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








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' )

Substitutes

  • 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

Substitutes

  • 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

Substitutes

  • 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!!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

United We Fall......


Today saw a traditional fans London Derby as the R's played host to the red half of Surrey as Man United made the trip to Loftus Road. Both teams were looking to get back on track after defeats for both sides last weekend dented their momentum and desperately needed a win to ease the pressure that has been surrounding both clubs for different reasons at different ends of the table.

This weeks focus has largely revolved around Harry Redknapp and the increasing pressure he is under at the helm as the cracks behind the scenes have begun to filter out as the unrest around the club grows from players out of favour and impatient fans expecting more. Shaun Wright-Phillips came out this week to reveal that Redknapp swore at him after he asked what he needed to do in training to give himself a chance. Firstly what I say is SWP needs to man up, if Redknapp swore at him then he such stand and fight for his right as an employee of the club and secondly the interview that he spoke in he came across very well, I'm not defending him as he's not been a great player for us over the past three to four years but at least he seems to have some fight about him and that's more than some others have shown in recent weeks!
I'll have a rant after I've given a lowdown on the match.....

A customary late entrance from Jess and I meant that we could not have the usual pre-match talk outside and instead we met up inside with Lofty, Sam, Luke, PK and Jenson for a brief but good catch up and share our views on what we felt would happen today, especially after seeing the team!
It was also good to see some old faces as Dan showed up for the big game knowing that the pre and post match entertainment in the pub could far outshine the events of the ninety odd minutes we were about to witness, nonetheless it was good to see the old bugger! I also managed to have a good chat with Kempy, Kris and Bob, with my and Bob putting the Rangers' world to rights and a lot of good points being made by Bob and I will share some of those after the game as well!

Onto the team news.
Two changes were made from the Burnley defeat as Caulker was dropped following his terrible showing up north and following him on the bench was Taarabt, who in Harry's words "Had a good game and worked hard for the team" great to see his work ethic paying dividends by dropping to the bench! Onuoha and Zamora came in as the replacements.

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The R's started the game tentatively and it was clear to see that the United midfield were outnumbering the pairing of Barton and Henry as they continuously got stretched by the movement in the middle being orchestrated by Rooney and Mata whilst relying on the pace of Di Maria to catch out our centre backs and provide space for Falcao to penetrate into. It was clear to see that we needed the help of an additional body in the midfield and this saw Austin drop deeper to help out but this also left us short on the counter attack and more often than not the out ball was a long ball to Zamora and the ball would come straight back at us.
United's passing, as much as it pulled players out of position, did not mean that they troubled Rob Green's goal all too often but when he was called into action he was on hand to make a phenomenal double stop from Falcao from point blank range!
R's did have chances to go ahead themselves once they started to keep the ball on the floor and use the footballing ability that some of our attacking players have.
Firstly Vargas' deft lob following Zamora's flick on skimmed just over the bar and then that man Zamora flicked the ball into the path of Austin and the volley was well saved by De Gea as he palmed it away.
Austin forced De Gea into a great save on the half hour when his volley swerved in front of De Gea before the United 'keeper superbly tipped over the bar! It's a shame it was so close to him, but a good stop regardless!

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We went into the half time break pretty happy with what we'd seen, the effort was definitely there for the players and they looked to be fighting for their under pressure manager and were deservedly level. We met Michael who was happy to confirm what Lofty, PK and Jenson were saying, the current performance was much improved from last Saturday but we needed to remain switched on and not make any silly errors if we were to get anything out of today.

Both teams made a change at half time with Richard Dunne making way for Caulker, we can only assume this was due to an injury? Felliani came on for United in the place of Mata.
Soon after the interval United had a golden opportunity to take the lead as Falcao beat the offside trap and looked to head Di Maria's cross past Green, only to see the R's 'keeper in fine form once again and palm the ball away to safety! A truly magnificent save that we can all enjoy watching on Match of the Day tonight.
However this did not deter United and they took the lead on the hour mark.
Valencia's run down the United right saw him gain space to pull back to Felliani and somehow the ball found it's way to the Belgian's feet and he smashed the ball into the roof of the net past the despairing Green, who got a hand to it but simply could not prevent the powerful drive hitting the back of the net. Felliani rushed off to celebrate in the United dugout, for a brief second we thought he was celebrating with Rio, but he remained seated in the R's dugout.
The R's pressed and looked to get the counter attack working once again and they had a glorious opportunity to level the game when Vargas cut out a loose pass on the halfway line and sprinted towards the United goal in a three on two attack. Vargas soon looked like he had no idea what to do as his team mates were in acres of space but instead he shaped to shoot before then deciding to pass and giving the ball straight back to Jones, who then cleared to safety. It really looked like a simple opportunity to pass to Austin or even shoot across goal and hope that if it was saved that it would be parried out in the path of Austin or Zamora, instead neither of the outcomes happened!
Rangers' continued to push and the late arrivals of Taarabt and Kranjcar, two similar players in our ranks, were not enough to break the United defence despite a late chance
that fell to Isla but once again De Gea was on form to save at the near post.
In the final minute of injury time, or Fergie time as we used to call it, the victory was sealed as United broke away on a quick counter attack saw only three R's player bother to chase back as Wilson left them in his wake only to see Green pull of a great save once again only for the rebound to be left for Wilson to pick up once again as the defenders stood stationary to allow Wilson to pick up the rebound and slot home.










Having completed my short journey home I have seen a lot of R's fans moaning about today but let's honestly look at this, we played well today, lacked the cutting edge up front and narrowly lost to a United side that are in transition and we fought until the very end. We as fans ask for the players to put everything into the ninety minutes and we can say that the majority of the players done that today and we just were not good enough to get the win on this occasion.
You can single out a few players for excellent performances today with Green, Isla and Henry picking up many of plaudits from the gang and I'll happily throw in Onuoha's name into the hat as he barely put a foot wrong himself.

Onto our Man of the Match. A close vote today, with only Luke going in a different direction to the rest of us as he picked out Barton today. With three votes from Jess, Lofty and Jenson was Karl Henry's excellent performance in the heart of the midfield. Also with three votes coming from Sam, PK and myself was Rob Green for keeping us in the game for the entire game and making several outstanding saves.
This means we go to Editors Choice for today and I am sticking to my original vote and giving the award to Rob Green!



So here we go, my rant as promised!!
Let's just remind ourselves of who we are, we are QPR, a great family orientated football club with fans who are used to experiencing more lows than highs and why do we put ourselves through the pain of being a QPR fan? Because we love the club, we love being an underdog and not because we are expected to be one of these poncy clubs that is going to win or going to being in contention for winning many trophies, we enjoy winning and we also take losing better than any other fan, we're used to it and expectations have never been too high as we are realistic about our club, the personnel and what we can achieve.
Unfortunately over the past ten years some people have got used to some of the success we have enjoyed with the promotions but with that have come relegations that others have chose not to accept when really we were expected to be in the dog fight from the start. We have been lucky enough to have some fantastic people in charge of the club with Tony Fernandes ploughing plenty of money into the club and the transfer activity and there have been times that he may of been mis-advised by his managers and people around him and he's been the main one to carry the can when in fact it's not his fault, he's just ensuring that he gives the managers the resources they want in  order to make us as successful as they feel they can make us.
Fernandes along with Amit Bhatia, Lakashmi Mittal and the other high powers at the club want to make the club as successful as they can be and with that will be the highs and lows before they can then establish ourselves as a stable Premier League club.

With all this being said I see lots of people moaning directly at Fernandes and giving him some much un-needed abuse via Twitter when he's in the midst of trying to sort out the details of the tragic Air Asia plane crash that happened some weeks ago and his views are clearly on this as it was something that has affected many families and this is far more important than football right now. He has fellow board members taking control of the important matters at Loftus Road so he can concentrate on this. Despite all of this, are the events that happen on the football field all down to Mr Fernandes?? Of course they are not, they are down to Harry Redknapp with the squad he himself has assembled and the 47 strong coaching staff that Redknapp himself has appointed yet the basics of coaching simply are not happening when they cross that white line every Saturday. Simple defensive errors are being made week in, week out and what do we get at the end of every game, excuse after excuse which have been beginning to become tiresome with the majority of us and what we want to see is a team going out there, giving it everything they have and making us proud of them representing our team. If that is achieved every week then we have very little to moan about.

With all that being said, do we need a change of manager? If we are going to change things it needs to happen now whilst we have a two week break so a new manager can come in and assess the current squad and bring in a few players that they feel we need to freshen things up and get us performing to a higher level than we have been recently. Will it happen? Who knows!

With all this being said, regardless of whether Redknapp remains in charge or not I will be supporting this team with the same passion that I have for the last 25 years that I have been visiting Loftus Road because it's in my blood, just like I know all of you that are reading will.
QPR is in our blood, we are all here because our Mum's, Dad's and family members are all QPR fans and we were made to follow in there footsteps to support a proper club with great traditions and some amazing fans that know what being a Superhoop is all about.
Rather than bitching and moaning about some of the sh!t that we may witness, let's actually support the team, regardless of who is in charge and get behind the team that pull on those Blue and White Hooped(with a big white bit at the back) shirts and support, encourage and help them in the battles that we are going to be going into week after week! (Thanks to Bob for helping inspire this!)

We'll all be here supporting this club for many years to come so let's get behind everyone that comes into Loftus Road and more importantly.....

Keep The Faith!!!!

Lofty will return following our visit to Stoke. Enjoy the two week break!


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Same Outcome with the Same Old Excuses..


Burnley 2-1 QPR

It seems I sit here and write these notes after an away game when all I really need to do is copy and paste the opening paragraph.. but as you are no doubt all aware by now, Rangers away day woes continued away at Burnley, making that 10 out of 10 defeats on the road this season, setting a new record along the way...

Now, despite horrendous conditions, the trip there and back for myself, Jenson and PK was surprisingly trouble free and the ease was most welcome. Since returning home not so long ago now, I logged online to start compiling this report and perhaps stupidly, clicked the play button on a video of Harry Redknapp's post match press interview and as said in the opening paragraph about writing away day notes, the same could be said of a Redknapp interview following a defeat - and this was no different at all as the regular excuses began to flow..

But what really got under my skin on this occasion, is when he stated that 8 of the team playing today were playing in the Championship last year?? He also stated that in said season, that we finished miles behind Burnley and Leicester and we are where we are? What an absolute crock of bullshit.  My I remind you, Mr Redknapp is that a matter of weeks ago, we beat both Leicester and Burnley at home!! Did we hear you bemoaning the 'Championship' squad then?? No, of course not..



So, what exactly are you saying here, Harry? That our squad isn't good enough? Are you moaning or have the hump because Tony Fernandes is not giving you another large bundle of cash to spend on players in this current Transfer Window to bail you out of the shit yet again? The last few interviews he has made it very clear that we are after a couple of loans and that's it. He then went onto say that Austin and Zamora are the only strikers he has at the club!?! I'm sorry Mr Redknapp but you have been here long enough now and our very generous Chairman has given you more than enough resources to build your squad! This is YOUR team and you must start taking some responsibility because quite frankly, the excuses we are hearing every time we get beat, are wearing extremely thin now..

And then there is Adel Taarabt..

Adel was in the squad today despite being publically slated by Redknapp a while ago for being 3 stone overweight, not training, not wanting to play football etc. Now the Taarabt debate has certainly divided the R's support and myself personally, I feel that if the above is true and that he doesn't want to train or indeed be here, then he should go. But in saying that, he was certainly our best player today..

Onto the game and as I have one eye on MOTD as I am writing this, the goals look no better. We were actually looking very dangerous going forward in the first half with Austin hitting the post and Vargas bringing a fine save from Heaton. But the defending at the other end was shocking to say the least.


Don't get me wrong, they were excellent finishes from Arfield and Ings, but Arfield skipped a half hearted challenge from Isla far too easily before turning Dunne and Barton before slotting home.. and Caulker should have done far better with the lofted ball over to Ings who gave him a little nudge, held him off before side footing home. Between that, Charlie Austin fired home from the penalty spot after being brought down by Dean Marney.



Despite having plenty of the ball in the second half, Rangers threatened little and if anyone was going to add to the scoring, it would be the home side - and they did have a third goal from Barnes chalked off for a foul on Green, which to say the least, seemed a bit harsh.

In the final seconds of the game, Rangers forced two late corners, one of which saw Caulkers header tipped over by Heaton. But Redknapp telling Rob Green in apathetic fashion to stay in his goal and not come forward, was baffling to say the least..

Queens Park Rangers
  • 01 Green
  • 14 Isla
  • 22 Dunne
  • 04 Caulker
  • 06 Hill (Traore - 75' Booked )
  • 24 Vargas (Zárate - 76' )
  • 20 Henry (Zamora - 69' )
  • 08 Barton Booked
  • 10 Fer
  • 27 Taarabt
  • 09 Austin

Substitutes

  • 03 Traore
  • 07 Phillips
  • 12 McCarthy
  • 15 Onuoha
  • 17 Mutch
  • 25 Zamora
  • 29 Zárate
Man of the Match

Lee texted through his choice of Isla but after myself and PK changed our minds from our original choices of Fer and Green, we agreed with Jenson's choice and went with Adel Taarabt.



By now I'm sure you have seen or heard the reports of certain players getting into arguments with supporters after the game, a subject of which I am not going to dwell on at this time. But what I will say was, that despite the woeful away record, the fans turned out in horrendous conditions once again, in good numbers and during the match, were first class in support of the team. We deserve so much better than to continually hear the crap that Harry Redknapp keeps coming out with..



Lee will return next week as the Man United bandwagon rolls into Shepherds Bush, but until then..

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