QUEENS Park Rangers made the mistake of wanting to go too far, too fast, and yesterday’s confirmation of relegation from the Premier League means it looks like proving a costly one for them and their chairman Tony Fernandes.
The experiment has not worked and the whole club needs to be reassessed and redesigned. It’s hard to know what QPR will look like next season, and whether Chris Ramsey will be allowed stay on as manager.
Ramsey seems well respected by his players, yet Rangers have looked just as weak under him as they did under Harry Redknapp, his predecessor, and it is difficult to see what he has improved since taking charge in February.
I would bring in a new manager to give the team a new identity. They will need someone capable of navigating the transfer market soundly, and I think they would be well advised to go for someone with a track record of success in the Championship.
Of the players, only Charlie Austin is likely to attract interest from top-flight teams, but I don’t see him being chased by any clubs in the top eight. Like Rickie Lambert, he is not the sort of forward who will make an impression at the best sides, though he could improve a West Brom or a Stoke. He needs players with pace around him, so perhaps Crystal Palace would suit him too.
Considering the budget they have had, QPR’s effort at consolidating their Premier League status has been pretty pathetic – all the more so when compared to Burnley, who were also condemned to the second tier at the weekend.
Burnley had a go and their players grew in stature over the course of the campaign. Those in charge of the club will therefore be keen to keep as many of the group together as possible for next term.
England Under-21 striker Danny Ings is the player most likely to be courted, though while talk of moving to Liverpool did not seem fanciful a few months ago, his recent 10-game barren run has cast that in a less favourable light.
He’s younger and technically better than Austin and I like his passion and desire but, like the QPR man, Ings is not ready for Liverpool, or even Everton. He is not the sort of player who will take ambitious clubs at the top of the division anywhere but backwards.
Manager Sean Dyche has been a credit to himself and the club, however, and fully deserves to keep his job.
He has been consistent in the way he has conducted himself and how he has got the team to play, but they simply lacked the quality to fashion enough chances or be sufficiently ruthless with the ones that did arrive.
But when the dust settles on this season Burnley will be in a good position to build on this experience with the same group. Unlike QPR.
Trevor Steven is a former England international footballer who has played at two World Cups and two European Championships. He now works as a media commentator.