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Transfer Assessment: QPR

QPR Sep 3, 2014
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Evolution, not revolution for QPR

QPR Sep 1, 2014
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Aug 21, 2014

Redknapp hopes to prove a point vs. Spurs

The more you consider that QPR hosted Hull in their season opener with a fully fit squad, the easier it is to be disappointed with the 1-0 defeat. Realistically, to survive in the Premier League you need 10 wins; seven or eight of those will usually come at home, and Hull are one of the sides you would earmark as beatable during their travels.

Tottenham, on the other hand, despite their rather insipid 1-0 win over West Ham in their league curtain-raiser and 2-1 Europa League win over Limassol on Thursday, will definitely not be viewed as Premier League cannon fodder.

Instead, Rangers will face a side inspired by new manager Mauricio Pochettino and filled with international stars eager to prove their worth. England winger Andros Townsend missed out on the World Cup through injury, Paulinho was omitted from the most recent Brazil squad, and Spain striker Roberto Soldado wants to be seen as a first-choice striker.

Then factor in that Harry Kane wants to force his way into the England squad, Lewis Holtby is still reeling from getting relegated on loan at Fulham last season, and Erik Lamela still has a 30-million-pound price tag hanging heavy around his neck and looking unjustified.

But Rangers go to White Hart Lane with things to prove, too, maybe even scores to settle. QPR manager Harry Redknapp was sacked by Tottenham after guiding them to two fourth-place finishes in his last three seasons.

The gregarious Redknapp never ducks a question about his time at Spurs, and he rarely misses a chance to highlight his achievements there and the failures of his successors, though he holds more affection for Tim Sherwood than Andre Villas-Boas.

Harry Redknapp returns to White Hart Lane to face Tottenham, the club that unceremoniously dumped him after two top-four finishes.

I think the majority of Spurs fans still rate Redknapp, in comparison to Juande Ramos and AVB, as a demigod so he'll have little to prove to them. But Spurs chairman Daniel Levy might want to look away from the opposition dugout if Rangers cause an upset as Redknapp would be well within his rights to aim a wry smile at the chairman's box, where his former employer congregates.

The other Super Hoop who will travel to north London with added incentive is summer signing and centre-back Steven Caulker. The defender was nurtured through the Spurs academy and looked impressive when his footballing education was supplemented with loans to Yeovil, Bristol City and Swansea.

- QPR seal Eduardo Vargas loan

Caulker was finally sold to Cardiff in 2013 for eight million pounds and in his two fixtures against Spurs last season he was on the wrong end of 1-0 defeats that contributed to his Welsh side getting relegated. If he still feels Spurs were wrong to rate Michael Dawson, Younes Kaboul and Vlad Chiriches above Caulker, he could be more determined than ever to bloody their nose.

So if opening-week enthusiasm wasn't enough to inspire Rangers to victory against Hull, then maybe the chance to taste sweet revenge will be. When Danny Simpson was asked if there was any added impetus around the fixture due to Redknapp's previous employment, he said: "There will be added incentive if we can do a job and get a win for him."

The R's face Burton in the League Cup on Wednesday -- a competition we'll rightly revere about as much as Miranda Hart's new version of "The Generation Game" -- so a win on the board against Spurs (whether driven by revenge, self-loathing or an inferiority complex when up against our more grand London neighbours) would come in very handy indeed.

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