QPR return to old habits but get a big win vs. Sunderland
Who cares how QPR played against Sunderland on Saturday? The cold hard facts are that they lost their star man Loic Remy to Chelsea at 12 o'clock, changed formation and ended up nicking three points off one of the many sides likely to be loitering around the relegation zone with them around May.
Sunderland manager Gus Poyet was gutted after the match, while Harry Redknapp claimed his side deserved the 1-0 victory -- fortunately opinions don't keep you in the Premier league, points do; and Rangers now have three of them and the world does not look so dark anymore.
The return to a back four and a formation close to the 4-5-1 that was successful last season came as no surprise; the 3-5-2 attempt was an initial change in formation that did not suit the personnel at the club, returning disastrous results in preseason and in the first three competitive matches that all ended in defeat.
The horror show at Tottenham the week before was erased from memory, as were a number of names from the team sheet. Armand Traore and Richard Dunne were the two changes that stood out most -- they shared most of the blame for the 4-0 defeat at White Hart Lane -- and Redknapp was ruthless in dropping them both to the bench, instead playing Clint Hill, who said in the summer that he expected to be exiled from the first team at the grand old age of 35.
Danny Simpson was swiftly sold to Leicester and Traore has been told by Redknapp that it is up to him if he wants to swap Loftus Road for Crystal Palace after a bid of 2.5 million pounds was received. The steady evolution that appeared to taking place seems to have been abandoned. Traore only signed a new two-year contract in the summer, while Simpson has been a solid performer for Rangers and was well-liked by both players and staff. But three points were chalked up, so forget the fuzzy thinking.
Hopefully the two-week hiatus presented to us by the international break will allow Rangers to get the work permit sorted out for Eduardo Vargas. Last week Redknapp laughed about signing Javier Margas for West Ham in 1998 and discovering, when he failed to show for the first day of training, that he had accidentally driven to Stansted airport. Fast forward a few days and he revealed that Vargas was stuck in Italy twiddling his thumbs when he should be in West London helping keep Rangers up. Who cares? Rangers are suddenly 12th in the table.
Earlier in the day Jamie Redknapp appeared on television and revealed the club had made a move for Tottenham midfielder Sandro. It was an unorthodox way for a football club to go about their business but by the time the media had a chance to quiz Redknapp senior on the deal, he was three points better off and the explanation rolled off his tongue as smooth as silk.
Now, as the final minutes of the transfer window trickle away, you can rest assured that Redknapp has every little finger and toe in as many pies as possible. Lassana Diarra was close, Sandro is likely, a fee has been agreed with Liverpool for Fabio Borini, and Spurs players past and present -- like Jermain Defoe, Scott Parker and Andros Townsend -- are on the agenda, so it's definitely revolution and not evolution the Rs are interested in now.
The long summer spent preparing the side to play 3-5-2, recruiting Glenn Hoddle to help implement the master plan, the new deals for certain players and the efforts to offload others all look a bit redundant now. But Queens Park Rangers are mid-table after three weeks back in the Premier League. So it's all OK -- sort of.