International break review: 8 points from 4

form table (march international break)

The two week international break has come at the wrong time for Rangers who are currently in brilliant form. Five of the R’s first team squad are currently away representing their respective countries. A special mention must go to Paul Smyth who scored the winner against South Korea just four minutes into his debut for Northern Ireland debut. Paul was called upto the senior squad just days before after impressing Michael O’Neill in the U23s 5-3 loss against Spain. He clearly loves a debut goal and knows where the back of the net is. At the moment he is on fire so hopefully he can continue his brilliant form in the last few months of the season.

The rest of the squad are continuing the hard work at Harlington in preparation for next Friday’s away trip to Reading. This week the Royals unveiled their new manager Paul Clement who replaces Jaap Stam. Paul is son of former right back Dave Clement, a player who made 472 appearances for the Rs, scoring 28 goals.

As the form table shows, Rangers have been on a great run of form of late. Since the 5-2 defeat at home to Nottingham Forest we are unbeaten in four, taking us 14 points clear of the relegation zone. Barring a complete disaster this should see us fairly comfortably into the next campaign. The Rs have looked a like a completely different team these past few weeks. Like many I think our uplift in form is because of the long awaited and long called for switch in formation.

Since reverting from a five at the back to a flat four the Rs have taken four points at home against Derby and Sunderland and another four points, in very impressive style, away to automatic promotion chasers Aston Villa and Fulham.

It is a switch that fans have been calling for on social media platforms for some time and credit to Holloway and his team for showing tactical flexibility and switching it up.
Better suited to our players-

Jake Bidwell has played LB his whole career so naturally it is much more comfortable for him. After the Villa game he said that as a LWB he feels uncomfortable because he has no winger in front of him, as a player that’s strength is not pace and dribbling he is much more effective with a partner on the left flank.
The same could be said for the RWB position which had been a problem for a while. Whilst James Perch was injured we alternated between Furlong, Jordan Cousins and Pawel Wszolek. Pav and Jordan are not defenders and Darnell similarly struggled at times having to occupy the whole right flank, often times with very little support.
Jack Robinson is a player that has been in good form and for me one of the first names on the team sheet.

However, even he said that playing as the left most centre back it can be a lonely position at times when Bidwell has to push forward, again Robinson felt that he had too much of a space to occupy.
Playing 5 at the back may be useful for the last five or ten minutes of an away game for instance when we just have to grind out a result. However it is clear that our defenders were not wholly confident in that system and look much more balanced in a back four.
Pawel Wszolek!-

Pav has played well in the last few weeks and it typifies why the Rs are best suited to 4 at the back and the use of out and out wingers. At Fulham Pav was asked to play LW and put in a MOTM performance and got the all important equaliser. I thought he was excellent both offensively and defensively and helped Bidwell keep attacking fullback Ryan Federicks quiet for the most part.

I think Wszolek is very much a confidence player and his spells in and out of the team at RWB did not look wholly comfortable and I think it killed his confidence a bit. He looks much better with a defender behind him allowing him to concentrate on getting at his full back.

However after his last few performances, especially Fulham, let’s hope that he continues to shine like we know he can as he seems to have games every so often when he looks unplayable, one only has to think back to Reading last year and the promising performance he put in at Craven Cottage recently.

Up next for the Rs is Reading away on Good Friday. Last season we beat the Royals 0-1 courtesy of a brilliant goal on the counter attack, finished off by Jamie Mackie. Both Pav and Ryan Manning did brilliant in the build up to that goal and both have recently hit great form so let’s hope for a repeat of last year’s result and impressive team performance. Come on you R’s!

Thank you for reading.

Jack da Silva.

 

Advertisements

Some memorable moments from 2017

blg-2-pic

2017 has been a pretty poor one football wise. The Rs managed to stay up by a single point last campaign and have again found themselves in a relegation battle with only 10 points currently separating the bottom 10 clubs. With the Rs struggling to find the net, 2018 is looking like another fight to stay in the Championship unless we can somehow convince a decent striker to join the club in the January window. Whilst 2017 has had many lows there were also some memorable moments that should be remembered.

2-0 win vs Nottingham Forest:

The final home fixture of the 2016-17 season, Rangers knew that only a win would do if we were to decide our own fate.

After a goalless first 45 two second half goals from Conor Washington and Joel Lynch won us the game and secured our Championship survival by a single point. A bitter sweet moment in which Rangers fans breathed a sigh of relief!

Stan Bowles benefit game:

The Rs welcomed Bournemouth for a pre-season fixture honouring perhaps our greatest ever player Stanley Bowles, who is unfortunately suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Jordon Ibe’s goal saw Bournemouth claim victory. However, the result was never going to be important considering the circumstances. Incredibly over £100,000 was raised to support Stan and his family, as well as raise awareness for Alzheimer’s. Seeing Stan take to the Loftus Road turf perhaps for the final time was an emotional moment for all in attendance.

Even though the weather was awful it did not dampen the mood on what was a fantastic occasion.

To continue supporting Stan you can still donate at the following website:

http://www.justforstan.com/

Game4Grenfell:

After the tragic fire at Grenfell tower last June, QPR hosted what would be my personal highlight of 2017, the #Game4Grenfell.

It was a great day in which the community really came together. Also, it was a welcome relief for survivors, family members of the departed, firefighters, care workers and hospital staff who no doubt have and continue to suffer from the tragedy.

Current and former professional footballers, comedians, actors, musicians, sportsmen and even pantomime villain Jose Mourinho were in attendance. The match went to a penalty shootout at the Loft End, with Team Ferdinand just edging it.

On what was another emotional occasion it was one that made everyone extremely proud to be a QPR fan.

To donate you can visit the following:

https://secure.thebiggive.org.uk/grenfell#/

#LoftusRoad100:

Our 2-1 win vs Ipswich Town in September marked our 100 year anniversary at Loftus Road.

Although the Rs are still going through a difficult transition period, Loftus Road is a second home for most Rangers fans where so many incredible memories have been made.

Although I have only been going to Loftus Road consistently for around eight/nine years I could reel off  countless memories such as:

Winning promotion under Neil Warnock, beating Chelsea 1-0, Charlie Austin’s brace in the playoff semi final, that comeback vs Liverpool under the lights, beating Arsenal and Tottenham, the last minute winner from Cisse vs Stoke to keep us up, amongst countless other moments and memories.

That comeback vs Brentford:

A poor first 80 minutes or so saw Rangers trailing to neighbours Brentford after a brace from Lasse Vibe.

With the ground half empty 2 goals in roughly 120 seconds from Matt Smith and Luke Freeman marked an incredible comeback ensuring that the Rs gained a point from the West London derby.

Holloway’s outburst at the fans:

After the frantic final few minutes of the Brentford game Holloway was clearly moved. In his post match interview he decided to let off some steam and criticise almost half of the fans who left the ground early.

It very much divided opinion, as paying supporters feel that they are entitled to leave when they want to. Although, whether you are Holloway in or out, seeing a manager that equally shares our passion is refreshing.

After the dust settled the Rs manager later apologised, although his post match comments made for quite a bizarre but memorable moment.

Jack Robinson’s brace:

The Rs travelled to Birmingham in mid December in desperate need of our first away win of the season. Last season the hoops ran out 4-1 winners at St. Andrews. This season it looked as though the travelling fans could be in for another good away day as Jack Robinson scored the first ever goal of his professional career.

However, in the second half Sam Gallagher equalised for the Blues, as their fans found their voices you could forgive the Rs fans for fearing the worst. Although, with just seven minutes remaining up steps Jack Robinson who expertly found the bottom right hand corner from 25 yards out and secured the Rs first away win in 18 games. Not only was it great for the Rs but also for Robinson who scored the first two goals of his professional career, well deserved after such bad luck with injuries.

With the Rs struggling to score on the road Jack Robinson was an unlikely match winner. A great day for the player, who has probably been our best since he started playing at centre-half. More of the same please Jack!

2018?

Let’s hope that 2018 will see the Rs stay up. Considering we stayed up by one point last season staying up will not represent much progress. Hopefully if we stay up this season we can push on next summer, continue to clear out the deadwood and trim down what is the Championship’s largest squad. Hopefully then we would have some money available to strengthen at both ends of the pitch, as both our defence and attack need investment.

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2018, hopefully we can get off to good start tomorrow with the return of Warnock’s Cardiff City to Loftus Road.

Thank you for reading.

Happy new year!

By Jack da Silva.

Transfer Weekly (#12)

transfer logo

Yeni Ngbakoto-

Over the summer there has been speculation that Ngbakoto, signed from Metz last summer, was struggling to adapt to life in London. Creating some uncertainty over whether the player would remain in W12 this season.
However, French radio station RMC are reporting that Ligue 1 club Nantes approached the players agent, but was told he wants to stay with the Rs, suggesting the 25-year-old has now got to grips with life in London a year after relocating from France.

Nasser El-Khayati-

The club have confirmed that Nasser El-Khayati has left by mutual consent.
The winger was signed by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbank from his old club Burton Albion on a two-and-a-half-year deal last January.
Nasser scored one goal, a memorable last minute winner at home to Charlton, this coming in the 25 appearances he made for the club in his 18 months in W12. The 28-year-old found his game time limited at Loftus Road though and was sent on loan to Dutch side Ado Den Haag for the second half of last season.
With Holloway finalising his squad the winger was surplus to requirements so the decision for him to leave should be beneficial for both parties. On behalf of all the Rs fans we wish you good luck in the future Nasser.

Saman Ghoddos-

It is reported that QPR have seen a bid rejected for Swedish international Saman Ghoddos.
The 23-year-old scored four goals, as well as assisting six in the Swedish top flight, the Allsvenskan.

He also caught the eye with an impressive goal scoring record in the domestic cup, scoring seven goals in seven games. He also recently broke into the Swedish national team, scoring once in his two appearances.
The source HITC believe that a bid of £1.8m was not satisfactory. Ostersund are rumoured to be looking for a fee in the region of three and a half million pounds.
Although unlikely, if Rangers want to offer an improved second bid they would face competition from the likes of Celtic and Ajax who are also rumoured to be interested.

Nouha Dicko-

It has been reported that QPR are thought to be interested in Wolverhampton front man Nouha Dicko.
The 25-year-old made 34 appearances for the Wanderers last season, scoring five goals and assisting four.
This summer Wolves appointed former Porto Boss Nuno Espirito Santo as their head coach. The former Portuguese goalkeeper has made a number of big-name signings since his arrival, pushing Dicko down the pecking order at Molineux.
Dicko has been used sporadically since the beginning of the season, largely being used off the bench in the latter stages of Wolves’ fixtures so far.
It is reported that Holloway, looking to finalise his squad is ready to test the resolve of the promotion chaser. The player may also be keen on the move, considering the possibility of being a regular starter in W12.

Paul Smyth-

A source from Belfast has reported that the Rs appear to be closing in on signing Linfield’s youth star Paul Smyth.
It is believed that Ian Holloway had already made two offers for the 19-year-old winger, believed to be in the region of £90,000.

However, it is thought that Linfield are looking for a six-figure sum and Rangers are prepared to match it.
Other clubs such as Sunderland, Ipswich and Reading are also linked. However, for those who look into player activity on social media, Smyth liked our last edition of transfer weekly on Instagram, in which he featured. Potentially signalling that the player is keen on the potential move to Loftus Road.

Gary Gardner-

It has been reported that Holloway is interested in a move for Aston Villa midfielder Gary Gardner.
Now 25-years-old the player will be looking to get his career back and track and have some stability.
Gardner has spent much of his career out on loan. He spent the last few years on loan at Nottingham Forest. Although, a managerial change saw Mark Warburton brought to the City Ground. It is thought that the Reds are not looking to launch a permanent bid for the player.
With Gardner surplus to requirements at Villa Park and Warburton seemingly not interested in a permanent move, an offer from the Rs could be on the way in due course.

Transfer Weekly (#9)

transfer logo

Omar Bogle:

It is understood that the Wigan frontman has been put on the transfer list. He is being linked with a host of clubs, including QPR, Peterborough, Bristol City, Barnsley and Ipswich.

Last season Bogle had been top scorer in the Sky Bet League 2 with 19 goals, whilst playing for Grimsby Town. After much interest the player choose to move from the Mariners to the DW Stadium in the final hours of transfer deadline day in January 2017..

He went on to make 14 appearances in the Championship with the Latics, scoring 3 goals. However, this would not prove to be enough as Wigan were relegated from the Championship.

It is understood that Wigan boss Paul Cook does not think the 24-year-old fits into the style of play he wants going forward. Whilst there were rumours of a bust up between Bogle and Cook the player was quick to deny these rumours on his personal Twitter account.

While he looks for a new club he has been instructed to train with the League one clubs academy players.

Wigan value the striker at £800,000.

 

Steven Caulker:

A couple of weeks back it looked as though Caulker had no future in W12. He was heavily linked with Celtic, with a possible link up with former manager Brendan Rodgers looking likely. This was after it was revealed that he had struggled with mental illness and addictions to alcohol and gambling over the past few years.

However, after making a return to training and playing 70 minutes in the U23s 5-1 win against Billericay Town, it appears that the 25-year-old is now perhaps part of Holloway’s plans for the season.

Holloway has said that Caulker is in a “fantastic place”, adding: “I cannot believe that I am that lucky person who gets to work with him”.

Considering his wages, whether he will actually stay or whether this is just a ploy to get him in the shop window will all be revealed in due course. However, I would love to see Caulker stay. If he can get playing regular football we have seen glimpses that he can be the best defender at the club.

Before getting injured last season Steven started the season brilliantly, even scoring in our first away game, in a 2 nil win away to Cardiff. Unfortunately he got injured in October and has not played competitively since.

R’s fans have been demanding a new centre-half all summer, an area that clearly needs strengthening after finishing one point above the relegation zone. However, if he can stay fit mentally and physically he will be like a new signing considering he was absent for so much of last season. Hopefully this can bring some much needed leadership and confidence to the back-line.

 

Modou Barrow:

It is likely that the Barrow will be moved on by Swansea City as boss Paul Clement does not see the player as part of his long term plans. Last January he was sent to Leeds on loan, but struggled to make an impact. It is now understood that Reading, QPR and Barnsley are weighing up a move for the 24-year-old attacker.

Although there have been question marks over Barrow’s end product and level of consistency, he does have pace and has shown glimpses of flair, which given regular playing time could allow the six-cap Gambia international to fulfil his potential.

Simeon Akinola:

It is reported that Barnet winger Simeon Akinola is attracting attention from the R’s and Charlton Athletic.

Nigerian by birth, the player grew up in Spain before moving to England, joining Borehamwood’s academy. After breaking into the first team there, he has since spent time at Harrow Borough and Braintree Town before moving to the Hive earlier this year.

He joined the Bees during the 2017 January transfer window, playing nineteen games in League Two throughout the second part of the season. In which his performances, two goals and two assists has potentially impressed clubs enough that could allow his rise from non-league to advance to England’s second tier.

Barnet are aiming to receive £100,000 for their promising 24-year-old.

 

Jack Williams:

19-year-old Rangers defender Jack Williams has joined Wycombe Wanders on loan, keeping him at Adams Park until the 1st of January. Williams will be linking up with former R Gareth Ainsworth ahead of the big kick off in the Football League this weekend.

Williams is yet to make an appearance for the first team. With Jack Robinson and Jake Bidwell in front of him, gaining experience in the football league will be invaluable for the R’s young fullback.

 

Alex Finney:

Non-League side Maidstone United have signed 21-year-old centre-back Alex Finney on loan until January 1st 2018. The 21-year-old made his professional debut in 2015 when playing for Bolton in a 4-1 defeat in the Championship against Huddersfield Town.

Yet to make a first team appearance for the R’s first team since his free transfer in November, a chance for Finney to get regular playing time should only be beneficial for the youngster.

Transfer Weekly (#7/8)

transfer logo

Ryan Manning-

After his solid breakthrough season last term, Rs youngster Ryan Manning has extended his deal two-year deal at Loftus Road by one year, extending his stay until the summer of 2020.

His performances last year did not go unnoticed. Not long after the season had ended it was rumoured that Crystal Palace and Bournemouth were interested in Manning, although, his extension and comments about wanting to get to the Premier League with QPR suggest that he will be staying loyal to the club.

Elliott Bennett-

It is reported that Blackburn Rovers midfielder Bennett is one of Ian Holloway’s top targets. The 28-year-old was one of the standout performances in last year’s relegation season, making 30 appearances and scoring on 4 occasions.

Bennett is now entering the last year of his contract, given his experience and ability to cover a number of positions Holloway is reportedly ready to put the pressure on Blackburn and test whether they want to keep their man but let him walk for free next year or cash in on him whilst they have the chance.

Benjamin Kololli-

QPR scouts watched the Kosovan international recently as Brentford took on Swiss side Lausanne-Sport. The 25-year-old is a natural right-back but can also play in midfield. Kololli impressively netted 8 goals in 24 league starts last season in a struggling team that finished 9th out of 10 teams.

Whilst it is understood that £750,000 could be enough to secure his signature the Rs would face competition from Swiss giants Basel, who are also reportedly interested.

Alex Smithies-

After Sunderland sold Vito Mannone to Reading there has been increased speculation that Rs number 1 Alex Smithies could be on his way up north to Wearside.

Yeni Ngbakoto-

It is reported that the Rs wide man could be made available for the right price after interest coming from France in the shape of Toulouse. The 25-year-old arrived in W12 last summer from Metz, signing a three-year contract. Although it is thought that Yeni had difficulty in settling in West London following a family bereavement and long-term injury.

Last summer Yeni choose QPR despite interest from Toulouse and a number of other Ligue 1 clubs. Therefore, it is thought that at the right price, Rangers would be willing to let Yeni return to France.

Idrissa Sylla-

After being left out of the #RsinGermany tour, there have been question marks over the future of last season’s top goalscorer. It has been reported that Reading are after the Rangers striker who manage to find the net 10 times last season. Reading’s top goalscorer of last season Yann Kermorgant will be out of action for the first few months after having surgery.

Therefore, Jaap Stam has reportedly identified Sylla as the man capable of temporarily filling the void. However, the Rs remain adamant that Sylla has not travel due to work permit issues. Whilst the jury is still out on Sylla, with some questioning his relaxed work rate and style of play, selling your top goalscorer to a Championship rival I feel would not go down well, even with those who question the player.

Considering the current crop of strikers at the club, if we are looking to do well we cannot sell the only striker we have who has a knack of getting into the right positions and hitting the target.

 

Steven Caulker-

Caulker is reportedly a target for Brendan Rodger’s Celtic, with the Scottish club reportedly ready to give him a chance to reignite his career. In a recent interview Caulker revealed how he has been battling depression, gambling and drinking problems.

Caulker arrived at QPR after playing his best football at Cardiff. Following their relegation he came in and the Rs fans had high hopes and were very excited by the signing. Although, despite making a number of appearances for the Rs in the Premier League, Caulker was loaned first to Southampton and later to Premier League giants Liverpool. He returned to QPR last summer, but picked up a hip injury last October. In January a loan move to Russia looked to be on the table but Steven recently admitted that given what he was going through going to Russia all on his own did not look like the best idea.

Therefore, former Swansea manager Rodgers knows Caulker well and is reportedly helping him battle his demons and although states that Caulker is a QPR player and is only helping him off the field, you cannot help but think Rodgers would be tempted by a cut-price deal for the 25-year-old.

Transfer Weekly (#3)

transfer logo

Ángel Rodríguez:

Angel is a 30 year old Spaniard who plays for Real Zaragoza in the Segunda division (second tier). His contract is set to expire in the summer and reports in Spain suggest that there are tensions between the player and the club in terms of contract negotiations.

Since 2015 he has made 71 appearances and scored 32 times. Rangers sent their scouts to watch Zaragoza’s penultimate game of the season, an away trip to Girona. It is thought that our scouts were impressed by what they saw.

Angel had a great season in 2016/17, scoring 21 goals and assisting 4 times in the 39 games he played in the league. With 21 goals Angel was just 2 goals shy of being the league’s top goalscorer. Quite an impressive stat considering he did it in a struggling Zaragoza side who, like us managed to stay up by 2 points.

Whilst Angel is slightly older, his experience and ability to find the net would be useful going forward. Considering he is likely to be a free agent come July, this is a move I would like to see the Rangers hierarchy go for. A 20 goal a season man in a struggling side, coming at a transfer fee of £0 is the kind of sustainable business that Les Ferdinand and Lee Hoos always talk of.

Alongside Conor, Sylla and Smith, I think we would look a lot better going into next season. Hopefully some extra competition would also bring the best out of the strikers already at the club.

David Cotterill:

Cotterill is a 29 year old winger for Birmingham City who has won 24 caps for Wales. He has spent 3 years at the Blues, playing 96 times and scoring 14 times.

In the lead up to Euro 2016 Cotterill was one Birmingham’s star men. That summer in France he was part of Chris Coleman’s Wales squad that reached the semi-finals.

However, ex boss Gianfranco Zola got rid of Cotterill in the January window, with Cotterill leaving for Bristol City. Appearing 13 times he managed to score 2 goals and play his part in helping the club secure their Championship status at least for another year.

His contract does not run out until the summer of 2018. Although, it is thought that Birmingham have told the player that he is surplus to requirements. Whilst this potentially makes the R’s pursuit easier, we do face competition from Derby County for his signature.

Fred Onyedinma:

Onyedinma is only 20 years old but since his debut in 2014 has gone on to make over 100 appearances for Millwall. He is widely regarded as one of most promising young players in the football league. Before signing a 2 year deal in 2015, it was reported that Liverpool and Arsenal were tracking his progress.

Although Millwall won promotion to the Championship via the play-off final in May, there is speculation regarding the number 10s future at the club. Although he played 54 times last season, towards the back end of the campaign perhaps he did not play as much as he would have liked.

Millwall boss Neil Harris has recently talked of the clubs hopes of keeping Onyedinma. Although, if this is a viable transfer the R’s are likely to face competition from Watford, Brentford and Hull.

Ashley Smith-Brown:

Smith-Brown is a 21 year old who was born in Manchester and came through the academy at Manchester City after joining as a 5 year old. He is primarily a left back but can operate at right full back and in central midfield. He has represented England from U16 level through to U20, scoring 2 goals throughout the four year period.

Last season he was sent on loan to NAC Breda, a side in the Dutch Eerste (second tier) to gain some experience of first team football. He made 29 appearances and scored 1 goal.

Although, the coaching staff at Manchester City want him to gain more experience in a more physical and perhaps competitive league, preferably on home soil.

If the R’s want to sign Smith-Brown they are in competition with a number of clubs, including Barnsley, Wigan, MK Dons and Hearts, all recently linked with City’s young prospect.

Salvatore Monaco:

Monaco is a 24 year old Italian defender who plays as a centre-back. He currently plays for Perugia in Italy’s second tier, Serie B. He made 33 appearances in all competitions as Perugia narrowly missed out on achieving promotion to Serie A.

Monaco is out of contract this summer and it is thought that he is looking to progress his personal development. Whilst the player is relatively unknown, standing at 6ft 3 and a half, he could bring some much needed physical presence to the squad.

 

Transfer Weekly (#2)

transfer logo

Alex Smithies:

We will soon discover whether we will have to pay £57.9 million for breaching financial fair play regulations. If we do it is looking increasingly likely that outgoings will have to fund incoming players. Unfortunately the Rangers no.1 and player of the season Alex Smithies could be set for a return to hometown club Huddersfield Town. Shay Given has said that he would be open to playing for one more year whether in the Premiership or Championship. We may very well see a battle between Given and Ingram for the no.1 spot next season.

 

Josh Bowler:

It is understood that 18 year old Bowler has rejected a new contract from QPR. After Everton had an initial bid of £1.5 million rising to £3 million rejected, this is likely to give them fresh impetus and bolster Ronald Koeman’s pursuit of the youngerster.

 

Jake Bidwell:

The 24 year old joined Rangers from local rivals Brentford last summer on a three year deal. He went on to be a mainstay at left back, making 36 appearances for the Hoops. Mark Warburton, having recently made the switch to from the Bees to Nottingham Forrest, is reportedly keen to reunite with Bidwell. A player who was part of Warburton’s Brentford side who reached the play-off semi-finals in 2015, although falling short to Middlesbrough.

 

Conor Washington:

The R’s number 9 was brought in last summer for £2.5 million as a replacement for Charlie Austin. The 25-year-old scored nine goals in 45 appearances for the R’s last season. Although it has been reported that Conor is a target of new Birmingham boss Harry Redknapp, who is looking to inject some pace into the Blue’s front line.

 

Yeni N’Gbakoto:

The Democratic Republic of Congo international signed a 3 year deal from Metz last summer. This season he made 26 appearances, scoring 4 goals, notably our goal of the season in the 4-1 win away to Birmingham. After a bright start the 25 year old had to deal with a family bereavement, a long term injury and a lack of playing time. Subsequently, Yeni is rumoured to be unsettled in the capital.

Last summer Yeni choose Rangers over Toulouse and a number of other top flight clubs in France. Although it is thought that Toulouse are interested in giving the wide man a return to France this summer. A move that Yeni’s agent this week has refused to rule out.

 

Benjamin Kololli:

Kololli is 25-years-old and a Kosovan international defender. He currently plays in Switzerland’s top flight for FC Lausanne. This season he scored 8 goals and is apparently comfortable anywhere on the right hand flank. Whilst it is thought that this signing would cost the R’s under a million, we would face much competition on this one. Benjamin is attracting interest from top flights clubs in Switzerland such as FC Basel, as well as from clubs in the Championship, Bundesliga and Ligue 1.

 

Tommie Hoban:

Rangers have been linked with 23 year old Watford defender who made 16 appearances on loan to relegated Blackburn Rovers last season. Hoban spent a long period of his loan out with injury. Whilst Hoban has ambitions to make it at Watford, another loan spell and further experience in the Championship is perhaps ideal as competition is at Watford is rife.

 

Transfer Weekly (#1)

Transfer weekly is a new feature to the blog that will track both the ins and outs of what is set to be another busy transfer window for the club.

Josh Bowler:

18 year old Josh Bowler joined the club in 2013 after being released from Fulham. He signed his first professional contract in February this year. Just a few weeks ago Holloway gave Josh his debut in the 4-0 away defeat to Norwich City on the final day of the season.

An initial bid of £3 million was rejected last week. Whilst it is thought that Rangers are keen to hold onto Josh, it is reported that Everton are preparing a second bid. With parachute payments slowly drying up, it will be interesting to see how the R’s respond.

Shay Given:

It was been reported that Alex Smithies may return to former club Huddersfield Town if they are able to beat Reading in this afternoons play off final at Wembley. QPR are reportedly considering a free transfer for 41 year old Shay Given, recently released by Stoke.

Last season Smithies was phenomenal, we need no reminding that his performances perhaps kept the club in the second tier. His departure would be extremely disappointing if a moves materialised.

Alex Bruce:

After being relegated from the Premier League, the 32 year old shockingly found out that he had been released from Hull’s Twitter account.

Making over 100 appearances for Ipswich and 85 for Hull over a number of years, Bruce could provide the experience that the Rangers defence has been crying out for since Clint Hill departed. In what is a fairly inexperienced and youthful dressingroom, a deal for Bruce on sensible wages would be a wise move.

 

The 2016/17 season in numbers

This season has been another one of transition. Another seasons of ins and outs, both players and managers. This post looks at the season in stats, with credit to whoscored and squawka.

Position- 18th

Points- 53

Total goals scored- 52

Total goals conceded- 66

Goal difference- -14

Average goals per game- 1

Top goal scorer- Idrissa Sylla (10)

Most assists- Luke Freeman (4)

Most cards- James Perch (11 yellows, 1 red)

Average possession- 49%

Total chances created- 384

Players and fans player of the year: Alex Smithies