After news broke earlier today that Queens Park Rangers and manager Harry Redknapp has been locked into talks all day, the Twittersphere went into overdrive.
Now, it can calm down again, as QPR have confirmed that Redknapp will stay on as the West London clubs manager.
QPR’s relegation to the Championship was confirmed on Sunday, following the dissapoitning 0-0 draw with Reading. But good news has arrived for Rangers’ fans as Redknapp will stay on to lead their Champions promotion push next season.
Aiming for EPL promotion is one thing but delivering it is a huge ask.
“There’s a lot of work to be done next year and it will be very difficult to get promoted,” Redknapp told Sky Sports. “It’s a real good challenge. It’s possible but it ain’t going to be easy.”
More: Redknapp’s QPR future hanging in the balance
Redknapp has won promotion to the EPL in the past, with Portsmouth in 2003, and knows the lower leagues of English soccer extremely well after cutting his teeth with Bournemouth in his first managerial role. He emphasized fitness would be a key factor in determining how effective his side will be next term.
“That’s the key. Whoever the players we have here, they’ve got to be worked on in pre-season and they’ve got to be willing to want to get super fit to compete at that level,” Redknapp said. “It will be a big challenge. There are lots of good teams and massive clubs. There are big clubs who have all been in the Premier League before and we are just one of them.”
More: QPR and Reading both relegated after dour 0-0 tie
But if Redknapp can keep the incredibly expensive squad he has assembled together, a return to the EPL may not be as hard as everyone thinks.
Despite sitting at the top of the table in the Premier League, things are not going well for Manchester City.
Star striker and leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero suffered a torn hamstring while playing for Argentina, and now he is joined by David Silva on the injured list.
Silva lasted nine minutes in Spain’s EURO qualifying match against Luxembourg, forced off after taking a bad challenge from behind. Silva went down in pain and tried to play on, but asked for a substitution just minutes later.
[ RELATED: Alejandro Bedoya to miss USMNT vs. Mexico ]
Spanish news outlet AS is reporting that Silva has suffered “lateral internal ligament damage in his right ankle,” and could face 2-3 weeks on the sidelines.
With Aguero set to miss at least a month, Silva’s injury could leave Manchester City without two of their top players in the coming weeks.
Silva has arguably been the best player in the Premier League this season, the quarterback of the City attack, which has scored a league-leading 19 goals through eight matches.
City travels to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby on October 25, which falls into that 2-3 week range for Silva’s recovery. In a match that could decide who sits top of the table, Manuel Pellegrini would be very shorthanded without Silva and Aguero.
Alejandro Bedoya will not feature for the United States in the CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Saturday, and has been replaced on the roster by Bobby Wood.
Bedoya traveled to Los Angeles from his club team Nantes in France, but Jurgen Klinsmann has announced he will be unable to play after falling ill.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]
Without Bedoya, Union Berlin midfielder Bobby Wood has been added to the USMNT side. Wood scored the first two goals of his international career this summer in wins over the Netherlands and Germany, and has scored four goals in ten matches for Union Berlin this season. Wood has been training with the U.S. camp throughout the week for the upcoming friendly against Costa Rica.
Bedoya has played well for the USMNT, discounting his short performance against Brazil in September. In that match, Klinsmann played Bedoya out of position against a potent Brazil attack, and he was substituted before halftime. However, playing in his more natural role as a winger or attacking midfielder, many believed Bedoya could be in line for a start against Mexico.