This week, we welcome Mike, author of QPR Report to the Wolves Blog Guest House for a friendly chat ahead of Saturday’s match at Molineux.
Thomas: Mike, come in my friend. What can I get you to drink?
Mike: A nice cup of tea.
Thomas: A man after my own heart. I’ll stick the kettle on. I suppose the first thing I should say is ‘welcome back to the Premier League’. How have you found it so far? Results have been pretty mixed so are you happy with the start you’ve made?
Mike: There have really been two QPR starts to the season: The Briatore/Ecclestone “Starve the manager” start…And then, after the Fernandes-Bhatia takeover, a whole new atmosphere and several quality players brought in. Obviously we’d like to have 12 points from 4 games…But if you saw the Newcastle game, we truly did dominate.
Thomas: You were certainly very impressive. There always seems to be a lot going on behind the scenes at QPR. Does that worry you as a supporter?
Mike: If we had done this interview a few weeks ago, I would very much have said yes. And there is no question that the QPR Report blog and Messageboard were in the forefront of criticism and scepticism about the previous “Administration” – especially regarding the role of former Chairman Gianni Paladini (a man who’s familiar with former Wolves player and now agent, Mel Eves!). I would say that NOW, finally, “The Sky is Blue.” ( aphrase used by our former Chairman as he came out of the FA Investigation hearing into QPR’s signing of Faurlin!
Thomas: Neil Warnock was able to bring in some quality players before the window shut. Which arrival excited you most and why?
Mike: Joey Barton and Shaun Wright-Phillips: Just bringing some Premiership class to the squad. But to be honest, we’ve signed several players, who in totem say: Premiership survival is now very much of a possibility.
Thomas: I’d agree with that. One player you already had was Adel Taarabt. He seems like an interesting character with bags of skill. Do you think he can become a consistent force in the Premier League?
Mike: I certainly hope so. He spent the summer trying to get away from us. Warnock just replaced him as Captain with Barton. He had a great game on Monday against Newcastle. It will be an interesting challenge: How he copes with not being the only attacking star on the team. Hopefully he’ll thrive and be helped by having other players around him, so he won’t be man marked.
Thomas: Good point. What are you hoping for this season? I suppose survival is the ultimate aim but do you feel you can you realistically hope for better?
Mike: Obviously survival is the ultimate goal for us (and all of us!). Hopefully a (lower) mid-table position.
Thomas: Nothing wrong with aiming high. What’s your opinion on Neil Warnock?
Mike: G-d! Did a brilliant job saving us from relegation in his first season, taking us to Promotion last season, withstanding the Briatore-Ecclestone era. Whether he’s going to be good enough to take us into Europe, time will tell, but he’s exactly what we’ve needed for a long time.
Thomas: And what’s your opinion on our gafffer?
Mike: I remember him as a Millwall and Manchester City Defender. He seems a good guy. The kind of guy you wish well.
Thomas: What thoughts immediately spring to mind when you think about Wolves as a club?
Mike: Floodlights. Championship. 1950s. Stan Cullis.
And personally for QPR: A 1969/1970 League Cup game under the Loftus Road Floodlights. QPR had just been relegated. Wolves were in the old First Division, with Derek Dougan and managed by Bill McGarry.
Also in the mid-1990s, Gerry Francis interviewing to become Wolves’ new manager.
And back to the 1970s, when both clubs had goalies called Phil Parkes – which was strange. I don’t think it’s any bias to say the QPR Phil Parkes was the better of the two.
(FYI – Some past QPR-Wolves encounters – http://qprreport.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=general&action=display&thread=26247)
Thomas: Ha, some lovely memories. Which of our players do you rate?
Mike: I’m not too familiar with your Premiership players. I do know Wolves had a couple of players who really should have been QPR players, but we missed out and they joined Wolves. Knightly, Ebanks-Blake, Henry, Jarvis, O’Hara. Ikeme, of course we had on loan.
Thomas: How do you think we’ll fare this season?
Mike: I think you’ll stay up again.
Thomas: I’d be happy enough with that. Finally, what’s your prediction for Saturday?
Mike: I really think we’re going to pull off a shock on Saturday. But because I don’t want to jinx us, I’m going for a 3-1 Wolves win!
Thomas: Spoken like a true football fan. Thanks for taking the time Mike and good luck for the season…after Saturday.
Mike: Thank you very much for inviting me to answer your questions. The one thing I found doing my own Q&A with fans of other clubs is how, beyond obviously rivalries, how much fans of all clubs, actually have in common. Very best of luck to you (after Saturday).