As I mentioned in my last post I was eager to get the season finished and start the rebuild of QPR and try and push further than a Europa League place which has been achieved in my first two seasons in charge of the club.
It has been an interesting summer with my name being the main focus of the rumours. There was talk of both Barcelona and Manchester City being interested in my services. Pep Guardiola has left Barcelona and Roberto Mancini has taken the reins of the club but instead of Manchester City offering me the job but instead employed Michael Laudrup. If I had been offered both the jobs, would I have taken them? How could I not?
My team at the end of the second season was made up of players getting on age wise and players that did not contribute much to my team which meant I needed to get rid. The most noteable departures have been Cisse to Stoke for £1.9 mil. Cisse had not managed to get double figures for goals last season and with him not getting any younger it was time for him to move on while I could still get some money for him. One of QPR's favourites, DJ Campbell also had to depart with him joining Wolves for £1.3mil. He had had a poor season with him alongside Cisse not scoring the goals that I needed to push higher than fifth.
The next decision was a tough one. Joey Barton had been colossal in the midfield and he was never afraid to put a foot in the tackle. But apart from his strength he did not contribute much else to the team so he has moved onto a new challenge at Stoke who were willing to pay £2.5mil for his services. Alongside this tough decision the next one was a big shock for the club. Adel Taarabt has left on a season long loan to Birmingham City. He is such an inconsistent player and only scored 9 goals in two season for me so it was time for him to go else where. Other noteable departures were SWP (Sunderland - £2.5mil), Akos Buzsaky (Ipswich - season long loan), Alejandro Faurlin (Blackburn - £3.5mil) and Marco Verratti (FC Lorient - season long loan (he will be returning to the club for sure)).
Total income from players: £14.5mil.
It was time for a big change to take place at QPR and I knew that it was going to be an expensive rebuild but I am going to share with you how the £46.5mil that the board entrusted me with has been spent.
I started by looking at striking options as I needed to replace the experienced Campbell and Cisse who departed. I have taken a gamble with my first signing, who is, Nicklas Bendtner from Arsenal for £3.8mil. He has a lot to prove but I have some confidence that he can get into double figures for goals this season. I was also happy that it did not break the bank to gain his services.
A lot of the players who left were the spine of the midfield so this was the main area of the team which needed improving. My team are a passing team so I had to get in players who would fit into this system. First up was Joe Allen from Swansea for, probably an over-priced, £10mil. He is only 23 so has plenty of time to improve and he will get a lot of playing time now the likes of Faurlin and Barton have left. Alongside Joe I have gone for some experience as well by purchasing Alberto Aquilani from Liverpool on the cheap (£2.5mil). He is the kind of player who can come on and settle down a game with his experience and help the team to play out for a win. I do feel that him and Joe could create a formidable partnership in the middle.
For a bit of flair to the team I have spent £15mil on Gylfi Sigurosson from Hoffenheim. He will bring so much to this team. Charlie Aadm, despite being played in his preferred advanced playermaker role, contributed very little last season. Sigurosson is a young talent and I think the amount spent on him will be justified as the season progresses. Extra flair will be provided by Vladimir Weiss from Manchester City and Moussa Dembele who only cost £3.4mil and £10mil and are a definite successors to SWP and Campbell on the wings. Another young player, John Flanagan, has been brought in on loan as my team were looking a bit bare at the back and the idea behind this was that it was not yet more money being spent. He can play when needed, which is experience for him, and then leave at the end of the season with no problems.
Paddy Kenny, a long serving QPR player, who followed Neil Warnock to the club from Sheffield United, was left go on a free transfer. This left the second goalkeeper spot free. With Asmir Begovic being 26 years old it was important for me to get in a goalkeeper for the future. I have managed to obtain Jack Butland's future for the small fee of £2mil. He will be a great under study to Begovic and will be given the chance to play in cup games.
Total transfer expenditure: £46.5mil.
I think it is going to be an exciting season for QPR with the new creative players having being brought in. I am hoping for a good pre-season which will be the focus of my next post in the not too distant future.
Thank you for reading.