Redknapp replacements: who is QPR owner Fernandes’ dream boss?
As long as calamitous QPR, now 9/2 with Coral to finish bottom of the Premier League, remain rudderless, the greater their chances of relegation (odds-on at 5/6) appear.
Harry Redknapp recently ended his three-season association with the Hoops, who have picked up just three points from their past five league games and are struggling to escape the drop zone. He cited upcoming knee surgery as his reason for resigning, but there is a feeling among the media he may have jumped before he was pushed.
Under-fire owner Tony Fernandes recently stirred up speculation by stating on Twitter that he was close to appointing a “dream” replacement for Redknapp.
Malaysian businessman Fernandes is searching for his fourth manager in four and a half seasons with the west London club, with Neil Warnock and Mark Hughes already axed during his reign.
The outspoken owner has previously overseen the Hoops’ relegation and subsequent promotion back into the Premier League. However, falling through the trap door again could see the club fined heavily for supposedly breaching financial restrictions, making survival essential.
Think I have got my dream manager. Not what anyone thinks. Take a while. Still a bit to go but I'm very happy. Press all wrong.
— Tony Fernandes (@tonyfernandes) February 10, 2015
So, who could this mystery manager be? Read on to see who Coral writers reckon could be next to pick up the poisoned chalice at Loftus Road.
Could continuity be key with Chris Ramsey?
Current caretaker coach Ramsey, a 5/2 chance to be anointed next boss, has already apparently won fans and senior players over after being thrown into the fray following Redknapp’s exit.
Rumour has it, the Hoops hierarchy hope Ramsey can unite the squad and help young players break through into the senior side.
Does the inexperienced gaffer have what it takes to rescue QPR? The club’s recent 2-0 win away at Sunderland, their first of the season, seems to have raised spirits, so Ramsey could very well cut his managerial teeth at Loftus Road until a bigger name can be captured in the summer.
Paul Clement’s QPR connection
It seems it is only a matter of time until Carlo Ancelotti’s understudy graduates to become a leading man in his own right. Having worked with some of the world’s best at Chelsea, PSG and now Real Madrid, the Los Blancos assistant boss is 5/1 second-favourite to take over the reins.
Highly-rated behind the scenes at the Bernabeu, Clement could make a triumphant return to his homeland, and recently revealed he was “very flattered to be linked with Queens Park Rangers, a club I supported as a young boy and for whom my dad played.”
Michael Laudrup’s stardust
Former Swansea City boss Laudrup, who previously left the Premier League under an apparent cloud, is joint third-favourite at 7/1 to land the Loftus Road job.
The ex-Denmark international certainly brings enough star quality with him to be considered a ‘dream’ appointment, but would Laudrup leave the comfort of Qatari champions Lekhwiya for a relegation scrap?
His possession play and big-name status would surely curry favour with QPR’s higher-profile players. If, as reports suggests, a move would have to wait until the summer, however, the Hoops may not have time to wait.
Other former players who could potentially be in the frame include Gianfranco Zola (14/1) and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, whose favouring of attacking football could also be attractive to Fernandes.
Tim Sherwood’s stats
From favourite and frontrunner to an outside chance at 12/1, Sherwood’s mooted move seems to have stalled over apparent concerns over future transfer funds.
Ex-Spurs boss Sherwood’s six month stint at White Hart Lane ended in acrimony and the self-confident coach has been on the sidelines ever since, despite stats showing he is the London club’s most successful Premier League era coach.
A drop zone duel would be a far cry from Tottenham’s high-profile tussles, but don’t count outspoken Sherwood out, as he appears to be firmly in the mix for most Premier League jobs.
Championship high flyers?
It would surely be difficult for Fernandes to convince a Championship manager with the prospect of promotion to abandon their campaigns for a Premier League side that looks destined for the drop.
However, Middlesbrough’s main man Aitor Karanka, who recently guided Boro to an FA Cup giant killing against Manchester City, is available at 50/1, and may seem to be the ideal man to oversee a QPR resurgence.
Perhaps a more realistic target could be Brentford boss Mark Warburton at 7/1, who has guided the Bees into the play-off places and could work wonders with the Hoops’ greater resources.