We at 32 Flags are previewing every team in the English Premier League, two teams a day until the beginning of the season. Get ready as we preview your favorite team or maybe we can help you pick a team to root for if you are undecided so far. Today, we’re covering Queens Park Rangers.
Queens Park Rangers
Founded – 1882
Last Year Position – 4th in Championship (promoted via Playoffs)
Transfers In (As of 8/12) – Steven Caulker (Cardiff City, £8.5m), Jordan Mutch (Cardiff City, £6m), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Mauricio Isla (Juventus, Loan)
Transfers Out (As of 8/12) – Yossi Benayoun (Maccabi Haifa, Undisclosed), Esteban Granero (Real Sociedad, Undisclosed), Tom Hitchcock (MK Dons), Aaron Hughes (Brighton & Hove Albion), Mo Shariff (Bradford City), Gary O’Neil (Norwich City)
Projected Finish (Voted among 32 Flags staff) – 16th place
Rivalries – Chelsea, Fulham and Brentford
Famous Supporters – Micky Jones (The Clash), Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols), Pete Doherty (The Libertines) and Liam Ridgwell (Portland Timbers)
Let’s get this out of the way right now…Harry Redknapp’s side was lucky as hell to make it back to the EPL so quickly. They were completely outclassed in the playoff final by Derby County, only to see them survive the onslaught enough to win. It’s that grit that could help them stay up, as we’ve predicted them to avoid the drop among the staff writers.
QPR’s last go-round in the EPL was an unmitigated disaster, featured a squad full of egos that clashed and players who weren’t happy with playing time all over the place. Manager Harry Redknapp and the club have been wise enough to remember those painful moments and hope to not repeat them in 2014/15.
One great example of not repeating those moments was signing Rio Ferdinand on a free transfer from Manchester United. Yes, he’s up there in age, but he brings some great professionalism to the table as well. Pairing up the veteran defender with the likes of new signing Steven Caulker is also something that should give QPR fans hope that this stay in the top flight of English football won’t be as brief as the last one.
Additionally, signing young 22-year-old midfielder Jordan Mutch from Cardiff in the offseason should help bridge the age gap of a team that came in to the season much older than normal. It’s a nice mix of guys that are new and guys who have done this dance before for QPR and it appears that Redknapp may have just the right mix to avoid the yo-yo nature of this club over the last few years.
Redknapp has put off retirement to lead this group and nothing short of staying in the EPL will suffice his likely swan song as a manager.
Hell, the guy has managed to get the most out of the talented, but troubled Joey Barton. So, with most of the headache-enducing players out of the locker room, this season appears to be looking up for the ‘Gers.