Hi Paul, thank you for your time and for answering a few questions. As NCFC fans we were a bit gutted at the timing of your manager’s departure. It could lead to an interesting game tomorrow! What is your viewpoint on the McClaren sacking?
He’s reported to have said he wasn’t given long enough, however one win in 14 league matches can’t be good enough, can it?
Us, as fans, felt this season was our last shot to use any money left over in the last of the relegation payments from the Premier League, by building a non-FFP busting squad of youth and hope. After a few games, Steve and his team burnt that mandate pronto and then signed three Premier loans and an ex-Premier free transfer.
Also, I’d not fear a new manager or coach in the hot seat bounce this week as our wheels are too flat to have any air in them. After a wee bit of a run and winning at Forest for the first time in our history, in true QPR fashion, we smashed our new toys.
QPR are a similar team to City, both having short spells in the Premier League – the proverbial “yo-yo teams”. We’re presently pushing for automatic promotion and hopefully, this time, can sustain our position there long-term. The R’s sit currently in 17th and are unlikely to make the playoffs but they are also relatively safe from relegation. So, with this in mind, can we expect a team to be happy to sit back or do you think they will be bouncing off the back of McClaren’s sacking?
This is QPR, so god only knows but I think the chances of a Rangers bounce, as I’ve said before, is low as we don’t ever have that. All very depressing but I expect nothing and I will take a 0-0, or win as a sign from the god of football, who has made us suffer enough.
I hear the R’s have been linked to Charlton’s manager Lee Bowyer. How are the fans receiving this news and, personally, who would you target?
Hard to call on this one. We tend to pick up anyone falling off the manager merry-go-round. For once I’d like us to take our time do this properly and make sure it’s someone we can all back and someone who thinks and acts outside the box in how they do things.
As of late, we’ve become way too obvious in our choice of managers. Just someone – anyone – who can put a smile on our faces for a change. That’s all I ask. Or we go safe with Kenny Jackett or someone of that ilk. The trouble with us is we tend to kill off managers, not enhance them
I mentioned that McClaren thought his dismissal was a bit premature and he was not given enough time to work with the squad that he had built. By contrast, Farke was lucky to be given full support by the City board and their patience is starting to pay off. They were appointed at a similar time. Was there an identity under his management? Could you see his work in progress?
Nope, his game management was bloody amazing, also insane and his subs were so easy to forecast. Week after week you could tell who would play, who would come off and also, when playing teams in games at home we needed to win, he’d play a forward up top, who was as effective as a blunt-bladed razor in a barber’s back in the back of the ZZ Top tour bus.
Similarly to City, you have a relatively young squad, some of whom have been brought up from the academy. Are any of them showing signs of being big players for you?
Yeah, we have decent younger players but only time will tell if they are up to Championship standard. In London, we have to get players who have been missed by the top clubs in the land who tend to rack and stack kids to stop the flow of players in this city. Also, not having our own training ground and youth set up in various places over west London doesn’t help the whole club come together as one. Like all teams, I love seeing players making the grade rather than the Premier League cast-offs who are only here for the money kind. There is something special in seeing the likes of a new Kevin Gallen going on to be a first-team legend via the youth set up.
Have you got the next Max Aarons, Jamal Lewis or Todd Cantwell? Who should we be watching out for?
Hard to tell really. Eberechi Eze is a special talent and someone who can, with confidence, change a game and who also has the ability to step up. The Championship doesn’t allow players time or time on the ball, but he is one I’d love to see be the player we know he can be. Darnell Furlong to me is a better centre-half than right-back and under the right manager could be a great player.
Young Smyth and Chair on loan in League Two are great players to have come into the game and sadly ones the manager for some reason didn’t keep in our helter-skelter Christmas programme when our squad was on its last legs.
It was September 2008 the last time QPR beat the Canaries at Carrow Rd, a 1-0 win despite only having ten men. What is your prediction for the game?
I pray that Norwich have the mother of all off days and we get some magic person to come on the trip and, using their powers of witchcraft, trick the players into thinking they are the best team in the world, and all called Pele.
Or it could be a Saturday of shame back to west London
Norwich fans are often calling for new wealthy owners or big investment. After witnessing the recent demise of Bolton Wanderers I’m very much of the “be careful what you wish for school. How has Tony Fernandes delivered? He’s not had great success with managers or realised his dream of building a new stadium. I wonder if he still wishes he’d brought Norwich!
Our board are a strange lot. They are not bad people or club killers. But they spent 100s of millions into making us worse than when they came and made agents so rich out of selling us duds. It’s embarrassing.
They want to be loved they want glory and they got turned over by football’s dream.
Sadly it turned out to be our nightmare.
We, as fans, only want the best for the club we follow. Our culture was changed, we become Billy Big Bollocks in signing players, taking us from a club one season with buckets to keep us going to having agents in a queue to give us the worst mercenaries since the Wild Geese.
A football club should both build and dream – they go hand in hand – and history and culture mean more than anything
All I ask for is players who give their all and leave their soul on the pitch. And just play with love and passion for the game. When you have that with a decent board you can do anything.
Dare to dream, but never sell your soul.
April Fool’s Day was no joke for Schteve McClaren with Rangers dispensing of his services following a run of only 1 win from their last 15 championship fixtures. That victory came against Leeds and caretaker boss, John Eustace, will be hoping to spring another ‘surprise’ result, whilst the early kick-off gives City an ideal chance to extend the lead at the top and pile more pressure on our ‘friends’ oop North.
Our tipsters’ table is starting to resemble the Championship. Stew has opened up a significant lead at the top, with Martin and Andy battling it out for second. Steve and Gary are firmly rooted in mid-table, seeing out the remaining fixtures with little to play for, whilst The Oppo (like Ipswich), are cast adrift at the bottom.
Penney predicts: Some wit on social media said the John Eustace effect will induce all the bouncability of a dead cat and I agree with him. It’s 3-0 City for me.
Andy assumes: Sometimes a change of manager acts as a catalyst and a breath of fresh air. This isn’t a quality team down on its luck though and they’re playing league leaders full of confidence. 5-0 Norwich.
Gaz guesses: All this uber confidence makes me nervous, but equally one glance at the table below proves once and for all that I know nothing. I think this will tighter than folk imagine though. 2-1 City and plenty of squeaky bums.
Cookie concludes: City have ground out results recently without showcasing their full potential. The final whistle at Boro, seemed to turn hope into genuine belief, and I fancy us to put in a performance worthy of Champions. 4-0 City
Stew suspects: It should set off alarm bells when I start thinking a game is going to be plain sailing. So this one probably won’t be. But surely City have too much for QPR. 3-1 Norwich
The oppo’s opinion:
Siri says: The answer is Norwich 3 – QPR 2
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