QPR were rocked by the news this week that manager Michael Beale has completed a move to Rangers to become their new manager.
The former Aston Villa assistant affirmed his commitment to QPR just a few weeks ago when he was linked with the vacant Wolves post but jumped at the chance to return to his former club Rangers after some poor recent form.
The 42-year-old was only hired at Loftus Road during the summer and started superbly, with the Hoops briefly going top of the Championship as the links with Wolves emerged.
However, form has suffered since his rather hypocritical interview, in which he stressed the importance of loyalty, with five games without a win leaving QPR in seventh position ahead of the World Cup break.
Fortunately for QPR, his exit has come at arguably the perfect time as it allows the board to be methodical in their approach to finding a new manager rather than rushing someone through the door before a big game, as their next fixture isn’t until December 11.
One man who has been touted as a potential heir to Beale at Loftus Road is former Blackpool boss Neil Critchley.
Would Critchley be a good appointment?
It would certainly make sense for the 44-year-old to make the move to QPR, as similarly to Beale, his most-recent position has been as Steven Gerrard’s assistant manager at Aston Villa.
He made the controversial switch from a successful manager at Blackpool to an unsuccessful one at Villa and was sacked just a few months after his arrival, but he could find his winning touch back in the Championship with the Hoops.
During his time with Blackpool, Critchley would win 47 games of 109 in charge, averaging an impressive 1.52 points per game as he led the Tangerines to promotion from League One before comfortably avoiding relegation in the second tier the following season.
When he made the move to Villa in the summer, Steven Gerrard was full of praise for the former Crewe Alexandra academy boss, having previously worked with him in Liverpool’s youth sides, labelling him a “fantastic coach.”
Chris Maxwell, who was Critchley’s former captain at Blackpool, also sang his praises, saying:
“His work ethic is second to none… hours and hours of endless drills… he will work behind the scenes and prepare sessions as well.
“I go back to a conversation I had with Gary Madine and we said we feel like we’ve been taught how to play football wrong for the whole of our careers.”
Therefore, Critchley is clearly a highly-rated manager who has already proved himself in the Championship, and as a result, he could be the ideal man to replace Beale at QPR.