Parker believes Hoddle and Les could rescue struggling Rangers

Paul Parker believes Glenn Hoddle can help get QPR out of the mire but says the ex-England boss should be in the dugout rather than the stands.

The former Rangers and England defender is convinced Hoddle, who recently joined the club’s coaching staff, needs to have a more prominent role alongside under-pressure manager Harry Redknapp.

Parker also believes Eduardo Vargas could become a key player, stalwarts Clint Hill and Nedum Onuoha are needed to plug a leaky defence, and that Redknapp’s reign is in danger of mirroring Mark Hughes’ but the appointment of Les Ferdinand could be a turning point.

“I’m looking at Rangers and asking myself if Glenn Hoddle can sit next to Harry during games instead of in the stands,” Parker told West London Sport.

Soccer - Coca-Cola Football Championship - Queens Park Rangers v West Bromwich Albion - Loftus Road

“Tony Fernandes has now got someone there in Les who knows what the club’s about.” – Paul Parker on Ferdinand’s appointment

“Harry could get a bit of direction from him on some of the things that are going on at ground level.

“It’s hard to be sat in the stands and then try to deliver things at half-time. It’s actually impossible, because if you’re lucky you’ve got 15 minutes. During that time a player will maybe take in three or four minutes of what you say.

“For the rest of it, they need a drink, they might need to go to the toilet or change their kits, they might need some ice or physio – so what they can actually comprehend during that short time can be minimal.

“So at half-time, maybe after what Harry’s seen and what Kevin Bond wants to say or Joe Jordan, there might not be enough time for Glenn.

“And when you’re in the stand you can be distracted. You see people you haven’t seen in a while, people say hello – everyone wants to tap you on the shoulder and have a conversation.

“If you’ve got someone like Glenn, with the technical nous he has, he could help Harry.

“For example, at the moment Rio Ferdinand is the focal point and everyone wants to talk about the mistakes he’s making and him being caught for pace.

“That can all be sorted out and maybe if Glenn was involved more he could work out ways to get around that.

“I’ve played with players and seen a lot who are a lot slower than Rio. Maybe he’s just got to adapt his game, because unlike at Manchester United he’s now constantly going to be under pressure.

“Glenn is one of our greatest ever English players and I think it’s a waste that he’s sitting in the stands rather than being next to Harry.

“He needs to be sitting next to Harry for 90 minutes. Harry needs Glenn around him.

Hoddle has taken some coaching sessions and has an input on matchdays
Hoddle has taken some coaching sessions and has an input on matchdays

“This man was doing very well as England manager until he lost his job and he’s now sitting in the stand writing on bits of paper.

“With Glenn’s stature – everything about someone like Glenn Hoddle – maybe if he was actually standing in the technical area, it might lift some of the players.”

Parker, who made 160 appearances for QPR during a four-year spell in which he played for England in the 1990 World Cup, believes there are worrying similarities between recent performances and Rangers’ last season in the top flight.

A former Manchester United team-mate of Hughes, Parker suggested when the Welshman was appointed that might not have the right personality to manage QPR, despite having had success elsewhere.

Hughes’ spell was a spectacular failure. After a summer of major spending on big names the side performed abysmally and were widely criticised.

What Parker said after Mark Hughes was appointed:

Mark Hughes, former QPR manager

“He may need to change his style. When you manage QPR you’re part of a community as well as being a manager.

“I hope ‘Sparky’ appreciates that and is open, comes out and speaks to people. He’ll need to engage with the fans.

“He’s managed Fulham but I can say that QPR is 100% a totally different club to Fulham – and he’ll find that.”

Click here to read more

Many also felt the club were too eager to sign highly paid, high-profile players and ditch key performers from their promotion-winning campaign – a mistake Parker fears is happening again.

He explained: “They are struggling defensively. I have to say that when I’ve watched them I’ve felt they’ve been missing Clint Hill in the centre of defence.

“Regardless of his limits pace-wise and the fact that he struggles with top-class players, what they need is someone in there to organise and who leads by example, which they haven’t got in the centre of defence.

“There’s no one in there making decisions. They’re either too deep or they’re too high. They’re not good enough defensively.

“Given the current scenario, I would also have someone like Onuoha in the side, who has good pace and is honest.  He’ll give you 100%. He delivers for you.

“You’re not going to say he’ll assist in 12 goals a season, and he’ll maybe not score, but first and foremost he can defend and in the team at the bottom of the league you’d rather have four fantastic defenders – QPR need to stop conceding goals.

“Onuoha puts his head in, tackles, puts his body on the line and still tries to get forward and play football.”

Parker added: “At the moment it’s mirroring the scenario of how it was with Mark Hughes.

“I said at the start, from knowing Mark Hughes at United, that his biggest problem was going to be engaging with QPR fans – Mark’s a very shy person – and I think I was proved right on that.

“As much as Harry has talked about things like how the dressing room was and the gaps between players in terms of money, I really don’t see a different scenario this time.

“There have been a lot of players come in from overseas and big clubs in the UK. Clint Hill’s gone from being captain to not playing. Players are being left out, so what’s going on? It’s no different.

Hill and Onuoha have a role to play, Parker says
Committed players like Hill and Onuoha should still have a role, Parker says

“You look at the wages being paid and maybe you’ve got to ask questions. I think we’re heading towards a situation when it could come to a head in the dressing room again.

“And if they have a season like they did last time in the Premier League they’re going to lose people because the fans aren’t going to trust them again. QPR can’t afford for that to happen.”

On a brighter note, Parker feels Chile forward Vargas can make an impact in England and that Leroy Fer will prove to be a good signing.

Vargas, signed on a season-long loan from Napoli in the summer, has featured in Rangers’ last three matches and started in the recent defeat at Southampton.

“I saw when he came on against United and I thought he added something completely different,” Parker said.

“Charlie Austin, as good as he was in the Championship, can’t play on his own in the Premier League.

“I went to Brazil in the summer and saw Vargas play on a couple of occasions. He caught my eye then in that Chile team.

Parker’s QPR career


1987: Signs from Fulham, makes debut in 3-0 win at West Ham
1988: Voted player of the year as Rangers finish fifth in the top flight
1989: Wins first England cap
1990: Stars at the World Cup
1991: Sold to Man Utd for £2m

“The little we’ve seen of him so far suggests to me that he’s equipped to play in the Premier League.

“Austin plays at the top end but Vargas can drop off the front as well as get in behind.

“In midfield you’ve got Fer and as a holding player he can do it well, but then as an attacking player he can do it very well – better than any other central midfield player at QPR.

“I just think maybe they haven’t found the right balance, the right formation and the right intensity.

“The intensity isn’t high enough. They’re too slow from the back to the front. The midfield players have got to get on the ball quicker, move the ball quicker and get some intensity into their play.

“We saw at the World Cup that so-called lesser teams can cause so many problems by playing at a higher intensity.

“And those players were doing it within a shorter period of time between games. Premier League players have a longer period in between games, so I’m not having that rubbish about being fatigued.”

Parker, now 50, is also hopeful fellow R’s legend Ferdinand can give Rangers a shake-up on and off the pitch in his new role as head of football operations.

Chairman Tony Fernandes says Ferdinand will have responsibility for helping to develop several aspects of the club, including the academy.

Parker, who runs a soccer school in Singapore, said: “Rangers need stability. They have got to stop constantly trying to make up for their issues by talking about signing more players.

“We’ve seen with QPR that you can bring in the biggest names on the pitch and the biggest managers, it doesn’t guarantee anything.

“I always relate Rangers to the club where I was born, West Ham. It’s a community club and one that doesn’t need people with big names.

Tony Fernandes has formed a close relationship with R's legend Ferdinand
Tony Fernandes has formed a close relationship with R’s legend Ferdinand

“It relies on having the right people, including ex-players who are around the place and remind people about the club.

“I think QPR have been without that and I think Les will go in there and do his best to turn things around. It’s a great opportunity.

“When I played for QPR I played with Warren Neill, Ian Dawes, Wayne Fereday and of course Alan McDonald – they all came through.

“QPR haven’t done that for a while. It would really lift the fans, who really want to see some of their own coming through.

“Hopefully Les can go there and push that. And the club could do with someone like that – someone who was respected as a player – coming back.

“That’s over 50% of the battle won and I think Tony Fernandes should have done something like this when he first took over.

“He’s now got someone there in Les who knows what the club’s about, who’ll mix with the community, talk to the fans – even the kids will know about him from their parents.

“Rangers have needed that. It’s a wise decision to bring in someone like Les.”

Follow West London Sport on Twitter
Find us on Facebook