QPR season review
QPR's main aim this season was to steer clear of another relegation battle, but the Hoops couldn't avoid the drop and Sam Nightingale believes Harry Redknapp will need to clear the decks ahead of next season's campaign in the Championship.
Last Updated: 22/05/13 9:58am
Where do I begin? Ahead of the season QPR fans must have been optimistic after they narrowly avoided the drop the previous year, when they finished 17th with 37 points, one point above third-from-bottom Bolton.
Mark Hughes promised after QPR's dramatic 3-2 defeat to Man City that "we will never be in this situation again while I am manager". But Hughes went too far in trying to build a new team, with 12 players brought in last summer, and 18 shipped out, including loans, by October 2012. With such a high turnover of players, QPR lacked stability in their line-ups and pattern of play, while many of the new players arrived on much better deals than the tried-and-trusted players who had won promotion with QPR from the Championship under previous boss Neil Warnock.
Hughes was sacked after 12 games of the 2012-13 season, with QPR without a win and having earned just four points. The Welshman's backroom staff remained in charge for their next game at Manchester United. Although QPR eventually lost 3-1, Mark Bowen brought in the old guard, with the likes of Clint Hill and Shaun Derry starting the match and QPR putting in a much more disciplined display. Harry Redknapp was handed the reins but even he could not save the Hoops, despite QPR's hierarchy gambling by bringing in the likes of Chris Samba and Loic Remy in January in a bid to beat the drop.
Player of the Year
Ryan Nelsen left QPR on January 31, 2013, after announcing his retirement. Nelsen left the club to become head coach of MLS side Toronto FC but he still made 21 league appearances for the club before heading to Canada. The defender was a great professional and, if a few more of QPR's players had shown the same type of work rate and commitment, perhaps the Hoops would have escaped the drop.
Ratings Player of the Year
Adel Taarabt pipped Julio Cesar to take the prize on our Ratings page. Taarabt is only 23 and Harry Redknapp will surely want to keep him for next season's campaign in the Championship. Taarabt's 19 goals fired QPR to the Championship title in the 2010-11 season.
Breakthrough Player of the Year
Andros Townsend has made a real impact for QPR after joining the club on loan in January. Townsend found himself on the fringes at Tottenham, and had previously had a host of loan spells in the lower leagues, with stints at Yeovil, MK Dons, Ipswich, Watford, Millwall, Leeds and Birmingham. But Townsend has shown at QPR that he has the talent to perform in the top flight.
Signing of the Year
Townsend joined QPR on loan from Tottenham just before the transfer window closed, and has so far made 11 league appearances and scored two goals for Harry Redknapp's side. Townsend's direct, attacking play has been a breath of fresh air for the Hoops and one of the few bright spots in the club's season.
Could do better
Jose Bosingwa joined QPR last August on a three-year deal after being released by Chelsea last summer. But Bosingwa caused controversy in December 2012 after refusing to sit on the bench for a Premier League clash against Fulham, and was fined two weeks' wages as a result. The defender's lack of discipline reinforced the belief amongst many Hoops fans that many players were at the club only for the money.
Harry Redknapp was unable to save QPR from the drop after taking over the reins in late November 2012. Redknapp faced a monumental task and, despite bringing in the likes of Samba, Remy, Townsend and Jermaine Jenas, he could not guide QPR away from the drop zone. The former Tottenham boss will surely ring the changes this summer, with a totally different type of player needed to face the challenge of winning promotion from the Championship next season.
Jamie Redknapp's view
It's been an awful season all round for QPR. They now owe it to their fans to come straight back up next season. Players on big money have not performed and it's been a shocking season for them with one bad story breaking after another. It won't be easy to get back up and I'm expecting big changes there this summer. They have got to change the psychology there, as well. They need to get winners in and people who want to work hard because it doesn't look like they have that mentality at the moment. But I'm sure my dad will be working hard to change things.
Fan's view (Chris King)
This season has been an unmitigated disaster from start to finish for Queens Park Rangers. Scavenging through the rubbish bin that is the past ten months, it is almost impossible to find anything of value, dignity or worth amid the metaphorical cigarette ends and half-eaten food. It was clear on the opening day back in August, when Swansea City put five goals past the hapless Rs without reply, that something was terribly wrong. Fast-forward to Swansea away in February and nothing had changed. Rangers are now in real danger of suffering a second-successive relegation. Not even the superlative 1-0 win at Chelsea, a genuine milestone in QPR history, can begin to make up for the nightmare campaign.