After a 0-0 draw at the Madejski Stadium, both Queens Park Rangers and Reading will spend next year in the Championship. Before even a ball was kicked last Sunday, it looked an inevitability that both teams were going to go down, and many disgruntled fans of both teams criticised the spirit of their beloved teams. Not a tear was shed after the final whistle of what many pundits were calling the worst 90 minutes of Premier League football they’d witnessed.
Harry Redknapp, often dubbed ‘’Houdini’’ and lauded for his management skills could not save the sinking ship that is QPR, but the team he inherited from Mark Hughes was a disaster. Big earners like Esteban Granero, Jose Bosingwa, Ji Sung Park and Stephane M’Bia just didn't seem to gel. Even a Champions League winner and Brazil international was brought in by Hughes last summer. Brought in from Inter Milan goalkeeper Julio Cesar even said he dreamed of winning the league with the Loftus Road side.
Harry Redknapp as well, usually astute in the transfer market opted in January for Chris Samba, with £10,000,000 spent and generous wages of £100k a week wages dished out to being the Anhzi man to London. Joining him was French international Loic Remy, but even these two big money signings could not stop the slide.
So all this money spent and QPR are relegated before the usually judgement month of May. The QPR camp was also faced with long contracts and poor attitudes from decent players. Jose Bosingwa was smiling as he left the pitch on Sunday, not an emotion a relegated player should be showing.
Bookies are offering as short as 5-1 for a swift return to the Premier League, and QPR can take heart from the fact that West Ham done it last year. But even Redknapp is skeptical of his teams chances next year, citing other strong Championship teams as the reason why it might be more difficult: ‘’Everyone seems to think we've got to get back up next year. So do Derby, Nottingham Forest, Leicester and Leeds. There is a whole lorry load of them.’’
Harry's fears are shared, and unless the wage bill is trimmed extensively and a team spirit among the players is found, it could be a long time before they are seen in England’s top flight again.