QPR in financial strife after relegation from Premier League

QPR will play Championship football next year after a terrible 2012-13 campaign, with relegation from the Premier League already confirmed. The club’s owner Tony Fernandes invested heavily in the club since buying the Loftus Road outfit back in August 2011, but the organisation’s financial future now looks bleak.

Fernandes admitted earlier in the season that he would consider walking away from QPR should the side be relegated, and football in-play betting odds suggest this is still a real possibility.

Should the Air Asia entrepreneur make that move, the club could find themselves in a similar position to the likes of Leeds United and slip down the leagues quickly due to financial mismanagement.

QPR owner Tony Fernandes

Harry Redknapp’s wages will surely be considerable, much more than anyone else in the Championship, and the ex-Tottenham man’s future could also be on the line. However, the rumours suggest that a raft of big-money signings will be leaving the club. The main problem is that some of them will not want to due to the extortionate wages QPR handed them in a bid to salvage their Premier League status.

Players of quality such as Loic Remy, Christopher Samba and Julio Cesar will have no problems finding a new club, however some other players will not want to take a hefty paycut to leave, and could lurk in the reserves eating away at the club’s coffers.

The likes of Jose Bosingwa, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Tal Ben Haim, amongst others, will find it almost impossible to find a club that will match their current wage structure.

One thing is for sure, and that is that QPR must slash their wage bill and recoup as much money from transfer fees as possible over the summer. If Redknapp does stay he could well be the man to lead them back to the top flight, given his reputation for astute buys in the transfer market. But first a period of consolidation and damage limitation is needed.

QPR’s case should serve as an example to other clubs that will look to avoid relegation from the Premier League next season and in the future. Although the temptation will always be there to splurge money in a bid to avoid the drop, the consequences of these actions are far-fetching.

Should a team like Wigan get relegated this season also, the Latics will be in a much better position to bounce straight back to the Premier League given that they are ran sensibly by a cautious chairman and do not live beyond their means.

Five players Everton should sign this summer

Under David Moyes Everton have always maintained a small first-team squad and spent their money on players they can put straight in to the first team. They very rarely sign young players unless they are for tiny transfer fees. They have predominantly purchased from the domestic market with an occasional higher price venture in to the overseas market. One thing has remained a prominent theme though, and that is that they will buy players they don’t need if the price is right. Sometimes it looks as though some of them have been signed because of the price rather than because of need or being Moyes’ preferred target. It’s only Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini, possibly Kevin Mirallas, that the club went out and specifically targeted. They have been excellent opportunists, jumping on good value propositions. Whether led by Moyes or someone else, it would seem apparent that this will be the policy they will follow again in the summer.

Winston Reid – West Ham

Winston Reid

Scout Report Reid has adapted seamlessly to the Premier League in his debut season. A tall, speedy and strong central defender, he has been West Ham’s best player this campaign. He has a World Cup under his belt, has improved rapidly over the last couple of seasons and at only 24 has plenty more potential to be unlocked. Not the most polished on the ball but he takes his defending seriously and does the job he is selected to do.

Where does he fit? Everton badly need to freshen up at centre back. Phil Jagielka is not playing up his previous levels, Sylvain Distin is 35 and Jonny Heitinga’s performances have gone off a cliff. What they need in particular is an infusion of athleticism. Reid is quicker than any of those three and is willing to put his body on the line. He would also add a bit of youth to the aging back line.

How much? Critically for Everton, his contract is due to expire in the summer so he would be available as a free agent. He would be a typical Everton signing.

Mathieu Flamini – AC Milan

Mathieu Flamini

Scout Report Remember him? Flamini has been in and out of the Milan team this season but still possesses all the qualities that made him such a prised free agent when Milan snaffled him from Arsenal. He is a gritty, hard working ‘water carrier’ of a midfielder who grinds away making things difficult for the opposition. He has a somewhat restricted range of passing but he does the dirty work that needs doing.

Where does he fit? Everton are currently fielding 35-year-old Phil Neville in the disruptor role and only otherwise have Darron Gibson who they’ve tried there but he doesn’t have the ideal skill set for the role. Flamini is an upgrade on both of the incumbents and at 29 has the type of experience that Everton prefer.

How much? Flamini will available for free in the summer when his contract expires. He presents the type of opportunistic move that Everton thrive on.

Dieumerci M’Bokani – Anderlecht

Dieumerci Mbokani

Scout Report
M’Bokani has made a career of scoring goals in Belgium but might now be looking to test his skills overseas. He is an awkward opponent, tall, strong and languid. He is also a potent finisher, a skill that he has improved over the years. At 27 he is a polished player ready for a greater challenge than the Belgian league where he scores a goal a game.

Where does he fit? Nikica Jelavic has struggled with second season syndrome and although Victor Anichebe does what he does he isn’t a 15-20 goal man. Everton could really use another option upfront. If they’d had a regular goal scorer aside from Fellaini this year they might well have found themselves in the Champions League shake up.

How much? Buying from Belgium has become fashionable lately but it is still an affordable place to look. M’Bokani could be had for about £7m which is toward the top end of Everton’s budget but isn’t a lot for a striker.

Tom Ince – Blackpool

Tom Ince

Scout Report Ince has emerged as one of the most desirable players outside the Premier League over the last 18 months. He is most dangerous when operating on the right hand side of a front three but he also has the capability to play wide in a 4-2-3-1. His lead suit is cutting in from the right and firing off shots with his powerful left foot. He clearly models his game on Arjen Robben and has a similar swagger and confidence in his own ability. Like his father, he doesn’t take a step back. He is fast and fluid, if a little raw, but he is only 21 with the basic materials to be a threat in the Premier League.

Where does he fit? Everton need pace in attack. Only Mirallas is what could be described as quick and they could do with another pacey outlet to shake things up when Plan A doesn’t work. Deploying Ince opposite Steven Pienaar would allow Mirallas to operate more centrally where he could use his pace to challenge the Premier League’s mostly pace-inhibited centre backs.

How much? Ince has run down his contract so that he will be free in the summer. It is thought that Liverpool are interested but Everton could offer him the first-team football that he surely needs.

Julio Cesar – QPR

Julio Cesar

Scout Report It’s only a few years ago that Cesar was considered the best in the world. Although he isn’t at that level anymore he is still one of the best keepers in the league. A wonderful shot stopper, he has kept teams out on his own on more than one occasion for QPR this season. Even at 33 he still has a good few years left in him.

Where does he fit? This season Tim Howard has been a liability. He hasn’t really been dropping clangers but he hasn’t been good either. Picture all the goals Everton have conceded where you see Howard diving late or not making a save that he might well have done. Cesar would be a huge upgrade behind a defence that allows shots on goal. Plug and play.

How much? If QPR go down then it’s near impossible to imagine Cesar not wanting to move on. Quite apart from his big wage which QPR should be looking to shell. With that in mind a bid of £2m would be on the mark.

You can read more by Max at the thefootballspace.com

Brazil’s strength in depth – the players that didn’t make the Copa America cut

The 2011 Copa America in Argentina kicks off in early July, with the hosts the favourites amongst most bookmakers. Despite this, eight time tournament winners and current holders Brazil, as always, have a star studded squad capable of beating anyone on their day. Coach Mano Menezes has named a mightily impressive squad, that includes the mercurial attacking talents of Neymar, Robinho and Alexandre Pato, and the Selecao fans must be confident of their sides chances in the competition. The nation’s true football calibre can be showcased not by the 28 players the former Corinthians boss has selected however, but by the names missing. The following is a potential Brazil international side that will be watching their countrymen compete from the comfort of their armchairs.

GK : Heurelho Gomes, Tottenham Hotspur (11 caps) – Brazil’s number one is Inter’s Julio Cesar, who has made the starting spot his own, and rightfully so as he is the best goalkeeper at Menezes’ deposal. Tottenham’s Heurelho Gomes missed out after one blunder too many may have blotted the copybook beyond salvation. The former PSV stopper’s club future is unclear also, with mistakes in high profile matches, such as against Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter finals still fresh in the memory. Undoubtedly has the potential to pull off a match winning save at a second’s notice, but Brazil won’t miss Gomes in Argentina.

LB : Marcelo, Real Madrid (6 caps)– The national coach chose to omit the 23-year-old from his 28 largely due to indiscipline, with the former Fluminense full-back reportedly feigning injury to avoid an international friendly against Scotland and stay in Spain to focus on pressing affairs at the Santiago Bernabeu. Despite his small number of caps, Marcelo has progressed this season with excellent performances for Jose Mourinho’s side both domestically and in Europe and is a player of quality despite his off the field problems.

CB : Alex, Chelsea (17 caps) – The former Santos defender has been replaced both at club and international level by the emerging talents of David Luiz, and has not made the final cut. A solid centre half with a venomous left foot, he will be missed more for the thunderbolt free-kicks than his defensive prowess, with Brazil most likely electing Thiago Silva and Lucio in the starting XI in his absence

CB : Juan, Roma (79 caps) – The 32 year old is maybe past his best but brings a wealth of experience to his current club employers Roma. He formed an effective club and country partnership with Lucio whilst the pair were at Bayer Leverkusen, but a potential move back to the Brasiliero will be the Rio born veteran’s only reason to return to South America this summer.

RB : Fabio and/or Rafael, Manchester United (0 caps) – English football fans will have recognised the progression of the 20 year old brothers this season, who competed with each other for a starting spot in Sir Alex Ferguson’s side. Both have flair going forward but need to work on their positioning at the back, and were understandably overlooked in favour of Dani Alves and Maicon. New Bayern Munich signing Rafinha is another right back who will not feature in the tournament.

MF: Anderson, Manchester United (8 caps) – Another Manchester United first-teamer not to make the cut, Anderson has become an increasingly important player at Old Trafford. The former Porto player has an energy and work-rate that would be beneficial to Menezes, but has been overlooked in favour of Premier League compatriots Lucas Leiva and Sandro. A lack of goalscoring has blighted the 23-year-old.

MF : Douglas Costa, Shakhtar Donetsk (0 caps) – The 20-year-old was a key figure in the Shakhtar Donetsk side that made it to the Champions League quarter finals, with two riveting displays to eliminate Roma stuck in the memory. The ex-Gremio man is being linked with a move to a bigger club, and unfortunately for him, despite his talents and a good season, the tournament has come too early for the future international.

MF : Hernanes, Lazio (3 caps) – Has had a very impressive first season in Europe with Lazio, becoming their go-to man in the centre of the park. The 26-year-old former Sao Paulo midfielder has a good range of passing, is excellent in possession, and proved his eye for goal by hitting the back of the net 11 times in 2010/11 for the Biancocelesti. A very good player, unlucky to miss out.

AM : Kaka, Real Madrid (82 caps) – The former Ballon d’Or and World Player of the Year winner has struggled to emulate his scintillating Milan form in Spain, and has had an injury-prone and frustrating two years at the Bernabeu. Recovering from injury in time was one thing; the 29-year-old simply didn’t get enough game-time in 2010/11, finding himself in Cristiano Ronaldo’s shadow. There is no doubt the talismanic playmaker will don the yellow of his country again in the future, but he needs to get back to his best to oust the likes of Sao Paulo wonderkid Lucas and Santos’ Ganso.

FW : Hulk, Porto (3 caps) – The fact that Hulk is not in the 28 is a testament to the strength of Menezes’ squad, given the excellent season the 24-year-old has just had. Strong on the ball, wonderfully talented and a ruthless finisher, the former Tokyo Verdy frontman was one of the standout performers in Porto’s vast domestic and European success in 2010/11, scoring 31 goals in the process.

FW : Ronaldinho, Flamengo (88 caps) – Another Ballon d’Or past winner to miss out, at 31 the now Flamengo attacker still has gas left in the tank. An unmatchable talent on his day, the former Barcelona hero never settled at AC Milan but still has a lot to offer. 32 international goals to his name and a mesmeric career behind him, Ronny’s bucktooth smile will be missed in Argentina

Other unlucky players to have missed the cut are Internacional’s Leandro Damaio, who is a £15 million target for Arsenal and Spurs, and Villarreal’s Nilmar who continues to impress at El Madrigal.

An unwanted team capable of potentially winning the tournament shows the Selecao’s strength in depth and continual production of top class, world beating players. Mano Menezes’ side start their campaign on July 3rd against Venezuela, and will no doubt prove to be real contenders to retain their crown come the final on July 25th.

Published – http://afootballreport.com/post/6716295666/brazils-strength-in-depth-the-players-that-didnt

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