QPR’s Alejandro Faurlín hopes for brighter times after toughest year
Alejandro Faurlín is no stranger to adversity and QPR's poor start to the season is the latest setback, writes Kieran Beckles
Alejandro Faurlín is no stranger to adversity and Queens Park Rangers’ current struggles are the latest setback in a series of hurdles the South American has faced since moving to west London club in 2009.
Firstly, there was the FA investigation into his transfer from Institute which ran for a number of months and threatened to deny QPR their place in the Premier League despite winning the Championship title.
On the final day of their victorious 2009-10 campaign, it emerged the governing body had decided to issue a fine of £875,000 but still permitted QPR to take their place among England’s elite the following season.
The midfielder was an ever-present in Neil Warnock’s promoted side, making 21 appearances, but his season was cut short after suffering a serious knee injury in their 1-1 draw with MK Dons in the FA Cup third round in January.
The 26-year-old spent seven long months sidelined as he watched his team-mates battle to top-flight safety under new boss Mark Hughes, and Faurlín admitted it has been the toughest year of his career so.
“Obviously [it’s been the hardest year for me],” he said. “But I enjoy my life here at QPR.
“The first season I came here, I did really well and improved myself, the second year we got the promotion.
“I was disappointed with last year because I was enjoying the Premier League and I get the injury. But this is in the past, and I focus just on the present and the future.”
QPR have been hit by a string of injuries which have disrupted Hughes’ back four this season and inevitably led to disappointing results on the pitch.
It means Argentinian, who opted to join the Rs ahead of Internazionale in 2009, has not been afforded a gentle return to first-team action, and has instead been thrust into virtually must-win games with the club in a precarious position.
“For me on a personal level, it was disappointing because you fight seven and a half months to come back,” he said.
“I think I’ve done alright but you don’t get the results and it means more pressure and it makes it more difficult.
“But you have to carry on. Football is sometimes like that, we need to stop this negative run and win games.”
Faurlín spent the later months of his rehabilitation watching Hughes recruit a collection of glittering names to add much-needed experience and quality to QPR’s squad.
Among these new arrivals was Real Madrid’s Esteban Granero. Hughes has paired the Spain international with Faurlín, and the duo have struck up a partnership which has been one of the few positives for the club this term.
It highlights QPR’s progress under the Welsh manager. Faurlín was teamed up with Shaun Derry in the Hoops’ Championship days and lined up alongside Joey Barton last season before Granero swapped sunny Spain for gloomy London.
“I learn from everyone different kind of styles. Esteban is quality, we never played before together but the few games we have, we understand each other very well. Samba [Diakite] is potentially someone who can be a big player. We have a good quality here.”
Many have criticised Hughes’ transfer strategy as being short-sighted, with the vast number of arrivals at Loftus Road taking time to settle into an injury-ravaged first-team which has unsurprisingly led to disappointing results.
Stars such as Júlio Cesar, Granero and Park Ji-Sung are unfamiliar with the demands of a relegation battle and instead primed to compete for silverware – but Faurlín is confident the Hoops’ quality will eventually show.
“I guess for them it is a bit different. They’re used to pressure, but a different kind to win games and always fight for titles.
“We’re now at the bottom of the table. It might be different but they are top drawer professionals and quality as well. We need to be out of position.”
Faurlín is adamant QPR have enough quality and it is now just a matter of securing their first victory before Hughes’ men edge up the table.
“The first win would make a massive impact. We need that win. Everyone does. We make some good performances but we didn’t get anything from the game, and that is a big frustration.
“We have a difficult start to the season in terms of fixtures facing Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham. We know we need to focus even more, start the games properly and not concede early, we need to improve.
“When you get the win, everyone is enjoying football more.”
Faurlín is certainly enjoying his first-team return despite facing one of the toughest tests of his career in helping QPR turn their miserable form around.