Football comment: Things could have been very different at QPR this season. In the midst of Manchester City's euphoria at landing the title, QPR, despite conceding two late goals against the champions-elect, survived relegation by the skin of their teeth.
This writer could have been penning a column that was about Championship concern than Premier predictions.
Bolton's failure to beat Stoke at the Britannia Stadium, in the end, was QPR¹s saving grace. The Trotters were relegated by a single point.
A goal here, a missed chance there fine margins, indeed. QPR boss Mark Hughes's main message at the final whistle in Manchester was one where relegation would not be an issue for the club next season. Chairman Tony Fernandes has echoed his words over the summer, and in true Fernandes style, his big talk has been backed up with actions.
The Rs have arguably been the most proactive side in the transfer market in pre-season, with seven new faces, all who possess proven Premier League experience, coming through the door in W12.
England international Rob Green has been brought in to replace Paddy Kenny, whose magnificent form from QPR's promotion campaign deserted him last season. He has moved to re-join former QPR boss Neil Warnock at Leeds United.
Centre-back Ryan Nelsen along with former Fulham forward Andy Johnson, like Green, bring more steel to a side that lost 14 games away from home last year the worst record away in the
Fabio Da Silva, on loan, and Ji Sung Park have been snapped up rather shrewdly from Manchester United while midfield general Samba Diakite's move from Nancy has been made permanent after he impressed during a loan spell at the back end of last season.
But perhaps QPR¹s most exciting bit of business was in persuading free-agent Junior Hoilett to turn down offers from top clubs in Germany and sign a four-year-deal with the Hoops.
Hoilett, 22, played 92 times and scored 14 goals for Blackburn Rovers after joining the club as a youngster under Hughes. He was a shining light in an otherwise miserable season for Rovers, who were relegated with a whimper.
Hoilett, whose contract expired at Rovers, will bring some much needed width to a rather narrow QPR side and unlike their other signings he definitely has potential for the club to make a profit on their investment.
Evaluating how well a side has fared in the summer transfer window can only be proven around Christmas, but it's hard to argue at this stage that QPR haven't significantly improved their squad with the influx of
It is of paramount importance however that expectations around the club do not rocket too far ahead of themselves.
QPR turned Loftus Road into a fortress towards the end of last season, winning their last five games, including against Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham. It can be an intimidating place for visiting players to
perform, but on the flip side, when things aren¹t going to plan, home players can, because of the close proximity to the terraces, feel the tension and pressure from the home faithful.
The fans stuck with the side brilliantly last year but they must remember QPR are still a club in progression. Fernandes has a vision for Rangers to grow into a worldwide footballing force but these things, as proven before, can't be rushed.
Anything above 17th will be seen as a success by him and, although he won¹t admit it, Hughes as well.
If you appreciated this article then please consider donating to the Morning Star's Fighting Fund to ensure we can keep developing your paper.