Ever since Queens Park Rangers were assured of relegation following their 0-0 draw with Reading last week, owner Tony Fernandes has been looking for others to bear the brunt of the blame for their failed season.
It appeared Fernandes had selected former manager Neil Warnock as his scapegoat du jour, and despite later clarifying that he never meant to blame his former conductor for their misfortune this season, the damage had been done.
Yesterday, many believed the owner was hitting out at Warnock for his failed deals at the beginning of the season. Fernandes was quoted by The Mirror as saying, “At the time when we arrived (in the Premier League), we were offered a lot of players, many on free transfers. We questioned a few of these and it wouldn’t be fair for me to name names, but we weren’t long in the business and we deferred to the footballing side of the business.”
Fernandes was most likely referring to the high-wage additions of Shawn Wright-Phillips, Joey Barton, Armond Traore, Anton Ferdinand, and Luke Young all in the final stages of the 2011 summer transfer window under the direction of Warnock. Fernandes later fired Warnock in January of 2012.
Fernandes, also the owner of Air Asia, attempted to clarify his statements today saying he never meant to blame Warnock for starting QPR’s slide, but it was too late in the former boss’s mind. Warnock fired back, saying, “Tony Fernandes came in with no experience. They brought in Phil Beard with no experience either and Mark Hughes brought in Mike Rigg. There’s nobody in between the ownership and the manager. When things go wrong, everybody starts throwing things and unfortunately it’s my turn to be hit now.”
FA Cup slate set as Liverpool, Newcastle, Saints win
The field is set for the fourth round of the FA Cup, as Newcastle United, Liverpool, and Southampton joined 29 other teams in the fourth round.
Newcastle United 2-1 Birmingham City
Matt Ritchie scored twice and Yoan Gouffran also scored as the Magpies clinched a trip to third-tier side Oxford United. David Cotterill scored in the 71st minute to provide an interesting finish, but Newcastle weathered the storm.
Jurgen Klopp chose another youth-heavy lineup, but a pair of Premier League vets got the job done for the winner. Philippe Coutinho assisted Lucas Leiva‘s 18th mintue goal to give the Reds a home date with Wolverhampton.
Divock Origi had a late penalty saved by Luke McCormick, but it didn’t come back to haunt the Reds.
Southampton 1-0 Norwich City
Saints got a much-needed albeit ugly win when Shane Long won a tussle in the box to score a stoppage time winner. Southampton will host Arsenal in the fourth round.
Derby County vs. Leicester City
January 28 Liverpool vs. Wolverhampton
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Wycombe Wanderers
Oxford United vs. Newcastle United
Lincoln City vs. Brighton & Hove Albion
Chelsea vs. Brentford
Rochdale vs. Huddersfield Town
Burnley vs. Bristol City
Blackburn vs. Blackpool
Middlesbrough vs. Accrington Stanley
Crystal Palace vs. Manchester City
Southampton vs. Arsenal
Millwall vs. Watford
Fulham vs. Hull City
Sutton United vs. Leeds United
“Jermaine is a winner who has experience in MLS and playing against the highest competition in the world,” said LA Galaxy Head Coach Curt Onalfo. “He has a relentless engine on the field and we are confident that he will strengthen our midfield. We look forward to him joining the Galaxy as we prepare for the upcoming season.”
When healthy, Jones remains a game changer at the MLS level. He was not healthy often during his season in Colorado, but the Rapids did not lose a regular season game in which he hit the pitch.
Given the amount of buzz surrounding Lyon’s supposed interest in Memphis Depay, it’s no surprise this one got done.
The Ligue 1 side has agreed to buy the Manchester United winger for a fee that will range between $20 and $27 million. Reports claim the Red Devils have both buy back and sell-on clauses inserted in the deal.
Memphis was purchased for approximately $30 million from PSV Eindhoven in May 2015. That was hot on the heels of a 22-goal season that paced the Eredivisie.
After scoring two goals for United in his second appearance for the club, Memphis managed just 7 in 45 appearances. He hasn’t scored in seven matches this season.
Memphis has 27 caps with five goals for the Netherlands, and it’s hard to imagine he won’t reinforce his status with a prolific spell in France.
Lyon is fourth in the Ligue 1 table, eight behind third place PSG and 11 points back of leaders Monaco and Nice. The club is in the Round of 32 for the French Cup, and meets AZ Alkmaar in the UEFA Europa League.