In the first of his bi-weekly features, Alex Bullamore takes a look back at recent Rangers history to evaluate some ex-players and their time at the club.
In 2011 QPR returned to the top flight of English football, the prior season was a complete success and very enjoyable for long suffering QPR fans. We had completely dominated the league. We equalled the clubs record for longest league unbeaten run and we had Taarabt. Adel Taarabt the Moroccan Magician, embarrassing players for fun hit the peak of his powers, his subsequent decline and redemption at Benfica will be a story for another day. However, what came next was years of extortionate spending, one promotion and two relegations back to the Championship. Along the way QPR became a revolving door of ‘past it’ players eager to get a last pay check, and a few promising singings that flopped. I’m going to look back at some of these signings, up first; Kieron Dyer.
Signed in July 2011 on a free from West Ham, Dyer was one of the first signings we made as a Premier League club. Now at the time you may have known Dyer for two things 1, fighting then team-mate Lee Bowyer on the pitch or 2, being injured literally all of the time. His time at West Ham was plagued with injuries and it would be no better at QPR. In the first game of the season vs Bolton (4-0 loss, Clint Hill sent off, welcome back to the top flight!) Dyer was stretchered off after 3 minutes. He would not make another appearance that season after sustaining a further injury in a reserve match.
Now as I said it was known that he was injury prone, so why QPR felt like it was a good idea to sign Dyer is beyond me. I remember that when he signed, he blamed the West Ham medical team for his problems, a bold opinion to express. He said that he received the “wrong information” from the West Ham staff about a hamstring injury, in an interview with the Daily Express. What exactly were they meant to do with a player who got injured every time he went onto the pitch?
Anyway the end of the 2011-12 season came round, and QPR have a decision to make. Should his contract be extended? I’ll tell you the answer to that question, it’s an emphatic no. Everyone knew the problems he had with injuries before he came to QPR, so even if his transfer was a calculated risk it had not paid off. Unfortunately this was at the time where QPR were overspending, too many agents in our owner’s ears, a theme that would continue for a while. Dyer must have had a great agent, either that or he must have brought great banter to the dressing room. Because he got another year against all odds, why the club renewed his contract is truly beyond me.
Where did Dyer go after QPR? Well he started off by returning home to Ipswich and trained with them to maintain some sort of fitness. After this he went up north to Middlesbrough on a deal which lasted to the end of the 2013 season. He only played 9 times to Middlesbrough scoring twice, but did manage to complete a full game for the first time since 2010. After this Dyer retied, clearly he realised that his career as a player was coming to an end. He went briefly into coaching with Ipswich’s U18s but has since left to pursue a managerial career.
Whilst QPR never should have signed Dyer, I actually have some sympathy for him. Can he be blamed for trying to make the most of what is a short career? I don’t think so, when he was at Newcastle he was a promising player who had made appearances for England. After Newcastle injuries effectively ruined his career and that cannot be an easy thing to deal with. QPR on the other hand, the club took a risk and it didn’t pay off, if that’s the case just end it there don’t offer him another deal! However, QPR did something that we became exceptionally good at…wasting money.
Written by Alex Bullamore