QPR: Remy can make survival plan come together
Maybe it was the challenge. Maybe it was Harry. Maybe it was the money. Maybe it was because he likes his stripes going from side to side rather than up an down. Whatever the reasons for choosing Queen’s Park Rangers over Newcastle, Loic Remy has not taken long to illustrate why QPR owner Tony Fernandes was happy to shell out and £8m transfer fee and a reported £75,000 a week to sign him.
The manner of his goal in Rangers’ 1-1 draw at West Ham - an instinctive first-time caress into the corner from 18 yards - told you everything: Remy is a natural. And natural finishers keep you up.
Remy’s arrival at the Premier League’s bottom club did little to appease the cynics, keen to probe the 26-year-old’s reasoning for opting to a relegation scrap rather than the increased security of Newcastle’s position. Remy was adamant though the higher wages on offer at Loftus Road had nothing to do with it saying, “A lot of people are shocked that I chose QPR...It was not a decision about money. It's an interesting challenge.”
The challenge of keeping QPR in the Premier League is a two-way street though. Remy, by his own admission, is a complex character prone to hoard around the odd piece of psychological baggage and it will be Redknapp’s main brief to keep the equilibrium of his new recruit as balanced as possible.
“When I’m 100 per cent I can do very good things but when there’s something not right in my head, something bothering me, then it becomes a bit difficult,” Remy admitted.
“Whenever I’ve got a small problem, it’s straight to the pits.”
Fortunately Radknapp is a pretty handy pitman and has never been able to resist a maverick. His pastoral log runs from Florin Raducioiu and Paulo Di Canio, to Kanu and Emmanuel Adebayor and while he cannot boast a spotless record with them all, the ones he was helped blossom far out-weigh those who proved beyond help. Remy, who said working with Redknapp was a clear attraction, is certainly in the right place.
From that perspective Redknapp will prove the ideal man for QPR who were a rudderless, disparate rabble before he took over. In the 12 games since Redknapp arrived they have lost just three times. There are still too many draws, given their current predicament, but there is renewed hope certainly. It is also not a coincidence that another of their enigmatic clan, Adel Taarabt, is playing his best football of the season. Before Redknapp he was a sulking liability. Now he looks back to his conjuring best.
With Taarabt pointing in the right direction and now Remy on board, QPR can look a their survival hopes with renewed bounce, knowing that the current five points gap to safety is bridgeable within a couple of results. Redknapp will want to limit the damage during February when three of their four games are against Manchester City, Manchester United and Swansea. He will be aware that the following five games against teams currently in the bottom half present the real opportunity.
QPR’s fight might end up being short-lived. Remy’s time with them may end up likewise as, although he would not confirm it, he is almost certain to have a relegation-release clause in his deal should Rangers go down.
It is still terribly short term at Loftus Road but they cannot afford to be anything else in the circumstances if they want to remain in the division and the increased riches it will bring from next season.
It is a gamblers scramble and with Remy QPR look like making it a thoroughly absorbing one.