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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

That's Zamora...

In a deal that has seemed to have taken an age, with 40 minutes to go on deadline day, QPR have finally clinched the signing of Bobby Zamora from Fulham, for what is reported to be a two and a half year deal costing around £4.5 million.

Zamora has joined forces once more with his former Manager from Fulham, Mark Hughes. He joined Fulham in 2008 and scored 91 goals for the Cottagers in all competitions, in a spell which led him winning a full England cap in 2010.

Zamora started his trade at West Ham as a youngster before moving to Bristol Rovers. Following loan spells at Bath and Brighton. His move to Brighton became permanent in 2000 and 70 goals in 119 appearances led him getting a not so successful move to Spurs in which he made just 16 appearances. In 2003, he moved across London to West Ham before moving to Fulham in 2008.

On his second striker signing of the day, Mark Hughes told the Official QPR Website;

'Bobby is a guy that makes things happen on the pitch, be it scoring goals or creating chances for others. He's a great foil for any team. We needed a player of his ilk at the Football Club and I couldn't be more delighted.

He was the difference for us at Fulham last season. He came back from injury and he made such an impact in the second half of the campaign. He's got great power and pace and his technical ability is top class. He's got an excellent left foot.'

Bobby Zamora himself told the Official QPR Website;

'QPR are certainly a Club that are looking to go forward. That's something that I'm looking forward to being a part of. I got on really well with the Manager at Fulham. We all grew to like Mark. I think that will be the case here. He's looking to take the Club forward.

I think this was the right time for me to have a fresh challenge. I had some great experiences at Fulham. Going to a European final is special. But this is a new challenge for myself and I'm thoroughly looking forward to it. The ambition of the Club was certainly a drawing factor as well.

I've been lucky enough to speak to Tony (Fernandes) and Phil's (Beard) relayed a lot of messages about where this Club want to go.

For me, it was quite an easy decision to be a part of this. The sky's the limit. We're looking to go forward and to grow and I want to be a part of that.'

Zamora will wear the number 52 shirt for the R's

All of us at Lofty Heights would like to wish Bobby Zamora all the very best of luck during his time here and offer a very big Welcome to QPR!!!

In Other News...

With more arrivals, I think many R's fans expected a few departures also. With Bradley Orr moving to Blackburn and Matt Connolly being loaned to Reading, there was also a further 2 players released by QPR on this, transfer deadline day.

Midfielder, Petter Vaagan Moen has left by mutual consent and with immediate effect.

The Norwegian midfielder joined the R's in January 2011 after his contract at SK Brann expired and arrived with great promise. However, in his time here he made just two starts and six substitute appearances for the Club.

Also, our longest serving player of 8 and a half years, Martin Rowlands has left QPR, again, by mutual consent.

Rowlands arrived at Loftus Road in the close season of 2011, signing from Brentford and went on to make over 200 appearances for the R's, scoring 37 goals along the way.

A fans favourite and a solid performer who sadly was dogged by injury during his time here and fell out of favour during the Neil Warnock reign as unfortunately, he was injured when he arrived. In February 2011 Rowlands signed for Millwall, on an emergency one month loan, after only playing 23 minutes of competitive football for QPR in the 2010/11 season. His only appearance this season was a disappointing outing in the Carling Cup vs Rochdale and he was soon loaned out for a successful spell at Wycombe, where he was reunited with friend and another QPR Legend, Gareth Ainsworth. It is hottly tipped that Rowlands will be returning to Adams Park very soon!!

Lofty Heights would like to wish both Rowly and PVM all the very best for their careers in the future.

Connolly Swaps A Full Hoop For Half A Hoop.

Matt Connolly today sealed a loan move to Reading for the rest of the season.

The news begun to filter through Twitter as former R's player Kaspers Gorkss tweeted "My football friend is here!!!:)" This was shortly followed by "Great to be in the same team again."
The rumours began to circulate that it could be Clint Hill on his way to the Royals but in fact it was Matt Connolly.

Connolly has been suffering a massive lack of confidence since being dropped halfway through the season. This presents a great opportunity for Connolly to get game time in the Championship and get back to being the player we all know he is capable of being.

Good luck Matt, when you return we will have to quarantine you after wearing the shirt of that joke team in Berkshire.


Orr Sets Sail To Blackburn.

Bradley Orr today secured a deadline day move from the R's to fellow strugglers Blackburn Rovers.

Orr played his part in our promotion winning season last year after moving to Loftus Road in a swap deal with Damion Stewart going to Bristol City.

Since being promoted to the Premier League Orr has played a back seat role following the arrival of Luke Young and has been limited to the number of appearances he has made.

We wish Bradley all the best with his move.

U R'SSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

First A Nancy Boy, Now A Cisse.

Today the R's announced yet another signing of the transfer window, this time its a striker, Djibril Cisse.


Cisse joins the R's for a fee believed to be in the £4 million bracket and has signed a two and a half year deal with the club.

The striker, 30, comes in with a wealth of experience and has Premiership experience. Cisse has had two spells in England, firstly with Liverpool. He made 49 appearances and scored 13 goals in his two seasons in Liverpool and suffered a double leg break during a game against Blackburn.
Cisse then returned to England for a season long loan with Sunderland. He made 35 appearances for the Black Cats, scoring 10 goals for them in the process.

Cisse had a successful two year spell in Greece playing for Panathinaikos. He played 61 times for the Greek giants and scored 47 times for them.
This secured a £4.7 million move to Lazio in the summer of 2011. He has made 17 appearances and only scored one goal so far this season.

Cisse told the Official QPR Website :-

'QPR have a hugely ambitious project. When I talked to the Manager, he spoke highly of the Club and where he wants to take it over the next few years. He wanted to sign me at Manchester City and now I am finally here with him at QPR.

He wants to achieve big things here - that was all I needed to hear from him. I have unfinished business here in England.

The English league is the best in the world. It is the league that suits me the most. I'm really happy to be here and I can't wait to repay the Club's confidence in me, to get back to where I want to be as a player.

I will always give one hundred per-cent and I can't wait to start playing games.'

Mark Hughes added, also via the Official QPR Website :-

I rate Djibril very, very highly. I've watched him for many years and always been impressed by what he brings to the table. He's a huge threat to opposition's defences. He's got great pace, power and movement and that's something we will hopefully benefit from.

His goal record is there for everyone to see. He's scored goals wherever he's played. His record speaks for itself.

He was desperate to come here once we showed our interest in him and we can't wait to get the best out of him.'

Cisse will wear the number 23 shirt for the R's.

Welcome to QPR Djibril, we wish you all the success during your time here.

U R'SSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Samba Didn't Fancy Being A Nancy Boy.

Today QPR announced yet another capture of the transfer window with Samba Diakite becoming the fourth new recruit this month.

Diakite was set to join French giants Lyon but the Ligue 1 club demanded that Diakite not travel to the African Cup of Nations to represent Mali in order for the transfer to go through. However Diakite insisted on representing his country and made his Mali debut in the 1-0 victory over Guinea just a matter of days ago.


Samba Diakite, 23, has a glowing reputation from his time at current club Nancy in his favoured position as a defensive midfielder, making him an ideal substitute for Ali Faurlin as our influential Argentinian recovered from his cruciate ligament injury.

The deal begins as a six month loan and we have the option to sign Diakite permanently at the end of the loan. If we agreed a permanent move then the deal could rise up to £4.5million.

Samba Diakite told the Official QPR Website :-
"It is a dream to join a Premier League Club.

"The Board and the Manager have big ambitions to achieve and I am delighted to join a Club with such goals.

"I have always enjoyed watching English football and I can't wait to return from the African Cup of Nations and give my all for the Club.

"It is a very exciting move for me."

Mark Hughes added the following, also via the Official QPR Website :-

"Samba is a young player who has made an impression on French football.

"There has been a lot of interest in him from top Clubs in France so we have done really well to get him in.

"He is a good age, has got strength, power, can carry the ball and can score goals from midfield on occasions.

"He will give us more physical presence and athleticism in the middle of the park so he is going to be a good addition."

Welcome to QPR Samba, we hope you have a very successful period with us here in West London.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

It's The League That Mata's The Most...

QPR 0-1 Chelsea

With QPR in rare territory, an FA Cup 4th Round Cup game, a controversial second half penalty saw Chelsea through to the next round, in what was a scrappy game at Loftus Road this lunchtime.

I could write this entire report on the build up to this game, but the media have done more than enough with the Ferdinand/Terry stuff, for me to just ramble on more about it. My own opinion on the matter is - you know what you said!! But a lot was said of the 'will he/won't' he shake his hand matter. Again, personally, I was in full support of Anton not shaking his hand. However, with the media again having a field day with this issue, Club Officials and the Football Association decided there would be no pre-match handshake, in an attempt to defuse further tensions. So, in the old fashioned way, the teams simply just ran out onto the pitch.

The gang all assembled as usual, unfortunately missing Lee and Jess who were very sadly, priced out by this one. Lee's seat was taken by the lovely Lorna, so many corners were shouted and appealed for this afternoon! The Club's decision to hike up the prices for a game not long after Christmas and before many peoples pay days was shocking and I can only hope that they took notice of the empty seats around the Stadium for a game that should have been sold out within hours of going on sale.

After all this, there was indeed a game of football to be had and both sides played out, what has to be said was a poor first half, with Terry getting booed whenever the ball went anywhere close to him. Mata had the only clear chance, forcing Paddy Kenny into a low save from the edge of the box after taking advantage of Luke Young's slip. There were half chances for Rangers but the final ball was always lacking. But defensively, Rangers were excellent and have looked so much more organised in recent weeks.

Onto the second half and Chelsea were looking much brighter. Rangers had replaced Helguson with Macheda. On the hour, Rangers had their best chance when Mackie was inches away from connecting with Wright-Phillips low, powerful cross. From there, Chelsea broke away and a cross from Mata was far too deep for Sturridge, who decided to fling himself to the floor as he received the slightest touch from Hill. Referee Mike Dean had a long look and then unbelievably pointed at the spot. At the time it seemed dubious and I am sure AVB will say it was nailed on. By text, Lee actually described the incident as - Sturridge went down quicker than Kerry Katona on a night out and on arrival home, this video clip says all we need to know...

But a penalty it was and Mata sent Kenny the wrong way to put Chelsea 1-0 up. In truth the game really just fizzled out from there on in, but Rangers had a chance in injury time to set up a replay at Stamford Bridge - Luke Young's fierce low drive was well saved by Cech, the ball found it's way to Wright-Phillips on the edge of the box who shot harmlessly over.

QPR: Kenny, Hill, Hall, Mackie, Buzsaky (Hulse 79), Barton, Young, Smith, Helguson (Macheda 46), Wright-Phillips, Ferdinand. Subs: Cerny, Orr, Derry, Ephraim, Onuoha.

Man of the Match - just three contenders for this one with Anton Ferdinand getting the nod from Sam and Corp. Jess gave her customary Luke Young vote, but with five votes from Jenson, PK, Luke, myself and Lee, today's winner was R's skipper, Joey Barton. Lee has asked for a Special mention to go to R's substitute, Rob Hulse who did extremely well when he came on for Buzsaky.

So, a bit later than normal, we are out if the FA Cup, but I think most R's fans will agree that Premier League survival is the priority and we did make a very good account of ourselves once more. It's just a shame that a poor decision has ultimately settled the tie. With that comment, Chelsea fans will no doubt point back to the league game. In fact, Chelsea Manager Andre Villas-Boas is STILL going on about it now. In a Radio 5 interview, he was asked if he was pleased to be through to the next round? His reply - I was pleased to finish here with 11 men. When asked if he thought it was a penalty? His reply - at least we didn't have nine men. When asked again if he thought it was a penalty? His reply - I don't wish to comment on that. In true twitter style, I will finish this paragraph with a hashtag #helmet!

LH are off to Villa on Wednesday where hopefully we will see one, two and hopefully a few more debutants? See you then....

Come on You R'ssssssssssss!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Onuoha His Way To The R's

The R's completed their third signing of the transfer window, as Nedum Onuoha completed his move from Man City to Loftus Road.

The fee is believed to be in the £3-4million bracket and Onouha has signed a four and a half year deal with the club.


Onuoha, 25, primarily plays as a centre back but has also filled the right and left back positions competently for Manchester City and also whilst on loan at Sunderland last year.
With Onuoha's versatility in defence this makes the fee paid for him seem relatively small, especially if he performs to his full potential which has seen him represent England at U21 level on 21 occassions, whilst also appearing in a Man City shirt 92 times in the last seven years.

Onuoha told the Official QPR website :-

"This was the right time for me to join a Club like QPR.

"The Manager obviously played a massive factor in my decision to come here. I've worked with him before and he always wants players around him who are open and honest.

"He wouldn't have come here if he didn't believe that there was a squad of players here that can achieve the goals he has.

"The ambition of the owners was really appealing.

"This is my Club now and I'll give everything to help us succeed."

Mark Hughes spoke of his latest capture, also to the Official QPR website :-

"He did very well for me at Manchester City and played a number of games, probably more than under any other Manager.

"He is very versatile. He can play centre back or right back, and has good pace. He is a very good addition to the squad."

"It's important that we are able to attract good players here.

"Nedum had other options but his experience with myself and the other guys here was a big factor in why he has come to us. I am pleased about that."

Welcome to QPR Nedum, we wish you every success during your time with us here at Loftus Road.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

R's Taye up Taiwo.

Today the R's announced the loan signing of AC Milan left back Taye Taiwo on a six month loan deal.


Taiwo, 26, signed for AC Milan from Marseille in the summer for a fee believed to be in the £6-8 million pound bracket.
Taiwo was nominated in the Ligue 1 team of the year during three of the last four seasons and has gained a reputation of being a dead ball expert with a lethal left foot that has bust the net on many occasions.

Taiwo can also operate at left wing, so it will be interesting to see where Taiwo and Traore will be playing once the latter returns from International duty at the African Cup of Nations with Senegal. One would assume that Taiwo will play at left back whilst Traore operates on the left wing, a position that he has played in on a few occasions already this season and looked very much at home playing there.

Taiwo told the Official QPR Website :-

"It's a new challenge for me.
"I don't know too much about QPR, but I'm learning a lot already.
"I know the Premier League and it's a very exciting division.
"It has always been a dream of mine to play in this league.

"Wherever you go in the world, people always talk about the Premier League and it will be nice to play in a country that speaks the same language as me."

"The Chelsea tie is a big one, but the league matters most.
"We need to stay in this division this season - and that is the objective."

Taiwo will wear the number 34 shirt.

Welcome to QPR Taye, we wish you all the success during your time here at Loftus Road.

U R'SSSSSS!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sparky Gets The Buz Back At The R's.

With the R's winning their first FA Cup tie in 11 years on Tuesday night with a dogged and scrappy performance at Loftus Road, we turned our attention to the league and a massive six pointer against Wigan. This was Mark Hughes first Premier League game in charge so could Mark put the spark into the R's climb up the table?
We are about to find out.

On Tuesday there was a massively depleted gang in attendance but today we were back to full strength and ready to roar the lads onto victory.
With a lot of focus being on Joey Barton lambasting Neil Warnock in the press yesterday, a lot of the talk during the pre-match centred around our hopes that he would do a lot more talking on the pitch today rather than on his Twitter account. As long as we see full commitment from our captain and performances that we know he is capable of then what his does on Twitter is completely irrelivant to what he does on the pitch.

There were three changes to the side that won against MK Dons. Danny Gabbidon missed out through injury whilst Jay Bothroyd and Freddy Macheda dropped to the bench.
Their replacements were Fitz Hall, DJ Campbell and Heidar Helguson.

Wigan has the first change of the game within the first two minutes. A Wigan free kick from the left found Rodelega in acres of space in the box and his sidefoot creeped just wide of the post.
After a nervy fifteen minutes the R's started to find a rhythm and a battling quality that has been lacking of late. With SWP beginning to see more of the ball and running at defenders we looked the more threatening going forward without creating many clear cut chances.
In the 33rd minute the R's had a corner that was floated in from the left and as the ball reached the Wigan box an arm flew out, handball! The referee's assistant, linesman, whatever they are called these days, signalled the infringement and the R's seemingly had a decision go their way for once.
Heidar Helguson stepped up and sidefooted the penalty into the right corner with Al-Habsi not far away from getting a fingertip to it.
Minutes later Buzsaky lined up a free kick just outside the box and Al-Habsi saw it late and pushed it past the post for a corner.
Not to be deterred, a minute before half time Buzsaky had a free kick in a similar position and this time he curled it onto the left hand post before flying across goal into the opposite side of the net. Definitely a goal we will all enjoy watching on Match of the Day tonight.

The half time huddle on the concourse with us all including Michael and Jack was the most positive atmosphere at a home game since the Chelsea half time talk a few months ago. The buzz was coming back to us and all hoping for another half of commitment, energy, movement and commitment from Sparky's troops.

There was a change at half time with DJ Campbell coming off and being replaced by Tommy Smith.
The second half started with the R's looking bright but again no clear cut chances were being created.
On 65 minutes Wigan drew level. A free kick was awarded for what looked to be a nothing challenge about 25yards outside the R's box.
Hugo Rodelega stepped up and curled the free kick up and over the wall into the top right corner with Paddy Kenny rooted to the spot. The 30 Wigan fans in attendance would have definitely enjoyed watching that fly into the back of the net.
Rangers' were given a great chance to stretch their lead once more in the 73rd minute when we were awarded a somewhat fortuitous penalty.
Helguson was clearly fouled by Caldwell but from where we were standing the foul clearly outside the box, however the referee pointed to the spot for our second penalty of the day.
Helguson stepped up and this time sidefooted it to the left but Al-Habsi guessed right and pushed the penalty out before Wigan cleared their lines.
Minutes later Helguson nearly claimed his second of the game. The ball bounced just outside the left corner of the 18 yard box and Helguson attempted a lobbed volley that went over Al-Habsi and bounced just centimetres past the post.
Just as it seemed the R's where in for a difficult final ten minutes we broke away with SWP down the left and he squared it to Tommy Smith, he took a touch and unleahsed a shot from a full 25-30yards out that flew into the top corner with Al-Habsi having no chance! Another great goal to watch on tv tonight!
The goal killed the game off as a contest and with Rangers' creating a few more chances before the final whistle was blown and we were savouring our second home win of the season in Mark Hughes first home game in charge of us in the Premier League.

The performance was one of commitment, organisation and energy. We looked to grow in confidence more and more as the game went on and to close the game out with a superb goal from Tommy Smith really was the icing on the cake!
Rangers' are back? I certainly hope so!

On to our Man of the Match. It was a two horse race for this one, Helguson received two of the votes but with a massive six votes our unanimous winner and scorer of the fantastic second goal is Akos Buzsaky.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cup Upset....

QPR 1-0 MK Dons

QPR caused a major cup upset as, for the first time in 11 years, they finally won an F.A.Cup tie, but only just - as a late Danny Gabbidon header saw of the challenge of a spirited MK Dons side at a cold Loftus Road this evening.

With it being a Cup game, midweek, extra money, on TV and extremely cold, many of the gang decided to give this one a miss, with only myself, Jenson, Trevor and California Hoop in attendance. Unfortunately, CH wasn't aware the Upper Loft was open and with 9 workmates, sat in South Africa Road.

After a quick visit to the Club Shop and then the Springbok, we were in our seats in plenty of time to welcome the new Manager, Mark Hughes. That itself, turned into a non event as with photographers aplenty, the Gaffer just came out of the tunnel and took his place in the dugout, very low key indeed.

Onto the game and MK made a very bright start as Rangers continued to look nervous and lacking confidence. Following an MK half chance, it was the 12th minute before the R's created their first chance with a decent effort from Bothroyd. The game continued and MK were certainly having the better of things with chances falling to Smith and top scorer, Macdonald.

Against the run of play, Rangers had the ball in the net on the half hour, Derry heading home Buzsaky's corner, only for the referee to call a foul on the keeper. A text from Lee confirmed that the Rangers midfielder was all over the Dons keeper and it was a clear foul.

From there, the visitors should have taken the lead, but Macdonald dragged his shot wide when it seemed certain he would score. Just before half time and Rangers missed the best chance of the game - Buzsaky played Wright-Phillips through on goal with a cutting through ball, but the keeper saved brilliantly from the Rangers wide man.

Onto the second half which I now believe was completely jinxed by Trevor. At half time, he lumped money on Macheda and Buzsaky to score the first at 6/1 and 14/1 respectively. Cue 62 minutes and the impressive Macheda was replaced by Tommy Smith and on 72 minutes, on the back of a blistering free kick, well saved by the Dons keeper, Buzsaky was replaced by Heidar Helguson. If the first change was confusing, the second was just baffling as both were having very good games. The Buzsaky change also led to some booing at the new Manager from a fair amount of the home crowd.

But low and behold, the boos were soon replaced by cheers as the resulting corner, taken by Shaun Wright-Phillips was headed home by Danny Gabbidon and it came at a time when in all honesty, the only team who looked likely to score were the MK Dons.

Rangers then looked so much more confident, kept the ball well and closed the game out to set up a home tie against Chelsea in 2 weeks time.

QPR: Kenny, Hill, Derry, Gabbidon, Bothroyd (Orr 86), Mackie, Buzsaky (Helguson 72), Young, Wright-Phillips, Macheda (Smith 62), Ferdinand. Subs: Cerny, Hall, Campbell, Ephraim.

Man of the Match - a few choices again for this one as the gang not in attendance were kind enough to text them through. Myself, went for Heidar Helguson who looked every bit a class act when he came off the bench - Macheda and Buzsaky were well in the running before the changes. Jenson and Corp went for Wright-Phillips and Lee and Jess chose Buzsaky. But tonight's winner with 3 votes, from Sam, Luke and PK, was R's goalscorer - Danny Gabbidon

I am going to refrain from being too negative as most of you will agree, this was not great viewing at all and it is clear to see the lack of confidence amongst the players. However, a win is a win and let's keep our fingers crossed that this will help us push forward in the weeks ahead, starting with the massive game against Wigan this coming Saturday.

And finally, I will finish with expressing my disappointment of the Clubs decision to hike up the prices for the Chelsea cup tie a week on Saturday - £50, £40 and £30 is a bit much considering the hike we all had with the season tickets and I am sorry Tony Fernandes and Co, although the vouchers were a nice gesture, it didn't really count for much seeing as they were to be spent at the Club. I along with many others no doubt feel there was no need to do this after everything...

That is all

Come on You R'sssssssss!!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Nothing But The Best....

Newcastle 1-0 QPR

Mark Hughes's first game in charge of QPR ended in a narrow defeat - Leon Best scoring the only goal in what was overall, a disappointing match at St James Park.

Well for the 2nd time this year, this was a different kind of football day as myself and Jenson decided to take the opportunity to fly to the North East before Christmas - something I personally had never done and wanted to do. So with flights all booked up, Jenson contacted me earlier in the week to inform me that due to a friend he knows in Newcastle, we would be joining Rob and friends in a corporate box... and why not indeed.

So, after meeting at Terminal 5 and having breakfast with Lee and Richard Butler, we boarded the plane and arrived ahead of schedule, in Newcastle at 11am. The V.I.P. treatment then continued as instead of taking a taxi, we were picked up by Rob himself in a gleaming white Bentley and whisked into St James Park shortly after.

The rest of the gang travelled by car, including Lee who passed a late fitness test and made the trip after a nasty bout of tonsilitus. We were in touch throughout via text and it seemed after an early arrival, they had managed to find their way into a bar of which strippers were the lunchtime entertainment...

After some superb hosting and a great lunch, we took our seats just outside the box for the game...

Rangers started extremely positively and looked to make their mark for their new Manager and the woodwork saved the home side on two occasions - with Jay Bothroyd's curling effort hitting the post and Shaun Wright-Phillips smashing the cross bar.

Newcastle then responded with chances of their own and Coloccini and Gutierrez both headed over from Taylor crosses, before Taylor himself fired just wide. But on 37 minutes, Leon Best provided the moment of magic that turned out to be the moment that won the game - Guthrie found best on the edge of the area, who showed very quick feet to skip inside Luke Young and shoot low into the far corner - a fine goal!

Onto the second half and Rangers should really have been on level terms - but Bothroyd blazed his effort wildly over the bar following a clever nod down from Helguson and later saw a fierce drive comfortably saved by Krul at his near post.

As Rangers pressed, Newcastle began to expolit the gaps and if anyone was going to score the next goal, it was the home side with Santon, Gutierrez and Best all seeing good chances go begging. The home side then played to close the game out with Rangers, sadly, offering little in return in the late stages.

QPR: Kenny, Hill, Derry, Gabbidon, Bothroyd, Mackie, Buzsaky (Macheda 76), Young, Helguson (Smith 65), Wright-Phillips, Ferdinand. Subs: Cerny, Orr, Hall, Campbell, Ephraim.

Man of the Match - until we got back to the airport and bumped into Corporate, everyone chose different, with votes for Derry, Young, Gabbidon, Ferdinand and Mackie. There was even a vote from Sam for more beer and more strippers... but today's winner, voted for by Corp and Jenson, was Shaun Wright-Phillips.

In summary, it was again, quite simple. Plenty of positives from QPR but lacklustre up front and we all hope this going to be addressed during this latest transfer window.

So after the game there were a few more beers and a bit of banter with Rob and friends, who I must say, made us very welcome today despite supporting the other team. We left for the airport at approximately 4.15pm and we followed the QPR team coach, which led us to think that we were on the same flight home. They were obviously on the later one, but instead we had Ray Wilkins, who kindly described QPR's performance as sh*t! But then also offered some wise words on Premier League survival - 'if you don't score goals, you don't win games'. Obviously an absolute tactical genius....

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Mark All Set to Make Sparks Fly at QPR...

QPR have moved swiftly since Sunday's departure of Neil Warnock and have appointed Mark Hughes as the new Manager on a two and a half year deal.

With half the season gone and the transfer window open, a swift appointment was essential and after two days of talks, the news was announced by QPR earlier today.

Mark Hughes's Career to date;

•Playing career takes in spells at Manchester United (twice), Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Everton, Blackburn, Southampton and Wales

•Scores 163 goals in 606 club appearances. Wins 72 caps for Wales, scoring 16 times

•Appointed part-time Wales manager in 1999

•Becomes Blackburn manager in 2004

•Appointed manager of Manchester City in 2008

•Sacked by Manchester City in December 2009

•Appointed Fulham boss in July 2010, leads them to eighth in Premier League

•Announces resignation from Fulham in June 2011

•Appointed QPR boss in January 2012

The stats speak for themselves and I personally feel this appointment is extremely positive as his successes at Blackburn and Fulham, bode well for a club of similar stature.

On his appointment, Hughes told the Official QPR Website;

"It's a great feeling to be back in football and to be the Manager of QPR. I'm fully aware of the challenge in the short and long term and I am genuinely excited about the ambition of the owners.

Nobody can doubt the history of this great Football Club and the passion of its fantastically loyal supporters. Now the immediate priority is to consolidate our place in the Barclays Premier League, but beyond that, the future is very bright and fills me with great enthusiasm."

Mark also brings with him an experienced backroom team of Mark Bowen(Assistant Manager), Eddie Niedzwiecki(1st Team Coach) and Kevin Hitchcock(Goalkeeping Coach).

All of us here at Lofty Heights would like to wish Mark Hughes and his team, all the very best of luck in their new roles and a massive WELCOME to QPR!!!

Come on You R'ssssssssssssss!!!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

In Warnock We Trusted....

With the rumours continuing to spread today, just after 6.30pm this evening, QPR announced that they had parted company with Manager, Neil Warnock.

Before I add my opinions, I will post the statement from the Official QPR Website;

Queens Park Rangers Football Club has today (Sunday 8th January 2012) parted company with Manager Neil Warnock.

Warnock joined the Club in March 2010, overseeing 84 matches in charge, winning 33, drawing 27 and losing 24. Last season, he successfully guided the Club back to the Premier League for the first time in 15 years.

The Board's commitment to retaining our Premier League status ultimately led to this decision. QPR Assistant Manager Mick Jones and First Team Coach Keith Curle have also left the Club.

The Board's QPR Chairman, Tony Fernandes, said: "This decision has been made in the best interests of the Club and I can assure everyone that this is not a decision that was made lightly.

"Sadly, our recent run of poor form has seen us slip alarmingly down the table and the Board felt it was the right time to make a change.

"Neil has acted with honesty, professionalism and integrity throughout his time at the Club, and I would personally like to thank him for his significant contribution to QPR over the last 22 months.

"I genuinely wish him all the very best for the future and he will always be welcome back at Loftus Road."

QPR Vice-Chairman, Amit Bhatia, added: "It is with a very heavy heart that we make this announcement.

"I played a key role in bringing Neil to Loftus Road and consider him to be a close personal friend and a great professional.

"I would like to place on the record my thanks to him for transforming us from a Championship Club to a Premier League Club.

"As a Club we have gained enormously from Neil's wisdom, experience and leadership. He has always performed his managerial duties to the very highest of standards.

"I wish Neil every success going forward and he will always be welcome at QPR.

"I now look forward to the future and the rest of the season as we work towards stabilising our position in the Premier League."

Neil Warnock said: "Obviously I'm very disappointed, but having achieved so much, I leave the Club with a great sense of pride.

"I have enjoyed my time here more than anywhere else and the QPR fans have been brilliant with me - they deserve success.

"My biggest regret is that the takeover didn't happen earlier, because that would have given me the opportunity to bring in the targets I'd pinpointed all last summer and probably given us a better chance to succeed in the Premier League."

He added: "The board at QPR are hugely ambitious and I wish them every success for the future.

"I've been involved in the game a long time and I will be spending the immediate future with my family and friends before deciding my next career move."

The Club will now begin its search for a new Manager and will make a further announcement in due course.

I really do not know what to say to this one as I am absolutely gutted. Neil Warnock did an amazing job for us and made all our dreams come true by returning us to the promised land. The only thing is with that, is that the Premier League brought supporters out of the woodwork and when all is not going well, they begin to call for the Manager's head. No doubt, the people I am referring too will be delighted with tonight's news!

Yes, we are on a bad run, but we have had an awful lot of bad luck along the way. Mr Warnock referred to Heidar's last minute equaliser at MK Dons yeterday, as something that could kick start our season. It's just a shame that he now won't be around to find out...

On behalf on everyone involved with Lofty Heights, I would like to thank Neil Warnock for everything and I mean, everything... and for making our dreams come true.


Sources tell me that Mark Hughes is to be announced as Neil's replacement tomorrow and with Keith Curle and Mick Jones also leaving today, I expect Tony Fernandes and co have already sourced a new Manager? However, this is QPR we are talking about...

Come on You R'sssssssssssss!!!

It's Chelsea!

Today the FA Cup 4th Round draw was completed at Wembley.

With MK Dons and the R's still being in the draw after yesterday's 1-1 draw at Stadium MK, we entered the draw as ball number 10.

Number 10 was drawn out as a home tie against................ CHELSEA!!


First of all the R's have to get through the replay against the Dons at Loftus Road on the 17th January.

If we successfully defeat MK Dons then we will play Chelsea on the weekend of the 28/29/30 January.

U R'SSSSS!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Slowly Faurlin Apart.

Today the R's went to StadiumMK for their first ever visit against MK Dons in the Third Round of the FA Cup.
Could Rangers' progress through for the first time in eleven years or would we suffer even more disappointment?

With Jess pulling out through illness and PK refusing to step foot inside the MK Dons stadium due to his Wimbledon connections the gang were slightly depleted for today's trip. Sam, Luke and myself set off at 12.30 on our journey across to Buckinghamshire in what was an easy and uneventful journey. The only thing to make us laugh was a dopey comment from Luke as we passed the Domino's warehouse opposite StadiumMK and Luke thought it was a massive shop...... bless him!
Upon getting to the entrance for the away fans I met up with Jenson and Lofty, who had brought along little Coral to her first away game and hoping that she would be a lucky charm for us today!
As we got onto the concourse we briefly met up with Michael for a quick catch up before bumping into Tony and Alan who had also made a short trip over to MK.

Five changes were made after last weeks Norwich game. Radek Cerny, Fitz Hall, Tommy Smith, DJ Campbell and Federico Macheda came into the starting line up for Paddy Kenny, Anton Ferdinand, Joey Barton, Adel Taarabt and Heidar Helguson.

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The first half started brightly as the R's created chances through DJ Campbell and Jamie Mackie both going close.
After the fifteen minute mark the game turned into a non contest and if I'm honest not a lot of interest was taken in the game by us as it really was a dire game of football.
On the 20 minute mark MK Dons thought they had broken the deadlock as Powell bundled the ball home from close range only to see that he had been flagged for offside.
Minutes later MK Dons were denied a clear penalty as Clint Hill slid to block a cross in by Powell and the ball clearly hit the outstretched arm of Hill, no penalty said referee Michael Oliver! Me, Sam and Luke all looked at each other admitting that we had got away with that, it would be interesting to see if we had got away with it in a Premier League fixture.
Just before the break DJ Campbell had a goal chalked off for offside.

At half-time we took a walk around the concourse and bumped into none other than our favourite QPR Press Officer Matt and its safe to say that he had drunk a drink or two! he general feeling at half time was that we were awful and really needed to buck our ideas up if we were going to win the game.

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We got back to our seats just in time for kick off, I'm surprised we even bothered!
Things got slightly better and we really should of grabbed a goal when Macheda crossed from the left hand side and Campbell headed wide from three yards out.
With things not getting any better from our perspective, Helguson replaced Campbell on the in the 61st minute.
Three minutes later it was the hosts that took the lead.
Helguson tried to chest down and control a cross from the MK Dons right hand side, only to be dispossessed by Bowditch and the Dons striker struck home to give the home side the lead. It's fair to say that it was probably what the home side deserved.
Jay Bothroyd and Akos Buzsaky entered the game and as the game progressed into the 80th minute I can honestly say that the R's faithful were at a point where they had given the game away and were getting more pessimistic about proceedings.
If things could get any worse, they did on 81 minutes.
Alejandro Faurlin collapsed on the floor after putting his foot in on a challenge and landed awkwardly. You could tell that this was a serious injury as the R's stand in skipper was on the floor with his hands over his face and quite clearly in a lot of pain. Early indicatons that this could be a cruciate knee ligament injury and if confirmed then this could be the end of the season for Faurlin. Massive blow for us!
With Faurlin being stretchered off and all three substitutions being made, it meant that the R's had nine minutes plus injury time to try and get an equaliser with just ten men on the field.
Against all odds the miracle happened!
Helguson run onto a long clearance from defence, beat the Dons goalkeeper to the ball and headed it past him before taking control of the ball and turning before rolling the ball into the net! 1-1 and we really did not deserve it!

The replay of this game has been announced as being on the 17th January, just two days after our trip to Newcastle.

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As you can tell by the lack of enthusiasm in this report, this was truly a terrible game and MK Dons failed to take advantage of what was a poor performance by the R's.
The performance lacked energy, enthusiasm and urgency. It was almost as if this was supposed to be an easy game for what was effectively our best eleven that we could pick. Last year we hassled teams an put them under pressure whilst creating so many chances as we were quick to break away and really damaged teams. The team we currently have lacked pace from the one we had last year. We played 4-2-3-1 all of last season and the three behind Helguson all had creativity and pace about them and we scared defences, this year the only pace in our side is that of Shaun Wright-Phillips and he does not get to play in his best position of right wing and is played either behind the striker or on the left.
In the second half Macheda was moved to the left wing which was very baffling and meant that we changed or formation from 4-4-2 to 4-2-3-1 and in all fairness it worked because he managed to find himself in more space and put in two or three brilliant crosses that just lacked the finishing touch in the six yard box.
It's evident to me that we need a quick, pacey winger like Junior Hoilett (who we have been linked with today) who will scare defences and create space for our other creative players. An out and out goalscorer is a must also, look at Yakubu of Blackburn. He's had 20 shots at goal this year and 12 of them have resulted in goals and thi s someone that was signed on a free transfer! Why not even look at Jordan Rhodes? A young striker with lots of flair and possesses the goalscoring ability that we lack currently and more importantly we can get many years of goals from him so why not try a £4-5million bid and tempt one of the countries best young prospects?
Defensively I feel that the targets being mentioned are exciting and if we can land two or three of them then we will certainly have a greater chance of keeping clean sheets in this half of the season.
Jay Bothroyd certainly isn't the answer to our need for goals, the lack of effort put in by him today when he come on was abysmal! He slowing jogged back when we were being hit on the counter attack and showed no attempt to help the teams cause and his only effort came when the ball was within two or three yards of him. When he did receive the ball his control was awful and the ball ended up three yards in front of him! He may as well play football in his uggs as he will probably be able to play a lot better then!
We need to get that team spirit and Warnock guile back into the team. We bust a gut to close people down and you could always see 110% was being given by the players yet currently you cannot see that and a few of them really need a kick up the backside!

As for hearing fans call for Warnock's head, I think that is a lot of rubbish and very fickle.
Warnock came in nearly two years ago and had a team that was struggling to fend off relegation to League 1 and just a year later we won the Championship and were clearly the best team in the Championship. We all knew this year would be a struggle with the players we took up with us and we would've all happily taken 17th place come the end of our first Premier League season.
Yet now all the money has been made available to the club our fans expectations have risen so much so that we are almost expected to be world beaters. We made a few good signings in the previous transfer window and will make another four or five more in this one that will (hopefully) preserve our status in the world's best league. In Warnock we should trust and if e do then we know we are in the safe hands of one of the best English managers in the country.

Moving onto Man of the Match. This was as tricky as its been all season due to the performance being so lacklustre. Only three votes cast as Luke refused to vote for this one. I pitched my vote for Mackie because of a hard working display and he never stopped trying. However with two votes from Lofty and Sam the winner today is Shaun Derry for he non stop running and effort towards the team cause.

QPR: Cerny, Young, Hill, Hall, Gabbidon, Derry (Buzsaky, 77), Faurlin (84), Mackie, Smith, Campbell (Helguson, 61), Macheda (Bothroyd, 71).

Subs: Murphy, Connolly, Andrade, Orr.

Goals: Helguson (87)

MK Dons: Martin, Smith, Lewington, Mackenzie (Kouo-Doumbe, 46), Gleeson, Potter, Bowditch, Williams, Powell, Ibehre, Chadwick.

Subs: McLoughlin, Flanagan, O'Shea, Lobjiot, Alli, Collins.

Goals: Bowditch (64)

Referee: Michael Oliver

Attendance: 19,506 (*Stadium record)

I will return with my report from our game at St. James' Park on Sunday and hopefully I will be able to be a lot more positive on the game!

U R'SSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 02, 2012

A Corporate View of a R'Effing Disgrace...

QPR 1-2 Norwich

A much labelled, 'must win' game for QPR, ended in defeat as Norwich took all 3 points in a mixed game for R's skipper, Joey Barton.

It was a very different day of watching the R's for me today. Jenson, had won a competition from Apex Rentals, via Twitter, of 2 x VIP Box tickets for today's game and I was lucky enough to be chosen as his guest. So myself and Jenson met up at 1pm and took our place in Box Number 10 to meet the Apex staff and other guests, in what was just about the best Executive Box in the Stadium, right on the half way line. Unfortunately it meant we didn't see the rest of the gang today, although we were constantly in touch via text etc.

Former Rangers Centre Back, Steve Wicks then came into the box to say hello and I must say, what a lovely guy he is and very much, a Ranger! He discussed the old days and the new, along with his thoughts on future signings, more on that later. Also joining us for the game, was Marc Bircham who was accompanied by his two sons. I also must say, what a top, top guy he is too. We were then treated to a superb four course meal of butternut and apple soup, peppercorn steak, rhubarb crumble and cheese and biscuits. The mini half time pies served up were also, to die for!!

Putting all this excellent hospitality aside, there was also a very important game going on and after a shaky start, the R's were ahead on 11 minutes - Barton fired a low shot past Ruddy after some neat play between Alejandro Faurlin and Clint Hill down the left side and all was going to plan, until the 36th minute. As Rangers were moving forward after clearing a Norwich corner, Barton tangled with Whitbread on the half way line and the pair of them flung arms at eachother, then Bradley Johnson got involved by deliberately sticking out a leg to catch Barton with the intent to wind him up. Barton responded by going face to face with Johnson, who moved his head back implying he had been butted. By this time, Paul Lambert was throwing a proper hissy fit in the dugout as the play went on... Bennett then needlessly tripped Barton to stop the play. A melee followed, Neil Swarbrick discussed the issue with the Max Branning lookalike linesman, neither of whom had stopped the play or flagged leading up to Bennett's trip - the result, a red card for Joey Barton.

To me and no doubt QPR supporters as a whole, the fact that the referee nor linesman not flagging any initial incident at the time speaks volumes. If indeed it was a sending off offence that the referee saw, he would have stopped the game immediately surely, not give the team of the offending player the advantage to carry on attacking?? This in my opinion, was pure guess work and intimidation from the players and officials from Norwich - as referee's throughout the leagues keep stating, if they are not sure, they can't give it? Needless to say, Bennett's cynical trip on Barton went completely unpunished.

So Barton was dismissed and three minutes before the break, Norwich equalised - Pilkington's left-footed shot nestled in the corner with Paddy Kenny well beaten - a great finish it has to be said.

Onto the second half and Wright-Phillips replaced the unusually quiet, Jamie Mackie and it almost brought instant reward as he tested Ruddy with a low drive. Adel Taarabt then forced a fine save from the Norwich keeper, who pushed his free kick onto the post - just how unluicky has Taarabt been with the post this season?

With Rangers holding Norwich in midfield and slowly gaining the upper hand, Norwich threw on 3 subs, Fox, Hoolahan and Morison and went 3-4-3 as they went for the win. Rangers responded by throwing on new signing, Macheda for the last ten minutes, replacing Helguson and had we had a bit more luck, he could well have scored with his first touch as Ruddy only just beat him in the air to Wright-Phillips cross.

But on 83 minutes, disaster struck as substitute, Steve Morison smashed home from close range unchallenged.

QPR: Kenny, Hill, Derry, Gabbidon, Taarabt (Campbell 85), Faurlin, Mackie (Wright-Phillips 46), Barton, Young, Helguson (Macheda 80), Ferdinand. Subs: Cerny, Orr, Connolly, Hulse, Macheda.

Man of the Match - just 2 contenders tonight but a storming winner - myself and Jenson went for Anton Ferdinand, but Lee, Sam, Luke, Corp, Jess and PK, all went for Adel Taarabt who is today's winner!

Make no mistake, this was the worst possible result for us today and I am sure all R's fans, like me, are gutted. No one said the Premier League was going to be easy, but whoever plays for you and however good you are, you cannot beat the referee. Neil Swarbrick was diabolical today and his linesman no better. Heidar Helguson was kicked, pushed, had his shirt tugged, you name it, he received it and what did he get from Swarbrick? - Absolutely nothing!! I went into great detail with the Barton incident but he got just about every other decision wrong. It didn't help that the 4th official, Phil Dowd had Paul Lambert moaning and whineing in his earhole all afternoon, I know this as it was right under my own nose. It also doesn't help when you get players like Grant Holt, who has enough bulk on him to cope with most, hitting the floor with the slightest of touches.

In summary, it was a sour end to what was a great day out. After some interesting chats with the likes of, Steve Wicks, I can also reveal that 2 of Neil Warnock's targets are Darren Gibson and Christopher Samba... fingers crossed.

It's a break from the Premier League next weekend as R's, followed by 6,000 plus supporters, travel to MK Dons. Lofty Heights will be well represented and Lee will return with one of his entertaining awayday reports...

Thank you once again to Jenson and Apex Rentals for a superb day's hospitality!!

Finally, it seems a bit odd me saying this after today, but all of us here at Lofty Heights would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year!!

Come on you R'ssssssssssssssss!!!

Mach Here To Attack

Today the R's aanounced their first signing of the winter transfer window, Federico Macheda on a 6 month loan deal.

The Manchester United striker made an instant impact at Old Trafford when he scored an injury time winner against Aston Villa in just his second substitute appearance for the club.
Since then the Italian striker, 20, has struggled to break into the first team.

Macheda told the Official QPR website "I am here to train hard firstly and then I hope to play a big part in the games.

"I want to play more but I know this won't be easy. But I will work very hard for this."

We hope Kiko enjoys his spell here at the R's and scores many goals in the blue and white hoops.