Chris Ramsey’s men secured a third successive league win at the weekend, thanks to an 84th minute goal from Tjaronn Chery away at Huddersfield. As a game it won’t live long in the memory, but in winning away for a second time, QPR have already won as many away games this year as they did in the Premier League last season. As it stands the Rs are in fourth place on goal difference. It was the breathing space that Chris Ramsey desperately needed.
However, a bigger indicator of what will determine QPR’s season will be resolved within the next couple of days. In previous seasons, the transfer window has seen the R’s feature heavily. Sky Sports must’ve loved us. Whether it’s in the guise of Harry Redknapp leaning out of his car window or Peter Odemwingie driving to Loftus Road to try and force an apparently non-existent move, you could rely on the west London side for some ticker tape news entertainment.
However, so far things have been a little bit different this time. QPR have gone about their business fairly quietly, making cheaper signings that scream sense. Buying players for future rather than past performances.
As the finances and fortunes of the club have changed, QPR are now in the position where they are desperately trying to hold on to their best players. Charlie Austin, Matt Phillips and Rob Green have all been the subject of transfer speculation for much of the summer. Surely it’s only a matter of time before Austin and Phillips are both snapped up, but what the club need to do is learn from their previous mistakes.
Last season, Loic Remy was sold on transfer Deadline Day. This came as no great surprise to most QPR fans, but shocked manager Harry Redknapp who had said that Remy is ‘too decent’ a lad to leave us in the lurch. As a result the R’s were left with a tricky season ahead and only three forwards, two of whom were fit. It proved costly.
If QPR lose Charlie Austin, the club are left with Sebastian Polter, Jamie Mackie, Reece Greco-Cox and Tyler Blackwood leading the line. Polter has featured a couple of times and looks a handful, but right now, not a Championship goalscoring machine. Greco-Cox and Blackwood are both very raw. Mackie is the only one with any real proven pedigree, experience and league goals. He needs help.
With Austin and Phillips both on the score-sheet in recent weeks, their value to the club and potential suitors is clearly evident, despite what West Ham Chairman David Sullivan said about Austin’s ligaments. Both players have behaved with utmost professionalism with neither seemingly looking to force a move. I for one hope they both stay, but as they say it’s the hope that kills you.
Two players that QPR are looking to ship out with not a great deal of success are Junior Hoilett and Armand Traore, two incredibly frustrating players. Hoilett’s career has regressed since joining the Rs. He’s always looked short on pace, short on confidence and short on fitness. To sum his time up at the club, towards the end of last season, Chris Ramsey was playing Karl Henry on the left wing ahead of him. Armand Traore is a bit of an enigma. A left-back that really struggles with the art of defending but has pace to burn and on his day is a terrific crosser of the ball. Ramsey’s clearly seen enough and both are available on free.
QPR’s fine start to the league has been very encouraging and should not be overlooked. Some of the clubs new signings, Luongo and Chery especially, have settled in and are quickly becoming fans’ favourites. After a myriad of long-term visions and false promises, the early season form and transfer business suggests that Chris Ramsey and Sir Les might know what they are doing. In order to keep this early momentum up though, the club need to be ready to act, if and when the club are headline news on transfer Deadline Day again.