Newcastle Secure £2m Loan Deal for QPR Striker Loïc Rémy

Loïc RémyQPR’s Loic Remy has joined Premier League side Newcastle United on a season-long loan. Newcastle reportedly paid £2m to secure the striker’s services for the 2013/14 season. It remains highly likely that the loan could turn into a permanent transfer next summer if everything goes well. Newcastle had been after the French striker earlier on already, but only now was the loan deal finalized after the player successfully completed medical tests.

The 26-year-old scored 6 times in his 14 appearances with QPR, and after his side were relegated to the Championship at the end of last season, the striker’s wage bill was too much for QPR to pay and the club was forced to let the player go. There has been a lot of turbulence around the striker, which might have possibly slowed down his process of moving to St. James’ Park. The Frenchman was arrested on suspicion of rape, which saw Newcastle initially back down from the transfer, only to secure the loan deal later on. Remy himself was really happy about the deal:

“I’m very happy to be a Newcastle player. It will be a huge honor to play for such a big club. I am very motivated this year to get into the World Cup squad for my country. I know in order to do that I need to have a big season and a successful campaign with Newcastle United. I am focused on helping the team achieve success this season and scoring as many goals as I can.”

Indeed, for Remy, his new role in Newcastle represents an opportunity to fight for a spot in the French national team. Although the competition is tough against the likes of Karim Benzema and Olivier Giroud, a good season in North London could see Remy pack his bags for a trip to Brazil next summer. Newcastle’s manager Alan Pardew was also happy about the deal being finalized, as he is reported to be on the hunt for two strikers during the summer:

“Loïc is a great player and I’m delighted that Joe [Kinnear, the director of football] has got him on board for us. He’ll give us strength and pace up front and I’m sure he’ll bring plenty of goals.”

Loïc RémyNewcastle could still sign another striker during the summer if reports from England are to be believed, as Pardew looks to strengthen his squad ahead of the new season. One of Newcastle’s reported targets is another Frenchman, Bafetimbi Gomis, who currently plays for Ligue 1 side Lyon. As it stands, Remy is tipped to partner Papiss Cisse in Newcastle’s attack to form a duo that has the potential to bring a lot of goals to the St. James’ Park. Newcastle’s goalkeeper Rob Elliot spoke out about the new addition and admitted that he’s delighted to play with the Frenchman in the upcoming season, instead of playing against him:

“When we played them [QPR] at the end of last season, I was really impressed by him. I could not believe his strength when I saw him in the flesh. He is a big, strong lad and has a great all-round game. With the quality of the players we have around him, I am sure we can help him get a few more goals. I will tell you something - I am much happier he is in our team now than playing for someone else.”

After a dissapointing season, the pressure on the manager Alan Pardew is growing. A new signing - especially a relatively high-profile attacker - could well give the management some breathing space and show that the club is serious in its attempts to go for glory. Surely, the fans of Newcastle will hope for Remy’s relationship with his new teammates to help work to secure the team a better position in the league table than last season. Although Remy failed to save his previous club QPR from relegation, a player of his quality is likely to add a lot of great things to Newcastle’s current squad.

Written by Jen Evelyn

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Sky Bet Championship Preview: Exciting Season is Ahead for all Participating Clubs

Cardiff CityThere are plenty of people in English football who feel that the newly-named Sky Bet Championship is the best league in the world, and anyone who follows it closely will know that they have a point. Sure, there may not be the glittering stars of the Premiership or any of the other major European leagues. There may not be as much money flying around, and not as many fans packed into the smaller stadiums.

It is, however, the most competitive league in the world. With the next installment set to kick off with a 12:15 kickoff between local rivals Burnley and Bolton, every team is in with a chance of glory. From Barnsley to Yeovil, from the FA Cup holders to the newbies from League One, this could be anyone’s year, and the fans can’t wait.

As usual, last year’s Premier League dropouts are the bookies’ favorites to be at the top end of the table come next May.  Moneybags QPR have made some solid additions to their squad, such as Charlie Austin, who plundered 25 league goals for Burnley last year. Richard Dunne will add experience to a squad still yet to completely gel, and some of the dead wood has been removed from the squad; Jose Bosingwa and Christopher Samba will be a welcome load off the wage bill. If Harry Redknapp can finally implement his ideas and get his own players in, QPR could be in for an exciting season. If not, a Wolves-esque second successive relegation is not out of the question.

Wigan Athletic won not just the FA Cup but the hearts of the nation with their stunning final victory over Manchester City last season, and although goals were not hard to come by, their defense was poor and they paid the price. Top scorer Arouna Kone and defender Antolin Alcaraz followed manager Roberto Martinez to Everton, so Owen Coyle will have a different squad to work with. Wigan fans have undoubtedly enjoyed their team’s free-lowing attacking football over the last few years, but they will need to shore up the other end if they are to stand a chance of bouncing back.

The other relegated team were Reading, who took the Championship by storm in 2011-12 but were unable to carry their form up to the next level. Manager Nigel Adkins knows what it takes to get out of this division, and Adam Le Fondre is a proven goalscorer in the Championship in addition to bagging 14 strikes last season. However, the Royals conceded the joint-most goals last season (with Wigan) and lost more games than any other team, showing that something was very wrong at the Madejski last year. A return to the big-time is far from guaranteed.

Then there are the promoted teams. Norwich and Southampton have both come up from League One through to the Premier League in the last few years, so teams must be wary of the newcomers. Doncaster have caused a splash by signing One Direction member Louis Tomlinson on a non-contract basis, but it was the whole of Doncaster - not just the teenage girl contingent - that was screaming for the team last year as they romped to the League One title. Goals were shared around the squad, but Billy Paynter was the top scorer with 15, and the club have managed to keep hold of him so far. Many of the squad have experienced this division before, so although a title challenge would be a turn up for the books, a mid-table finish or a push for the playoffs is not beyond them.

Yeovil TownBournemouth missed out on top spot by just one point, but Jersey-born forward Brett Pitman helped them to a league-high 76 goals scored, so they should be able to take advantage of some leaky Championship defenses. They are also a team who can pull together and win games when it really matters; they took 25 of the last 27 points available to them last season, although eight from the first 33 means they are not the best starters. They also managed a league double over the final promoted side, playoff winners Yeovil Town.

The Glovers had a strange season, as out of the four teams in the playoffs at the end they had won the most games (23) but also lost the most (15). Their next season depends on whether they can maintain the form that took them to their 23 wins, or slump back to that which yielded 15 losses. Irishman Paddy Madden scored 23 goals, the highest in the league, but three players outscored him in the Championship against higher-level opposition (although Glenn Murray made the step up to the Premiership). He was supported by James Hayter, but otherwise no players scored more than five goals in the league. Those two need to fire, otherwise there will be nowhere to hide in their bright yellow and green kits.

And finally, last year’s also-rans. Watford have made eight more signings from parent club Udinese - make of that what you will - but will be without last year’s star forward Matej Vydra, who returns to the Italian club. Gianfranco Zola will try to implement his same attacking approach but with a different group of players, so the senior members of the squad need to step up and guide the younger loanees as they did last year. Like them, Brighton missed out in the playoffs last year, although their team was built around an impenetrable defense, conceding only 43 goals. They drew more games than anyone else in the division, but lost only nine - joint fewest with Champions Cardiff.

With a great mix of flair and experience, the Seagulls could be a decent bet for automatic promotion. Leicester were the final team to make the top six, only doing so on goal difference. Despite only finishing sixth, there is obvious quality throughout the squad, and they have been together long enough now that the team not gelling is no longer an excuse. Nigel Pearson is a good enough manager to get the Foxes out of this division, and with David Nugent and Chris Wood leading the line, their target must be the title.

Bolton Wanderers and Nottingham Forest had very similar seasons in 2012-13, and both still have room for improvement. What it may take for that improvement is a goalscorer. Neither team had a player score more than 12 league goals, so if either could add a 20-goal striker in the mold of Vydra or Murray there is no limit as to how their season could go. Charlton surprised many with their 9th placed finish last year, so some expect them to suffer from “second season syndrome.” They have several players capable of getting into at least double figures of goals at this level, and it would have only taken two more wins to have pushed the Addicks up into the playoffs.

BurnleyDerby, however, surprised very few people with their mid-table finish. They are a very solid team, and they consistently drew high crowds at a high of over 33,000 last season. Too good to go down but perhaps not good enough to go up; another season of consolidation would be satisfactory, but they are capable of more. Completing the top half were Burnley and Birmingham, again two solid teams capable of more on their day, Burnley will be hurt by the loss of top scorer Austin to QPR, so Martin Paterson and Sam Vokes need to make their mark.

The sale of Austin means funds will be available for a replacement, but it is not that easy to replace 25 goals. Junior Stanislas is still an exciting talent, and at the age of 23 he needs to start to fulfill his early promise. Birmingham relied on the controversial (to say the very least) Marlon King for goals last year, but the loss of Nathan Redmond to Norwich will be noticed. Jack Butland has also gone, and although Lee Clark has not spent a penny so far this summer, there is room for improvement, and some funds available to make them.

Leeds United have fallen far in the last decade or so, but they have a squad capable of making the playoffs despite a disappointing 2012-13 season. El-Hadji Diouf and Ross McCormack could form a potent striking partnership, and Paddy Kenny remains a solid goalkeeper. Ipswich enjoyed a revival under Mick McCarthy but will do well to maintain their form from last term. They have made some good signings, but more will be expected of DJ Campbell, who is certainly capable of building on last year’s tally of ten league goals. Blackpool’s season could hinge on the future of Tom Ince, widely regarded as the best player in the division, even better than £10 million man Wilfried Zaha. 18 goals and 14 assists is a stellar year by anyone’s standards, but the rest of the team need to step up and take some responsibility off his young shoulders. His father Paul will need to make his mark on the managerial stage if he is to keep his job.

Middlesbrough were flying high at the midway stage last time out, but a run of only three wins after the new year saw them tumble to 16th. A win against Premiership rivals Sunderland was sweet, and solid performances against Swansea and Chelsea showed what they are capable of, but a goalscorer is needed if they are to have a consistent season. 23 losses was as many as relegated Wolves and more than Peterborough, so Jonathan Woodgate and Rhys Williams need to improve at the back. Scott McDonald has left, so the goal-scoring burden is on Marvin Emnes and Lukas Jutkiewicz; both are capable of scoring, but injuries haven’t been kind to either player. Despite the doom and gloom, Jason Steele, Adam Reach, and Luke Williams showed signs of a bright future on Teesside.

Blackburn RoversBlackburn had a poor first season after demotion from the Premiership, but Jordan Rhodes’ 29-goal season was a sign of promise for the forthcoming year. Like Boro, their priority should be to get the fans back onside. Attendances dipped to a low of only 5,000 last year, and the Venky’s farcical ownership has lead to five different men taking the managerial reigns in the last 12 months. Sheffield Wednesday fans dream of a forward like Rhodes; not one Wednesday player managed 10 goals last season, even in all competitions. 61 goals conceded was not bad for their final position in the table, so the defense needs to stay strong if the Owls are to survive another year.

Huddersfield were never going to replace Rhodes, but James Vaughan scored enough goals to keep the Terriers up last season. His move has been made permanent, and if Adam Hammill can rediscover his old Barnsley form, he could prove to be an astute signing. Millwall have added Scott McDonald to their squad as well as the proven Steve Morison, so goals should be easier to come by this term. They have enough experience for a higher finish this time around, but they have few players of real high quality. Like them, Barnsley survived by the skin of their teeth on the final day last year - they are often touted as relegation favorites - so they have experience in relegation dogfights that other teams may not. Like Wigan, they have made a habit of leaving it late, but we all know what happened to the Latics last year.

So there were have it. Another 46 games for your team to look forward to - 48 if you’re lucky - and another nine months of excitement, disappointment, cheers, and tears for every single fan across this division. Everyone has their own opinion and everyone has made their own predictions, but these generally turn out to be worthless. You may as well draw team names out of a hat, given the nature of the Championship, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Football, we’ve missed you.

Written by Sam France

Sir Alex Ferguson: Playing Years and Early Managing Career

Sir Alex FergusonAlthough scoring a respectable 11 goals in 32 games for QPR, Alex Ferguson could not claim a regular first team place, so at the age of 19, he tried his luck at St. Johnstone. His luck didn’t change much for his new club though, and he was often left out of the starting line-up.

However, fate smiled on Ferguson in a match against his boyhood heroes Glasgow Rangers. St. Johnstone tried to buy a striker but failed in their quest so the young Alex Ferguson was brought into the team. Ferguson grasped the chance to shine against the giants of Scottish football and bagged himself a hat-trick.

Impressed by his exploits, Dunfermline Athletic moved quickly and snapped up Alex Ferguson on professional terms in 1964. He enjoyed his time with the club and repaid their faith in him by scoring an impressive 66 goals in just 88 games.

In 1967, whilst continuing to impress with his goal scoring antics, Glasgow Rangers were instantly interested in him. They went on to signed him for a fee of £65,000, which at the time was a record transfer fee between two Scottish clubs. During his two years at the club, Alex Ferguson scored 44 goals in 57 games but left Rangers rather abruptly after the 1969 Scottish Cup, when the fiery Scot was blamed for a goal which his side had conceded.

In 1969, Alex Ferguson signed for Falkirk, where he became a player coach, but in 1974, he left The Bairns when manager John Prentice took charge of the team and relieved Alex from his coaching duties, which didn’t go down too well with him. The future Manchester United manager quickly put in a transfer request and joined West coast side Ayr United, where he finished his playing career after a serious knee injury.

Sir Alex FergusonAt the age of 32, Sir Alex Ferguson began his management career as a part-time job in June 1974 with East Stirlingshire FC. It was only when he moved to the St. Mirren FC that he started his full-time management career. With him as the coach, the Saints’ team won the Scottish First Division in 1976-77. During his stay at St. Mirren, Sir Alex Ferguson coached the team and spotted young talents like Billy Stark, Tony Fitzpatrick, Lex Richardson, Frank McGarvey, Bobby Reid, and Peter Weir.

After taking over at Aberdeen, he was quick to gain the respect of fans and players at the club as he went on to break the Glasgow stranglehold on the Scottish Title, as well as leading Aberdeen to European glory. It was here that his management skills and successes were being identified and recognized by all.

The rest, well, let’s just say it’s history. He turned Aberdeen into a major club in those years and you could tell he had a massive future as a manager no matter what club he managed. For what he did at Aberdeen, he had gone down in their history books for it and will always have the respect of everyone that has been associated with that club for it.

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Written by OneFutbol

Analyzing the Premier League Relegation Battle: Part 1

At the beginning of the season, there were a number of candidates looking to be relegated from the Premier League. Promoted sides Reading and Southampton were among these candidates, along with the likes of QPR, Wigan, and even Aston Villa.

Even at this stage of the season, it is yet to be known who the hot favorites for relegation are. With just 9 games remaining, the bottom 6 are separated by just 8 points, meaning no teams are safe. All of the teams threatened with relegation didn’t get their seasons off to the best of starts, with all of them dropping points in the opening few weeks.

Queens Park Rangers

QPRQPR’s season probably started the worst, as they fell to a 5-0 home defeat to Swansea on the opening day, which spelled the beginning of a 16 game winless run in the league. They weren’t able to beat the teams around them in the table, nor were they able to get any points off ‘bigger’ teams in the league.

This could quite possibly have come from the fact they made more than 10 signings in the summer window, which didn’t allow the players to gel together and develop understandings before the season began. In the last few months though, they have started to play much better and pick up the important results they need as they were rooted at the bottom of the table.

Then came the 17th game of the season; QPR beat Fulham at home to give them their first win. This is when their fortunes began to change. January signings Jermaine Jenas and Andros Townsend have had a huge impact on the squad and have since started to pick up draws and wins. They have also closed the gap on their nearest rivals, which will have given them more confidence and belief that they can escape the drop zone. Whether this means they have higher chances of surviving is debatable, but one thing is for sure, the Rangers won’t go down without an almighty fight.

Aston Villa

Aston VillaAston Villa are another team who are in the massive scrap for survival. Paul Lambert came in as new manager last summer and rung the changes by bringing in young, British players. Many Villa fans were unhappy with the signings made by Lambert, but it is easy to see what he is trying to do at the club. Most of the players were very inexperienced when it comes to playing at the Premier League level, and that is the main reason why they haven’t managed to pick up results.

But one player who has been a revelation for them this season is Christian Benteke. Brought in from Belgian side Genk, he was very little known, but having scored more than 15 goals this term, he could be the reason Villa stay up this season. Things haven’t really gone their way so far, with vital decisions going against them to deny them a point or even all 3. They have also been rather unlucky in games, as they have seen themselves dominate games yet not get any points for it.

This just shows you that their attacking side of their game just isn’t really up to scratch. Most recently, they lost 1-0 to defending champions Manchester City, and anyone that had watched the game would’ve seen that Villa had the majority of play. But one mistake from Ciaran Clarke cost them the points when he slipped to allow Carlos Tevez to slot home for what was the only goal of the game.

But coming off the back off of two wins against Reading and QPR, you just wonder if the momentum is swinging Villa’s way. Benteke, Gabby Agbonlahor, and Andreas Weimann will certainly be crucial and will need to be influential in the young Villa side if they are to tighten their grip on a place out of the bottom 3.


ReadingDespite being in the bottom 3 for more-or-less the whole season, Reading have done really well. There are one of the 3 promoted teams this season and have surprised many people with the football they’ve played and the results they have managed to pick up. This season, they have become the late goal specialists, having scored late on in games against West Brom, Chelsea, and Sunderland. Adam Le Fondre has been the man for the late goals, scoring the majority of them for Reading despite coming off the bench.

They did that well, because in January, Le Fondre won Player of the Month, and then manager Brian McDermott won Manager of the Month. But with the Royals out of form and without a win in the last 5 games, as well as having sacked Brian McDermott, these can be considered as worrying times for Reading, and you wonder if they will recover from this.

With their strikers out of form and with them being unable to find any real consistency, is the Premier League journey for Reading over before it has really started? Some would argue that it is the end, but others would argue that they have seen enough fight and belief from the players have a strong enough feeling that their club will survive. If anything is to happen, it is truly now or never for them with time no longer on their side.

Written by OneFutbol

Southampton 1-2 QPR: Late Bothroyd Strike Seals Crucial Away Win

Southampton vs QPRJay Bothroyd’s 76th minute goal earned Queens Park Rangers their third win of the season on Harry Redknapp’s birthday. Queens Park Rangers still remain at the bottom of the Premier League table but have found new hope that they can survive the battle against relegation. While for a disappointed Southampton this was a poor result, it is also one which keeps them in the battle to avoid the drop just three points from safety.

Southampton’s main changes to their team was the addition of Fonte and Fox to boost their defense after their 4-2 defeat against Newcastle United just last week. Meanwhile QPR’s changes of players included Remy, Hoilett, and Bothroyd for the injured Bobby Zamora.

Redknapp was greeted with the sound of boo’s from the home team supporters as Harry was the Southampton manager when they were relegated in 2005, before leaving to join their hated rivals Portsmouth just a few months later. Meanwhile, on the other end of the pitch, QPR fans got behind the new changes of the squad as well as Harry, and wished him a very happy 66th birthday.

Redknapp had suggested last week in a interview that he needed to give Junior Hoilett more of a chance as he has been out with an injury for a while, and the Canadian winger rewarded his managers faith in him by withdrawing a lovely diagonal ball from the left wing into the path of Loic Rémy. Artur Boruc’s positioning gave him a sizable portion of the goal to aim at and Rémy’s clipped shot beat the goalkeeper as well as  defender Fox on the line who was covering him. It was the Frenchman’s second goal for Queens Park Rangers since the £8m move from Marseille in the January transfer window.

Rémy could have added an another to his goal tally shortly afterwards, testing Boruc from the edge of the his area, and Southampton appeared to lack the fight and urgency which helped them beat Manchester City at St Mary’s  three weeks ago. Even though QPR seemed to be on top of their game, yet again they shot themselves in the foot in first-half stoppage time.

Southampton vs QPRJay Rodriguez had only just replaced the injured Adam Lallana when he fired away for Southampton’s first shot on target, shooting straight at Brazilian goalkeeper Julio César from 25 yards out. It should have been a comfortable save for the QPR goalkeeper, but the ball bounced off his chest and hands, which led to Gaston Ramirez, who pounced on to the split ball to dunk the rebound into the net.

The second half started well for both teams as they reacted quickly to when Rodriguez cut inside from the left and curled a beautiful shot just over the bar. Also, Jose Fonte’s long range drive from 25 yards out just about brushed the side-netting. At the other end of the stadium, Nathaniel Clyne’s block denied Hoilett a shot on goal.

Both goalkeepers where quiet for a while until half way through the second half, when Julio César was knocked out of his stride after a collision with Rodriguez after the Brazilian had spilled yet another simple shot to save. This collision caused Redknapp to make a change bringing on English international Robert Green a rare cap for Queens Park Rangers.

Both teams where trying very hard to win all three points but QPR came out on top as Southampton’s attacks were far too sluggish. With 13 minutes left, their lack of creativity surely punished them. Yoshida was too weak after a challenge with Park Ji-Sung on the right wing, and the QPR midfielder wriggled to the wireline before firing a killer cross into the six-yard box, where Bothroyd could hardly miss, even on a bad day.

Queens Park Rangers  fans helped boost the players confidence, getting behind the newly named squad, manager and owner, which put Southampton under a lot of pressure ever time they they got the ball. This helped QPR keep the most needed win even, though Southampton had thought they had equalized again when Fonte powered a header from a corner, only for Robert Green to somehow claw the ball away to make sure they keep the lead.

This win was definitely a huge boost for QPR.

Writen by Cam Millington

QPR 0-2 Manchester United: Red Devils Cruise Past QPR with Comfortable Away Win

QPR vs. Manchester UnitedThe full-back slammed a stunning half-volley into the top corner from 25 yards to put United ahead in the 23rd minute on a cagey afternoon in west London. Ryan Giggs sealed the points for the league leaders 10 minutes from time as he beat QPR’s offside trap to sweep the ball home.

The only concern for United will be the apparent back injury that forced top scorer Robin van Persie off five minutes before half-time after a collision on the touchline.

QPR manager Harry Redknapp recalled much-criticised defender Jose Bosingwa for the first time since December 9, with Fabio ineligible against his parent club, while Bobby Zamora led the attack for the hosts.

United started with a strong line-up as Van Persie returned to partner Chicharito in attack while Wayne Rooney was well enough to take a place on the bench after suffering a virus. Redknapp called for a cup-tie atmosphere before kick-off as he targeted 20 points to guide QPR to safety, and the crowd responded as they backed their side and jeered the league leaders, particularly Ashley Young after the winger’s dive to win a penalty against them last term.

After a tepid start to the game, United took the lead in the 23rd minute with a goal that came from absolutely nowhere. Julio Cesar parried away Van Persie’s initial cross-cum-shot and the ball fell for Rafael to crack an outstanding half-volley into the top corner from 25 yards. The Brazilian will likely never score a better goal in his life.

At the other end, Rafael was on hand in the 35th minute to deny QPR an equalizer as he cleared Christopher Samba’s header off the line from Esteban Granero’s corner. United immediately counterattacked and a swift move, which ended with Cesar producing a fingertip save to keep out Van Persie’s cushioned volley after the Dutchman latched on to a cross from Rafael.

It was the Dutchman’s last real involvement of the afternoon as he was substituted five minutes before the break with a back injury he appeared to pick up in an innocuous collision with a photographer in the build-up to United’s opener.

QPR vs. Manchester UnitedThe action barely picked up in the early stages of the second half and Redknapp responded on the hour mark by bringing on January signing Loic Remy for the injured Zamora. The Frenchman almost made an immediate impact when he cut in from the left and saw his powerful near-post shot saved by David de Gea in the United goal.

Yet as QPR attacked, the game opened up for United on the counter-attack and Sir Alex Ferguson’s side took the advantage 10 minutes from time. Nani played in Giggs and the 39-year-old used all of his experience to beat the offside trap and slot his finish past Cesar.

Moments later, the Welshman nearly scored a second of the afternoon as his mis-hit shot skied into the air and inadvertently hit the crossbar. But by then the result was beyond doubt as United stroll towards the title.

With yet another win, Manchester United sit atop the Premier League table with 68 points from their 22-2-3 record. They are a comfortable 15 points ahead of Blue counterpart Manchester City, while, Chelsea sit far below in 3rd with 49 points. Meanwhile, QPR sit in a devastating 20th (last) place on the table from their 2 wins, 11 draws, and 14 losses this season. They are clearly in a relegation battle, and will likely be relegated to the Championship the following season.

Written by Pierre Sanz

Rickie Lambert

2012-13 Barclays Premier League Season So Far: Part 3

Queens Park Rangers

Adel TaarabtThe London club have had some troubles in the Premier League so far, but Harry Redknapp has come in and taken on a hell of a job. QPR are unbeaten in 5 games now and have kept some vital clean sheets against Manchester City and Chelsea. Julio Cesar has put in some vital performances in goal and has been a key player in getting points. He has to be just as consistent in the next part of the season if QPR have a chance of staying up. Adel Taarabt is one of the best play-makers in the Premier League and is the joint top goal scorer for QPR with 4 goals. He will certainly be a vital player in the future to help assist goals for his squad. After spending so much money, QPR simply cannot afford to be relegated, so I believe it will be the players’ responsibility to keep them up.


After winning the Championship last season, Reading entered the Premier League with the hopes of staying up. However, they did not win their first game until the November 17. Since the 26th of December, Reading have won 3 out of 6 games and only lost 1, and are showing a lot of fight to keep themselves beyond the dreaded Relegation Zone. At the end of January, they finished 19th, but picked up great results against Chelsea, Newcastle, and West Brom, and have now earned themselves the new nickname of the “Come Back Kings.” Adam Le Fondre has been on great form the last couple of games, after scoring 5 in 3 games and scoring 12 goals in total this season. I think even though Brian McDermott has what it takes to keep Reading up, the team is simply not strong enough to weather the likes of QPR, and will likely be relegated back to the Championship the following season.


Rickie LambertAt the start of the season, the Saints would have been one of the teams predicted to participate in the relegation battle. However, a good start to the season from Nigel Adkins has left them in a convincing position. In January, a surprise sacking of the manager left the Saints with a new manager, who, unfortunately for them, cannot speak English. Mauricio Pochettino has lead the team to two draws and one loss since then. A key player this season has been the experienced Rickie Lambert, who has scored 11 goals, but the Saints have relied on him to score goals too many times. The signing of Gaston Ramirez, who joined in the summer for around £12 million, has been disappointing so far. He has scored only 3 goals after being brought in by Adkins to help Lambert and take pressure off of him. I think Southampton, with their new manager, will have to start turning draws into wins, and Pochettino will have to bring the best out of his players if they want to end the season in a higher position.

Stoke City

Tony Pulis’ men had a great start to the season, and were probably the hardest team to beat due to their strong defense.  However, recently, they have not been in the best form and have been conceding way too many goals for their liking, a total of 17 in their last 7 games. A key player in Stoke’s season so far has been goalkeeper Asmir Begovic. The Bosnian international has attracted a lot of attention from clubs due to his superb form but is getting let down by his defensive partners at the moment. Stoke’s top scorer is Jonathon Walters with 8 goals, and they will need him to carry on goal-scoring if they want to finish the season well.


Martin O’Neils team have had a fairly average season so far, finishing 12th at the end of the season. Steven Fletcher has scored 10 goals for the team after joining for 12 million in the summer from the Wolves. A lot of people would have thought he was not worth the sum they paid for him, however, he has proved that he was worth it and has exceeded the expectations of Sunderland fans. After joining from Manchester City, Adam Johnson has been in great form for Sunderland, and has been providing Fletcher with the assistance he needs. I think Sunderland are in for the same kind of finish they are in at the moment, however, will have to keep picking up results as they are only 8 points from the Relegation Zone. This will certainly be on Martin O’Neils mind throughout the remainder of the season.

Written by PAFCBake

Chelsea 0-1 QPR: Late Winner From Wright-Phillips Humiliates Chelsea at Home

Last-placed Queens Park Rangers shocked the European Giants today as they cruised to a win at Chelsea for the first time in 30 years.

Chelsea 0-1 QPRShaun Wright-Phillips, who had formerly played for Chelsea, stole a much-needed 3 points from the Blues as they fell short of Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League table. On the 78th minute, Wright-Phillips found the bottom-left corner of the net after Chelsea failed to fend off a corner kick, ending Chelsea’s 4-game winning streak.

The last time QPR recorded a victory in the West London Derby was in April of 1983, before the existence of the Premier League, which ended in a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

In addition to that, this was QPR’s first away win of the entire season. In fact, QPR’s last away win was in November of 2011, over 1 year ago, which certainly makes their triumph an achievement worthy of celebration. Delighted with the results, QPR manager Harry Redknapp said:

“I can’t remember many better wins than this one, with Chelsea flying at the moment.”

QPR’s win could be vital to their staying in the Premier League for next season. They are still tied for last place in terms of points (with Reading) and are in the Relegation Zone, but they are also fairly close to Wigan Athletic and Southampton. Providing QPR has a more successful 2nd half of the season, we could see them dodge relegation just as they did last season, arriving in a close 17th place before Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers, and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Talking about the situation, Redknapp noted:

“They’ve set the standard what they’ve got to do if we are going to get out of this mess.”

On the other hand, Chelsea’s loss could possibly be detrimental. This was yet another defeat recorded under Benitez’s leadership, proving Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich’s decision to sack Roberto Di Matteo a dire mistake. Now they are in 4th place in the league, far behind leaders Manchester United.

Chelsea 0-1 QPRChelsea had already met with QPR this season in September, back when Di Matteo was in charge, and ended scoreless. Benitez made numerous changes to their starting lineup, but failed to avert the threat. He benched Juan Mata, who had been extremely successful this season and started their last 9 games, in favor of inexperienced Marko Marin.

Meanwhile, Fernando Torres continued his season-long starting streak despite Benitez’s promise to rest the Spanish striker. Torres, who had been seemingly dormant for the beginning of the season, partially recovered his fire when Benitez arrived, scoring 7 goals in 6 consecutive games. But in the last 3 games, he has once again been unable to find the net for Chelsea.

In fact, Torres barely even tested QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar, and with Demba Ba’s transfer from Newcastle to the Blues, he must up his game if he wants to keep his position as Chelsea’s star striker.

The first half saw few shots from either squad. That changed, though, after 45 minutes. Strikes from Ivanovic and Moses were continually shot at the QPR goal, but all had gone wide. Frank Lampard actually scored a goal, which was later ruled offside.

But the tide changed for QPR at the 60 minute mark, when they began setting up dangerous situations for Chelsea. They finally took the lead by virtue of Shaun Wright-Phillips, ending the historic game in a 1-0 win for QPR.

Chelsea have recorded their 4th loss this season against QPR and are now in 4th place with 38 points. They are a total of 14 points behind league leaders Manchester United (52 points), followed by Manchester City in 2nd (45 points) and now Tottenham Hotspur in 3rd (38 points). Meanwhile, despite their win, QPR are still in last with 13 points. They are tied with Reading in terms of points, and are 5 behind Wigan and Southampton. If results hold, QPR will be relegated from the Premier League to the English League Championship next season.

Written by FutbolPulse