Despite a weekend win at Southampton, QPR have taken up residence Struggle street and there doesn’t seem to be an exit for miles.
Though they’ve entered perhaps the easiest portion of their schedule all season, the Rs remain tied firmly to the bottom of the English Premier League table. Escape is – at best – improbable. Common wisdom suggests that a club needs 40 points to dodge relegation; achieving that total with no room for error would require the hoop’d men to win five and draw five of their final ten matches.
Since Tony Fernandes bought the club in August 2011 there has been a steady procession of highly-paid stars enter Loftus Road. Precious few have performed consistently to the levels expected. Rumours persist of a player culture ill-suited to toughing out Premiership survival.
While few outside Rangers’ sheds really know the truth behind the club’s recent trip to the Middle East, it seems reasonable to suggest that there’s probably some fire backing up the smoke. Though denying reports of excessive sweaty partying, manager Harry Redknapp has often spoke of the startling lack of results Fernandes’ money seems to have purchased.
According to the textbooks, it would seem that Rangers’ players are fearless. This may seem an odd choice of words, but it is deliberate: the result of having the fear centres excised isn’t aggression or thinking one is king of the world – a lack of fear doesn’t make us think we’re invulnerable. Fear is an entirely different emotional concept – if it’s removed, the person in question exhibits an insensate, docile flatness; the simply accept destiny as created for them by others.
According to the neuroscience textbooks, the lack of fear doesn’t create bombast but “… [a] calming affect, reduced aggression, personality changes, lack of inhibition and decreased drive”. Sound familiar?
Barring incident, the Hoops’ players are financially set for life. Should Rangers be relegated, many of these players will be allowed either to leave “earn” their cash in the second division. What do they have to fear? A punctured ego? Surely if that were the case, results might have been obtained sooner. The last modicum of passion requisite to extricating themselves might have left with Ryan Nelsen.
Money can allay many fears. However in the case of QPR, it seems to have buried them almost entirely.