In light of the Anzhi Makhachkala director’s comments about QPR’s signing of Chris Samba from the Russian club, it is just another remark adding to the views I partly share on the Premier League strugglers attempt at surviving the relegation battle they currently find themselves in.
Harry Redknapp’s men are bottom of the league and languishing seven points from safety following their hammering at the weekend and other results going against them. In the January transfer window, chairman Tony Fernandes backed his manager who is of course often referred to as ‘Harry Houdini’ for his tendency to produce miracles with clubs in difficult situations. However, I feel they have bitten off more than they can chew with this particular effort to remain in England’s top flight.
The Anzhi director was quoted by the Independent describing QPR’s signing of towering centre half Samba saying, “At QPR he will earn almost as much as he did at Anzhi. In my view QPR have lost their minds.” While saying that they have lost their minds may be too strong as the defender is a top player, it is in my opinion too risky. It is understandable that they were keen to bring in a man who was capable of taking over from the departed Ryan Nelsen who had arguably been their best player in the first half of the season, but a risk nonetheless.
With the £8million Loic Remy, as far as his ability to fire Rangers to safety goes, it was another huge gamble to take. This is a player who has a tendency to pick up injuries, something which QPR can’t afford in the position they are in at the moment. Following in the trend of the poor luck Rangers have suffered in recent times, Remy managed just two games for his new club, one in which he scored, before picking up an injury ruling him out for several weeks. While anyone can get injured and sometimes it can’t be compensated for, you have to question the decision to sign a player with a history of injury such as his. The London club have scored just 19 times in the league so far this season, a stat which probably explains the sense of desperation in their signing of the French striker, but if he can’t stay fit then he is no good to them.
In my opinion the task of staying up seems to be looking tougher with each week that goes by, rather than more likely and that has to be a major concern for them. While stranger things have happened before, I find it hard to see how they are going to accumulate the required points to stay up as I feel they have let too many games slip against the teams around them that they really needed to win.
Unfortunately for them it takes more than buying a group of good players and hoping they can gel straight away. Another danger of bringing in players as quick fixes on high salaries to a situation like this is their commitment to the cause. While I am sure they would all like to keep the club up, you have to question just how bothered some of them would be if they did go down. Players like Clint Hill and Shaun Derry would obviously not fall into that group but they have an affiliation with the club which the new signings won’t. When it comes to relegation battles, a lot of it boils down to fight and determination as well as quality itself.
I also question Fernandes’s engagement with social networks and feel that although his positivity about everything can be a good quality, sometimes a little bit of realism doesn’t go a miss. Redknapp has displayed his reluctance of his chairman using mediums such as Twitter too much and I feel an example of where Fernandes should have kept quiet was at the weekend when he took to the site to express how well the players had done after their 4-1 defeat at Swansea. Part of his tweet read, “They have worn the badge with pride and have played like lions”. That is sending out all the wrong signals to the fans and players alike after such a poor result.
While I appreciate the effort and commitment to the cause from the chairman, I think he has made too many miscalculations in this particular situation and I fear the worst for his club during the rest of the season.
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