A massive,crucial and an unexpected victory against their arch rivals and Champions League holders Chelsea 10 days ago was the exact spark QPR needed to save their season. It probably could be the start of a long survival journey for the rock bottom team. A draw against another local rival team – Tottenham last weekend was still not enough to lift them from that dreadful 20th spot but it sure did give them immense confidence going forward.
May 19th : the last day of the EPL season still is a long time to go and with 16 games remaining for the Rangers, let us see what they exactly need to do to survive :
1. You’ve signed Remy, so start right away :
Redknapp cannot wait till the end of the transfer window and then call a team meeting and finalize his tactics and strategies. His big name signing : Loic Remy is finally a part of his squad and Redknapp needs to sort out his priorities right away.
2. Disappoint a few players but finalize the main XI :
Rotation is always a good policy but not when you are in QPR’s shoes at the moment. Haarry needs points from every game and for that he needs to decide who his first choice XI should be. He should also make them play together in training and make the players understand the new signings and vice versa. QPR are in no position to make every player happy and develop youth or rotate at will. If they want to play Premier League football next year, a few of their players should be benched more often than not for the next 4 months.
For example, he needs to decide whether it will be Green or Cesar in goal. And in his few previous games, he has been dropping Anton Ferdinand as he does not seem to be a part of Redknapp’s main team. But Anton had been coming on as a substitute, something which Harry has been doing only to keep the experienced player happy.
3. DONT wait till May :
QPR’s last 3 fixtures are in the month of May and they read : Arsenal,Newcastle and Liverpool(away). Though they should be able to get at least 1 point from the Newcastle game, they should not rely on chances. They should make sure they confirm survival before May.
How do they do it? By winning against teams around them :
4. Numerical calculations for survival :
They have 14 points from 22 games. Assuming the safe number is 40(as seen in most of the past few seasons) they need 26 points from 16 games(38 points also should be enough this season bearing in mind the form of the other relegation battling teams) . So they need a minimum of 7 wins from their remaining 16 games.
5. Where will they win 7 or 8 games?
They are yet to play Newcastle,Reading, Stoke, Wigan, Fulham, Aston Villa,Southampton,Sunderland,Swansea, Norwich,Sunderland,West Ham.
These are 12 of the 13 bottom teams. If the Rangers manage to win 7 or 8 of these games, they can count themselves to be safe. It is not all that hard a task considering they can manage to slip up in 4 or 5 of these games.
6. At least 1 shock :
And apart from Chelsea and Spurs they play the other 6 of the top 8 teams. 1 win and 1 draw in those games will be a bonus for ‘Arry’s team.
All in all it does not look like an impossible task. But certainly a hard one. And with the players Harry now has, he can relate this team to the Spurs team which he managed a few seasons back who were also in 20th place before he took up the job.
QPR have the team to do it and the perfect man for the job. On paper they should be playing EPL next year but they will bear in mind the age old cliche,”Matches are not won on paper”.