Q: Choose your starting line-up from the current squad
A: Cerny, Ramage, Gorkss, Connolly, Leigertwood (I’d prefer us to sign a left back, but Mikele can fill in until then), Routledge, Buzsaky, Taarabt, Rowlands, Agyemang and Vine
Q: What are your thoughts on the new players coming in and the ones that have left ?
A: I’ve not seen any of the new players yet, so it’s all about hopes and fears…..I hope we haven’t wasted £3.5m on Faurlin and that he turns out to be a real star find. Similarly, I really hope that Pellicori can unsettle defences and be the 20-goal striker we all want. Andy Marshall is an experienced keeper and should provide quality back-up for Cerny. My fears would be that once again our overseas’ scouting has proved to be a complete shambles ! It’s great to see a few of the youngsters featuring in the pre-season friendlies. Our youth set-up hasn’t produced for far too long now, so fingers crossed for these guys coming through the ranks.
Of the players that have left, after a lot of early promise, I thought Delaney looked a liability at left back, so I wasn’t too sorry to see him go. Dexter I thought had a lot to offer. I don’t think we ever got it ‘right’ with him, either because of the tactics or not having a settled partner. He has consistently scored goals at this level and I think he’ll score a lot if and when he arrives at a club that make the most of his talents, and play to his strengths. I am alarmed that we haven’t bought a striker (although the breaking news is that Pellicori has signed a 3-year deal, so fingers crossed)
Q: Who do you think will be the star of the team this season ?
A: I’m hesitant because a year ago, we were led to believe it would be Daniel Parejo, the best youth player at Real Madrid ! Maybe Faurlin, the price tag suggests he’s a cut above. If Buz stays fit, I would hope to see some magic from him, but I’m going to go on a flight of fancy and say Alessandro Pellicori ! 15 goals minimum and Championship defences will have no idea how to handle him.
Q: What are your thoughts about QPR on and off the pitch at this time ?
A: On the pitch, like everyone else I feel we need two full backs and a striker – even with the signing of Pellicori I think we remain light up front. We have all seen how injuries can wreck a season recently. It’s good to see the Walking wounded return. I hope their serious injuries have left no lasting effects.
Off the pitch, I worry about the guys running the club. Two of them (the richest two) seem anonymous, while the third says and does things on a regular basis which cause embarrassment and upset within the QPR family. I’ve never believed in the four-year plan and with another transfer window shutting in four weeks time, I don’t see any signings to move us forward (unless it’s these new guys) although experience suggests not. As they say, time will tell, but our business plan seems half-cocked to me.
Q: Who do you think will go up this season and who will go down to League One ?
A: Promoted – Ipswich, WBA and Derby County, relegated – Barnsley, Doncaster and Swansea.
Q: With ever spiralling wage demands, should there be a salary cap in the Football League ?
A: Yes, there should be a salary cap. I love my football, but I think it’s ridiculous that players earn more than politicians and surgeons. John Terry, £150,000 a week ! How many lives did he save this week ? How many people’s well-being (in real, economic terms) is better or safer because of John Terry turning up for work ? This issue runs throughout professional football, and to a greater extent in the Premiership, but still at a (in my view) unacceptable level in the Championship and beyond.
Q: Lastly, are Championship ticket prices too high ?
A: I like the German model, lower prices which allows more people to attend and give greater access. Football doesn’t seem to have realised that there is a recession on, or that half the world’s population are living in poverty or real economic hardship !