Friday, 1 May 2009

QPR Story: 4th season: Transfers + UEFA Cup Qual's

Hello hello, hope you are all well. Now in my last post, I just finished 14th and sneaked into the UEFA Cup (through the fair play league admittedly). I was hoping to have a good transfer window, and hopefully get into the group stages of the UEFA Cup, but I was not optimistic. Anyways, onto transfers. Here are my ins and outs for the summer of 2011:

As you can see, depite my attempts to keep my players, some of my key players went to other clubs. Etienne Didot, Gary Caldwell, and Mike Aram got accepted by the board unfortunately, so I could not do anything about it. Steed Malbranque was doing rubbish throughout his time here, so I thought that I would try and get as much of the £5m I spent on him back. Finally, Matthew Connolly was just out of his depth here, and the other 2 were youth players that were just not good enough. But a massive amount of cash from these transfers, and instead of going crazy, I decided to save most of it, but spend about £10m on some thought out signings. Ashley Young was pre-arranged, and he would give some much needed depth to our wings. Andriy Rusol is a solid defender, a replacement for Caldwell and Connolly, but better quality than both. Finally Mourad Meghni is a good AMC, replacement for Malbranque, and at a cut price too! He shall be back up for the increasingly good Jack Wilshere. Moving on, here are my UEFA Cup results, along with pre season friendly matches and the first Premier League match of the season:

note: The first Port Talbot game was played at the very end of last season, about 2 weeks after my last post. It finished 13-0.

Now these are very interesting results, as we have completly stormed through UEFA Cup qualifying, and made mincemeat of our friendly games. Port Talbot were absolutely dreadful, and a massive 20-0 aggregate win left our fans very pleased. I was expecting Gyor to be around the same quality, so I fielded a weak side against them, and very almost lost in the first leg! Mike Aram (this was before he went) grabbed 2 goals after coming on from the bench. The second leg was easier, and a 4-0 home win was well recieved by the board. Gillingham and Stoke were other big victories, albeit they were friendly matches against lower league opposition. But the other friendly match was against one of the giants of La Liga, Sevilla. A world class performance was put in, and we won an incredible 6-0, to make my expectations for the next season soar. Sevilla had just got to the UEFA Cup semi final, and finished 3rd in La Liga last season, so this was a fantastic win. It also carried onto our other UEFA Cup fixtures. Before that though, we had the relatively easy job of dispatching Milano Kumanovo out of the Cup. The first leg was quite easy, with us winning 3-0 and 4-1 before they got 1 more goal to spare their blushes somewhat. In the second leg, no blushes were spared as we steamrolled them 5-0. In the 4th qualifying round against Stabaek, nobody expected us to win, and our board told me that going out now to a better team wouldn't be the end of the world. Nevertheless, we destroyed them in the first leg 4-0 and a more than adequate 3-0 in the second leg wrapped things up for us. Sandwiched in between those though, was the disappointing 2-0 defeat against Aston Villa. It was a reality check more than anything, as we had got carried away with our glorious pre-season. Next up is Wolves, a must win game against a recently promoted team. Hopefully we can win that.

Anyway, onto player ratings, and boy were we raking in the plaudits after our UEFA Cup run. Despite leaving just before the Aston Villa game, Mike Aram is still our top scorer with 8 goals in 8 games. Second is Jack Wilshere, who had the best pre-season I have ever seen (4 goals against Port Talbot 1st leg too, which is not shown on this seasons stats). He got a fantastic 6 goals in 8 games. And to round off the top 3, Kevin Doyle with 5 goals from 6. Top assister goes to Ashley Young, who got 7 in 5 games, with 1 goal to his name as well! Tied second are Hobbit Bermudez and Chris Burke, on 5 each. But Hobbit got his 5 in 4 appearances (2 starts), plus he got himself a goal and a man of the match. Chris Burke got his 5 in 7 starts, but with 2 goals and a man of the match.

The highest ratings is being partially scrapped this time. Instead, I am going to show you a full list of players above 7.00, because everyone has played so well I think they all deserve to be mentioned. So here it is:

Some great performances there, young centre back Danny Wilson leading the bunch on 7.88, with Ashley Young and Joe Mattock completing the top 3 on 7.78 and 7.70 respectivly. Only 3 players got less than 7, Marius Niculae (6.90), Andriy Rusol (6.40) and Mourad Meghni (6.30).
So that is it for this post, sorry for the length! I will be posting again once I have completed 12-14 Premier League games. Bye for now!
Edit: I have been made manager of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and we are 5th in our Euro 2012 qualifying table. I have only been in charge of one game, a 2-0 win away to Moldova. We have 4 games to go in the group, and if we win 3 of our games, we can still qualify. But with France and Greece leading the group it will be tough. Realistically though, if we win ALL of our games we will most likely finish second and subsequently qualify. I shall update this side-story as well as QPR.

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