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Ferdinand and QPR may bring each other down

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Rio Ferdinand loses out to Peter Crouch in an aerial duel during QPR's draw against Stoke City. Photo: REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

Rio Ferdinand loses out to Peter Crouch in an aerial duel during QPR's draw against Stoke City. Photo: REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

REUTERS

Rio Ferdinand loses out to Peter Crouch in an aerial duel during QPR's draw against Stoke City. Photo: REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

The first question you need to ask about a player's attitude when he moves from a team competing for trophies to one battling relegation is "would he have done that at his old club?"

Had Manchester United been beaten and embarrassed 4-0 at either Upton Park or Elland Road in the past 12 years, would Rio Ferdinand have released a statement the following day expressing his gratitude for reception he received at his former club?

"We went to Old Trafford with a game plan to compete and to get a result, but it didn't happen. A different result would have made it a perfect weekend all round but it wasn't to be!" wrote Ferdinand in a statement last Monday after Queens Park Rangers were hammered at Old Trafford.

"I would also like to take time to thank Manchester United. I want to thank the fans for the fantastic reception and I would like to thank the club for presenting me with a brilliant picture book from the past 12 years of my time at the club. To receive the picture book from Sir Bobby Charlton, a Man Utd legend was a great honour!"

At least somebody in a QPR shirt enjoyed part of their day.

Under Ferguson, would Ferdinand, or any other player, have released a book less than two months into the season given what happened to Jaap Stam?

It seems unlikely they would have the nerve as a Manchester United player but, on October 2, it will be alright for a QPR player to do it as Ferdinand's book hits the shelves.

Promotion

With Ferdinand's Twitter following nearing six million, there's plenty of scope for marketing and promotion across social media and, perhaps, the more traditional method of book signings in person at a few shops.

Quite how this fits in to QPR's plans between away games against Southampton and West Ham is unclear but if it brings about the same controversy as the serialisation sparked last week, it would be easy for Ferdinand's mind not to be entirely focused on two crucial games for Harry Redknapp's struggling team.

Among many other things, the serialisation revealed David Moyes banned United's traditional Friday night low-fat chip eating; he no longer speaks to Ashley Cole; Moyes told him and Nemanja Vidic to study Phil Jagielka and he needed an interpreter to understand Jamie Carragher.

As spotted by Daniel Taylor in the 'Observer' yesterday, Ferdinand also criticised the anti-racism group Kick It Out for "refusing" to come to court in support of his brother Anton during the John Terry trial even though, as Taylor notes, a representative from the group sat and had lunch with Ferdinand's parents on all five days.

It would be interesting to know what his QPR team-mates think of Ferdinand's self-promotion after a start to the season in which he has looked every bit a player who turns 36 in November.

In order to accommodate Ferdinand and Stephen Caulker, Redknapp decided to play with three centre-backs, leaving Richard Dunne on the left side looking as uncomfortable as a horse at the top of a flight of stairs.

Dunne was sacrificed at half-time with QPR 3-0 down against Tottenham and, last week against United, it was Clint Hill - Dunne's centre-half partner for last season's promotion campaign - who was asked to play left-back where he was more maudlin than marauding. Just like Dunne, he was whipped off at half-time with his team 3-0 down.

Dunne and Hill were exposed at times last season by decent attacks in the Championship but, given the chance to play beside the pace of Caulker, they both probably feel they could form a decent partnership.

Instead, Ferdinand, on a salary but not a performance level of the best player in the club, stands in their way and, having justified his decision to sign him in the first place, it seems unlikely Redknapp will drop him.

If Ferdinand plays 90 minutes against Southampton, he will have started and finished six games before the end of September, just as he did last season at United.

Redknapp may not have noticed that, prior to last year, the previous time Ferdinand had started six games before the end of September was as a 28-year-old whose reading of the game was excellent but whose pace got him out of many tricky situations.

That pace is gone and it's notable just how deep Ferdinand is now attempting to play in order to compensate, even against the likes of Stoke City on Saturday.

Ferdinand was blatantly fouled in the build-up to Stoke's opening goal but, with QPR having the league's joint worse defensive record of conceding 11 goals in five games, something clearly isn't working.

Promoted clubs have taken different approaches to starting life in the Premier League with the likes of Swansea and Southampton mostly giving the players who won them promotion the chance to prove themselves at the top level.

Under Mark Hughes, QPR went down the route of signing allegedly proven Premier League players like Jose Bosingwa or Ji-Sung Park whose attitudes plummeted along with their league position when they moved from Chelsea and Manchester United. Not that it mattered in the slightest to the players' bank balances although, in 2012/13 as they were relegated, QPR's showed a loss of £65.4million.

Ferdinand was a magnificent player but never seemed the type who would enjoy the boot, bollock and bite of a relegation battle which QPR are likely to face this season. If his reputation and QPR come though it unscathed, it would make for a surprising final chapter.

 

Tweets of the week

Monday

David Gold (@davidgold): Safe journey home you West Ham fans I know it's a long way but well done, your support was invalid. Thank you. Dg

(20 minutes later)

Sorry it's "invaluable" not "invalid" Sadly there is no cure for dyslexia. dg

The West Ham owner gets himself in a mucking fuddle in praising his club's supporters after the draw at Hull.

Tuesday

Marcos Rojo (@marcosrojo5): Night dinner whit the team !!

Sure what else would a bunch of Manchester United players be doing on the opening night of the Champions League?

Wednesday

Joey Barton (@Joey7Barton): Just watched Pistorius: The Truth on BBC3. Makes a mockery of South Africa's justice system. How he got away with murder still baffles...

The QPR midfielder unlikely to get called for jury duty any time soon.

Thursday

Ben Foster (@BenFoster): Isn't this Big Yes/No vote a bit like being with a partner who you're not sure about? Even if it's a NO for now, trouble must lie ahead...

West Brom goalkeeper sums up the Scottish independence vote quite nicely.

Friday

Sepp Blatter (@SeppBlatter): Everyone in the global football community has a responsibility to act ethically. Football fans rightly demand this. FIFA has taken the lead.

For mostly legal reasons, we agree entirely with the FIFA president.

Saturday

Gary Neville (@GNev2): Has Sakho ever headed a ball where he wants it to go?

A harsh but fair question from the Sky Sports analyst as Liverpool conceded a third goal to West Ham.

Sunday

Mario Balotelli (@FinallyMario): Man utd ... LOL

After his performance against West Ham on Saturday, it's good to know something has cheered up the Liverpool striker.

 

The question nobody asked

How many of Leicester's players who beat Manchester United were there last year?

Against hundreds of millions worth of players in the Manchester United team yesterday, Leicester produced a stunning comeback backboned by a group of players who, one year ago exactly, were drawing 2-2 with Blackpool.

Starting with the goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, Leicester also had the same back four as yesterday when they travelled to Bloomfield Road with Richie De Laet, Paul Konchesky - who scored against Blackpool ­‑ Wes Morgan and Liam Moore although United did at least manage one goal more than Blackpool.

Danny Drinkwater was also involved while two of yesterday's goalscorers, Jamie Vardy and David Nugent, make it eight players who beat United yesterday that couldn't beat Blackpool exactly one year ago.

 

The bet you should have done

Arsenal to beat Aston Villa, evens

You won't have got too rich out of the price but, even so, the chance to double your money is not to be sniffed at.

Arsenal were dreadful against Dortmund in midweek which may have made the price more generous, but without a defeat at Villa Park since 1998, this wasn't likely to be anything but an Arsenal victory.

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