QPR are everything that is wrong with English football, and more specifically the Premier League.
Money, and lot of it, has been thrown at every problem on and off the park for the past few years. It was an ill thought-out strategy always destined to fail.
They won promotion through dubious circumstances and only stayed up last time on the final day of the season.
This season has seen them spend even more money on even less committed players and they have been relegated in real terms since January.
A once decent club have contributed nothing apart from making a lot of chancing players and some shady agents really rich. QPR are a rubbish football team full of preening mercenaries who care not a jot what happens to the club. Most will not be there when the Championship season kicks off.
If Newcastle United can’t win against this mob next Sunday then they deserve to go down with them.
It should be fortuitous that Alan Pardew and his players travel to Loftus Road next given where they find themselves, which is a future even more uncertain than that of David Cameron.
There are so many permutations at the foot if the table, but let’s simplify things.
Even if Wigan beat Swansea tomorrow and Sunderland win as well tonight, Newcastle will be safe if they beat QPR, Wigan lose to Arsenal a week tomorrow, after their FA Cup Final, and Aston Villa lose to Chelsea.
And that’s because Wigan and Villa play each other on the last day and they both can’t win.
These are all possible, indeed, probable results bar one.
Can anyone really see Newcastle winning next weekend? “On paper it looks okay,” said Pardew. “But it’s not easy to go to Loftus Road, with Harry Redknapp as their manager.
“They’ve got some good players. We won’t be thinking that’s going to be easy by any stretch of the imagination.”
But it should be, if not easy, then a banker Newcastle win given what is at stake, which is everything.
Reading, the other relegated side, would put up some fight because they are an honest group of players.
But Chris Samba and Jose Bonsingwa; you wouldn’t trust them to fight a cold unless there was a win bonus in it for them, and as for Loic Remy . . .
So, really, Newcastle should go to London with no thought in their head other than winning the game. Forget what has gone before and just focus on the job in hand.
Pardew said: “It’s been important all year that we stay focused, with whatever team we’ve had to put out. We’ve had to put out some weakened teams this year and we’ve been strong in most games.
“We let ourselves down in the last couple at home. I can think of about five or six occasions that’s happened this year.
“But most of the games have been competitive, we’ve been in and around it and now we’ve got to make sure we pick up points.
“Now the performance really is going out of the window. It really is about points total. We need a win at QPR, however it comes.
“I don’t know if a win will be enough. Next Sunday night will tell us what we need against Arsenal.”
Newcastle’s best chance of survival may well be that Wigan have a FA Cup final next Saturday, against Manchester City and it’s going to take a lot out of them no matter the result.
It’s difficult to see Roberto Martinez resting his best players at Wembley. Pardew said: “Well it is difficult for Wigan, but they got a terrific result on Saturday.
“But Saturday was an important point for us. The way West Ham play, there are always going to be things that bounce around in your box. You’ve got to keep your discipline in terms of defending that. We showed that.
“The point could be absolutely crucial. But we’ve got to make it crucial now. We’ve got to get three at QPR that will probably be the key.
“As I say, that win has made it not just between Wigan and us. There are a lot of teams in the mix now. The most important thing for us is to win our next game and see where that leads us.
There was, of course, the disallowed goal.
It did appear that Papiss Cisse’s 20th-minute shot has just crossed the line before Winston Reid made a clearance, only for Newcastle’s favourite linesman Matthew Wilkes to favour West Ham, despite him falling over while it was all happening.
Pardew said: “Unfortunately I’ve had a season where most incidents have gone against me. We had a perfectly good goal against Sunderland at 1-0 chalked off. We’ve got to try and keep out minds together that we can ride all of that and get through the season.
“That incident is a bit of a mental blow. You’ve got a perfectly good goal. And goals change games, they do. They change the mentality of games.
“I’m still smarting from the Sunderland goal that we got to make it 1-1. People think that games don’t change with goals, they do, massively. It would have been massive for us to get a goal at the weekend.” A draw was about right even if West Ham had the better chances.
Rob Elliot was a Newcastle hero, the keeper followed up a double save from Kevin Nolan with a fine stop that prevented Matt Jarvis from scoring.
It wasn’t much of a match. It wasn’t much of a result for Newcastle.
Asked if he would watch the Wigan game tomorrow, Pardew said: “No I couldn’t suffer that I’m afraid. I’ve had enough tension for one week.
Pardew, alas, will have more tense moments to live through before this season is done.