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Why QPR is an exciting team to manage in FM2020 - and my quest for Champions League

A QPR fan with one goal - Champions League football within 5 seasons...
Started on 11 November 2019 by FMQPR2020
Latest Reply on 14 January 2020 by nextqprmanager
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FMQPR2020's avatar Group FMQPR2020
9 monthsEdited
...Ambitious; I know!

Before I start, I wanted to share some background. I am a QPR fan, and the start of this season outside of FM has made things really exciting for an FM save. For those who don't follow the Championship teams, QPR have been in a transitional period for some time, realising that paying players £100K+ when you have a stadium that can only hold 18,000 punters. It's been a long transition, with many managers involved - The highly detested Mark Hughes, arguably start of our downfall, the wheeler-dealer Harry Redknapp, the Youth Coach Chris Ramsey (Still at the club as a Technical Director, fortuantely), the prolific-striker-come-prodigy-manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, the downright insane Ian Holloway, to last seasons Inconsistent Dutch Translator; Schteve Maclaren. We've had it all.

This season, we've installed former Brentford manager Mark Warburton, know for developing young talents from unknown origins and making them into profitable stars. Mark has decided that there has been a culture brewed within the camp of mediocrity - you know, when you have all these individual great players that have served the club well; but you just doubt their ability to take you any further (we've all had those difficult decisions to make with a former hot prospect regen who just won't develop the way you dreamed!)

In the summer transfer window at the start of the game, QPR have already brought in 14 players and shifted the same, whilst only spending £60k in total. They have a respectable transfer budget available of £2.5m, if you promise the board the earth, and so still have scope to improve. They also have some really exciting talents to develop, Ilias Chair as an Attacking Mid, Bright Osayi Samuel as an attacking winger (17 pace, 16 acceleration, 16 flair - but not much else above 10!) and the talisman youngster Ebere Eze. As I write this, Eze is the highest rated player in the Championship this season after 16 appearances according to WhoScored. High stats in Dribbling, Flair, Composure, as well as respectable physical stats makes him an exciting prospect to develop.

I'll be using a 4-3-3 with a Half Back DM and Wingers to try to compete with the heavy spenders of the Championship and develop a cohesive team with high team morale. I don't plan to make too many more signings to start with, maybe just 2-3 (how many times have we all said that to ourselves?) but the aim is clear - Champions League football within 5 seasons or bust.

But can this team, who have barely played together, with a rotten history and the odds against them, push on to achieve greatness and defy odds to become a regular in the top 4 of the most competitive league in them all.

Follow my journey on Instagram / qprfm2020

Yeaaaaaah it's not going to plan.

I've implemented 2 main tactics for this squad; 4-3-3, and 3-5-2 with Wingbacks, and both tactics are based around the DM position being held by Dom Ball at Half-Back and I started to train youngsters Eze and Ilias Chair into Adv. Playmaker (Attacking) and Mezzala respectively to sit in the midfield 3 with Ball. Preseason went fantastically, we won 5 out of 7 of our games, scoring 13 goals and only conceding 3. Les Ferdinand, QPR's Director of Football brought in several hot prospects (unfortunately, it appears they're all CMs, something I do not require for future), and I proceeded to bring in some reinforcements of my own in the shape of Benjamin Garre to cover the wings, as well as Grant Ward on a Free Transfer to compete with Bright Osayi-Samuel on the RW.
My main addition came in the form of 6ft 2, 22yr old Jason Kerr to play as a BPD. His main attributes are 17 for Heading and 16 Determination. Rated 82 by our scouts and signed for a respectable £250k from St. Johnstone. One to develop but I envisage giving him plenty of playing time to realise his potential and hopefully sell for a profit (already worth £600k now!)

Results in the league haven't been great, starting the season with a 2-0 loss at home to Stoke using our 4-3-3 formation, who exploited our high line with direct balls over the top. We created chances but alas, we couldn't put them away. We tweaked the back line for the next fixture against Huddersfield and we controlled the game but again, chance after chance squandered. It finished 0-0, and although it's good to get a point on the board; I can't help but feel this might be setting a trend for the rest of the season.

For our next game, it was a chance to rotate the squad and for the players who I imagine will be on the bench for much of the season to show me why they deserve a chance in the first team. A 1-1 draw with Porstmouth did little to convince me, and we crashed out of the Carabao cup 6-5 on penalties. Very disappointing, and the squad heard my Assertive feelings, I made sure of it!

We had similar difficulties against Bristol City in the league, a bore draw with plenty of possession and chances, but nothing to show for it. We started slowly against Swansea in our next game, whilst opting for the 3-5-2 system. I was hopeful this switch to 3 at the back would solidify the defence a bit more against tough opposition - but we conceded 2 goals in the first half and changes were to be made at the break. I had an Aggressive word with the lads during the break, and was pleased to see a fight back. But we conceded from a free kick in the second half and the game finished 3-2 to Swansea. Always going to be tough, but we needed to get ourselves a win to shake away the negative atmosphere around the club.

Finally, a chance. Our next game was against Wigan who had started the season poorly. We worked on our tactics (Vertical Tiki Taka) for this game and it proved successful. The 4-3-3 saw the midfield dominate possession, and the wing backs - particularly Ryan Manning on the left flank - helped secure a victory after going 1-0 down. Ilias Chair with a MOM performance which gives me hope for his Mezzala training.

We got the win, and a weeks opportunity to get back to the training ground. Did we manage to use this result to spur us on to a long winning run and shoot ourselves up the table?

Well, no.

We played Sheffield Wednesday away, who have started the season well, finding themselves 5th with 6 games gone. It would appear my fears for our trend of the season was correct - we had 13 shots (7 on target). 3 of those shots, our strikers were 1 on 1 with the goalkeeper; a position we've yet to capitalise on this season, scoring 0 goals from this position. We held 56% of the possession, majority of the time just outside of the SWFC box looking for a way through - only to have no options or the final shot to be too soft at the keeper. This has started to worry me.

The place to fix these issues is the training ground, and fortunately for me we had a 2 week international break to work on things. I put the first week in working out our tactic, and the second week was purely based on attacking - particular focus on creating and finishing chances. We had another Wigan-esque opportunity to gain some momentum here, as our next fixture was against Luton Town FC.

The good news - we won. Bad news? 1-0. Some beautiful football played in the middle of the park found Eze linking up with Hugill, who laid off the ball to our RWB Todd Kane to apply the deft finish across the keeper into the bottom left corner. The goal came after 82 minutes of chance after chance, squandered (more 1-1s). Delighted for the win - but still a long way to go to build confidence.

The positives here - we're creating chances, and I'd always prefer that to not creating them, of course. However, I need some tips on how to get my strikers scoring; they just seem to put every shot at the keeper, and although we're training on the technical side, it would appear confidence and morale is low at the moment.
If anybody has any tips on getting strikers confident and scoring, I'd be delighted to hear them?

Also, please feel free to follow my progress a bit more regularly on my Instagram account/ qprfm2020!
If you're able to convert more of these chances, then hopefully an upturn in form is just around the corner. It's certainly been a far from ideal start for you. I'm very interested by the fact you're struggling to score, it's a complete parallel to QPR under Mark Warburton and hopefully it can be addressed soon. Given the quality in Eze, Hugill and Wells in particular, it's only a matter of time I think.
A tough start with the lack of goals flying in. However, as you said, you are creating chances and that is always a positive. You have played some tough teams to start off with so hopefully the coming months will see some kinder fixtures and the results will start to match the performances!
Hopefully you will notice, I have always been a QPR supporter. I thought it this Story may have been interesting in who you brought in / shipped out ; to be successful?.
Im starting at Bolton, for a challenge, then hopefully will go to QPR.
Good luck.

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