columnist Steven Woodgate wonders what QPR can expect from their new
first team coach.
So the funfair continues at Loftus Road as Queens Park
Rangers have appointed Paula Sousa as their new first-team coach, taking over
from caretaker Gareth Ainsworth.
Flavio Briatore placed player/coach Ainsworth at the helm
following the surprise sacking of Iain Dowie. Briatore had a major say in team
affairs under Ainsworth and that is why many big-named English managers chose
to stay out of the running because of the involvement of the board.
Ainsworth was initial favourite to get the job before QPRs
defeat to Burnley last Saturday leaving them a disappointing tenth in the
Sousa had a very successful club-playing career where he had
spells with Benfica, Sporting Lisbon, Juventus, Inter Milan, Parma, and
Borussia Dortmund. He won consecutive Champions League trophies in 1996 and
1997 with Juventus and Dortmund respectively.
The 38 year old was one of the most celebrated and highly
regarded Portuguese footballers in the modern game. He was a classic defensive
midfielder, hunting down every ball and possessing the ability to provide
precision passes for the rest of his teammates to take the glory. He played 51
times for his country without scoring and QPR can hope he can take his
organisation qualities and motivation skills into management.
He has very limited experience as a coach with only a small
stint as assistant coach of the national side to his name; he will have his
work cut out in the Championship.
Briatore decided to act and instantly installed Sousa to
carry the club forward. He described Sousa appointment as "very good for this
Briatore he added: "He has great experience after working
with the Portuguese national team and he is part of the new generation of
Sousa was the assistant coach for the Portuguese national
side before accepting the role. He told the QPR's Official Website: "It is an
honour to be part of this project.
"I have always wanted
to work for a big club and I am very excited about the opportunity to work for
Queens Park Rangers.
"I have great belief
in my ideas and my coaching ability and I firmly believe I can achieve the
objectives set by the management.
"I believe in playing
positive, attacking football and am looking forward to the challenge that lies
Sousa first started to know Briatore from his time in Italy
where they clawed up a close bond. Now Sousa takes over and have already
drafted in Bolton Wanderers striker Heidar Helguson on loan to supply another
The QPR faithful will be excited
at the thought of flair and attack minded philosophy that has been promised.
They may be worried about Sousa's lack of experience and knowledge of the
English game but it is another new start for QPR. Those fans just hope they can
see a manager to stay around long enough to imply their ideas upon the club and
see some benefits.