Since being taken over by billionaire owners in early 2008, it is fair to say that Q.P.R. have flattered to deceive. Sporadic bursts of scintillating form have been blighted by prolonged periods of poor performances; three consecutive mid-table finishes constitute a fair reflection of the London club’s erratic, often infuriating, on-field exploits.
Just twelve months ago, under the brief stewardship of Jim Magilton, Q.P.R. had slumped to a 2-0 in Swansea, leaving them in an inauspicious 13th position. This year, however, Q.P.R. finally have the consistency that they have lacked for so long. It is difficult to advocate such consistent managerial alterations, but the appointment of Neil Warnock, the sixth permanent manager in three years, appears to have been a master-stroke – albeit a belated one. In having lasted seven months, Warnock is already the second longest serving manager under these owners, and, if Messrs. Mittal, Briatore and Ecclestone harbor serious aspirations of owning a Premier League club, they must stand by their man.
With a managerial career spanning thirty years, Warnock certainly has the experience to lead his charges into the Premier League. Much was made of his decision to switch debt-ridden Crystal Palace for mega rich Q.P.R, but one can understand the attraction of a diamond as rough as Rangers to a man in the twilight of his career. Warnock’s signings have garnered universal plaudits, even at this embryonic stage of the season.
Jamie Mackie has been a revelation, equaling his 2009/10 tally of eight goals in just 10 games. The Scotsman is in the form of his career; his strike rate of 0.8 is six times more prolific than that which he achieved at Plymouth. That being said, Mackie didn’t have the enigmatic Adel Taarabt supplying him at Plymouth, the outspoken Moroccan has been in scintillating form since making his loan move to Loftus Road permanent in the summer. With the added steel of Shaun Derry and the promise of more goals from Tommy Smith and Rob Hulse, Q.P.R. are the envy of the teams below them.
Their greatest threat they face will arguably be of their own making. If the owners can back Warnock through the inevitable poor patches of form then Q.P.R’s star, for fifteen years on the wane, may well be rising once more. They have the squad, they have the manager, all that they need now is the executive trust.