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

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Barton Ban Revealed.......

Joey Barton's punishment for his crazy attack on Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany was revealed today after his FA hearing was adjourned in the early hours of this evening.


Having received his second red card of the season after he was found guilty of elbowing Carlos Tevez, albeit after the wild Argentinian played his part in enticing Barton to retaliating with an elbow to the underside of his jaw, an elbow that I'm sure some MMA fighters would of been happy with, with referee Mike Dean consulting his assistant referee and producing a straight red and lets be fair, it was fully deserved.
The events that followed were crazy, Barton then kneed Aguero in the hamstring/gluteus maxiumus area and and he was confronted by Vincent Kompany then offered his head to the Belgian International as he continued his walk off the pitch as he was led off by former team mate Micah Richards and fellow QPR staff members.

This has led the FA to charging Barton with two counts of violent conduct, again lets be fair they are fully deserved and as a result Barton has been given an additional EIGHT game ban and fined £75,000 or a weeks wages, that will really hurt the purse strings!!!

So lets get this straight Barton has been handed a twelve game ban for violent conduct, yet Luiz Suarez's racism earlier in the season was only deemed worthy of an eight game ban....... is violent conduct worthy of a greater punishment than being racist to a fellow professional?? If so then this is a very bad example to set in the professional game where racism has no part in our game and youngsters will look upon it that being racist is not such a bad thing after all, as long as they do not physically harm an opponent.

After the Euro's are over John Terry stands his trial in court as he was caught on TV being racist to a fellow professional, which was a lot more than the evidence given against Luiz Suarez, so once this is concluded will the FA punish John Terry with an even harsher fine that will set an example to all the professionals in the game and fellow aspiring youngsters............ you can guarantee this, the FA will not hit Terry with a worthy punishment purely because he is an England International and is seemingly untouchable.


Do we have a footballing governing body that treats everyone equally? Quite simply no, they will back the people who they wish to, as with the Wayne Rooney incident when he kicked out at an opponent yet they have got behind Rooney and fought the ban to get it reduced even though his violent conduct was an act of idiocy and was given the right punishment for.
How long will the FA wear their rose tinted glasses and punish those who they feel have no worth to them and those who bring a revenue to them they protect.

I'm not backing Barton's actions by any means and I feel he deserves a hefty fine and a ban but the example that the forefront of English Football are setting is highly questionable, I just wish they would deal with things equally and treat massive issues like racism more seriously with heavier punishments involved so that it is finally kicked out of our great game.

Rant Over.

I hope you continue to enjoy the summer break.


Monday, May 21, 2012

The Clear Out Begins.......

Today Mark Hughes started his work for next year as eight players were told that their contracts would not be extended and four others were told that they were still part of his plans.

Player of the Year Clint Hill, Akos Buzsaky and Radek Cerny have all been offered one year deals to remain at the club, whilst it has been revealed that Kieron Dyer has already signed up ready for next year, hopefully next season will last longer for him.


The eight players being shown the door are Peter Ramage, Danny Gabbidon, Danny Shittu, Fitz Hall, Gary Borrowdale(finally!!), Lee Cook, Rowan Vine and Patrick 'Dave' Agyemang.

Of the eight players that leave us, I would like to wish seven of you all the best in finding new clubs for next season as you have been fantastic servants to the club. As for Gary Borrowdale, I think he would be very lucky finding another club so my advice to him would be....... get down the job centre tomorrow as I'm sure there's plenty of jobs going at McDonalds or Burger King that you would be suited to.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Lofty Heights Awards 2012

As promised by Lofty in his Stoke report the Lofty Heights awards are here with some more weird and wonderful awards from what has been an eventful journey in our first season back in the Premier League.

With Neil Warnock starting off as our manager, taking us to Goodison Park and securing our first win in the Premier League before pushing Manchester City to the limit in the 3-2 defeat and then slowly tumbling down the table until Tony Fernandes and the board felt fit to make a change and bring in Mark Hughes to freshen things up and try to change the clubs fortunes. An incredible run has seen us go into the final game of the season with our destiny in our own hands, at least a draw against Man City will secure our Premier League status, if we fail then we will be praying for Bolton to not win at Stoke. Either way we have not done things the easy way or the hard way, we have done this the QPR way. R's fans are always left on the edge of their seats and never really know if the genius' in our team will come to light or whether we'll press the self destruct button, as we have done on many occasions with our ridiculous amount of red cards accumulated. 

Anyways, enough of the refelction, lets get on with the awards.

LH Player of the Season -  Clint Hill picked up the majority vote whilst Jess and PK voted for Jamie Mackie

LH Away Day of the Season - Up until the Man City game it was Stoke away but after the emotions of Sunday and avoiding relegation and celebrating with Man City winning the title and enjoying the friendly atmosphere afterwards it was a day to remember for all the right reasons.

LH Best Home Game of the Season - Liverpool at home was a pivotal moment in our season and gained just one more vote than Chelsea at home.

LH Goal of the Season - Tommy Smith vs Wigan

LH 'Lets go absolutely mental and hug everyone' celebration of the season - This was a close one but it has to be when the second goal went in at the Etihad the whole away end erupted. Again at the final whistle the celebrations between the QPR and Man City fans was just amazing, I've never been to a game of football where both teams left the ground feeling as happy as we all did. This was followed by the moment when Cisse scored the last minute goal against Stoke Loftus Road absolutely erupted. A close third was Liverpool when Cisse scored the second and Mackie grabbing a late winner left us all nursing bruises that lasted for nearly a week.

LH Fan of the Year - Lofty. He only missed one away day all year and that was not because he wanted to miss it.

The Geographical Genius of the Year - This has to go to Luke for his comment of "Is Wigan Pier near the Sea??" Wigan is only 25 miles away from the coast but you was close.......

The Strongest Bladder Award - This really is a no contest! Jess holds the record for asking to stop twice on the A14 at two separate garages within ten minutes. Jess also used the toilet at each Premier League ground at least twice. We will be calling in the Guiness Book of Records next year to see if she can beat this feat.

The Accidental Massacring of a Pheasant Award - Lee. On our way to Norwich the journey to Carrow Road will be remembered for two reasons. Firstly I picked up a speeding ticket but just before a mobile camera caught me I had "accidentally" beheaded/squashed and made a pheasant explode into a ball of feathers and leaving its sorry self laid on the road side ready to be a roadkill dinner for some lucky person. I tried to miss it.... honest.

The Most Eventful Season - Sam wins this hands down. Sam attended the first five games of the season before taking time out to give birth to two beautiful baby boys, Noah and Louie, and then returning to the terraces just two weeks later to see us lose at Anfield.

The Latecomer of the Year - This crown has been successfully defended once again by California Hoop. California Hoop has not been so bad this year but his second half arrival during a game this season has sealed the deal for a third year in a row.

Corporate Fan of the Year - This again usually is a once sided affair but Corp has been pushed to the limit this year by Jenson. Corp just about wins the title this year as he has attended more away games in the Corporate boxes but Jenson will be looking to gain the award next season.

The Connect 4 Champion - Goes to PK as he defeated all comers during the recent night out after the Tottenham game.

The Soppy Hat of the Year Award - Lofty started the soppy hat trend at the Aston Villa game at the beginning of February and with the weather taking a nice turn earlier than usual, the trend did not spread very far, however watch this space next year as I feel Lofty could bring a few surprises our way with his choice of headgear.

The Away Day Sleeper of the Year - Luke very rarely lasts more than ten minutes..... I mean in terms of staying awake, when being a back seat passenger to away games. A record of just leaving the driveway was set on our ridiculously early trip to Wigan at the beginning of the season.

The 'Enjoying the Teacups at Alton Towers whilst at the Brittania Stadium' Award - At our Stoke away trip Smithy went off to find a pub before getting into the ground and ended up tagging himself, Lofty and Jenson on the teacups. One of those 'you had to be there' entertaining moments.

The 'I'm on Holiday when I should be at QPR' Award - Jenson has missed numerous games this year due to being away on holiday in Cyprus, Las Vegas and Tenerife this season.

The Ticket Tout of the Year Award - This goes to PK after being unfortunate enough to miss games through the duty of work and had no choice in missing those games. All tickets were successfully sold.

The Prediction King - Lofty retained his 'I Know the Score' title for the second year running. Well done sir

The Fanstasy Football Queen - Jess in her first Fantasy Football year won the Lofty Heights league, but only just!!

That concludes the awards for this year.

I wish you all well during the summer, at least more football is around the corner to entertain us with the Euro's starting in 4 weeks time.

We all await eagerly for the 18th June when the fixtures for the 2012/13 season get released, I cannot wait!!!!

Have a brilliant summer and we will see you all here again soon!

U R'SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

An Emotional Day

Today the R's faithful travelled to Manchester City knowing either a draw or just Bolton failing to win would ensure survival and secure our Premier League status. Man City on the other hand knew that they had to just match Man United's result at Sunderland and that would secure their first league title in 44 years. An emotional day was sure to be ahead of us.

The Lofty Heights gang left in the customary two car formation as we both hit the road at 10am and the gang got together at the M6 Toll services at just past 11.30. Myself and Jess enjoyed a nice Costa breakfast as Sam and Luke picked up a few treats from the other services facilities. Jenson, Lofty and PK soon followed us in and we all gathered around the table and discussed the emotions all of us were feeling, it's safe to say that I was the only one out of the seven of us that was calm and confident that today would unfold as we would want it and we would remain in the Premier League club.
We arrived at the Etihad Stadium at 1.30 and parked in the stadium car park before making our way to our entrance and parted ways with Sam and Luke as they were in the Lower Tier. The rest of us made the climb to the Upper Tier and went straight to the bar to settle everyone's pre match nerves with an alcoholic beverage, which in all fairness tasted bloody horrible and did not do the nerves of Lofty, Jess, PK or Jenson any good at all.


Before the game Lorna successfully completed the Moonwalk in London in support for Breast Cancer. Lorna knocked an hour off her personal best and I'm sure was all plastered up from all the blisters and was sat ready to watch the game.
Well done Lorna from all of us here!!


Well how can I describe the game as we've all watched it and lived every minute, but I will be brief about it.

The R's set their stall out and the game plan was obvious to everyone, stay solid in midfield and at the back whilst committing little and trying to make the most of any counter attack that we had.
The plan seemed to work for 38 minutes but then City broke the deadlock.
Yaya Toure played a one-two with Zabaleta and the right back poked the ball at Paddy Kenny and his wrists were not strong enough to push the ball over the bar, instead the ball looped up and went in off the post.
Luke's advice to Paddy is that over the summer he should go on a wank fest and strengthen his wrists up ready for next season.

At half time we entered the concourse with the news that Stoke had equalized against Bolton to make it 2-2, however this was false and Bolton were still 2-1 in front at the break... as things stood we were being relegated. We all stood on the concourse with everyone's nerves shot to bit whilst I still, somehow, remained calm and knew that 45 minutes is a long time in football and there were plenty of twists and turns to endure yet.

Three minutes into the half and that faith had been restored by everyone. Wright-Phillips long ball was not dealt with by Lescott and Cisse latched onto the ball and hit it on the half volley into the bottom corner. Chaotic celebrations followed, you could sense the relief lift from the away end.
We have come accustomed to sendings off this season and what we really didn't need is a moment of indiscipline, unfortunately that is what we got.
Joey Barton rather stupidly elbowed Carlos Tevez and this was spotted by the referee's assistant and was rightly given a red card. What followed is just baffling. Why would you after being sent off, then go and knee someone in the back and then attempt a headbutt at someone else, just madness and he will get a lengthy ban for it and deservedly so.
Two minutes later and that frustration/despair turned into pure elation.
Traore skipped past Kompany like he wasn't there and advanced down the left wing before delivering a beautiful cross to the far post to the unmarked Mackie and the Scottish International threw himself at it, headed the ball into the floor and into the roof of the net. 2-1 and the celebrations were even wilder than when we scored the first, absolutely crazy!!!


In the 80th minute the news filtered through that Stoke had made it 2-2 at the Britannia, thus meaning that a three goal swing would have to occur to mean we would get relegated.
The R's resolutely held on and in the 92nd minute the R's dugout started celebrating, they found out that Bolton had drawn at Stoke and our survival was assured. Now it was the small matter of where the title would go.
With the fans and maybe the players now with a little less focus saw Dzeko equalise and the title race was well and truly on.
In the 94th minute Aguero stole a yard in the penalty area after Balotelli poked the ball through to him and stroked the ball home..... the title was City's!


In some fantastic scenes after the game the City fans were celebrating winning the league whilst we celebrated staying in the league. Both sets of fans showed appreciation to one another as City fans applauded us staying up whilst all the R's fans stayed to see City lift the trophy and give the City fans their own standing ovation.


As all of us left the top tier we were greeted by Man City fans offering their hands and sharing the joy with us all.
It didn't stop there, as we were walked down the street on our way back to the car the City fans were shaking our hands, plenty of man love was on show.... at one point PK and myself were offered 20quid for our QPR shirts, we kindly rejected, you can never give up the shirt of the club you love.
We all got back to the car and made our way to the first service station so that we could feed ourselves and finally Lofty and Jenson would be able to eat as they had previously been too nervous to stomach anything all day.
We all then said our goodbyes in the car park and took to our journey down the M6 and home.

Today has been a memorable day and once again we have seen a trophy presentation, its the fourth or fifth year running now I think? I'm happy that today not only we stayed up but City won the title. City fans, despite their nervousness throughout the game are one of the most passionate around and are definately more loyal fans than those reds around the corner. Not are they loyal, they actually support their local team and that was evident as once we got outside of Manchester the traffic has gone, whereas a few weeks ago we were racing them down the M6 towards Surrey.
The respect shared between both sets of fans at the end is what football is all about, yes we support different clubs and share our passion in the stands but at the final whistle we are all human and share a love for the beautiful game.

I'd like to say my thanks to all the loyal readers over the past year, without you myself and Lofty would be writing to ourselves. Thanks to the Lofty Heights gang, our Saturday's together are always entertaining, full of laughs and really make the day at football a day that I look forward to every time we have a fixture.
Lofty, Jess, Sam, Luke, PK, Corp, California Hoop, Jenson, Jack, Iceman, Nik, Lorna and everyone else that I've had the pleasure of sharing this season with, thank you very much and I look forward to enjoying another season with you all next year!

Lastly I'd just like to say a final thanks to Lofty. Your help and partnership that we have on here certainly seems to be a winning combination and I'm looking forward to sharing another year of twists and turns on here in what will hopefully be a lesser stressful season for us.

Have a great summer!!

I leave you with a quote we will all remember from last year and sums up today..... "The sky is blue, everything is blue"


Monday, May 07, 2012

Pure Emotion...

QPR 1-0 Stoke

QPR's Premier League survival quest took another twist as a late goal from Djibril Cisse gave the R's a vital three points, in what was an emotional game at Loftus Road on Sunday...

The gang finally all assembled outside the Blue and White bar, but previously, Lee, Jess, Sam and Luke had taken in the now traditional pre match Nandos, PK went straight in after some, as stated, awful fish and chips,  Corp was late on parade and with Jenson on a stag weekend in Tenerife, Laura was the Special guest today and we had a drink with Smithy in the Springbok. California Hoop was sadly, a no show.

Well, we all knew this was another must win game, but in these situations, I think the last team you would want to play is Stoke, who would great respect, would never lay down and roll over for anyone and their usual, physical style of play, frustrated everybody!! A horrible, horrible team!!. As you can well imagine, it certainly wasn't a game for the purists and it all of a sudden turned into a very tense and nervy afternoon. Especially as news was filtering through that Bolton had gone into a 2-0 lead at home to WBA.

Nerves were almost shattered as Jerome sliced his effort wide from Crouch's knock down when he really should have scored after just 4 minutes. Chances for the R's were few and far between - Taarabt's free kick was spilled by the keeper and Barton hit the side netting with the rebound. Barton himself had a decent header saved by Sorenson and a curling effort flew just over.

The frustration continued into the second half and if anything, Stoke were having the better chances, with Fuller firing just wide their best of note. The impressive Taarabt was almost single handedly trying to win the game and had two decent efforts. With 13 minutes to go, Sorensen pulled off a superb save to deny Cisse, who headed Taiwo's superb centre towards the corner of the net. Rangers were now pressing hard for that all important winner and at this stage, Bolton were leading 2-1.

On 89 minutes, Rangers forced their seventh corner of the game which Taarabt took, Anton Ferdinand flicked the ball into the path of Djibril Cisse who stroked the ball home from close range to cause complete bedlam in the home stands - I have never heard a noise quite like it!!!

As we all started to calm down and nurse our bruises, news was coming through that West Brom had levelled at 2-2 at the Reebok. Loftus Road was now having a massive party and following some nervy moments in the 5 minutes of stoppage time, the final whistle blew...

QPR: Kenny, Hill, Derry (Wright-Phillips 82), Taarabt, Mackie, Buzsaky (Cisse 51), Barton, Taiwo, Ferdinand, Onuoha, Zamora (Bothroyd 82). Subs not used: Cerny, Hall, Gabbidon, Traore.

Man of the Match - with only Lee and Jess opting differently with Cisse and Barton respectively, Adel Taarabt got the vote from the rest of us after giving his absolute all for the cause. A superb display from the Moroccan midfielder!!

In summary, it was just pure emotion. The gang descended on the Springbok after the match for a couple of celebratory drinks and possible permutations were discussed, especially if Blackburn were to beat Wigan this evening. But for now, I will keep it as simple as I can. Bolton, HAVE to beat Stoke at Stoke, a draw will NOT be enough for them. The R's travel to Man City who can clinch the title...

After watching last season's Survival Sunday on Sky Sports, I sat there in hope that we would not be involved in anything so tense and dramatic. It's going to be quite a day...

For you fans of Jeff Stelling and his Soccer Saturday programme, please click the following link and enjoy the moment where Rangers get their late winner.... BRILLIANT!!!

And finally, with it being Lee's turn to collate the annual LH awards, this was my final outing of the season. Lofty Heights has once again had some jaw dropping viewing figures and we couldn't be happier. It has made myself and Lee extremely proud so -  Thank you all so much for your continued support!! We are glad you like our ramblings. They are alternative and sometimes controversial, but we strive to make them different and bring you the whole match day experience. Stats prove we are definitely doing something right, so thank you all once again!!

From a personal point of view, I would like to thank Lee for his continued hard work and dedication which have led to some unique and legendary away reports. Thanks mate!! Also, a big thank you to the gang - Jenson, PK, Corp, Lee, Jess, Sam, Luke, Lorna, Smithy and California Hoop along with many Special guests along the way -  I really, couldn't wish for a better group of friends to go to football with and share our love and passion for our great Club, Queens Park Rangers. All individuals in their own right but all great, great people and great friends!! Thanks guys!!

Have a good summer all and COME ON YOU R'SSSSS!!!!!