Comments made by QPR boss Chris Ramsey insinuate he agrees with vice-captain Joey Barton that part of the blame for his side’s relegation to the Championship is down to the attitudes of ‘one or two bad eggs’.
A 6-0 spanking at the Etihad confirmed the R’s would be a second-tier team from next season, with the attitudes of a small minority within the camp undermining the supposedly gallant efforts of Barton and co to keep the club afloat.
It’s not the first time high-ranking Super Hoops officials have questioned the mindset of their own players, with Harry Redknapp echoing similar sentiments before he steered the same ship to an identical fate in the 2012/13 campaign.
“There are a lot of players at this club who earn far too much money for what they are; far, far, far too much money for their ability and what they give to the club,” were the words of the man who just this season left the Loftus Road club.
His replacement wasn’t quite so scathing, but his quotes after QPR’s decimation at Man City, and Barton’s prior to it, suggest the same problems are still prevalent:
“I think if you go to any club there are going to be bad eggs and those sort of people. What Joey probably alluded to is there are people who could have helped us who haven’t helped us.”
But who are these ‘bad eggs’ the finger is being pointed at?
The perceived attitude problems overlap from the R’s ill-fated 2012/13 season, suggesting those same players who didn’t do enough then are still picking up the same pay packet to this day.
After overseeing relegation, Redknapp’s intentions must’ve been to root out the lackadaisical and lacklustre, so those he has since drafted in, logic dictates, can’t be to blame.
The culprits, it would seem, are part of the following septet, who played for QPR during both relegation seasons:
Rob Green, Bobby Zamora, Clint Hill, Armand Traore, Junior Hoilett, Nedum Onuoha and Shaun Wright-Phillips.
Alejandro Faurlin was also on the books for both campaigns, but was injured for the bulk of them and is, therefore, exempt.
Based on their output, or lack of it across the two terms in question, these two are the previously unidentified rotten apples.
Players of Green, Hill and Zamora’s humble heritage and great experience are easy to rule out of the running.
Traore was offered a contract extension as recently as last summer, so there can be no issues regarding his attitude, while Onuoha is reportedly subject to interest from Stoke and Crystal Palace following QPR’s relegation.
However, the case for Wright-Phillips’ and Hoilett’s defence isn’t quite as substantial.
All bar one of the latter’s appearances have come from the bench, though 13 unused sub appearances confirm the continued refusal to trust him in the first-team isn’t down to fitness concerns.
Having played a part in successful Chelsea and Man City teams, Wright-Phillips could’ve contributed much more.
The same is true of Hoilett, who is yet to muster a solitary goal or assist in 20 outings so far.
Losing the ball at an average of 1.2 times per outing, he relinquishes possession at a greater rate than he makes a key pass (0.6) or successful dribble (0.8).