Bobby Zamora

Brighton brings back club hero Bobby Zamora, fans explode with joy

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Who said romance in soccer was dead?

12 years after leaving Brighton Hove & Albion for the bright lights of the Premier League, Bobby Zamora has returned in epic fashion, and fans are absolutely thrilled about the return of the club hero.

Zamora spent three seasons at Brighton between 2000-2003, where he scored a whopping 83 goals in 136 appearances, leading the club to two successive promotions into the second tier of English football, and they’ve bounced between there and League One ever since.

He spent Premier League stints with Tottenham, West Ham, Fulham, and QPR spanning 10 seasons in the English top flight following his departure from the Seagulls. He brought the Cottagers to a Europa League final with wins over Shakhtar Donetsk, Wolfsburg, and Juventus, and earned a pair of England caps along the way. Now, at 34 years old, Zamora was released by Queens Park Rangers earlier this summer. So he decided to go back to where it all started.

Look at that smile!

“We are absolutely delighted to have brought Bobby back to Brighton, he needs absolutely no introduction here,” said Brighton manager Chris Hughton. “The Albion fans know everything about him, from his achievements in a Brighton shirt and right through his time with Spurs, West Ham, Fulham and QPR.”

“I also know Bobby well, having worked with him during his time at Spurs, and he is a great professional. I know he will bring plenty of experience to the team, having played Premier League, European and international football. He will also bring a lot in terms of character to the club and to the dressing room but, most importantly, having played more than 30 times for QPR last season, he brings top quality to our offensive options.  We still have work to do in terms of adding to the squad, including those offensive options, in terms of creating and scoring goals.”

They accompanied their announcement with this hilariously epic Vine:

The only thing better than that video is the replies from Brighton fans. Soccer twitter can be a very nasty place at times, but there’s clearly hope for the locale yet.

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There’s plenty more where that came from as well. It’s wonderful to see such an experienced and tenured player come back to the place where it all began. Fans even took control of his Wikipedia page to sneak in a small token of excitement:

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QPR is cleaning house: Barton, Ferdinand, Zamora all out at Loftus Road

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After finishing dead last in the Premier League and being relegated to the Championship, Queens Park Rangers will be cutting down its roster next season.

[ RELATED: Premier League Playback ]

Manager Chris Ramsey acknowledged that there would be quite a bit of turnaround for the club, with many players being out of contract at the end of this season and with the club needing to be smart financially without the cash flow from playing in the Premier League.

Today, the club announced that only Clint Hill and Alejandro Faurlin would be offered new deals at Loftus Road.

That means that Rio Ferdinand, Bobby Zamora, Richard Dunne, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Brian Murphy and club captain Joey Barton will not be wearing the blue and white hoops of Queens Park Rangers next season.

QPR will also lose Niko Kranjcar, Eduardo Vargas and Mauro Zarate, who were all on loan at Loftus Road.

[ RELATED: Nine FIFA officials arrested in Switzerland during dawn raids ]

The Hoops spent big money on their quest to earn Premier League glory, but the club flopped, losing 24 of 38 matches and finishing last in the league. Defense was the biggest issue, as Queens Park Rangers conceded a whopping 73 goals on the season.

Losing so many key players will surely hurt QPR, even though they will be playing in the second division. It’s almost certain the club will also lose top scorer Charlie Austin, who will surely receive a nice pay day from a bigger club after scoring 18 goals in his first season in the Premier League.

VIDEO: Premier League’s Top 10 goals of the season, from A(dam) to Z(amora)

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All week at ProSoccerTalk we are reviewing the dramatic 2014-15 Premier League season. From dishing out awards to looking back at the highs and lows in the 380 games as 20 teams battled it out, we’ll have every angle covered.

[ FULL COVERAGE: Premier League season review ]

For the full archive of our review content, just hit the link above. Now, it’s time to take a look back at the best goals of 2014/15 in the Premier League.

The goals run the gamut and it’s a relegated club which a trio of offerings on the docket. We’ve got Queens Park Rangers goals from Charlie Austin’s turn and fire to his teammate Bobby Zamora’s outside-foot chip versus West Brom and Matty Phillips long distance route versus Crystal Palace.

[ MORE: Premier League final day roundup ]

Then there’s a Merseyside Derby swerving strike and a Wear-Tyne Derby deciding volley. But which wild goal gets the honor of goal of the season? From A to Z, see what Robbie Earle, Robbie Mustoe and Kyle Martino tabbed as top of the pops.

Watch Live: QPR vs. Newcastle United (Lineups and Live Stream)

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QPR is already headed for the Championship, but will look to drag Newcastle United with it at Loftus Road on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET and online via Live Extra)

The Magpies are just two points clear of the drop, and will turn to a back line of Daryl Janmaat, Fabricio Coloccini, Paul Dummett and Jonas Gutierrez.

QPR drops injured Bobby Zamora, while Leroy Fer and Charlie Austin form a dangerous front pairing against the battered Magpies.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE VIA LIVE EXTRA

LINEUPS

Queens Park Rangers: Green, Onuoha, Caulker, Dunne, Hill; Phillips, Barton, Henry, Hoilett; Fer, Austin. Subs: McCarthy, Yun, Grego-Cox, Doughty, Wright-Phillips, Comley, Furlong.

Newcastle United: Krul, Janmaat, Coloccini (c), Dummett, Gutierrez, Colback, R.Taylor, Sissoko, Cabella, Perez, Rivière. Subs: Woodman, Anita, Abeid, Gouffran, Aarons, Ameobi, Cissé.

QPR’s Ramsey after 6-0 loss seals relegation: “We shot ourselves in the foot”

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Queens Park Rangers became the second casualty of the Premier League relegation zone, falling 6-0 at Manchester City on Sunday morning.

Manager Chris Ramsey had plenty to say after the loss. He wants to stick around and help the R’s earn promotion, and he’s a bit stunned at how his team looked in such a crucial fixture.

[ MATCH RECAP: Man City 6-0 QPR ]

Even with the odds stacked against their survival, Ramsey expected more.

From the BBC:

“We came here with a lot of hope, shot ourselves in the foot and gave away three set-pieces which they scored from. On the day we didn’t really turn up and they are a very good team. The boys will be very disappointed in the way they performed. We are really feel sorry for the travelling fans.

“As you can imagine the dressing room is very, very quiet. I don’t think it’s a time for post mortems, our fate is what it is. The club is in a rebuilding phase now and would have been anyway regardless of today. There are lots of people at the club who will be extremely disappointed in the way we conducted ourselves today.”

It’s a lot to take for fans of the R’s, who will now have to hope for a rebuilt unit to quickly thrive in the Championship. Twelve players are out of contract, including Joey Barton and Bobby Zamora.

Tony Fernandez has the money to bring in help, but also consider that Charlie Austin, Robert Green and Matt Phillips will be among those sought after in the transfer market. This time, going back up is going to be much, much tougher.