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Is it any surprise Steve McClaren has started poorly with QPR?

Friday 24th August 2018

Queens Park Rangers have started their Championship campaign in poor fashion. The Hoops have suffered four defeats from as many games and Steve McClaren is aware his side could be in serious danger already.

The opening day saw Preston defeat the club 1-0 at Deepdale, before Sheffield United were travelling victors at Loftus Road. Then came the 7-1 thrashing against recently relegated West Bromwich Albion. But last weekend was an added knife to the wound as Bristol City comfortably won 3-0 at Loftus Road. The four defeats is a sign that it will not be an easy season and last season's finish proves that.

The R's ended up in 16th place while Ian Holloway was in charge and conceded 70 goals. But as the summer transfer window was open this year a few major players were let go. Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Jamie Mackie, Nedum Onuoha, James Perch and Alex Smithies were just a few to depart the club.

The most notable player to come in was Angel Rangel from Swansea City. But with his arrival, there hasn't been much change to QPR's end results. Just two goals scored and 13 let in sounds quite worrying from a fan's perspective, not just as a manager or player.

McClaren doesn't have a great managerial record as we are all aware. He is more remembered when he started his managing career with Middlesbrough. From 250 games managed he won just 97 games at a win percentage of 38.8%. His second managerial role was with England. He only won half his games in charge. This was also the time when England failed to qualify for the 2008 European Championships.

McClaren's biggest success was with FC Twente where he managed a win percentage of 63%. After that, the win percentages started to decline. VfL Wolfsburg at 29%, Nottingham Forest at 23% and a second spell at Twente at 48%. A few seasons with Derby County would heighten his win average at nearly 54% while it dipped again after that. Just 23% with Newcastle and 45% in a second managerial role with Derby. This season Steve McClaren has a win percentage of 20% with his only win from five games being against Peterborough United in the EFL Cup.

The first three games the QPR boss opted for was a 4-2-3-1 formation which wasn't bringing in the results. He switched to a 4-3-3 against Bristol City but that didn't prove successful either.

Even though they have lost the first four games it doesn't mean this season is over already. The table can change in just one week. McClaren needs to work out his best XI and figure which formation works best. If he feels he is struggling in quality the loan window is still open. If fans can see the weaknesses which the manager doesn't there could be a bad vibe around Loftus Road which will not help the situation.

The squad is big enough but the question remains is there enough quality in the side? Matt Smith, who scored 11 times last season in the Championship, is yet to find the net this term. As mentioned before, the Hoops have only scored twice. Both goals came from midfield. Luke Freeman and Pawel Wszolek giving the club that small glimmer of hope.

QPR's next game is at home to Wigan Athletic. It doesn't matter who they have next though because every game is tough at Championship level. Every single team has a reputation in some form. Most sides in the league are recognised as former Premier League clubs. These are teams with high ambitions and QPR is exactly the same. Just four seasons ago they too were playing with the big boys. But now McClaren needs to find a way in turning QPR around and altering his win percentage.

The fans are understandably frustrated and demand change. They are paying their hard-earned money and at this moment they are not receiving the value whatsoever. Should they be surprised, though?

Football News
Jamie Kynaston

For my sins, I'm a season ticket holder at Stoke City, I have been proud to watch them for over 20 years. I follow most of the UK leagues and the major European ones too, and I've been told that I talk way too much about football.

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