Schopenhauer meets Kardashian: The QPR puzzle

Peter Macdiarmid

QPR Boss Harry Redknapp will need some players capable of bridging the gap in quality between the Shaun Derrys and the Esteban Graneros.

It's often difficult for people of diverging genius to enjoy one another's company. It's hard to imagine that an Arthur Schopenhauer or a John Locke would find pleasure being placed in a room with Kim Kardashian, or even Wayne Rooney. And so, this dreamy image can be compared with the precocious distribution of talent in a football squad, still retaining a core of Championship-quality players whilst importing continental sophistication from Marseilles and Madrid.

This allegory, it should now be obvious, describes the situation currently haunting the stands of Loftus Road, home to Queens Park Rangers and their recently appointed manager Harry Redknapp. For Redknapp, who as we know doesn't react kindly to the charge of being a 'wheeler dealer', has inherited a squad from his predecessor Mark Hughes that has failed to extract any convincing performances, and has subsequently continued that failing.

One of the pressing issues at QPR is the Schopenhauer-Kardashian conundrum, with players like Clint Hill and Shaun Derry allegedly constructed with the two virtues of 'passion' and 'heart' that, according to the knuckle-dragging English football fan is all that it takes to win games. The 'passion' and 'heart' that Hill is said to be blessed with didn't exactly come into play when Luis Suarez, a man who is actually good at playing the game of football, wriggled by for the first of Liverpool's three goals this weekend.

With Hill and Derry comes the inherent contrast at Loftus Road as the fiendishly talented Esteban Granero, left on the bench against Liverpool, Adel Taraabt and Stephane M'Bia attempt to slot into this complicated and uneven jigsaw. The QPR boss does, in patches, have some talent at his disposal, however, the mismatched distribution of spending from, first, Briatore and, now, Fernandes has resulted in a squad with the uneven proportions of a half-grown puppy, front legs longer than back and coat different lengths throughout.

This peculiar situation also faced Manchester City in the Hughes era as Benjani and Robinho still wonder how they each managed to cross paths, seemingly a necessary stage in the metanarrative of 'get rich and get success'. Redknapp, therefore, though not a wheeler dealer in the slightest, obviously, will need to use the funds given to him in January very wisely, although Jermaine Defoe and Peter Crouch are probably set to be unavailable for 'arry.

What's needed at Loftus Road is a middling sort, a group of players capable of bridging the considerable gap in talent between the Derrys and the Graneros, offering a dose of both the Tony Pulis-fetished 'passion' and continental sophistication. These monotonous yet crucial types can be found throughout the Premier League with, perhaps, Darren Bent providing a useful upgrade on the 'hard-working' Jamie Mackie. Bent or no Bent, QPR must take steps to improve the overall shape and depth of the squad, so that the Championship plague can be banished from Loftus Road and the Premier League embraced with the players it requires.

It may seem ironic though, that the only player capable in such a notable way of combining the Schopenhauer with the Kardashian and the 'passion' of the Championship journeyman with the exaggerated sophistication of a continental midfielder is on the books of Queens Park Rangers. He, Joey Barton, has been banished to the French riviera, whilst Clint Hill is still afforded his place in the starting eleven, passion and all.

QPR must learn, and Redknapp must assume the role of tutor.

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