Saturday, December 21, 2013

(You gotta) fight for your right (to play)

That's the message from the Silver Fox to those currently on the fringes of the first team. He was prompted to come over all Beastie Boys by media mischief-making from Saylor's agent Willie McKay (yes, him again), who went public on his client's dissatisfaction at being left kicking his heels on the bench. McKay had suggested that Saylor was eyeing up a loan move, and indeed 'Appy 'Arry was then promptly credited with an interest in inflating QPR's already ludicrous Championship wage bill even further, but the Silver Fox was quick to quash that possibility.

In doing so, he also named MYM, HBA and Papiss Cisse, which implies that they too may have expressed disgruntlement at their current predicament, albeit privately rather than in public. It's hardly surprising, and as the cliche goes, having his players fit and champing at the bit to be involved is a nice problem for the Silver Fox to have. That said, it's still a problem, and one he needs to manage carefully. Those currently in possession of the shirts, perhaps against the odds (Big Lad and Mike Williamson in particular), have repaid the manager's faith and fully merit their selection - but if we're to safeguard against the inevitability of injuries and loss of form in the second half of the season. it's vital that we don't weaken our squad in January by letting those on the fringes leave. (Obertan Kenobi being the obvious exception...)

As for Saylor, our advice would be for him to gag McKay, knuckle down and learn the error of his ways. Admittedly he's been injured for much of the season, but his absence from the first team is also attributable to that stupid red card earned in our very first game of the season - a game which was already proving a very tough challenge with eleven men, let alone ten. Since that Monday in August, he hadn't pulled on a black and white shirt for competitive action until yesterday, when named (together with Spidermag) as one of the overage players in the U21 squad that beat Norwich in front of 125 spectators - a fact he will hopefully reflect on next time he thinks about doing something rash.

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