With Tony Fernandes’ takeover complete, Warnock has continued to build upon the work of the previous regime. This includes 11 summer signings to equip his squad for life in the top flight and added Premier League experience with the likes of Shaun Wright-Phillips, Anton Ferdinand and Luke Young. The biggest gamble, arguably, is not only the acquisition of midfielder Joey Barton from Newcastle United but the decision to make him captain, beginning with his debut against his former club. With the move seemingly backed by the squad, Barton led his side from the front with a captain’s performance against Mick McCarthy’s Wolves.
The opening goal of the encounter came courtesy of the man with the armband. Supplied by the energetic Wright-Phillips, the former Chelsea and Manchester City winger’s cross fed fellow new-signing Barton, who despite a scuffed effort, managed to find the bottom corner to put his side in front. Having previously drawn a blank in their last league match, Barton’s eighth-minute breakthrough was quickly added to by Alejandro Faurlin by lashing home from the edge of the Wolves penalty area, with the same composed finishing that drew a blank against Newcastle.
With DJ Campbell adding a third late on, Warnock’s men sealed a convincing win on a ground upon which Wolves defeated the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United last season. While tougher tasks lie ahead throughout the remainder of the campaign, Rangers will no doubt be buoyed by their past two performances. With the attacking threat of Wright-Phillips, mirrored by Adel Taarabt, their previous display at Loftus Road showed how Warnock has enhanced the already-expansive brand of attacking football that brought them to the top flight of English football. With only potency in front of goal lacking, the improvement at Molineux saw QPR’s new-look side appear to find their feet in the Premier League.
Having kept a core of players that saw them earn promotion, the addition of experienced signings has seen Warnock’s men take on a task many have failed to do before. Having dominated the Championship with attacking football, many fall foul of the gulf in class following the step up to the Premier League. However, should Queens Park Rangers’ performances echo those seen in recent weeks, and with more high-profile signings reportedly planned, Rangers could well be close to establishing themselves in the top flight.