Time right for QPR shake-up

Wednesday 8th May 2013 11:45

Stephane Mbia: QPR loyalty is in question

Stephane Mbia: QPR loyalty is in question

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QPR FanZoner Chris King has called for a monumental clear-out over the summer as player loyalty is once again called into question.

There is an old cliché that to be successful, a manager must inspire absolute loyalty in his players, so that they will run through the proverbial brick wall for him.

In the case of Queens Park Rangers and Stéphane Mbia, the Cameroonian seems willing only to run through the gates at Heathrow Airport to catch a flight back to Marseille.

His offer on Twitter to Joey Barton, to "rechange" places with the midfielder and return to the south of France a season into his two-year deal, has enraged supporters.

Rangers were quick to insist, as Mbia was himself, that the tweets were not sent by the 26-year-old, and promised to conduct a full investigation into an alleged hacking.

Swift though the response is, and despite Mbia making a strenuous denial, this is the second high-profile incident of apparent player disloyalty in less than six months.

Understandably, during such a difficult year in which the Rs have sleepwalked towards relegation, tempers will fray and have done, but this is still concerning.

Mbia, for his part, has worked extremely hard throughout the season and despite being horrendously error prone, is committed, driven and respectful on the pitch.

Fans were largely resigned to the fact that he would not wish to drop a level to the Championship, but there is surely no way Mbia can remain at the club much longer.

What the incident reveals, apart from the toxic combination made by Twitter and professional footballers, is the dangerous truth about the nature of the Rs squad.

Compared to the young and hungry rosters of many other Championship sides, the Rangers cabal is bloated, overfed, ageing and living off past glories and false claims.

Premier League titles, Champions League medals, lengthy CVs and strong credentials count for nothing in a division where 15 teams were separated by just 13 points.

There must be a monumental clear-out over the summer, and an influx of individuals suited to life in the second tier, else the Rs may find themselves in deeper trouble.

Disastrously run in an entirely different way, Wolverhampton Wanderers have paid the price for egregious mistakes by suffering their second successive relegation.

League One football beckons for a well-supported club that, had Mick McCarthy not been sacked, could still be in the top flight, or at least safe in the Championship.

This example of catastrophic incompetence, coupled with dreadful managerial appointments, has emerged at a very appropriate time for the QPR hierarchy.

Several difficult decisions are yet to be made, such as whether Redknapp continues in the dugout, or a proven boss with relevant experience of the second tier is brought in.

As for likely player departures, there will be little the Rs can do to prevent Loïc Remy, Adel Taarabt, Júlio César, Christopher Samba and Esteban Granero leaving.

Even though the likes of Joey Barton, Djibril Cissé, José Bosingwa, Bobby Zamora and Ji-sung Park may wish to depart, potential suitors could be thin on the ground.

Which means that, coming off the back of owner Tony Fernandes' recent claim that he has been "exploited", a further pulling down of his trousers awaits this summer.

It is extremely ironic, with the majority of Rangers' 25-man squad having failed to perform all season, that many will receive generous payouts to force their departures.

With £700 looking rather poor value for a scarcity of entertainment, results, passion and commitment, perhaps it is the long-suffering fans that should be reimbursed.

By Chris King, FanZone's QPR blogger. Follow him on Twitter at @chriskking - and don't forget to follow @FanZone too!

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