For the second year in a row, Queens Park Rangers were embroiled in a relegation battle, but unlike last season the Hoops were unable to cling on to their place in the Premier League.
A disappointing 0-0 draw with Reading condemned both clubs to the Championship next season. Neither side played with the sense of urgency that was needed; a win would have ensured survival for at least 24 hours.
Reading were unrecognisable from the team who scored four goals in twenty minutes against Arsenal in October and QPR were not much better. In the aftermath of the game, Twitter was quickly flooded with statements from club owner Tony Fernandes apologising to the fans for the shameful season promising a fight back next season.
"Sorry to all QPR fans. But the plan goes on. Now more than ever. We owe it to you. Took 3 years to get Caterham right. No quitting"
Ex-players such as former captain Joey Barton - on loan to Marseille - tweeted their shock at the result and poor conduct of the players,
"Believe it or not I am actually gutted for QPR. I reckon more than some of the current playing squad."
This reference to improper conduct does seem fairly ironic coming from a controversial player such as Barton, but the player’s call for change within the club is not unfounded. While Twitter was inundated by tweets of shock, the result could not have come to a shock to the fans or owners of QPR.
Rangers’ form has been disastrous this season, with just four wins from the season so far, and many critics picked QPR as favourites to be relegated early on. Sadly it is not surprising that both teams have been the first sides to be relegated due to poor form, but it is safe to say that QPR have been, in recent times, very unlucky.
Last month’s match against Wigan Athletic, for example, which saw QPR throw away a lead by conceding in the closing moments of the match to bring the score to 1-1.
Obviously bad luck is not the only thorn in QPR’s side; the club have been fighting several deep-set problems within it all season long. Firstly the club spent vast amounts of money in the both transfer windows, with none of the signings performing.
The club also sacked manager Mark Hughes, who arguably should never have replaced Neil Warnock last season, while the Welshman was hardly prolific in his post at QPR a new manager is hardly the upheaval troubled teams need.
Most importantly, the attitude of the players has been worryingly complacent - even in times of trouble. The actions of Jose Bosingwa, who was seen smirking moments after his side were relegated illustrates this attitude perfectly.
The sickening attitude displays not only a lack of loyalty to the club but also an unmistakeable lack of respect for the fans who quickly labelled the player as a ‘mercenary’ and ‘greedy’. While it is not paramount that all footballers come across as role models to young fans they are supposed to be sportsmen and the conduct on the pitch at the weekend hardly showed that.
Bosingwa's attitude mirrors Barton’s actions last season, which saw the former QPR captain sent off in the final game against Manchester City which could have led to the side being relegated, something they only missed out on.
Bosingwa's bad attitude is famous amongst team-mates and it is rumoured that the player has made little effort to endear himself to QPR staff and fellow players after refusing to sit on the substitutes' bench.
It is not only the attitude of the players that have fan’s critiquing their club, but their overly-inflated wage bill which current boss Harry Redknapp has also expressed concern at. The QPR wage bill exceeds Redknapp’s former club Tottenham and, for the results QPR have produced in recent times, the expense hardly seems justifiable.
Redknapp has promised a summer sale in the hope of bringing players who are ready to fight for promotion to the Premier League once more; however, it may take more than a few new signings to fix the problems within QPR.
The QPR side that won the Championship were a hard working and decent team that may have performed decently in the Premier League. Upon promotion QPR inexplicably bought in a new batch of players effectively changing the entire team a move that backfired spectacularly proving there is no science to spending vast amounts of money in the world of football.
The new QPR team never really gelled together and the steady slide into decline has hardly been surprising, QPR’s answer to problems does not seem to be tackling the problem but merely signing extra players they don’t need.
Relegation may be the wake-up call Rangers need to galvanise themselves and sort out the underlying issues in their club, whether it is enough will be revealed next season.
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