Date: 11th February 2009 at 5:02pm
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QPR and former Arsenal defender Matthew Connolly believes that there are distinct similarities between Arsène Wenger and Paulo Sousa as he assesses the R`s squad.

Connolly signed for Rangers from Arsenal back in the January transfer window of 2008, and he told QPR.co.uk that there is a common philosophy between the current Arsenal boss and Paulo Sousa.

He said: I think they`ve both got the same philosophy in football to pass and move and to play good exciting football and become similar to abroad. Obviously ten years ago they were a bit ahead of us in terms of diets and he`s brought things like that to us as well.

I think they`re very similar and I think they speak to each other with information and so yes they`re very similar.”


When asked about the rest of the current squad, Connolly was happy with the blend of experience and youth in the squad while waxing lyrical on Colombian-born forward Angelo Balanta.

He said: “We`ve got a good mixture of the young players and the experienced players, we`ve got Gavin Mahon, Fitz (Hall) and Ledge (Mikele Leigertwood) and people like that.

“And then obviously you`ve got me, Angelo (Balanta), Wayne (Routledge) and we`re looking really exciting going forward and we`ve got the good experience holding us back so we`re doing well.”

On Balanta he said: He`s a fantastic player, a really really good player. Everyone knows the story that he hasn`t really played at any team before he`s just come straight here from the park.

“So it`s an amazing story and he`s a great player. I`m sure having Paulo here will help him a lot and I`m sure he`ll turn into a very good player for QPR.”


Connolly has made 45 appearances since joining the R`s last January for a reported fee of £1,000,000. Prior to that he had loan spells at both Colchester United and AFC Bournemouth, while only make two appearances in the League Cup for the Gunners.

Matthew has recently established himself as the first choice right back in the side, displacing the anonymous Peter Ramage from the side. He has also shown himself to be more than competent to cover the central defensive role.

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