Football Expert & Columnist
A marked man
Jamie Redknapp says it was only a matter of time before QPR's new owners brought in their 'own man'.
Last Updated: 28/05/12 9:32am
Neil Warnock did a fantastic job with QPR, but he was a dead man walking as soon as the club was taken over by new owners.
I have a lot of sympathy for Neil. I know he's not everyone's cup of tea because he's quite forthright and he always says what he thinks, but I think that works quite well sometimes.
He did amazingly well to get QPR promoted last season because I never thought they'd get back to the top flight when they went down 15 years ago.
But when a new consortium takes over a football club the manager in place is never their man and, in this case, Neil Warnock was never Tony Fernandes' man.
As soon as things start to go wrong new owners will look to change the manager and after a run of eight games with no wins it was always on the cards.
In truth, the results weren't good enough and they never really built on the big win they had against Chelsea back in October. You have to grab the moment and capitalise on those situations and keep the momentum going, but they didn't do that and I think Neil was let down by a few players.
There were too many who didn't perform as well as they could have and when things aren't going well it's easy to look at everyone except for you and that's exactly what players do.
They want a get out clause and I've no doubt that there were probably one or two players there who would have been going to the chairman complaining about all sorts and that's why they've been unsuccessful. But hopefully they'll just get on with their football now.
From the board's point of view, six weeks ago there were two very good managers out of work; Martin O'Neill and Mark Hughes.
Then Sunderland appointed O'Neill leaving just Mark and I think that played a part in their decision. If you don't make an effort to go and get a manager like Mark Hughes, sooner rather than later, someone else will.
We've all seen the impact Martin has had since taking over at Sunderland. They've picked up 13 points in six games and the QPR board will no doubt have looked at that.
And then, of course, there's the small matter of the transfer window. There's clearly a fair bit of money to spend because I don't think Mark Hughes would have gone there otherwise. But let's get it straight, he's got a great job there.
QPR are a really good little football club and Mark will have the opportunity to bring in his own players and strengthen the areas of the team that he thinks need it.
They've already been linked with two centre-backs in Alex and Chris Samba and both would be fantastic signings. Alex and Mark Hughes share the same agent in Kia Joorabchian so there's an obvious link there.
But Blackburn seem pretty intent on keeping Samba and I can understand why, because for me he is one of the best centre halves in the Premier League. I was really surprised Arsenal went in for Per Mertesacker in the summer instead of him, but if QPR were to pull it off that would be a huge signing.
That said, I think their problems have been in midfield this year, and now they've lost Alejandro Faurlin for the season through injury and that is a massive blow.
I think he's their most important midfield player so Hughes will have to strengthen there, but he won't have much time before the trip to Newcastle on Sunday.
I've been so impressed with Newcastle this season and I fancy them to just edge this one, even without Demba Ba and Cheik Tiote, who have gone to the African Cup of Nations.
Danny Guthrie looks like he'll come in for Tiote in midfield and although he's not the exact same player he can come in and do a good job. But that's the difference between the two clubs - I don't think QPR have the same depth in quality.
As for who will replace Ba, that duty will most likely fall on Leon Best or Shola Ameobi. I was with Leon at Southampton and he's improved beyond belief since then, but he's always had a a terrific work ethic. That's what has impressed me most about Newcastle.
They seem to have a really good team spirit and there's an appetite about them which I really like and the credit has to go to Alan Pardew who's done a brilliant job up there.
The 3-0 win over Manchester United last week was probably the result of the season so far, so they're coming into this game in great form and if they can keep this momentum going they should be looking to finish sixth or seventh.
As for QPR, they might not get anything on Sunday, but I do think they'll stay up this season. It won't be easy and they're only one point above the relegation zone at the moment, but with a couple of signings, I think they'll be fine.