These nice-looking bears are my symbols of the story start. Remember I specified the targets and principles of the story?
It was the 6-season plan. Then I wanted to stop managing Q.P.R. but you, dear readers voted to continue managing the club. For the next 3 seasons I changed everything: tactics, squad, managing approach. But didn’t manage reach newly set targets.
You can track all tournaments’ results season by season:
Now let’s get deeper into the story to recall its brightest moments!
I am introduced to Queens Park Rangers squad. I feel it’s quite weak to hold on in the Premier League. I can only single out Alejandro Faurlin, Shaun Write-Phillips, and Armand Traore. All other guys including odious Joey Barton didn’t look impressive for me.
The squad strength was increased by transfer campaign aimed mostly to young talents. Marco Verratti, Yaya Sanogo, Lucas Digne joined Q.P.R. Andreas Hinkel and Marco Materazzi diluted their young company with experience.
I was experimenting with different tactics and the start was not so good. But then in the middle of the season Supersonic Tactics was built by me! It proved to be the most outstanding tactical approach I’ve ever used. Quick wide passing and fast speeds formed basis of the approach.
Younes Kaboul, Andreas Bjelland, Arne Friedrich moved to Q.P.R. during winter transfer window to resolve a problem of bad defence.
The season 1 was not successful at all resulting in difficult survival at the 17th position.
Supersonic tactics was great but not for the current players. There were many slow guys who simply could not perform well in that special way.
Squad revolution for the sake of Supersonic tactical approach! Several excellent footballers joined The Rangers:
- David Ospina
- Sulley Muntari
- Ivelin Popov
- Alberto Paloschi
- Jay Rodriguez
I wasn’t careful with spent transfer money and club balance went into $-17M debt.
As a result Q.P.R. had been playing better and better. We got the first large wins including 4:3 away victory at Old Trafford. In the end we had an excitingly unpredictable battle for the Europa League places with Arsenal and Aston Villa. The outcome was the best for my club: the 5th line in the table! I was even awarded as The Manager of the Season!
After the success of the previous season I had to prepare for Europa League participation. $21.5M had been spent on wonderkid Alvaro Vadillo who didn’t meet my expectations in the end. Decent Craig Cathcart and future 16 years old defence leader Bernard Holt joined The Rangers as well.
It had been going fine during 2 thirds of the season. After 26 PL fixtures Q.P.R. was at the 5th table line just in 4 points from leading Chelsea. But later on it turned out we are not ready for the ending saturated match schedule. A row of failures in Premier League brought Q.P.R. back to the 7th position.
Nonetheless, it would be a great season if Q.P.R. managed to cope with Ajax in Europa League final. 25 shots against 4 shots from Ajax resulted in poor 1:1 draw and penalties. All my 3 players didn’t score! It was unlucky strike #1.
Gary Cahill - $24M, Ognjen Vukojevic - $15M, Denys Garmash - $19M, these guys are 3 big signings before the season. I risked and overspent money getting some accusing but fair comments in the blog.
My second attempt to win Europa League failed at the early stage of group round. Napoli and Koln suddenly get my club out of the tournament. Premier League results were also disappointing: the 9th table position. It was the first serious crisis for Queens Park Rangers in my story.
Additional squad analysis and winter clearance sale helped team to get back to consistent mood and qualify to the Champions League from the 3rd line being above Manchester United in the table. Ivelin Popov and Ognjen Vukojevic were key players for this success.
Future Champions league debut made me to perform the 2nd squad revolution with huge amount of transfers. Almost 20 players of main and reserve teams left Q.P.R. 15 newcomers came instead.
Versatile Sime Vrsaljko, talented regen wonderkid Samir Breinburg, strong anchor man Mohamed Diame, playmaker Chris Brunt… It was another risky transfer campaign from me as Q.P.R. manager.
The season results:
- Quarterfinal loss to Barcelona in CL which is good result however.
- Title competition with Man City of Mourinho in 9 fixtures turned into the 3rd place with 78 points in my baggage.
One of set targets was failed. The point #3 in my expectations was about winning Premier League in 5 seasons…
It became a story deadline. I felt I should win either Premier League or Champions League after all. But it didn’t happen.
Numerous transfers which I consider as a mistake now changed the squad of Rangers. James Rodriguez, Theo Walcott, Sami Khedira, Marc-Andre ter Stegen… Only the first and the last of them proved their value. It didn’t allow to pretend on CL places after the season’s half. In desperation I even decided to spent huge amount of money on Daniel Bazan, the best player who was ready to play for Q.P.R:
Champions League semi-final against arch-rival Chelsea. Drama. Tragedy. My Q.P.R. won the first away game with 2:0 score and was already in the Final in mind. But hat-trick of Romelu Lukaku in the reply match stroke out all our hopes…
That post came out under name Season 6 drama. Is Q.P.R. story over?
My expectations after 6 seasons are not achieved
I was feeling myself so awfully that wanted to stop the story. Therefore the poll questioning whether I should continue managing Q.P.R. was arranged. Here are the results:
It began with a total squad review and another squad revolution: $173M for sold players and $143M on newcomers.
Record $42M were spent on the world class centre back Mats Hummels:
Then I created a new Fluidity tactics with 3 centre forwards that got me really excited.
Logical slippage at the season start transformed into a confident run with large amount of scored goals. I felt Europa League trophy is nearly in my hands but mad 0:6 semi-final loss to weaker Koln… well, it was a total devastation.
Among season pros are: the 4th Premier League position, feeling that tactics works, Carlos Fierro scored 36 goals
Previous season was some kind of total tuning up. New tactical approach, new players… Before that season evolutional squad changes were provided by me. Several prospective youngsters and Zargo Toure were brought to the squad.
In short, it was the best season in the story. For instance, take a look at the start: 9 wins in the starting 9 Premier League matches.
And we almost became PL champions loosing it by goal difference to Manchester City. It was unlucky strike #2.
The last part of the story which was interrupted for my 2-week vacation. During winter transfer window I bought several top class Latin American players, mostly from Brazil.
Arsenal got into great winning streak for a title, and Q.P.R. was unable to catch up the Gunners. So the main accent was made on Champions League Cup. But again and again we failed at quarter-final stage. Lady lack joked over me once more.
Former Q.P.R. player Oscar buried all my hopes in the tournament after 3:2 win in the first match. Unlucky strike #3.
Well, at least Queens Park Rangers won FA Cup in the very end of the story.
Here is the Overall Best Eleven.
I have also created 2 rankings of players.
Best Q.P.R. players
1. Carlos Fierro (ST).
2. Bernard Holt (DC).
3. Ivelin Popov (AML/AMR).
4. Douglas Costa (AML/ST).
5. Jay Rodriguez (ST).
6. Ognjen Vukojevic (DMC).
My transfer mistakes
1. Alvaro Vadillo.
2. Sami Khedira.
3. Denys Garmash.
4. Michael Kightly.
5. Theo Walcott.
Several historical season records
My profile as Q.P.R. manager
So here it is. A long retrospective which made me typing keyboard for almost 4 hours…
But I am still excited to blog for you :)