QPR verdict: How Mark Hughes lost his grip at Loftus Road

19:33 19 November 2012

QPR manager Mark Hughes. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

QPR manager Mark Hughes. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

“As far as I’m concerned, we will never be in this situation again while I am manager,” so declared a bullish Mark Hughes after the astonishing finale to last season.

The Welshman had just watched his QPR side escape relegation by the skin of their teeth at the Etihad Stadium, where his old club Manchester City celebrated their first title win in 44 years after famously overturning a 2-1 deficit in injury time.

At the other end of the table, QPR’s Premier League status was saved by Bolton’s failure to win at Stoke City, prompting Hughes to make his doomed vow to turn the club around.

Six months have passed since that day, and after an ill-judged summer spending spree brought no fewer than 12 new faces to Loftus Road, QPR find themselves in crisis.

Since their disastrous 5-0 drubbing by Swansea City on the opening day, winless Rangers have taken just four points from a possible 33, leaving them five points adrift of safety at the bottom of the table.

The fans have emphatically lost faith in the manager, and if Saturday’s abject 3-1 defeat to Southampton is anything to go by, most of the players have too... That is, if they ever had any in the first place.

Even more worrying for Hughes is that owner Tony Fernandes has declined to offer public backing to his beleaguered manager in the wake of their most recent defeat, fuelling speculation that his time could finally be up at Loftus Road.

Hughes’ poor management has been decisive this season, but the board must also shoulder blame for sanctioning the fevered summer spending which has paved the way for the club’s downfall.

The poorly-planned impulsiveness of QPR’s transfer dealings transmits to their performances on the pitch, where their clumsily assembled mishmash of players resembles a group of total strangers.

Take the arrival of former Inter Milan goalkeeper Julio Cesar. Undoubtedly a class act, but signed out of the blue just weeks after the arrival of Rob Green, who became a scapegoat for their dreadful start.

Green joined the club as their new number one at the beginning of the summer, only to be immediately shunted to the bench. How can that decision have affected him? And more broadly, how can it have affected the atmosphere in the dressing room?

Cesar is an upgrade on the former West Ham man, but he came at a cost, and the team has suffered as a result of yet more upheaval, with players now aware that they could be unceremoniously axed by Hughes at any moment.

And Green isn’t the only one to be shut out.

Striker Rob Hulse was among those deemed surplus to requirements at Loftus Road during the summer. The 33-year-old was sent on loan to Charlton, where he told London24 he had been one of six senior players sent by Hughes to train with QPR’s youth team as the new signings continued to flood in.

The likes of Hulse, Heidar Helguson and Luke Young may be technically limited, but humiliating experienced pros was no way for Hughes to endear himself to his squad.

And with his expensive wave of signings looking wholly disinterested on the pitch, he might now wish he could call on more old heads to help pull them out of their malaise.

Let’s not forget that at this point last season, Helguson - now at Cardiff - had hit five Premier League goals in seven appearances. Hughes’ toothless side would cherish such a contribution now.

Indeed, it was ironic that Hughes called on old heads Jamie Mackie and Shaun Derry from the bench as he tried to rescue the game against Southampton.

On paper, Hughes’ squad should be comfortable in this league, but it was naïve to think such a ruthless overhaul of the playing squad would not have damaging consequences.

Having turned his back on QPR’s old guard, Hughes is left with a collection of overpaid cast-offs from top clubs who aren’t motivated enough to dig in and turn things around.

Jose Bosingwa is among the chief offenders. Six months ago the defender was winning the second Champions League medal of his career with Chelsea. He has passed his peak and he knows it. Against Southampton he was utterly woeful before his 73rd-minute substitution.

Hughes’ squad is broken, possibly irreparably. His position is surely untenable, but there is no quick fix and a change of manager would not be an immediate solution.

These are disturbing times for QPR, and the thought of taking that sizable wage bill into the Championship makes you worry for the future of the club.

Related articles

Live Blog Transfer Window Live - August 27

 

Latest Stories

38 minutes ago
The woman was attacked as she got the train home from Paddington station (Picture: British Transport Police)

A woman was sexually assaulted after she fell asleep on a train from Paddington to Reading after a night out in London.

Read more
The man was found at an address in Cumberland Street in Pimlico (Picture: Google Streetview)

A man was found with gunshot and stab wounds at a house in Pimlico in the early hours of this morning say police, who are appealing for information.

Read more
08:22
Makers Cafe has opened in Shoreditch (Pic: Makers Cafe)

The UK’s first 3D printing cafe has opened in Shoreditch, east London.

Read more

Promotions

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the ZOE was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

Match Reports

TOP STORIES

Quizzes

How much do you really know about QPR legends like Les Ferdinand? Picture: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Test your knowledge of QPR’s greatest players with our fantastic legends quiz.

Read more
Guess the managers quiz

The managerial merry-go-round spins quickly these days so do you think you’ve got the knowledge to recognise the faces of all these football bosses?

Read more
Croatia's Daniel Prajnic, France's Paul Pogba and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo... three hair-raising World Cup stars (Picture: Archant/Getty)

The World Cup is a showcase of fantastic football... and terrible hairstyles. Try this quiz and test your knowledge of the wackiest barnets in Brazil.

Read more
Which London club play their home games at this stadium...? (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Do you fancy yourself as a football ground buff? Test your stadium knowledge with this brilliant quiz.

Read more

QPR Transfer News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Get the latest transfer window updates from the sports team at London24

Follow the latest transfer news and gossip with London24’s live blog.

Read more
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
QPR's Leroy Fer in action on his debut against Tottenham

Leroy Fer says his home debut for QPR against Sunderland on Saturday will be an extra special occasion because he will come up against his cousin Patrick van Aanholt.

Read more
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
PSG's Edinson Cavani (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)

Check out our Wednesday morning round-up of the latest transfer news and gossip from around the web.

Read more
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Get the latest transfer window updates from the sports team at London24

Catch up on the latest transfer news and gossip from around the capital with London24.

Read more