This weekend's 6-0 thrashing is only the prelude to an offseason that could define Loftus Road for seasons to come. Embarrassed by Manchester City, and with the words of Joey Barton still ringing in their ears, QPR now face an offseason that will include a major clean-out as well as the prospect of a $90 million fine from the Football League for financial irregularities. While Rangers' owners have been willing to splash the cash, the fact that this will be the second time an expensively-constructed team has simply failed to deliver, crashing out of the top-flight. Will QPR continue to spend and fail?
Getty ImagesAlex Livesey
Are Manuel Pellegrini’s days over at the Etihad?
With Jurgen Klopp on the market and the rumors of Pep Guardiola's departure from Bayern intensifying, it's hard not to think that the Chilean manager is one foot away from the exit. City limply defended their title this season and have an even chance of finishing third when all is said and done. While there is little shame at exiting Europe at the hands of Barcelona (just ask Pep...) the lack of sophistication shown by this squad was sobering. Now, would a new manager fix the problems caused largely by an aging squad? Of course not. But you do feel something is lacking at City, so don't be surprised if Pellegrini pays the price.
AFP/Getty ImagesOLI SCARFF
Does anyone want to play in the Europa League?
Looking at the results over the past few weeks, it's hard not to think that England's mid-tier sides are actively trying to dodge Europe's least-loved competition. Both Southampton and Spurs are trading losses, there was shock at the news that Everton or West Ham could gain a place through Fair Play, and more than a few managers will likely be cheering on Aston Villa at the FA Cup final in the hopes they snap up a spot and spare them. The problem isn’t that the Europa League is bad -- the semifinals have proven that it can be thrilling -- but that the travel is onerous and the rewards too slim. Until UEFA looks to change the competition, perhaps making it a straight knockout or a regionally seeded tourney, teams will be looking to duck it.
AFP/Getty ImagesFABRICE COFFRINI
Who’s going down?
Burnley and QPR are assured of Championship football next season, but who joins them is still an open question. Hull remain the obvious choice after another dreadful loss this weekend, but both Newcastle and Sunderland have shown they have what it takes to be relegated as well. The Toon finally picked up a desperate point in a 1-1 draw against WBA, but all three sides have difficult run-ins. Hull face Manchester United and Spurs; Sunderland have a six-pointer against Leicester followed by Arsenal and Chelsea; Newcastle have already-relegated QPR and then West Ham. It’s likely to come down to the final day as it stands.
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Goodbye, Steven Gerrard
While Gerrard had faded badly this season, there’s no question he will be missed at Anfield next year for his leadership and his calm. But the fire still burns. The Liverpool captain, soon to move to Los Angeles, was in no mood to acknowledge the Chelsea fans' unprecedented ovation for him at game's end. Gerrard told Sky: "The Chelsea fans showed respect for a couple of seconds for me but slaughtered me all game so I’m not going to get drawn into wishing the Chelsea fans well." It’s hard not to feel that, for Gerrard, it was a bitter coda to another season that had fallen short.