Q: Choose your starting line-up from the current squad
A: Tough one, but if all fit I’d go with the following in a 4-2-3-1 formation: Cerny, Leigertwood, Hall, Gorkss, Connolly, Routledge, Rowlands, Faurlin, Taarabt, Buzsaky, Helguson.
Q: What are your thoughts on the new players coming in and the ones that have left ?
A: I think it’s a shame we lost Jordi Lopez, he looked a decent player for us last season, but that wasn’t to be. I think Camp and Blackstock had plenty to offer and for footballing reasons shouldn’t have gone, but for reasons I don’t understand they were not wanted by Flavio and the longer they stayed the more chances of another manager/owner bust up, so probably best that we sold them. Camp and Blackstock do need to be replaced though and I’m disappointed we haven’t managed to replace them yet with just days to go to the new season. Delaney is also a big loss. He got plenty of stick last year, but was never that bad and is another player we haven’t replaced.
Of the ones coming in, Taarabt looks a quality player with plenty of skill. He reminds me a little of Jerome Thomas who when he first came on loan looked unstoppable, but then faded. I hope the same doesn’t happen to Taarabt, but it will be interesting to see how he does over a longer period. I don’t know anything about the other two we’ve signed. I hope they do well, but have no idea if they are good signings or not. We could do with adding a left back to the squad as we still look weak in that area.
Q: Who do you think will be the star of the team this season ?
A: Adel Taarabt is the one who is worth paying to watch and if he has a good season, we’ll go close. A fully fit Buzsaky will run him close for the star attraction though and I really hope Balanta breaks through this season.
Q: What are your thoughts about QPR on and off the pitch at this time ?
A: On the pitch I think we’re a little short of automatic promotion, but have the best squad we’ve had in years and if it all clicks, we’ll be good to watch. If you compare the side to the one we had 2 or 3 years ago, it is so much better it is scary, but the downside to me is it look like the squad is a bit unbalanced and it will only take a bad season for Cerny and co. at the back for us to go backwards rapidly. I’m hopeful that won’t happen though.
Off the pitch I’m not quite as happy with everything. I think the club has been taken away from the fans with the ticket prices still very high and the amount of debt being racked up makes it all feel very similar to the Chris Wright era again. I think I’m like most fans in just crossing fingers and hoping they know what they are doing at Board level, but the last 18 months hasn’t inspired any confidence that they have a clue.
Q:Who do you think will go up this season and who will go down to League One ?
A: I reckon West Brom and Sheffield United for the top two and Forest through the play-offs. Going down I reckon Scunthorpe, Watford and Doncaster.
Q: With ever spiralling wage demands, should there be a salary cap in the Football League ?
A: Yes and no. A salary cap based on the clubs incoming money would make sense and would help clubs avoid getting into so much debt chasing the dream and ending up ruined. The problem comes when you get to the Premiership where no such cap exists, so it means you have no hope of surviving. A salary cap really needs to be brought in across the whole of football as at the moment, clubs coming down from the Premiership, even with the parachute money, are quickly in trouble. How any club can afford to pay wages of ¬£130,000 a week is beyond me ! There is not a chance that this can continue for much longer.
Q: Lastly, are Championship ticket prices too high ?
A: Of course they are. Any club that charges over ¬£25 for a Championship match is in my opinion, but it goes back to the salary problem, clubs are spending far too much on players which means they have no other way of affording it other than charging the fans more each season.