Why Chris Ramsey deserves time at QPR
As QPR prepare for a blood and thunder derby against West London rivals Brentford, manager Chris Ramsey finds himself under immense pressure from the Rangers fans. After a somewhat mediocre start to the season, where they find themselves sitting in 10th place after 13 games played, increasing criticism has been placed on Ramsey’s shoulders.
Before the season kicked off back in August, the main feeling amongst Hoops fans was that the main goal was to consolidate as a club and start producing young and hungry players which the club were once famous for. Over the last few years, however, the club has been producing quite the contrary. As Ian Holloway put it this week in his Sky Sports column, the team had been infiltrated by ‘overpaid nuggets who didn’t care for the badge’. Whilst the team might not be flying high at the top of the division or hanging around in the Playoffs, there’s a feeling that the club is in it together, and the ‘nuggets’ are long gone.
It was a busy summer for Ramsey and Les Ferdinand, the Director of Football, bringing in a total of 11 players into the club. Of course, it wasn’t going to be a team who instantly gelled and went on an unbeaten run until half-way through the season, as the players weren’t of that calibre. It’s been an incredibly hard couple of months, with Rangers holding the second worst defensive record in the league having conceded 22 goals in 13 games, but at the same time, having scored the most out of the 24.
Relegated teams notoriously find it extremely difficult to bounce straight back up, particularly with the financial windfall that they could have hanging over their heads, and QPR pose the best example of this, as they still face a possible £60 Million fine for breaching the Financial Fair Play rules two seasons ago. Fulham had a tough season upon their relegation to the Championship last year, flirting with relegation and not winning a game until early October. It’s quite evident that the R’s fans need to be more patient and give Ramsey more time, because the start to the season has hardly been as disastrous as other teams’ in the past.
For a side who really haven’t started that badly, the abuse and criticism that Ramsey is facing is completely unjust to the naked eye. In what is his first real venture into management, the ex-Spurs coach is bound to be making mistakes in his first few months at the helm. He was pelted upon his decision two weeks ago to take off the only striker in the team, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and replace him with midfielder Leroy Fer with twenty minutes to go. It was certainly a rash call, but the abuse was somewhat unwarranted.
Just a few days later, Ramsey’s decision to put Fer on in place of Australian international and Ballon D’Or nominee (strange, I know) Massimo Luongo, was met with a hostile reaction, and the change managed to help the side get three goals in twenty minutes.
Whilst he hasn’t proved himself as the next Sir Alex, and his constant persistence with playing Karl Henry is clearly a mistake, you can’t help but judge the treatment of him by the R’s fans as somewhat harsh. It certainly makes you wander if he can ever win the Loftus Road faithful back, but a string of wins would certainly do him no harm.
A lot of blame has to go down to the total mismanagement of the club from upstairs. Tony Fernandes, the owner, has no experience in running a football club, and as much as his intentions are there, and he’s a ‘nice bloke’ that drinks with fans once a season, he hasn’t got a clue. Employing Neil Warnock as a ‘first-team advisor’ shows how unstable the club is, and how Ramsey’s job really is on the line. There has been too much of an overhaul of managers in the last decade, so to get rid of Ramsey after two months in the job would be ludicrous. Obviously, he was at the helm at the end of last season after Harry Redknapp’s knees conveniently gave way mid-season, but I’m choosing to ignore that period. The club were doomed and he was just riding the storm with old ‘Arry’s players.
It’s certainly been a topsy-turvy ride for the man who was once hailed as the saviour of English football, but constant abuse isn’t going to help him succeed. To put the demons of the 4-0 thrashing at Craven Cottage to bed on Friday when they face Brentford would be the perfect way to carry on turning things around, and with Charlie Austin fit again, anything is possible.
Featured image taken by Queens Park Rangers.
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