Queens Park Rangers started their second season back in the top flight with a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Swansea City, a defeat which left Rangers' manager Mark Hughes embarrassed. After a number of new signings arriving at Loftus Road this summer, many tipped QPR to have a struggle-free campaign but after this heavy day one defeat, could it be another tough season for the West London club?
After avoiding relegation on the final day of last season, despite their dramatic 3-2 loss to Manchester City in a game which will be forever etched into Premier League history, QPR did not waste any time in this summer's transfer window in order to strengthen their squad. A year on from a 4-0 defeat on the first day of last season to the eventually relegated Bolton Wanderers though and R's fans had to endure another season opener to forget.
Centre-back Ryan Nelsen, who joined from Tottenham on a free was an unused substitute on Saturday afternoon but Hughes might want to think again before naming him on the bench for QPR's next game against Norwich City at Carrow Road this Sturday. Anton Ferdinand and Clint Hill suffered a torrid time against Swansea's forward line so Nelson's experience could be just what they need to find the organisation at the back which was clearly missing against the Welsh side, not to mention the New Zealander's strength.
Rangers will also be keen to get former Chelsea right-back, Jose Bosingwa playing. The Portuguese international joined QPR from their West London rivals on the eve of the new season after being excited by the project at Loftus Road. Bosingwa had attracted interest from a number of top European clubs - Inter Millan, Anzhi Makhachkala and Monaco were said to have all made offers for the two-time Champions League winner but he chose to stay in London where his family is happy and for his love of the Premier League and its fans.
In four years at Chelsea, Bosingwa won the Champions League, the Premier League and three FA Cups so there's no doubting he knows what it takes to win. His success at Chelsea came after a haul of trophies at Porto in Portugal, including the first of his two Champions League wins. QPR's eighth signing of the summer, Bosingwa and their fourth on a free becomes the third Champions League winner at the club after Djibril Cisse and Ji-sung Park.
On Saturday, Park was named Rangers captain for the new season an hour before kick-off and the South Korean did manage to impress in his league debut for the club, despite their heavy defeat. The former Manchester United midfielder worked tirelessly throughout but even he was unable to prevent such a loss as his side's inability to remain organised cost them dear. Park's sharp-passing and experience of winning things with Man United and before them, PSV Eindhoven will be key to QPR's season and their chances of securing a third successive season back in the big time.
QPR fans will be hoping that Saturday's thrashing to Swansea was just an early season blip and their new signings can settle quickly and start to move the club in the direction many have tipped them to. Surely there is too much talent at Loftus Road for another relegation scrap- Rangers fans, what do you think?
image: © Julian Mason