Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughMark Hughes’ short term fix not a long term solution - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Mark Hughes’ short term fix not a long term solution - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Mark Hughes’ short term fix not a long term solution

Only at a club with the mental past history of Queens Park Rangers can you expect to see a manager react to an opening day defeat by replacing the whole back four. A Swansea whirlwind may have blown any pre-season optimism away from Loftus Road but to resort to a carpentry-like renovation of a defence and give it the IKEA treatment at the calling of just one game is not the answer, regardless of its margin of defeat.

The five goals Swansea scored last Saturday would be rendered irrelevant years down the line if Hughes had responded with the foresight of a man with faith and trust in his squad, yet it seems like the shot-term thinking that has engulfed the London club to a large degree over the past year or so has been replaced with another batch of short term thinking.

The back four that was ripped so terribly apart by Michael Laudrup’s Swansea on Saturday contained Nedum Onouha, a centre-back shoe-horned into right-back, Anton Ferdinand, a 27 year old centre-half, Clint Hill, a 33 year old who has spent the majority of his career below the Premier League, and Manchester United loanee Fabio at left-back. Yet, instead of reshuffling his current pack and making use of an already swelled squad, Hughes’ answer has been to go out and acquire Jose Bosingwa, the former Chelsea right-back who was deemed so poor at Stamford Bridge that the Champions League winners writ off their £16 million outlay on him by releasing him for nothing earlier in the summer, along with Real Madrid’s 34 year old centre-half Ricardo Carvalho and Spurs’ injury-ravaged Michael Dawson for the substantial fee of £10 million, where at 28 years old, that fee with have little re-sale value.

If that is not enough, the club has also expressed an interest in Inter Milan’s goalkeeping cast-off Julio Cesar to replace Robert Green who has seemingly severed Mark Hughes’ patience with just 90 minutes between the sticks. Once more, the Welsh manager seems to have abandoned any long-sight with a pursuit of a 32 year old Brazilian goalkeeper instead of persisting with the instinct that persuaded him to press ahead with the move for Green earlier in the summer. Hughes has adopted the scatter-gun approach to transfers for no real reason apart from a needless ruthless streak he seems intent on displaying and it is harming QPR because of it.

At Eastlands on the last day of the season in May, QPR played their own significant role in a phenomenal day that concluded with contrasting degrees of joy for eventual champions Manchester City and QPR, who managed to escape relegation by the premise of Stoke’s late equaliser against Bolton. Rangers had forty players on their books at this point, the majority of which had been placed on high wages with long-term contracts as a result of Neil Warnock’s hasty late dash around the transfer market after Tony Fernandes took control of the club late last summer. If they had fallen through the trap door, then all financial hell would have broken loose as the club would simply not have been able to bankroll the likes of Bobby Zamora, Joey Barton and Djibril Cisse, all reported to have been lured to Loftus Road on sizeable wages, in the surroundings of a lower league.

But they were handed another chance by the skin of their teeth and Hughes seemed to heed the lesson that nearly cost the club so dear “every club will look at their current staff and what they need to build and get stronger. That means a number of players will go as a result” said the manager in the build-up to the rollercoaster game in Manchester. And to a degree, he stayed true to his promise, releasing six players and lowering another two into the Championship for small fees. But another pressing issue was not the squad size, but the age of a squad that failed to field a single under-21 player throughout the whole of the last campaign. Half of the 40 players that Hughes began the summer with were over the age of 30 and the recruitment policy in the off-season months failed to take any notice, with 5 players, Andy Johnson, Ryan Nelsen, Park Ji-Sung, Rob Green and Jose Bosingwa all the wrong side of 30. Carvalho will be yet another one, tipping the scales of over 30s to under-25s in the first team squad at a shocking 19 to 3.

The ineptitude of QPR’s display in the debacle of the Swansea game will only be the tip of the iceberg for Hughes, for even if form does improve, a rise in results will not realise any ambition as Hughes has failed to build a squad that can continue to build on it in the long-run. It is hard to believe that amongst Hughes’ pile of personnel in his miss-mash formed squad, there are too many personalities bothered about the long-term fate of a club that can afford to pay them bumper wages. Neil Warnock paid for his panic and haste at the check-out when on his shopping spree and Hughes my do the same, although if he does remain in his job, there is little future to keep him there.