot of clubs at the moment.

Life in the fast lane: Formula One and QPR supremo Bernie Ecclestone

Most of us expected them to spend a much more money than they have, for the billionaires who own the club to flex their financial muscles, but their conservative approach to transfers is not reason enough to despair.

Neither are clashes between the manager and the board, at least not unless they become terminal for Warnock.

Managers always want more money to spend and, while QPR could do with more established Premier League players, is anyone really that disappointed that Warnock has been gagged?

There is no doubt he will have plenty to say for himself in due course - on a wide range of subjects.

Hands on or off? Flavio Briatore and summer signing Kieron Dyer

Rangers' owners are not that popular right now but, as the season progresses, that will not make them stand out among Premier League clubs.

There is a lot that can be said against them but things are better at QPR than before they took over in 2007, as they headed for administration.

The situation has improved since then too, since the days when managers and players were coming and going like tyres used to on Briatore's Benetton Formula One cars during pit stops.

There is enough precedent to tell us that crises are bound to come at Rangers this season, but let's not pull our hair out just yet.

Did you know?Chelsea have signed four players who are either Russian or from Russian clubs since Roman Abramovich bought the club.

Only one of them, Branislav Ivanovic, has made more than 16 Premier League starts for the club.

High hopes: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Young Gunner'I'm not against experience but at some stage we needed a policy where we could survive.'

Arsene Wenger, at a seminar for Malaysian business leaders this summer, once again debunks the Arsenal-perpetuated myth that the club have always been prepared to spend big.

'We were building a new stadium and the only way for us to survive with the financial restrictions was to bring in younger players and develop them,' he added.

'Experience is very useful, but in this job you pay for it.'

Welcome to Arsenal, 17-year-old Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Midfield mystery at SpursTottenham are interested in Real Madrid's Lassana Diarra as manager Harry Redknapp wants to reshape his midfield, but what does that mean for the players he already has?

Wilson Palacios may be on his way out but his successor, Sandro, could be back at the end of September and Tom Huddlestone is supposed to be able to hold the fort in the middle too.

Transfer tussle: Luka Modric wants to quit Spurs to sign for Chelsea

The other player who has been a workhorse as a tackler as well as a provider has been Luka Modric, who excelled in an orthodox central midfield position last season.

As Chelsea keep up the pressure to buy him, is Spurs chairman Daniel Levy wavering over the Croatian's future?

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Source: Daily_Mail