Early Doors

Hoop Dreams die but Rs stars laughing all the way to the bank

Early Doors

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There it is, the bitter pain of relegation etched all over the face of Jose Bosingwa.

Or maybe not.

Give Bosingwa the benefit of the doubt though, 'Arry may have cracked the old favourite about the family act going in to see the talent agent.

Let's not make this a witchhunt against Bosingwa, but it's the signing of players like him that have seen QPR drop into the Championship despite massive investment over the last two years.

'Mercenary' is the lazy term that usually gets bandied around but let's look at it logically: it's simply a case of hunger.

Bosingwa is 30, financially set for life, is a Champions League winner, has won five League titles and got a massive pay packet and a nice cozy move across London meaning he didn't even have to move house.

'He's a professional' you say. Come on - get in the real world!

Imagine a different economic landscape and you are a regular guy from Croydon or Cleckheaton who's made it as a pro and gone to the cash-rich Portuguese League. You've won it all with Benfica, you know you are not quite the athlete you were and Moreirense offer you a shed load of cash. You take it, and you may be even trying to do well... but the hunger simply can't be there.

Ultimately this profile of player has killed QPR this season: the seen it, done it, aint-bothered brigade like Bosingwa, Park Ji-Sung, Julio Cesar (pictured recently in a Chelsea shirt) and Djibril Cisse.

All the while those who are younger and still with a bit of hunger - like Esteban Granero, Armand Traore and Fabio Da Silva - have been flattered by their previous association with big clubs and come in on inflated wages and killed the spirit in the dressing room.

Clint Hill said as much post-match when saying that, "good players in the squad who brought us from the Championship weren't given a fair crack of the whip."

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QPR fans. Not happy.

Let's not forget Reading also went down and it is tougher to complain about their prudent transfer policy (the sacking of Brian McDermott when not given the tools is a different matter) but even they have been stung by foreign signings.

Former Sporting Lisbon captain Daniel Carrico made his debut in January, was hauled off after 45 minutes and has not started since, while five-goal striker Pavel Pogrebnyak shows about as much movement as you saw in a bread queue in his native Moscow 20-odd years ago.

But this is nothing to do with whether a player is from Castleford or Castel di Sangro, it is about the profile of the signing.

Look at West Ham who have stayed up comfortably with essentially most of the team that just about got out of the Championship.

But what Big Sam has done is brought in four excellent players to build on the base: two English (Andy Carroll and Matt Jarvis) and two foreign (Mohamed Diame and Jussi Jaaskelainen). That second pair are a keeper who he has worked with in the past and Diame, a player with Premier League experience and - as shown by his willingness to live in Wigan - someone with a bit of moral fibre.

Ultimately Mark Hughes' kid in a sweet shop, Championship Manager approach in the transfer market has cost QPR their Premier League place. And it has also cost owner Tony Fernandes a lot of money.

We would pay a large amount of money to be a fly on the wall when Fernandes sits down with Redknapp to discuss the future of the club at 11am today.


The Arsenal guard of honour for the Premier League champions Manchester United has had far more column inches devoted to it than any two lines of men standing still, clapping should ever deserve.

Certainly it had some people in a right tizz, as demonstrated by this guy on Twitter:

A guard of honour, for the biggest traitor in Arsenal history. At our own ground. I think I'm going to be sick.

If #VanPursestrings has a shred of decency left in his miserable mercenary bones he will ask NOT to take part in.

The biggest traitor in Arsenal history? Quite a shout there Piers. The path from Arsenal to Manchester United is not a new one, after all Frank Stapleton did it, as did Viv Anderson. And Ray Kennedy deserted the Gunners for Liverpool in 1974-75 and left Arsenal in a right pickle: they finished 16th the next season.

But you can forgive Morgan the odd blooper when bright ideas come to him thick and fast as they must do in the mind of Piers.......on an almost bi-annual basis.

Of course this is 'Mercenary' Robin van Persie whose goals last season are the only reason Arsenal qualified for the Champions League, which enables them to maintain their existing financial model, and who like any normal person changed jobs for a one offering more prestige (his title medal testifies to this) and more money.

But you never know. Maybe if Morgan was offered the chance to step away from gleaning the life story of Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli and get the chance to probe the life of Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama for the BBC on a higher salary, he would turn it down to avoid being, "the biggest traitor in broadcasting history."

As it turned out van Persie, after nearly walking into the Arsenal dressing room when he arrived at the Emirates, scored his 25th goal of the season and didn't bother to celebrate.

ED would have liked to see him doing a Micky Channon windmill in front of the posh seats occupied by Morgan and other such cronies.


“I don’t know what to say. Trotta was not my first choice to take the penalty, but I’m not going to hang any individual out to dry. I’m not going to say anything more other than we will deal with this internally. I have been in football long enough and thought we would score, but when I saw what happened out there I was no longer 100 per cent sure. The fact is we were 20 seconds away from the Championship, what do you want me to say?” - Brentford boss Uwe Rosler after Marcello Trotta, the 20-year-old Bees sub on loan from Fulham, told his team-mates that he was the man to take the last-minute penalty that would have seen his side promoted. He missed.


Rapid Vienna slumped to another defeat on Saturday, losing 3-1 at home to Salzburg in the Austrian Bundesliga after fans bricked over the entrance to the club's offices in another protest at the team's form. The supporters, furious at Rapid's recent poor run, built a small wall to block the front door during the early hours of Saturday morning. They attached a photograph of general manager Werner Kuhn with the caption: "I'm not allowed in."


Wearside dry cleaners are on red alert as Paolo di Canio takes Sunderland to Aston Villa in a relegation six-pointer, while outside of football we will be continuing our coverage of the snooker World Championship both on the Player and in text.

Lee Walker

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