Q: Choose your starting line-up from the current squad
A: (4-2-3-1 formation), Marshall if he signs, Ramage, Hall, Gorkss, Connolly, Rowlands, Leigertwood, Taarabt, Buzsaky, Vine, Helguson.
Subs: Cerny, Mahon, Routledge, Faurlin, Ephraim, Balanta, Agyemang.
Q: What are your thoughts on the new players coming in and the ones that have left ?
A: I haven’t seen Faurlin, but the £3.5m price tag is complete fiction and once again the club have put themselves in a position where hyping a summer signing could come back to haunt them. They’ve obviously learned nothing from the Ward, Parejo and Ledesma debacles. That’s not to say Faurlin isn’t a good prospect. He seems a good player, but he’ll have to deal with the expectations all this £3.5m nonsense will create. Taarabt has talent but I’m not sure about his temperament, so he could go either way. But if it doesn’t work out I won’t be able to criticise as I probably would have signed him too. He’s got great talent. Pellicori looks a typically strange QPR signing and I haven’t been impressed with the little bit I’ve seen so far, but as a squad player he may not be too bad.
Camp and Blackstock were always going to go. I’ve never agreed with the commonly-held view that Rangers need a striker. They only need one now because they’ve chosen to get rid of Blackstock. Delaney was a typical Rangers signing – better than what was there before but overpriced. I thought he was a terrible waste of money, but he was a decent Championship left back and Borrowdale isn’t. Rangers have taken a step backwards there unless they get a decent replacement in. Van Aaholt at Chelsea is excellent but I don’t know if anything will happen there. Andy Marshall’s not bad and would be a good signing as a back-up keeper if the first choice was better. I don’t rate Cerny and think Rangers needed to sign a better keeper this summer.
Q: Who do you think will be the star of the team this season ?
A: Taarabt, if he gets his own way and things go well. Buzsaky for me is still QPR’s best player followed by the excellent Rowlands. I think Gorkss will have a good season.
Q: What are your thoughts about QPR on and off the pitch at this time ?
A: The squad is weaker than last season but still good enough to challenge for promotion if things improve off the pitch. There are signs the circus that has been QPR since 2005 is beginning to calm down a bit and things are improving, but Rangers are still a long way behind the well-run clubs that have less money but do things the right way. It’s not all about spending money and having good players. The financial state of the club, I think should also be a serious concern. The wage bill is spiralling and Rangers need to get into the Premier League to make their debts manageable. The club has spent an astonishing amount of money on players and other things and it simply isn’t sustainable.
Q; Who do you think will go up this season and who will go down to League One ?
A: Unlike QPR, Forest have bought well since spending big money and I expect them to do very well. Newcastle will find it tough but can still attract the best Championship players and may challenge if they can weather the early storm. Not sure about Middlesbrough, but West Brom and Sheffield United will be strong and Ipswich should be up there. I’ll go for Forest, Sheffield United and Ipswich to go up and Plymouth, Barnsley and Scunthorpe to go down, although I think Gary Hooper will score goals in the Championship for Scunthorpe.
Q: With ever spiralling wage demands, should there be a salary cap in the Football League ?
A: It would be tough to introduce – especially without a cap in the Premier League.
Q: Lastly, are Championship ticket prices too high ?
A: Yes, especially at QPR !