For the supporters and staff of Queens Park Rangers, relegation was a bitter pill to swallow.
In a season where owner Tony Fernandes had pumped in money in abundance so as to make a push for Europe, QPR ended up last in the league. Even a manager change in mid-season, where the highly-respected Harry Redknapp was signed to replace Mark Hughes, could not inspire the team to better performances.
With just four wins throughout the season, QPR were a pathetic site to see. As Hereisthecity.com noted, in building a group of high-profile individuals, neither Hughes nor Redknapp could simultaneously build a team, and QPR ended up being a side full of the pieces to other club’s jigsaws.
Now, however, Rangers need to face up to reality and start preparing for next season. It has been confirmed that Redknapp will be staying on as the manager. It has to be imagined that the Englishman is indeed the right man to lead the club's charge next season, as he has the wealth of years of experience.
Redknapp will have tough times ahead of him, with QPR presumably about to sell many of its star names. The salaries of the current crop of players will be way beyond what can be managed by a Championship club, and a summer clear-out is inevitable.
Redknapp has the challenge of picking out as to who should stay and who should be allowed to leave the club. Players such as Loic Remy, Christopher Samba, Esteban Granero and Julio Cesar - all on huge contracts - will clearly have to be sold to remove them from the wage bill for next season.
The incoming funds will then have to be wisely used to bring in squad players who are a right fit in the squad, and not just a big name in the market.
Robert Green is likely to stay on and become the first-choice goalkeeper, with Julio Cesar almost certain to leave this summer. Defenders Clint Hill and Nedum Onuoha and strikers Bobby Zamora, Jamie Mackie and Andy Johnson are also likely to stay.
Probably QPR's best player and lone bright star throughout the season, Adel Taarabt, is also likely to stay - with the club being reluctant to let go of the midfielder due to his nominal wages.
The main factor which should decide who stays and who leaves QPR this summer should be based on the drive that they have for playing for the club. As defender Clint Hill stated: "I think it would be easier to accept relegation if we had gone down fighting and every one of us had given everything we had.
"For whatever reason as a team of individuals we have not performed to the standards required to stay in the Premier League."
It has been true that QPR have been a team of individuals this season than a collective group. And unless Redknapp removes from his squad those players who have a negative impact on the squad, QPR will again have a tough fight on their hands in their quest for promotion.
QPR do not need another Jose Bosingwa-style incident, and anyone who stays should be motivated to fight for the common goal.
Rangers have more than enough quality in their squad to bounce straight back up, but everything hinges on how the team decides to play its cards.
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