Lofty Heights... 'Ohhh Bobby Zamooooora!!!'

A look at Queens Park Rangers F.C. through the eyes of the fans - follow us on twitter @loftyheights70, @LoftyQPR and @qprleeroy

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The 'Worldie' is Not Enough..

Palace 3-1 QPR

A 40 odd yard thunderbolt and possible goal of the season contender, from Matty Phillips, was sadly just scant consolation for QPR at Selhurst Park this lunchtime following yet another woeful awayday..

With it being a lunchtime kick off, it was an early start and I eventually met with PK, Jenson and Palace fans of Jenson's, Christian and Warren in Burnham just after 9.  Sam and Luke trained it in, as did Lee and Jess as this was Jess's local game, explaining her unconditional hatred of the home side.

As you may or may not remember, the visit to Palace always brings a visit to Tasty Jerk, which is an excellent Jerk Chicken shop right near the Sainsburys at the ground. Any away fans going to Palace, we highly recommend you pay this place a visit. Jenson, myself, PK and Sam all sampled the delights of the chicken and in PK's case, the goat. Accompanied with some lethal hot sauce, very nice it was too!! Sadly, this turned out to be the highlight of the day..

The line up when it was announced raised a good few eyebrows, for one inclusion in particular, I feel I need mention no names, but it comes to something when the said individual was getting a talking too from Lee Mason, the R's fans were backing it up by chanting 'off, off, off, off'...

Onto the game and just sitting here writing these notes at 9.15 Saturday evening, I am STILL annoyed. Even more annoyed when hearing Chris Ramsey's interview on Talksport this evening, when he stated that, overall, he was pleased with the performance?!?

Rangers did actually start quite well, but Palace were getting a lot of success on the left hand side and took full advantage on 21 minutes when Bolasie crossed to find Zaha at the far post who side footed home, clattering into the post at the same time.

Palace went onto make the game safe 5 minutes before the break when Bolasie again, crossed from the left for McArthur to fire home. From my viewpoint it looked like Yun got the final touch but I may be wrong on that one.

Rangers were now all over the place and just two minutes later, it was 3 - this time from the right side where Ward held off, what I must say were some half hearted challenges before curling home - just too easy and this led to myself finally snapping with a foul mouthed volley at what was going on in front of us.

As tempting as it was to go home at this point, we stuck it out and the 'win away' chant was slightly changed at half time by a high spirited group of the excellent travelling support, to 'we never win away'. It certainly raised a smile or two and we took our places for the second half.

The second half was a bit of a non event really as Palace had a feel of job done about them, and it certainly was as Rangers struggled to make any sort of foothold into the game at all. On 80 minutes, myself, Jenson and PK said enough was enough and thought we would make an early start on the traffic (happily the 2 very gracious Palace fans came with us). Lee, Jess, Sam and Luke's reward for staying on was witnessing as mentioned earlier, a goal of the season contender from Matty Phillips, who picked up the ball just inside the Palace half and unleashed a 40 yard, dipping, swerving drive that flew into the top corner. Of course we have all seen it since and it really was the most incredible goal, just a shame it wasn't under better circumstances..

Queens Park Rangers

  • 01 Green
  • 38 Furlong (Hill - 45' )
  • 15 Onuoha Booked
  • 04 Caulker
  • 13 Yun Suk-young
  • 11 Wright-Phillips (Grego-Cox - 85' )
  • 20 Henry Booked
  • 30 Sandro Booked (Kranjcar - 84' )
  • 07 Phillips
  • 27 Taarabt
  • 09 Austin


  • 06 Hill
  • 12 McCarthy
  • 19 Kranjcar
  • 23 Hoilett
  • 24 Vargas
  • 25 Zamora
  • 39 Grego-Cox
Man of the Match

At first there was a flat refusal from myself to accept any nominations, but thought I would pick out the man in the Jerk Chicken shop that was chopping the meat, it really was a first class performance. Sam's choice was the pillar on the left of the stand we were in for blocking a great deal of the shambles in front of us. PK singled out the Eagle that flies around the Stadium with some great control before the kick off and half time.. and Jess nominated her Subway sandwich for her personal highlight of the day. But a late one from Lee came in for 'that' goal and going close soon after and to be honest, I just cannot ignore it and today award goes to Matty Phillips.

I'm not going to dwell too much further on this one as I am still trying to calm down and enjoy the rest of my weekend. But will just add, as I did on the social networks earlier that I am not really convinced I am buying into this whole Chris Ramsey thing? There is no doubt at all he is an excellent coach but is taking the reigns of a Club in a dogfight a bit too much of an ask for the poor guy at the moment? As we see other teams namely Palace, Villa and WBA bearing the fruits of their latest appointments around us... something to think about I'm sure..

Keep the Faith and Come on you R'ssssssssss!!

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Spurs Get Their Paws On Vital Three Points.....

Rangers' hosted their second London Derby in four days as Spurs made the short trip to Loftus Road to attempt to do what their North London rivals Arsenal done on Wednesday and take the spoils back up the road. Could Rangers' turn their fortunes around and help us stop bemoaning the 'bad luck' we are having to endure??

With Lofty's birthday just around the corner we had all planned to meet early on to enjoy a pre-match pint to help him celebrate his 25th birthday once again. Lofty, Jenson and PK all arrived at the Springbok to enjoy these but unfortunately due to traffic issues Jess and I did not make it in time and missed the opening twenty minutes of the game! Sam and Luke also could not make it due to a pre arranged trip to the theatre.
We hope you enjoy your birthday when it arrives on Monday!!

Two changes were made from Wednesday nights defeat with Rio Ferdinand and Maurico Isla returning to the side as Junior Hoilett dropped to the bench as Darnell Furlong missed out through injury.

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As aforementioned I missed the opening twenty minutes so cannot report too much on this, however I am reliably informed by the gang that Zamora had a good header well saved by Lloris, which led to Spurs being awarded a goal kick somehow!
Kane forced a fantastic save from our hero Rob Green as continues in the form of his life and single handily tries to keep clean sheets himself!
Finally briefly before my arrival Austin intercepted a back pass but could not get the ball in enough control to steer past Lloris, instead the French International denied the R's number 9 with a close range save.
When I finally arrived on with twenty three minutes on the clock I received several jeers from the gang and took my seat and felt like a jinx as Spurs begun to take some control of the encounter but it was the R's that came the closest to opening the scoring on the half hour.
Phillips', who was operating on the left wing due to Isla's inclusion, fed Austin the ball as he maneuvered himself into a goal scoring position and took aim only to see his rasping drive hit the underside of the bar and somehow cleared to safety! It's these fine margins that we curse our luck over and today was to be no different as Spurs went up the other end and scored five minutes later.
Spurs were awarded an extremely soft free kick by referee Pawson roughly thirty yards from goal. Former R's loanee Andros Townsend swung in his free kick as Kane found himself in acres of space having leaving his marker behind and beat Rob Green to the ball, heading into the unguarded Rangers' net. Another dagger in the R's fans hearts after playing well and being unrewarded!
Just before half time Rangers' had definite reason to believe they should have been awarded a penalty when Lloris' trailing leg clattered into Isla as he was about to finish off Caulkers flick forward. It was as clear as day but as you usually tend to see with Pawson, he favoured the bigger side and awarded chuff all! Pawson has a history of bottling decisions again lower table teams and it looked like today was going to be no different!

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This led to the half time gathering being slightly frustrated by the lack of decisions going in our favour, especially with a free kick being awarded for winning the ball from Spurs leading to their goal and with the R's having a clear penalty waved away. We were certainly feeling that there was a sense of it wasn't going to be our day in the air and that the next forty five minutes being particularly difficult to digest!

Lofty's daughter Laura joined us for a bit of a catch up before we trundled back up the stairs to take our seats for the second half.

Spurs started the second half the better of the two sides and were a whisker away from doubling their lead when Eriksen managed to buy himself an inch when under pressure from Onuoha before taking aim and curling a superb effort past Green, only to see the inside of the post come to the R's rescue before being cleared. It would've been a contender for goal of the month that's for sure!
The visitors started to get more into the game and look the more superior side as they glided the ball around the midfield with ease and begun to stretch the R's with more ease.
Townsend was the next to come close for Spurs but luckily lost his composure in front of goal and sliced the ball well wide.
We were limited in terms of chances in the opening fifteen minutes but did manage to create something when Zamora's shot from an acute angle was parried behind via a combination of Lloris and the near post.
On the hour Spurs really should of been 2-0 up as a quick break away from Walker saw Eriksen certain to tap home having beaten Green but it was an unlikely source in Charlie Austin that was back on the goal line to slide and deny the little Dane from doubling the lead.
The visitors weren't to be denied and foudn themselves 2-0 up with just over twenty minutes to go.
A simple ball over the top by Mason saw both Chadli and Kane through on goal, with Chadli looking to be massively offside when the ball was played. Despite getting within a yard and clearly looking like he wanted to interfere with play, he left it for the in form Kane as he rounded Green before slotting home and giving Spurs what looked to be a certain three points.
Credit to the home side, there was some fight left in the locker and found themselves within a shout following some good wing play by Austin, who squared to Zamora who then found Sandro on the edge of the box and the former Spurs' player sidefooted his effort from the edge of the box just inside Lloris' goal to just give us a whiff of hope.
It was at this point that referee Pawson decided to take centre stage and award a host of soft free kicks to Spurs'. All that was needed was for a player in a black shirt to dive on the floor and that was enough for a free kick to be awarded against us, yet we had none of these decisions go in our favour!
What totally summed up his performance was with ten minutes to go the most blatant handball from Bentaleb, stopping Austin's header going goal bound was somehow missed by both the ref and the linesman! I think Hugo Lloris would've been proud of the save made to deny the R's of a grandstand finish and potentially clinch a point, if not all three! It wasn't to be and we are left to rue missed chances and poor refereeing once again!!

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How many times do we have to say it? We were unlucky once again and went down by the odd goal for the umpteenth time this season!
What makes this one hard to take is that we have had two clear penalty shouts waved away, a soft free kick leading to the opening goal and decisions clearly favouring the bigger side in the tie. Take Ryan Mason for example, he clearly threw the ball away in dissent in the opening ten minutes of the half and was not booked for it and when he finally received a card for a crunching tackle in the final ten minutes it should've been a second, leading to the R's having a numerical advantage. Yes it may seem slightly bitter but had Barton/Henry or Sandro done the same he'd of been booked so why not the other way?
One of the things that is really beginning to frustrate me is the fact we continue to be persistent in playing long balls to Zamora and Austin, yet most of our goals come when we play passing football along the floor or when we get Phillips into wide positions and find Austin on the end of his excellent balls from out wide. Are we trying to play to Zamora's 'strengths' too much and hindering the good work that Austin is doing in front of goal? I'm of the opinion that as much as Zamora can be a nuisance we have to start making Austin the main man and play to his strengths. Let's bolster that midfield guile of Sandro and Karlinho and have the pace on Phillips on the right(where he is more effective) and the only other natural wide player we can have on the left is Traore(he proved this last year) and then have a Vargas/Zarate playing just behind Austin that add more pace and attacking threat to the opposition and potentially add more goals to the team whilst we have Fer out injured. We need this support around Austin as he is the single biggest goal threat we possess, whilst Green is doing it at the other end for us! Without those two we could have found ourselves in an embarrassing position this season, let's hope the players around them start to get up to their levels sooner rather than later!

Onto our Man of the Match. With PK leaving early I have not received a vote from him, despite this we do have a clear winner despite this. Jess voted for Yun after a good performance and keeping Townsend as quiet as he could whilst also venturing forward and creating several opportunities. However, with the remaining three votes from Lofty, Jenson and I, our Man of the Match is Sandro. He battled away at the heart of the R's midfield and has shown us exactly what we have been missing whilst he's been out injured for so long. He and Karlinho are making it impossible for Barton to walk back into the team surely?

Image result for sandro qpr

Lofty will return next weekend as we play our third London Derby on the spin as we take the short trip to Selhurst Park in a vital game against Crystal Palace. Let's hope we can enjoy some of the magic that we witnessed on our last visit when Helguson sealed the points in our Championship winning season!

In the meantime......

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Arsenal Take Their Ch-Sanchez......

The R's came back from a break in the fixture list and a training get together in Dubai to take on the first of three London Derbies over the next ten days. On this occasion the visitors were an Arsenal side that traveled to Loftus Road after a morale boosting victory over Everton at the weekend.

Despite traffic causing havoc on the A40 last night, the gang(Lofty, Sam, Luke, Jenson, Michael and Zach) arrived in good time last night and gathered in the Loft before my late arrival for the first catch up in over a month, yes it has been that long since we were last at HQ! Unfortunately we were missing Jess through illness as PK was unable to attend due to working commitments.

The team news saw a surprise inclusion for the inconsistent Junior Hoilett, whilst Onuoha and Sandro returned to the starting eleven after injury. The trio replaced Kranjcar(bench), Ferdinand(signing books) and Barton(suspended for d!ck slapping).

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The game started tentatively with both sides looking very compact. Sandro and Henry were providing the bulldog spirit in the heart of the R's midfield, chasing down Cazola and Rosicky at every opportunity to ensure neither of them had an inch of space to get Sanchez and Ozil in between the defense and midfield and create all sorts of problems.
With the game plan being effective it was the R's that had the first shot in anger after Zamora laid the ball off to Austin and the Rangers' top scorer who sent his half volley directly at Ospina, who collected at the second attempt.
Green was called into action for the first time half way through the first period when Giroud's shot from the edge of the box was gathered comfortably.
The Gunners' were dealt with a blow  ten minutes before the break as Gabriel's 'Dreams' didn't come true as he limped off to be be replaced by Koscielny
This spurred on the home side and they continued to press aggressively at the Gunners midfield with good effect, ensuring the Ospina remained the busier of the two 'keepers in the first half.
The R's front two combined soon after, as Henry's long punt up field was knocked down once again by Zamora and that man Austin sent a fizzing volley just millimeters wide of a despairing Ospina, who would've had no chance had it been just the other side of the post.
The R's were then dealt with a defensive blow of their own when Onuoha collided with a combination of what looked like Caulker and Giroud and was forced to leave the field with what was apparently a nasty looking face injury.
Arsenal took advantage of the new found weakness of the R's and finished the half the better of the two sides, with Giroud once again testing Green, only to find the R's number one more than equal to the effort and pushed his push away to safety.

The gang assembled for the half time interval happy once again after seeing a positive and attacking performance that we probably would not of seen under the former manager and Ramsey clearly has has style of play that is bringing the best out of the players we have in our ranks and clearly fills them with confidence. Matty Phillips was one of the stars of the first half and under Ramsey he has flourished, looking like the player we spent £5 million on over 18months ago. He's running at players and crossing the ball from wide positions in a way that I can only describe as a David Bardsley type cross that is being whipped in from about 25-30 yards out, unfortunately because Zamora is acting as a target man we're seeing Austin operate slightly deeper and cannot get on the end of these, if he was in that more advanced position then he could and would easily score over 20-25 goals a season from the service Phillips can provide.

Arsenal started the second half as they finished the first and within the opening minute when Rosicky waltz down the touchline and squared to Ozil, who luckily for the R's could not dispatch ball into the back of the net.
It was at this point where our own entertainment was made for the next ten minutes by Pete sitting behind us. What I failed to mention earlier was that Lofty's good friend Laura joined us up at the back of the stands. Pete, with his tongue in cheek, referred to Laura as Lofty's daughter, much to the amusement to our row with us all knowing that Lofty is just days away from his birthday and saying that he's beginning to feel it (but not look it!) this could've been the icing on the game for him but instead he just used it to keep jesting with Pete for the next fifteen minutes and perk us all up during what was a testing spell for the R's.
With Sandro playing in his first match since returning from a lengthy injury, he departed on the hour mark after being replaced by Krancjar.
Rangers' continued with their positive vain and came close once again as Phillips' volley, just as Austin's did in the first half, went a whisker past the post!
Minutes after Sandro departed Arsenal asserted themselves for the first time in the game and tore apart the R's defense with ease in one simple breakaway.
The break started with the unusually quiet Sanchez before he released Gibbs down the Arsenal left and his cross was momentarily blocked before Giroud swept home on the angle to give the visitors what looked like an unlikely lead.
With Rangers' rocked and shocked by this the visitors smelt blood and swiftly went in for the kill and should've found themselves two nil up when Caulker was caught napping before he lost the ball to Sanchez, leaving the Chilean one on one with Green but the man in the form of his life managed to narrow the angle and smother the ball before Sanchez could punish the R's.
That let off was short lived and Sanchez made it two nil shortly after.
The midfield was now wide open after Sandro's departure and this led to young right back Darnell Furlong being heavily exposed to Sanchez's pace and the pacy winger made his way in from the sideline unchallenged to then cheekily poke home at Rob Green's near post. An excellent goal from a fantastic player.
This killed the atmosphere around the ground as the Arsenal fans finally found their voices.
Cazorla and Ozil took control of the game and we were left wondering what could've been had Sandro been fully fit. Krancjar is not an ideal replacement, especially in a game where we needed to maintain the high intensity. I'm not sure if Doughty is injured or not but it would've been great to see him in the battle as you know he would've been able to handle himself and gain some more vital experience.
The R's handed themselves a lifeline when they finally got back on the ball when Phillips' left wing centre was collected by Austin and when it seemed easier to lay the ball off to Furlong, Austin settled himself before unleashing an unstoppable drive past Ospina.
Despite a late flurry the R's were left frustrated by the lack of decisions that went against them by a very bias refereeing performance by Kevin Friend, he's always been an enemy of ours!!

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Well it's another defeat but one that we would've expected to lost anyway. There are plenty of positives to take from the game with the performances of Green, Phillips and Austin standing out from the rest. It's a breath of fresh air to see youngsters like Darnell Furlong get a chance at Hull and not lose his place as soon as Isla is fit again.
The big question is, where would we be without Rob Green and Charlie Austin? These two are the reason we are within a whisker of safety. Green plays out of his skin week after week with little reward, whilst up the other end our one potent threat is Charlie Austin bagging vital goals for us.

Onto our Man of the Match. Jess, after catching a stream at home, voted for another fantastic game from Rob Green. Luke and Lofty both opted for the goalscorer Charlie Austin after another hard working performance. The winner on this occasion with three votes from Jenson, Sam and myself for another fantastic display of wing play by Matty Phillips.

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Another London Derby is on the horizon as we host Spurs in our game in hand over the teams just above us, not quite a must win but it is vital confidence wise to get something from the game.

I will return on Saturday evening/Sunday morning with what I'm hoping to be a positive report!

Until then.....

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Late Heartbreak as the Points Go For a Barton..

Hull 2-1 QPR

Ten man QPR suffered late heartbreak as an 89th minute goal from Dame N'Doye secured all three points at the KC Stadium...

On the back of the 2-0 win at Sunderland, as you are all aware, Chris Ramsey was appointed the role of Head Coach until the end of the season and some very positive vibes have been coming out of the club since which has been very refreshing.  With a free weekend last week, Rangers had 2 weeks to prepare for what was a huge game for both clubs and a huge R's following had made the long journey to the KC Stadium.

There was plenty of talk before the game with Isla missing out, who would fill in at right back with Nedum also out injured and it was very much a surprise to see son of Paul, young Darnell Furlong making his debut. With Doughty on the bench and indeed making his debut at Sunderland, it is finally great to see some youngsters coming through and getting their chance. I think it is very safe to say that this would not happen under the previous regime...

Onto the game and it was the home side that made the breakthrough after a good opening. A Huddlestone free kick was I have to say, poorly cleared by Caulker into the path of the unmarked Jelavic who volleyed into the corner giving Green no chance.

Rangers response was positive and it was Furlong who went close with a looping header from the edge of the area as the ball was looped in by Joey Barton. It was Furlong again that was involved in what was probably the moment the game changed. The young right back went in hard but fully committed on Jelavic which resulted in a bit of a melee. As Captain, Joey Barton was trying to get his point over to the referee and help protect the young debuatant, whilst the Hull players were also trying to get into his face. Barton then reacted by first shoving away Alex Bruce. Tom Huddlestone then joined in by shoving Karl Henry into Barton, who reacted by slapping the Hull midfielder right in the vital area - not malicious at all, but nevertheless right in front of the referee who had no choice but to show Barton the red card. Complete stupidity from Barton it has to be said..

Despite the setback, Rangers stayed positive and on 39 minutes, got their reward when yet again, the revitalised Matt Phillips sent in a beauty of a cross from the right which was met by Charlie Austin who headed home his 14th of the season. He followed up with a cheeky celebration simulating the so called knee injury that failed a medical at Hull a year and a half or so ago...

Rangers fought brilliantly in the second half and a precious point was looking likely. But Hull certainly upped the tempo in the dying minutes and Rob Green pulled off a fantastic almost point blank save from N'Doye in the 89th minute. Sadly, the ball wasn't cleared and worked to the left side to Brady, who whipped a vicious ball in for N'Doye who got in front of Caulker to head home.

Rangers rallied in stoppage time and substitute Zarate fired well over when perhaps a cross into a packed penalty area was the better option and Hull held on for a very important win and a heart breaking defeat for the R's.

Queens Park Rangers

  • 01 Green
  • 38 Furlong Booked
  • 05 Ferdinand
  • 04 Caulker
  • 13 Yun Suk-young
  • 07 Phillips Booked
  • 20 Henry
  • 08 Barton Dismissed
  • 19 Kranjcar (Traore - 78' )
  • 09 Austin (Zárate - 75' Booked )
  • 25 Zamora Booked (Doughty - 64' )


  • 03 Traore
  • 06 Hill
  • 11 Wright-Phillips
  • 12 McCarthy
  • 24 Vargas
  • 29 Zárate
  • 36 Doughty
Heart breaking it was but the performance was extremely positive as was the debut of Darnell Furlong. We all know Joey Barton was stupid for his actions so won't dwell on that for too long and who knows what could have been achieved yesterday with 11 men on the park. The sending off also means he will miss the next 3 games and it remains to be seen just how costly this could be, or not be...

We have another free Saturday next weekend but will return on 4th March as Lee will bring you the review of our clash with Arsenal..

Until the Keep the Faith and Come on you R'sssss!!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

At Last... A Win HA'WAY...

Sunderland 0-2 QPR

It's finally happened...

Yes, this is not a misprint, QPR have got their first away win and indeed, their first away points of the season with a thoroughly deserved 2-0 win at the Stadium of Light for Chris Ramsey's side.

Following the late heartbreak at home to Southampton, the doom and gloom followed with the news of injuries to Austin, Onuoha and Dunne and a 12th straight Premier League away defeat was looking very much on the cards.. but maybe it was a bit of a masterstroke from Tony Fernandes by tweeting that he had 'found his dream Manager' a couple of hours prior to kick off.. because the R's put in a superb performance..

The team selection raised a few eyebrows but from the off, it looked a totally different Rangers mentality away from home as we took the game to the Black Cats..

Rangers dominated the opening stages and had chances when Joey Barton fired over and Zamora glanced a header wide. And the good, positive start got it's reward when Phillips put in a delicious cross for Leroy Fer to head home, giving Rangers a deserved lead.

At the other end, Rob Green pulled off a remarkable save from Connor Wickham - pushing his close range header onto the bar and as the ball came down, scooped it away as he was on his way down from the original save. The Sunderland players were shouting for a goal but in truth it was no where near, it was a quite sensational piece of goalkeeping.

Rangers were looking for more goals and Fer nearly got his and Rangers second goal of the game but the his side footed effort from the edge of the box bounced agonisingly off the inside of the post. But the second goal duly came on the stroke of half time when again, another superb ball in found Bobby Zamora who finished brilliantly into the top corner.

So a two nil half time lead, and well deserved too - could this really be Rangers first away win of the season...

As you would have expected, Sunderland were much improved after the break but the R's defence were well marshalled and coped extremely well. When the chances did come, both Defoe and Alvarez found Rob Green, not for the first time this season, in exceptional form and Sunderland could not find a way through. In injury time as the home faithful made for the exits, the ever popular but underused 'win away' is all that could be heard from the R's contingent up near the moon...

Queens Park Rangers

  • 01 Green
  • 14 Isla (Doughty - 85' )
  • 05 Ferdinand Booked
  • 04 Caulker
  • 13 Yun Suk-young
  • 20 Henry
  • 08 Barton Booked
  • 07 Phillips (Wright-Phillips - 52' )
  • 10 Fer (Zárate - 75' )
  • 19 Kranjcar
  • 25 Zamora Booked


  • 03 Traore
  • 06 Hill
  • 11 Wright-Phillips
  • 12 McCarthy
  • 27 Taarabt
  • 29 Zárate
  • 36 Doughty
Man of the Match

Almost full quota of votes through with Lee and Luke picking out a simple but commanding performance from Joey Barton in the Rangers midfield. But myself, Jenson, Sam and Jess picked out the man who is simply in the form of his life in the R's goal - Rob Green.

The defeat sadly came at a cost as the news filtered through the next day that Leroy Fer will spend some time on the side lines with an MCL injury to his knee. Leroy has been exceptional this season, despite being played out of position by the previous manager and will be missed. We wish him well with his recovery..

This important, overdue and very welcome win may well have also led to Rangers to appoint Chris Ramsey as First Team Coach for the remainder of the season..

Good Luck Chris, we are all behind you!!

We shall return next weekend as we travel to Hull for another huge away game and hopefully with the same positive outcome...

Keep the Faith and Come on you R'ssssssss!!!

Sunday, February 08, 2015

One Elia Heartbreaker....

Yesterday the new era began as Chris Ramsey took temporary charge of the R's following the departure of Harry Redknapp the day after transfer deadline day. Arriving at Loftus Road looking to recover from a rare home defeat were Southampton.

Let's start of with Harry Redknapp....
I think the decision for him to go was the right one as he had clearly run out of ideas, kept playing his favorites and left several players hung out to dry and gave them no chance of playing their part for the rest of the season.
Personally I think Fernandes has learnt a massive lesson in opening up his cheque book and after looking at our squad you can see that we have enough quality at the club and were lacking another striker that would help provide the goal in a relegation dogfight.
With the club beginning to invest more and more in the academy and start to produce our own players, were they honestly going to get a chance when they had a wheeler dealer that continuously bought players that he had worked with before at either Spurs or Portsmouth, citing them as a 'triffic lad' and will add something to the squad? Not a chance! We have some promising players in Bruno Andrade(on loan at Stevenage), Michael Harriman(on loan at Luton), Michael Petrasso(on loan at Notts County), Jack Robinson(on loan at Huddersfield) to name a few that could come in and do a good job for us. We also have more promising youngsters on the books and we have been at risk of losing these because of the signings that have been made.
My personal opinion is that TF was not going to be forced into spending money on a squad that Redknapp had assembled and rather than having to spend compensation on sacking Harry, he forced the situation so much so that the only way to not have another expensive sacking was to not give Redknapp any money on deadline day, make him unhappy and wait for him to walk. That plan clearly worked and now we look likely to appoint Tim Sherwood, who will help to nurture these youngsters, give them confidence and we could see many of our own players come through and make an impact. I will happily support this as it will be something for us to build in the long term, get rid of our label of big spenders and not be such a laughing stock when it comes to transfer dealings.

Anyway, onto the game!
Jess and I met up with Lofty, PK and Jenson just before kick off, we were missing Sam and Luke as they were attending my Mum's 50th birthday meal.
The gang were in good spirits and definitely felt more confident following Redknapp's departure and the new approach could see us watching some more attacking football and not the negative shower that we have been subjected to in recent weeks.
Having said that the team news bought more surprises for us -

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The 'unfit' Taarabt returned to the starting line up to show us if he really was as unfit as Redknapp told us! Traore came into a more familiar left wing role as Matty Phillips started, hopefully with the free reign to play his natural game! One surprise was Isla dropping to the bench.

Onto the match.
Well this wasn't the most entertaining of games and I cannot imagine there being too many highlights for me to see once I get around to watching Match of the Day later on.
Rangers' looked nervous in their approach and seemed to be afraid to make any individual errors as we have been heavily punished for mistakes in recent weeks. This is turn saw the midfield try to play small passes to one another and often were too short, giving easy possession back to the visitors. Taarabt looked to be hungry to impress as he continues to lose the three stone that he was overweight before the Christmas period, I'm hearing rumours that a DVD launch could be due ready for next Christmas to assist those of us who may need to lose some excess weight in double quick time like the magical Morrocan!
Southampton's two wide men Mane and Elia looked dangerous throughout, with Mane spending as much time on the floor as he did his feet! Hill never learnt his lesson and continued to get close to Mane before breathing on him and causing him to fall flat on his arse time after time.
Southampton did have a few chances in the first half with Elia and Mane forcing good saves out of Green.
Rangers' enjoyed brief spells in the opening 45 minutes but it was Phillips return the the right wing that provided a much needed threat to our attacking play and potential provider for Austin to get back on the goalscoring trial, Austin however was playing too deep and Phillips' cross did not have our top scorer attacking them as we would need. Fer was looking a lot better in a more familiar centre midfield role and we saw an improved performance, there was still the occasional lapse of laziness but it was much better!

The second half was a little better from an R's perspective with Phillips again looking to penetrate in the wide areas, Taarabt was still looking lively and not as greedy as we can all remember him.
On 60 minutes Taarabt was taken off to a chorus of boos as he looked to be the most likely to unlock the Southampton defence but with Taarabt probably needing to preserve himself for another game on Tuesday and maybe lacking in match fitness, it was probably the right thing to do. Another player dubbed as 'unfit' replaced him, Mauro Zarate.
Within minutes Zarate nearly made an impression as he danced around several players before unleashing a rasping drive that fizzed over the bar.
Zarate did not stop running for the remainder of the game and has shown that he can bring plenty of energy to the team when he is called upon.
With fifteen minutes remaining we thought the deadlock had been opened. Hill picked up the rebound on the edge of the box following a corner and poked the ball towards goal in Austin's direction. Austin then looked to flick the ball beyond an already committed Forster but somehow he flicked his hand up and turned it over the bar. A purely instinctive save, fantastic from a Southampton point of view.
With the game looking to be heading for a draw there was heartbreak just around the corner.
Rangers' cheaply lost possession on the halfway line and Mane was picked out and held off the challenge of Onuoha before finding the far right corner and snatching the points.
There was some late drama as it appeared that Onuoha had equalized but for an offside flag from the linesman. There has been plenty of confusion around why the goal was not given as it clearly was not a foul that was awarded, so I can only assume it was the ball was touched behind Forster, meaning the player was offside? One for me to view on Match of the Day again.

I would have to say the defeat was a harsh one to take from an R's point of view and we were definitely well worthy of a point but that just seems to be the way our luck is going at the moment!
Mane, despite diving around all game, and Elia were a real thorn in our sides throughout the ninety minutes and were the best two players on the field by a long way!
Lastly I'd like to wish Matt Targett of Southampton a speedy recovery on what looked to be a nasty landing following an aerial challenge with Phillips.

Onto our Man of the Match. Lofty voted for Fer as he looked better in a more central role today. Jess, PK and Jenson all voted for Matty Phillips, making him the winner on this occasion.

Lofty and co will return following their trip to Hull in a fortnight.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Beyond a Stoke...

Stoke 3-1 QPR

It was very tempting to say the least to sack this report off completely if I am really honest or just copy and paste notes from the previous 10 away games, 11 if you include the league cup. But it was a case of same old, same old as Rangers continued to break their own dreadful away record. It really does seem like I sit here after every away match, writing exactly the same things..

'Were trying everything' is what we continue to hear from Harry Redknapp and his pre match press conference was as downbeat as any I have seen or heard before this season and again, could well have been just a replay of several ones beforehand. Following a two week break the team took to the lavish facilities of St Georges Park to prepare for this one. But despite these changes, there was no difference to the events on the pitch..

The first half saw Stoke race into a two goal lead - a mistake from Henry gifted Mark Walters his first goal and he smashed home his second on 34 minutes following good work from Ireland. Kranjcar reduced the deficit two minutes later and Rangers were suddenly in the game that should well have been out of sight as the home side missed a succession of chances.

Yet again, in the second half, Rangers started to play once the game was all but lost. The best chances came from free kicks with Barton smashing the underside of the crossbar and a stinging drive from Leroy Fer brought a fine save out of Begovic.  But all the positive work counted for nothing when in the dying minutes, Walters headed home his and Stoke's third to give the scoreline maybe a slightly flattering look but for QPR, the same old outcome.

Queens Park Rangers

  • 01 Green
  • 14 Isla Booked
  • 22 Dunne
  • 15 Onuoha
  • 06 Hill (Yun Suk-young - 75' )
  • 20 Henry (Zamora - 45' )
  • 24 Vargas
  • 08 Barton Booked
  • 10 Fer
  • 19 Kranjcar (Hoilett - 68' )
  • 09 Austin


  • 04 Caulker
  • 07 Phillips
  • 12 McCarthy
  • 13 Yun Suk-young
  • 23 Hoilett
  • 25 Zamora
  • 29 Zárate
Man of the Match - perhaps not surprisingly, not one nomination was received from the gang and that goes for myself also - N/A

So again, along with the start to the game, the set up of the team, the baffling substitutions, the familiarities continued and yet it seemed yet again that we were beaten by bad luck is the impression you get from the Rangers Manager.

'Were trying everything, was followed by - People look and the score is 3-1, and say it was convincing - how we got beaten I don't know.
We started well, and suddenly we lose the ball under no pressure and find ourselves 2-0 down, we certainly didn't deserve to be..

We just battered them in the second half, but just couldn't score.

and swiftly followed by..

All three goals conceded were individual errors. Credit to Walters but he won't get an easier hat-trick.


As we approach another transfer deadline day, we continue to hear we need to get a couple of loans in, need strikers, all about players, it's very difficult. Made even more difficult I guess when you look at one of Rangers unused subs today - Zarate.

Things certainly don't get any easier as next week we welcome high flying Southampton to Loftus Road. Until then..

Keep the Faith and Come on you R'sssssss!!