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Why Queens Park Rangers will not bounce back at the first time of asking

The Boot Room



It all started so badly for Queens Park Rangers at the start of 2015 as they failed to add any quality additions to their squad and lost manager Harry Redknapp who resigned after the January failings.

Chris Ramsey was appointed as the man to try and stop what seemed like an inevitable drop into the Championship and it started so promisingly for him. QPR finally won their first away match of the season, but that was as good as it got for them as they bowed out of the top flight without putting up much of a fight. Their relegation confirmed with a 6-0 hammering by Manchester City.

Just when QPR fans thought that it couldn’t get worse, Joey Barton accused senior players including Chile striker Eduardo Vargas of being bad eggs and causing problems in the dressing room. This in itself was a bad revelation, but Adel Taarabt has come out this week and accused players of not caring about the club and just looking to line their pockets. He also claimed that players were declared unfit and injured in public when really they were fully fit.

These appalling revelations coupled with a potential fine of up to £50 Million for failing to comply with Financial Fair Play Rules when they were last in the second tier has started the summer off very poorly for the club. They have also lost some big players such as Joey Barton, Adel Taarabt and loanee Mauricio Isla who returned to Juventus after a mixed loan spell.

The club have tried to turn around the demise and set up a promotion push by bringing in new players, but are they really good enough? QPR have signed young Swindon stars Ben Gladwin and Massimo Luongo, but having only been playing in League One it will be a big ask for them to immediately be in a side who look to be at the top of the Championship and I see these moves as ones for the future.

The Rs have shown a noticeable change in transfer policy this summer, opting for youth and potential over household names.

The Rs have shown a noticeable change in transfer policy this summer, opting for youth and potential, over household names.

Another signing was Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, who is a very talented player but the winger scored just 9 league goals in 36 appearances for League One Table Toppers Bristol City. His versatility could make him a good addition as he can also play as a centre forward or just in behind the striker, but he hasn’t been consistent enough to give fans confidence that he can be a star for the club.

The biggest signing so far this summer for Rangers though is the return of Scottish International forward Jamie Mackie. He was a fantastic servant for the club and did a brilliant job for QPR after joining from Plymouth Argyle in 2010. His first spell at the club started incredibly but a broken leg in January 2011 checked his progress. QPR were promoted at the end of the 2010/11 season and when he returned to the side towards the end of 2011 and was a key player under both Neil Warnock and Mark Hughes.

Mackie’s biggest contribution was a superb performance off the bench at home to Liverpool, when he inspired his side as they came back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 with Mackie scoring the winner. He also scored QPR’s second in the defeat to Manchester City which won the Manchester club the title. He continued to do a very decent job on the wing during the next season, but left the club for Nottingham Forest after Rangers failed to secure their Premiership status.

Since leaving QPR Mackie has never really got going and has struggled at both Nottingham Forest and on loan last season at Reading, although he did excel in the second half of last season. Mackie’s non-stop running and commitment makes him a very good player to have, but considering he has barely had a look in over the last 2 seasons is he really good enough to be the club’s marquee signing?

Add those 4 players to the squad and you have a team that looks ok, but there are only a few names that stand out such as striker Charlie Austin, goalkeeper Rob Green and midfielder Sandro. These 3 are quite clearly Premiership quality but the rest of the squad look weak and if any of these 3 (with the exception of maybe Green with Alex McCarthy waiting in the wings) were to be sold or injured then QPR would be severely weakened.

With money not readily available with the fine looming over QPR’S head it means they haven’t been able to bulk up their squad and whilst their starting 11 looks reasonably strong, they have no depth whatsoever and injuries to key players could even lead to a relegation battle. Armand Traore has also stayed at the club despite strong criticism of his commitment to the side and if he continues to act the same it is only going to affect QPR negatively.

Even the biggest of diehard Rangers fans will know that they will have to produce something really special to bounce back straight away and with the negatives massively outweighing the positives it looks like they are destined for a long stay in the second tier.

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Birmingham City

Garry Monk should reunite with Rob Green at Birmingham City

Birmingham City are set to let David Stockdale leave the club.

Mathew Coull



Huddersfield Town have announced their retained list for the summer and veteran goalkeeper Rob Green will now be hunting for a new club. The Terriers have not renewed his one-year deal at the club and the 12-cap England international will now be hunting for a new club this summer.

Green joined Huddersfield on a free transfer after a shock release by West Yorkshire rivals Leeds United last summer, who decided to replace him with German goalie Felix Wiedwald. That proved to be a move which certainly backfired.

But he played second fiddle to Danish international goalie Jonas Lossl and is now on his way. He did not feature in a single game for the club, spending the entire season as a substitute at the John Smith’s Stadium.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

So where does he go next?

One potential option would be a return to working with Garry Monk, currently the manager at Birmingham City.

Green was the number one for Monk at Leeds in 2016-17. Had the manager remained at Elland Road, it is highly likely that Green would have done the same and played out this season as the Whites number one again.

But with Monk gone Green needed to find somewhere else to play his football and now the pair have a chance to reunite again.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

It also appears that Birmingham are going to be in need of a new goalkeeper. The Yorkshire Evening Post suggest this weekend that Monk wants to move on David Stockdale, with his hometown club and Monk’s former club Leeds keen.

If Stockdale is exiting, Birmingham need a safe pair of hands between the net. Despite his advancing years, Green proved at Leeds he still has plenty to give at the Championship level and with Monk needing a new ‘keeper he can rely on the 38-year-old would be a no-brainer for Birmingham City.

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Nottingham Forest

Aitor Karanka should target reunion with Julien De Sart

The Belgian could be a great signing for Nottingham Forest.

Mathew Coull



It seems as though Belgian midfielder Julien De Sart will be looking for a new club this summer. He finds himself in a state of limbo after a season on loan at Zulte Waregem from Middlesbrough.

Despite being a regular for the Essevee he will not be making a permanent move to the club. According to Het Laatste Nieuws, the club will not be prioritising his €700,000 (£612,000) permanent deal agreed with Middlesbrough.

The 23-year-old will now return to the Riverside, where it appears he has no long-term future.

(Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images)

But should his former boss bring him to Nottingham Forest?

Aitor Karanka was the manager at Boro when De Sart was snapped up from Standard Liege back in 2016 and was considered one for the future on Teesside.

Now, the former Belgium under-21 international needs to find a new home and a reunion with Karanka at the City Ground could be a perfect move.

The central-midfielder would be a welcome addition for Forest, who need to strengthen across the park following another mediocre season.

(Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

De Sart has impressed in the East Midlands before. He was finally showing what he could do during a loan spell with Derby County in 2017. Unfortunately, a change of manager saw him drop out of the side under Gary Rowett.

Forest, however, could offer him a second chance in the Championship and it would give Karanka a chance to properly work with a player he clearly rated just a couple of seasons ago.

He would be a cheap and known transfer option for the Nottingham Forest first-team squad. He would also arrive with a point to prove to his old boss Karanka and the manager at bitter rivals Derby, something Forest fans will certainly appreciate.

It would be an under-the-radar signing, but one which could act some genuine quality to the Forest midfield ahead of the new season.

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Derby County

Newcastle United should take advantage of Matej Vydra’s low asking fee

The Czech international has scored 20 goals in the Championship this season.

Josh Kerr



Matej Vydra
Photo: Getty Images

Newcastle United ensuring another season of Premier League football represents one of Rafael Benitez’ most impressive achievements in football to date.

The job done by the Spaniard is all the more admirable considering the Magpies striker options have been thin for large periods of the season, and the arrival of a goal-scorer is surely imminent for the Tyneside club.

According to The Telegraph, Derby County are likely to list their top-scorer Matej Vydra for sale after their failure to earn promotion to the Premier League.

This comes as massive news to a number of clubs in England’s top-flight, and Newcastle should be one of the front-runners queuing for the 26-year-old’s prolific services.

The Czech Republic international has been excellent this season firing 20 goals in 35 appearances for the Rams.

Reports suggest the club may be forced to sell their star striker in order to reduce the club’s £35 million wage bill ahead of next season.

The 26-year-old’s sale this summer will be Derby’s attempts to slash their budgets and form a strategy that is going to enable the club to push for promotion once again next season.

A fee of around £8 million could prove a major boost for Newcastle, considering the club’s financial restraints, and a 20-goal striker would surely be an improvement on Benitez’s current front-line options.

(Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

Islam Slimani’s loan move from Leicester proved to be a disaster, and the arrival of Joselu was one of the most disappointing transfers of the season.

The club are in desperate need of a goalscorer, with Perez leading the club’s individual efforts, despite being a number 10 and not an out-and-out goalscorer.

Vydra also has rare Premier League experience with West Bromwich Albion, as well as Watford, and his graft in the Championship may mean he’s ready for a return back to the top-flight.

The former West Brom striker guarantees goals and if there is one thing Tyneside supporters have missed in recent years, it is a goal-scoring hero.

At a little over £8 million, he could still prove a real bargain and a relatively insignificant risk.

Benitez has been wanting to break the bank since his arrival in 2016 but may be tempted do a deal on the cheap for the highly-rated striker.

Newcastle will be looking to improve on their impressive 10th place finish next season and the firepower of a genuine goalscorer could see them surpass the highs of this campaign.

Vydra offers pace and is even an aerial threat at just 5ft 2, so it has to be a priority for Newcastle to capture one of the bargains of the season and bring Vydra to St James’ Park.

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