QPR – The Journeymen Galacticos?

The panic that seems to be building up over Loftus Road may ensure that yet more faces arrive in West London before the end of the transfer window. The desperate European wide phonecall has been answered this time by Ricardo Carvalho. He’ll probably do a job for a season, and if Rangers stay up at the end of the season Mark Hughes will say it was a decision well made. Personally, I’m not sure that bringing in journeymen old pros is the answer. I wonder if Yakubu will turn up at Loftus Road in January?

There is another way. I have long since held the belief that the difference between a low end Premier League player and a League 1 / 2 player is very very small. In fact, the only real difference between someone playing for Wigan or QPR and someone playing for Northampton is luck. We all wanted to be footballers, and  lets face it,  the reason why we write blogs is because we weren’t good enough. Players playing in the Football League have an extraordinary amount of ability. They have to to be where they are. The only real difference between an ineffective Premier League player (lets say, for example, the recently sold Wigan man Connor Sammon) and a League 2 player (eg. Shaun Harrad) is their bank balance.

This weekend, various Premiership squads will contain players who have turned out for Rotherham United, Rochdale, Barnet, Bristol Rovers, Lincoln City,  Bromley, Southend United and Queen of the South.  Grant Holt scored goals in League 2, League 1 and the Championship. Guess what – he scored in the Premier League too, and I would imagine that Roy Hodgson gave him quite a bit of thought too. I fully expect Adam Le Fondre and Rickie Lambert to score in the Premier League. Their track record says they have scored wherever they have been.

Lower end Premier League clubs need to look at the lower divisions. Not all of the answers are there, but there are a lot of good players who could thrive in the Premier League environment. What’s more, players who have worked their way up through the leagues will never lack effort. Does DjibrilCisse really care about QPR? Maybe he does, but probably not as much as Shaun Derry or Jamie Mackie, who have finally made it to the top.

The clubs have got lazy. It is too easy to bring an established player in on a free. They don’t require coaching. They might not have elements of their technique that need a little bit of work. But they won’t be hungry. Supporters will soon moan that so and so doesn’t work hard enough, and the players know, that if the team is relegated they can move on a free to someone else. Lower division players might take a few months of coaching, but if you put the effort in they will give everything for their club. You just need to invest time. Time in your scouting to find the right player and time in your coaching of the player.

Swansea and Norwich were great to watch last season, Blackpool the season before that. Southampton and Reading will play good stuff this season. Squads made of players who have served their time in the lower leagues, will entertain crowds and get results. I bet you don’t hear their fans moaning either. They might get relegated, but from each squad 4 or 5 players will prove themselves to be more than capable of playing in the Premier League.

If it comes down to it, I would fancy Reading or Southampton to beat QPR in a relegation run in. Squads with togetherness, with players who have worked for their entire careers to get where they are are going to find the extra grit required. Will QPR’s squad really be able to grind out results?

Put it this way:

Rickie Lambert or DjibrilCisse to score more goals this season? I know who my money would be on.

Dave Rogers @NoLeftFoot

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