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

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

Saturday, October 27, 2012

R's Gunned Down

The R's traveled to the Emirates today to take on an out of sorts Arsenal side that have put in a few awful performances over the last week and seemingly were there for the taking.
The Lofty Heights gang traveled in optimism.

With me nursing an infected ankle, it was Luke who took control of the wheel and drove Jess, Sam, my cousin Matt (attending his second game in a row during his holiday over from Australia) and myself to Cockfosters tube station. As we exited our usual car park, due to it being full, we saw Jenson and Lofty in the all new Stadium Wireless car and found a new place to park, behind Cockfosters Cricket Club. As we took the short walk to the station we saw a few of the Arsenal Ladies Football Team parking in the same place, little did we know that they were going to be on the pitch at half time!
During our tube journey we were entertained by a person (I won't mention ethnicity) but he was tap dancing at the end of our carriage and then asked anyone to put any chance in what looked like a bag that he got from his shopping at the Pound Shop. One he finished he started begging for a cleaning job, luckily for us our stop at Arsenal arrived so we could escape without hearing another word.
We made our way to the ground and Sam waited Perry as we entered the ground to deal with our Pie Rating duties. More on that later.

Mark Hughes was forced into one change from last weeks draw against Everton.
Ji-Sung Park failed a late fitness test(thankfully!) and he was replaced  by SWP.
Ryan Nelsen took over the duties as captain, finally a proper leader of men to organize us out on the pitch!

Lorna took her seat a few minutes into the game.
The first half started with Arsenal playing their usual patient style of play and just keeping the ball away from the R's midfield and it wasn't until the 4th minute that Rangers' actually managed to get hold of the ball and start to find their own rhythm in the game.
Arsenal rarely threatened and when they managed to break past Bosingwa, as all their play was coming down he Arsenal left, their cross was always into the arms of Cesar or floated high over Giroud.
Arsenal did begin to lightly pepper the R's goal but often found Cesar to tough to beat as the Brazilian  set out to frustrate the silent home crowd.
Arsenal had their chance halfway through the half as yet another cross from the left found Giroud and his deft touch was parried out by Cesar before he threw a leg at the ball ad made a second clearance to keep his clean sheet in tact.
Rangers' had very few chances in the first half and were often left wanting a better final ball from Bosingwa or Wright-Phillips to the lonely Zamora awaiting in the box.

At half time we stayed in our seats rather than battling our way around the concourse. by this time our feet were like ice blocks and were doing anything we could t try and keep some warmth within us.

The second half started with the R's coming out all guns blazing and really started to get at and trouble the Arsenal defence.
There were a few close offside calls given against Hoilett and Zamora before Hoilett was seemingly harshly adjudged to of been offside when he looked level, before he controlled and coolly lifted the ball over Mannone's head and into the back of the net.
Shortly after the R's broke away with Hoilett, Taarabt and Zamora and carved open the Arsenal defence before Hoilett played Zamora clean through but for some reason Bobby has forgotten what offside is and ruined what would've been Rangers' best chance of going 1-0 up.
Arsenal slowly managed to get a foothold on the game in the midfield but were finding Ryan Nelson, Stepane M'Bia and Julio Cesar in unbeatable form.
With 10 minutes to go the R's had the self destruct button pressed.
M'Bia was shoved the floor by Vermaelen in the corner and the Cameroonian kicked out at the Belgian in an act that sums him up by his nickname, Le Penis!
This meant that we had to survive the final 15 minutes with 10 men, not something you want to do against an Arsenal side that are desperate for a win.
Low and behold with 6 minutes to go Arsenal took the lead, somewhat controversially!
Cesar made two fantastic saves, firstly from Olivier Giroud and then the following shot was parried before Arteta came from behind Cesar to head against the bar and then poked home the rebound from two yards out. Arteta is clearly offside when the ball is played on the rebounded shot but for some reason the linesman and referee have failed to do their jobs and have ended up putting the R's hopes of grabbing a point well and truly up the spout!

Take a look for yourselves.................

Rangers' had a late flurry at the end and in the final moments Mackie somehow powered his way through the Arsenal defence and prodded his shot straight at Mannone, a real chance to get the point the R's throughly deserved. From where I was sitting it seemed easier to square the ball to Cisse, but I will wait and see if it was possible on Match of the Day tonight.

Once again the R's were left cursing their luck as an offside goal has cost them dearly. However there is no excuse for M'Bia's stupid sending off. He had already won the foul and potentially gained a yellow card for Vermaelen, however we've ended up at a disadvantage despite having the free kick in our favour.
We need to take a few more risks going forward as we are very light going forwards and rarely hit any team with any counter attacks. Having Zamora up front on his own is leaving him very isolated and the support from Hoilett, Taarabt and SWP today was not quick enough. We need to have our attacking players breaking away at pace and threatening opposing defenders. I would love to see us play with Hoilett on the right, Taarabt on the left with Zamora playing just behind Cisse, this would create more of an attacking threat and when Diakite and Granero break forwards also it would give us more options to really do some damage.
The way things are going we need to make our own luck and not wait for it to come our way.

Man of the Match was an easy decision for us all today. Julio Cesar had an absolutely outstanding game and prevented Arsenal from scoring on many occasions, making three or four last ditch saves that were world class. A mention must go to Ryan Nelsen, who as stand in captain, was a rock at the heart of the R's defence and led the team forwards and kept us together as a unit. Park, if you are reading this, that is how you captain a team!!

  • 33 Julio Cesar
  • 03 Traore (Onuoha - 73' )
  • 17 Nelsen
  • 19 Bosingwa
  • 02 Diakite
  • 10 Taarabt Booked
  • 11 Wright-Phillips (Mackie - 79' )
  • 14 Granero Booked
  • 40 M'bia Dismissed
  • 23 Hoilett
  • 25 Zamora (Cisse - 72' )


  • 01 Green
  • 05 Ferdinand
  • 15 Onuoha
  • 22 Ephraim
  • 32 Faurlin
  • 09 Cisse
  • 12 Mackie

I mentioned earlier that we took to the kiosk and went for our usual pie treat and this is how the ratings look -

Lofty went for the Chicken Balti option and gave it a 6.8. Very crusty and a tad too salty.

Jenson went for the Peppered Steak pie and gave it a 7. Again very crusty and very salty.

I went for the Peppered Steak also and have given it a 5. Very crusty and more like a salty steak pie than a peppered steak. One of the worst for me this season.

This gives Arsenal a Pie Rating Average of 6.26.

I will return next week with the report from the game against the team I absolutely hate, Reading!

I will be at the start of my Movember journey for this game and will keep you updated on how this is progressing. If anyone would like to sponsor me then please visit my Movember page and make your donation, however big or small, it's for a good cause!
My page is

Keep the faith!!!

U R'SSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Rangers Find Toffees Sticky...

QPR 1-1 Everton

The search for QPR's first Premier League win of the season continues, as the R's were held 1-1 at home by a spirited Everton side in front of the Sky cameras at Loftus Road this afternoon.

With Lee and Jess only returning this morning from their holiday in Cyprus, I have stepped in to write this one and let Lee have a night off. Personally, I don't like Sunday games, Saturday is football day, end of story. So I left a little later than usual and arrived just after 3pm, meeting up with Jenson before joining the Koreans outside the Stadium. Lee, Lorna, Sam, Luke and cousin Matt from Australia duly arrived, Matt attending is first Premier League game and we were all hoping he would bring us some luck. Last but not least, PK arrived, also fresh from 2 weeks in the Dominican Republic, but also arrived an engaged man as he popped the question to Jo whilst over there. By all accounts, the ever romantic PK wasn't exactly on one knee, but decided to take his chance whilst on both knees and rummaging through his insurance papers!! Either way and more importantly, the Lady said YES so massive congratulations to the both of you! Great News from two great people!!!

Onto the game and the R's got off to a fantastic start - Hoilett broke away at pace following an Everton corner and with everyone screaming for him to pass to a free Taarabt on the left, he fired a 30 yard effort that clipped Leighton Baines foot and looped into the net!

The early goal and bit of luck was just what Rangers needed and for 30 minutes, it would be fair to say the R's were in total control. Taarabt and Hoilett were causing all sorts of problems, Nelsen headed over a corner and a Traore cross evaded everyone when just waiting to be tapped home. But Everton were back on level terms on 33 minutes with a slice of fortune almost as big as the one Rangers had for their opening goal - Pienaar's free kick was met by the unmarked Distin who headed onto the post, only for the ball to bounce onto the diving Cesar and into the net. Again a defensive error costing us dearly. Soon after, Jelavic was tripped by Mbia in the box but the referee was having none of it when in honesty, it looked a clear penalty. Jagielka then headed against the bar and Rangers had gone to pieces since the goal. The half time whistle was met with much relief, despite a half chance from Hoilett going begging.

Although it was Everton that started the 2nd period the better, it was Rangers that nearly took the lead when Diakete dragged the ball back to Ji Sung Park who saw his goalbound effort superbly blocked by Jagielka. Things got worse for the Toffees on 60 minutes when Pienaar received his 2nd yellow card following a clumsy challenge on Boswinga.

Rangers looked to take full advantage and Zamora shot straight at Howard. At the other end, Mirallas saw his powerful effort deflected over by Mbia. Junior Hoilett again brought a great save from Howard and with twenty minutes to go, he wriggled into the box and forced Howard to parry his effort into the path of Granero, who blasted over when he really should have squared it to either Hoilett or Cisse who were eagerly awating the tap in.

Cisse was denied by Howard moments later when one on one, but the referee, who in truth was having a poor game, probably levelled things up when he waved away what looked a nailed on penalty when Hoilett was clipped in the box by Coleman.

Queens Park Rangers

  • 33 Julio Cesar
  • 03 Traore (Onuoha - 72' )
  • 17 Nelsen (Ferdinand - 83' )
  • 19 Bosingwa
  • 02 Diakite
  • 07 Park Ji-sung
  • 10 Taarabt
  • 14 Granero - LH Man of the Match
  • 40 M'bia
  • 23 Hoilett
  • 25 Zamora (Cisse - 71' )
  • Subs
  • 01 Green
  • 05 Ferdinand
  • 15 Onuoha
  • 11 Wright-Phillips
  • 32 Faurlin
  • 09 Cisse
  • 12 Mackie
Man of the Match - 3 main contenders today, with 2 votes going to Samba Diakete, 3 votes going to Junior Hoilett but the winner, with 4 votes is Esteban Granero.

In summary, this was a much better performance than in recent weeks but sadly some of the same frustrations remain with a defensive error costing us dearly yet again and it seemed at times that Rangers were far more intent to walk the ball into the net rather than anything else. Junior Hoilett being the exception with that comment. Take nothing away from Everton, who are in no doubt a decent side and maybe Rangers could learn a lot from the way the Toffees superbly defended today. A win would have been most welcome, but a draw a fair result on the day I think...

After the game, we were astounded by the hundreds and hundreds of Korean fans all waiting for the apperance of Ji Sung Park, or his mate, John Si Park who Jenson seems to know. It is quite incredible just how much euphoria there is over this player. Although Djibril Cisse must have thought all the commotion was indeed for him, when he asked the QPR Security staff to escort him to his car as he didn't want to be stopped or see anyone. Needless to say he walked  undisturbed to his car and maybe should consider taking his head out of his arse before doing so in future. Very sad to see a QPR player behaving this way...

And finally, if you are driving around and see a someone who looks like Jose Bosingwa in a Smart Car and think, surely a Premier League player wouldn't drive such a car and it could not have been him? Let's just say, it probably was...

Lee is returning the compliment and will take the reporting reigns at the Emirates next week as QPR travel to Arsenal...

Come on You R'ssssssssssssss!!!!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Lofty Heights on Tour Again...

We are delighted to have been asked by the guys at the excellent to do a guest preview for this Sunday's game between QPR and Everton and of course, we were only too happy to oblige.

It's a great read and I can well recommend you take the time to have a peruse at some excellent work by the guys.

Thanks again for giving us the opportunity! For the LH preview, please click here -

Come on You R'sssssssssssss!!!

Sunday, October 07, 2012

No Boing at the Baggies..

West Brom 3-2 QPR

QPR were yet again masters of their own downfall yesterday, going down 3-2 to in-form West Brom at the Hawthorns.

Despite an early setback for myself in local traffic, myself and Jenson breezed through the journey and arrived just before 2pm, where we met up with Lee, Jess and Luke at the normal and what we call, the turban car park. Sadly, regular travellers Sam and PK were missing today, with Sam on parental duties and PK holidaying with Jo in the Dominican Republic.

Our late arrival took us straight into the ground and onto a busy concourse, where myself, Lee, Jenson and Luke did our bit for the LH Premier League Pie Ratings. We were then joined by Lorna who had driven down from Hull. When the team news filtered through, we all seemed more confident of getting something, with Boswinga and Ferdinand returning from injury and back into the R's defence. Ferdinand, was somewhat strangely booed by a small section of Albion fans.

Onto the game and Albion started like a train and in the 5th minute, took the lead and the R's defence frailties were in full effect yet again - Shane Long's pace found Clint Hill lacking on the right before sending over a superb cross to find the unmarked Morrison who headed home. Too easy!! It could and should have been two just 5 minutes later, when again, a cross from the right found Shane Long who ballooned the ball over the bar with the goal at his mercy.

The second goal finally came on 22 minutes, when Morrison drove in a low cross, again from the right, Ferdinand made a hash of his clearance that fell straight to Gera who made no mistake. The game was almost identical to that of Monday's with West Ham, even more so when Adel Taarabt pulled a goal back for the R's on 35 minutes - Granero chipped the ball forward and Adel took it on chest before firing home an unstoppable volley, a superb goal and Rangers were somehow back in the game. An extremely deflated Jenson could hardly find the enthusiasm to celebrate.

Just before the break, Gera found himself through on goal but a superb stop from Cesar stopped the Baggies regaining their two goal advantage. The half time whistle soon followed and in truth, this game should have been long put to bed.

No surprise really that Traore replaced Hill on the left for the second half and Rangers looked much improved. Taarabt tested Foster and Shaun Wright-Phillips hit the side netting when he really should have done better. West Brom now seemed nervous and Rangers began to take charge, but for all the possession, just could not break through a well organised Albion defence.

They nearly extended their lead on 80 minutes when Morrison's superb drive went just wide, but the third wasn't long in coming and decent passing move saw Mulumbu finish with ease from close range.

That should have finished Rangers off, but surprisingly, we hit back and Granero reduced the deficit with a lovely curler from 12 yards out in the last minute. But an unlikely point could well have been gained with the last kick of the game, when a scrambled corner fell to Boswinga, who, with the goal gaping and the headlines written, blasted over from 6 yards out.

QPR: Cesar, Ferdinand, Hill (Traore 46), Park, Taarabt, Wright-Phillips (Mackie 58), Granero, Nelsen, Bosingwa, Zamora, Mbia (Mbia 70). Subs: Green, Cisse, Onuoha, Faurlin.
Man of the Match - Adel Taarabt had another excellent game, capped off with another excellent goal, but with a clean sweep from all of us and surprisngly, a defender, with Ryan Nelsen getting the vote for a solid performance in his own position, as well of offering plenty of cover on the left hand side throughout.
In  summary and I will be brief and just like the West Ham game, if you defend like that and only play for 45 minutes, you are going to be beaten, end of story. Basic things we were getting completely wrong and yet again, cost us dearly. Taking nothing at all away from West Brom, who are a team in great form and took their chances to gain a deserved three points.
Away Day Pie Rating -
The Chicken Balti sampled by myself, Jenson and Lee and the Chicken and Mushroom by Luke;
Myself - could have been presented warmer, but other than that, ok - 7
Lee - could have been warmer  - 6
Jenson - pastry a bit too moist - 6
Luke - good, but pastry a tad dry - 7
Giving WBA a total pie rating of 6.5/10
To end the disappointment of the day, myself and Jenson descended on Wycombe Wanderers for a charity bash, in which R's Legend, Gareth Ainsworth joined the excellent local band, Subrosa5 for an 8 song set. Not only did Gaz deliver 3 points for his team earlier in the day, he delivered on stage too with some superb vocals - my personal faves were 'I Can't Explain' and the Doors classic, 'Light my Fire', in which huge Doors fan, Gaz fulfilled some personal ambition by singing this.
There are some great people down at that club and we all had a great evening. The Jager swigging Jenson took off into town after the gig with some of the Wycombe press team and I headed for home. But I must say how welcome we were made to feel and I am so happy the night was a big success for the Charities involved.
We now head into the International Break and Lee and Jess are setting off for a week or so in sunny Cyprus. They return on the morning of the Everton game and if he has the energy, Lee will look back at what is another massive game for QPR. Hopefully, the break will do us all some good..
Come on You R'sssssssssssssss!!!

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Keep The Faith

Last night the R's continued their search for the first win of the season with Rangers' entertaining West Ham in front of the Sky TV cameras for Monday Night Football.

In a desperate attempt to change our fortunes, Jess and myself opted for the ever lucky pre-match Nandos ritual. Once we finished our treat Jess headed to Westfield for some light retail therapy whilst I headed to the ground to meet Lofty and Jointy.
We got in the ground full of optimism and once we saw that our most influential player Hoilett was left on the bench which left us rather baffled.

The R's got off to the worst possible start after some shocking defending in the third minute.
Vaz Te played a one-two with Nolan before the latter hooked a ball over to the far post and Jarvis looked as if he was going to nod the ball back to Carlton Cole for a tap in but the Hammers record signing mis-cued his header and it somehow found it's way into the bottom right corner. The goal was awful, we were caught short down the left hand side with Hill and Park very static as Vaz Te played around them and then Onuoha left Jarvis unmarked before turning his back on the ball and not even making an attempt to clear the danger after Jarvis made his header.
Things really didn't get much better as the West Ham midfield three of Diame, Nolan and Noble were over running our pairing of Faurlin and Granero and received little help from Park who was looking lost out on the left wing, he's not a winger and should not be out there! Wright-Phillips was creating some trouble down the right wing, however this did leave Onuoha exposed at times as West Ham looked to hit us on the counter attack.
Rangers' did manage to create a few chances in the first half, with the best one falling to Zamora as he headed over from eight yards.
Winston Reid took a nasty elbow from his team mate Jaaskelainen as he punched a ball clear, leaving Reid knocked out on the floor for several minutes and luckily walking from the field before being replaced by a former R's transfer target James Tomkins.
On 35 minutes the R's defensive frailties were exposed again.
This time a corner was momentarily scrambled clear before Tomkins managed to beat Park's outstretched leg and the cross floated to the back post as Mbia let the ball go over his head, completely unaware that Vaz Te was there to slide and put his effort towards goal. Mbia did manage to deflect the shot, but unfortunately for the R's he deflected it over Cesar's hands as the keeper had the shot covered but the deflection took it over Cesar and it was 2-0 West Ham.

At half time the gang were the most deflated they have been all year as this was the worst that the R's had played all season. Lofty and Jenson took to the kiosk to have their dinner as they came to Loftus Road straight from work, only to find that once again all the hot food had sold out for the second game running! So not only are the results not happening but the catering has become as poor as our defending.

We all reluctantly made our way back to our seats for the second half to see that no changes had been made, you would expect that we'd want to make at least a change to try and turn the game around, especially with players like Hoilett and Taarabt sitting on the bench that could change our fortunes.
Things didn't get much better and finally the substitutions were made on 56 minutes.
The un-inspiring captain Park and probably our best player Wright-Phillips made way for Taarabt and Diakite.
The double change provided a spark that was lacking from the team and Diakite was soon in the thick of it and the ever inspirational Taarabt had the ball on the left hand side and cut in before taking aim and unleashing an unbelievable shot on goal that beat Jaaskelainen before the ball got anywhere near him!! Definitely the goal of the month without a question of a doubt!
The R's continued to press and were hindered by the Hammers time wasting tactics that begun with a full half an hour to go.
Soon the task in hand got even more difficult as Diakite received his second yellow card just 19 minutes after coming on. His dedication once again got him in trouble as a lunge on Diame was mistimed and the second yellow was inevitable.
During the course of the last 15 minutes any number of West Ham players could have received a second yellow to even up the sides but once again we saw the idiot that is Mark Clattenburg take centre stage and get all of the attention that he truly loves. I have one word for him and it's not a very good one!

Well it has to be said that West Ham were fully deserving of their win after a dominant first half performance and they just held strong during the second half, restricting us to shots outside the box.
For me we tactically do not have it right at the moment. Our back four last night was comprised of four centre backs, it was only that way because of the injuries to all of our full backs, however we have an enthusiastic left back in Max Ehmer that is waiting for the chance to prove himself, maybe last night he should've got that chance?
In midfield we all agree that Faurlin and Granero must start, however I feel that because of their form we are trying to accommodate Park on the left wing purely because these two cannot be dropped. However Park is not a left winger and this is where Hoilett should be starting and giving us the natural width out there, just as Wright-Phillips is doing on the right wing.
Hughes then needs to make the choice of either playing two strikers or playing one of Cisse or Zamora with Taarabt playing just behind them. Currently the first choice must be Zamora as Cisse's confidence is shot to pieces and we need to get him back firing like we know he can.
The biggest mistake was made when the 25 man squad was named and Hughes only named three strikers in the 25. It was inevitable that one of our strikers would get injured, hence why every squad has four recognized strikers in their ranks. If we had DJ Campbell in that 25 we would have that extra option we are currently crying out for, he has well and truly shot himself in the foot.

Now we have rumours that Harry Redknapp could be on his way into Loftus Road. We do not need him!
Mark Hughes has brought in a completely new structure to the club and has built our new youth academy up with the structure that we need and the new training facilities that will make this a bigger success. A new scouting system is in place with the quality players being identified for every position we need, look at the players that Hughes has brought into the club, it's his vision that they are all buying into!
Also look at our performances this season, we have caused some of the best teams in the country problems yet been unfortunate to not come away with what we deserve. We've played poorly for one game, last night, Hughes does not warrant the sack for what has happened so far this season.

Our Man of the Match was unamimous, with only Jess refusing to place a vote. Adel Taarabt picked up the award tonight, with Wright-Phillips gaining a mention from everyone.

We move on to Saturday at the Hawthorns now where we hope "our season starts now". Lofty will report on how our day pans out and hopefully a much more positive report than I've written today.

I just have three words to say........