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

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sexy Football...

QPR 2-0 Middlesbrough

QPR remain unbeaten in the Championship and three points clear at the Top of the League, following what was a comfortable and thoroughly enjoyable afternoon at Loftus Road..

Unfortunately, this is not one of Lee's legendary home reports as sadly, he is unavailable this weekend, so you will have to make do with me.. and with it being a home game, there is no pie rating this week :)

Anyway, after a quiet morning, I met and had a catch up with Jenson at 1.30, shortly followed by Lee and Jess after their visit to Nandos, before heading in at about 2.30, then joined by PK who had been held up in traffic. Once we were through the turnstiles we met Sam and Luke, with Sam enjoying what was her birthday game and we have always had a positive day out for her birthday so hopefully that was about to continue!!!! Happy Birthday Sam! Everyone seemed more than happy with the team selection but were also a tad worried about Boro, who have had no trouble scoring goals this season..

Onto the game and the R's got off to a dream start when Danny Simpson's cross was pushed out by the keeper to Joey Barton and he fired home from the edge of the box, via a slight deflection.

Referee, Darren Deadman was having a shocker and felt the wrath of the home crowd after waving away what was one of the most blatant penalties we will see this season, with Faurlin taken out when through on goal. I am still astonished by the decision!! But on 35 minutes, he had little choice but to point to the spot - Jason Steele. kept out Austin's shot, but the loose ball dropped to O'Neil and his follow-up hit Gibson's hand. Charlie Austin sent the Boro keeper the wrong way and the R's were 2 up, the first time we have scored twice in a game since the opening day.

Middlesbrough seemed intent on winding up Joey Barton, who was earlier almost knocked out in a collision of which he was furious when he got to his feet, but a drink and a chat on the sideline calmed the R's midfielder down as he continued to impress in the R's midfield.

It was safe to say we were all extremely happy at half time as an equally happy Laura joined us for a chat on the concourse.

Onto the second half and after making 2 changes, Boro rallied a bit and Jutkiewicz's shot brought a save from Rob Green, while Adomah narrowly failed to connect with Jutkiewicz's right-wing cross. But the half as a whole belonged to Rangers who turned on a performance of superb passing football, an absolute joy to watch with home debutant, Niko Kranjcar pulling the strings in the R's midfield. I really cannot remember the last time we played so well. Gary O'Neill came closest to adding the third but was denied by a superb save by Steele.

Queens Park Rangers

  • 01 Green
  • 02 Simpson
  • 05 Dunne
  • 06 Hill (Ehmer - 78' )
  • 39 Assou-Ekotto
  • 10 Carroll
  • 17 Barton
  • 19 Kranjcar (Hoilett - 83' )
  • 32 Faurlin (Henry - 79' )
  • 36 O'Neil
  • 09 Austin


  • 26 Murphy
  • 03 Traore
  • 28 Ehmer
  • 16 Jenas
  • 20 Henry
  • 23 Hoilett
  • 18 Chevanton
Man of the Match

It was one of those Special days when you just couldn't fault a player in the Blue and White Hoops at all, Rangers were superb. With this being a late call for me to do the report, I didn't collect all the nominations, but I am pretty sure it was a unanimous call, with only Trev, yet again differing, but a great choice in Richard Dunne. But this weeks award goes to our Croatian Playmaker, Nico Kranjcar.

There really isn't a lot to summarise here really, as it wasn't so much a case that Middlesbrough were poor, but how good Rangers were and R's fans have finally seen an excellent team performance to go with their excellent start to the season.

Hopefully, Lee will return next Saturday as we take on Barnsley at home before a gruelling sequence of 3 away games after the International Break..

Come on you R'sssssssssssssss!!!


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Austin Powers R's to Victory 2

Yeovil 0-1 QPR

QPR went three points clear at the top of the Championship, with another hard fought 1-0 win, this time, away at Yeovil..

I left home just after 10am to travel to Maidenhead to hook up with Jenson and PK, then later, Trev. With the forecast for much improved weather, I was almost sure I was going to wear shorts for the trip to Somerset, especially as Trev had convinced me that where he lived in Winnersh was bathed in sunshine. There was certainly a feeling I had been had as it remained dull and overcast until we hooked up with Trev at the Winnersh cinema. Gladly, PK joined me, also sporting shorts.

We decided to avoid the A303 past Stone Henge and went in via junction 17 in the M4, which proved to be a wise decision ( and Jenson was certainly living up to his nickname) as there were reports of heavy delays in the area for the same old, let's all drive slowly so we can have a look traffic.  Lee later confirmed this as we all arrived at about 2pm. After a brief catch up, Lee, Jess, Sam, Luke, PK and Trev took their places on the terraces, whilst myself and Jenson went for the seats as we had managed to get a couple of players comps.

We were discussing on the way down that this could potentially be a banana skin and 2000 R's fans took their place in a tight, but neat and tidy little stadium.

After a nervous start from both sides, Rangers had a great chance on 9 minutes but Matt Phillips finish was disappointingly dragged wide. The home side responded and the impressive Rob Green was brought into action, saving low down from Grant's effort. Austin went close for the R's moments later. but after being found on the right from Traore, his effort smashed the side netting.

Make no mistake, Yeovil were well up for this and just before the break, Green was at his best again, pushing Liam Davis effort round the post following a bit of a scramble in the box.

Green was in action again early in the second half, firstly turning behind Ralls effort and shortly after, standing firm to beat away a powerful effort from Davis. At the other end, Austin found himself some space before firing a 25 yard effort just wide. But try as they might, Yeovil found Rob Green in superb form, who this time denied Williams.

The deadlock was broken with 15 minutes to go, Austin bulldozed his way into the box before being pulled to the ground, up went the linesman's flag and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Austin picked himself up before sending the giant former Wolves keeper, Wayne Hennessey, the wrong way..

Yeovil then brought on the huge figure that was Michael Ngoo, on loan from Liverpool for the final ten minutes and although he was a huge presence, he wasn't much of a footballer and he blasted the home sides final chance harmlessly wide as Rangers held on..

Man of the Match

Almost a clean sweep, with only Trev differing from the rest of us and opting for Charlie Austin. As for the rest of, it was very hard to look any further than a superb and commanding display from Rangers No 1, Rob Green.

Queens Park Rangers

  • 01 Green
  • 02 Simpson
  • 05 Dunne
  • 06 Hill
  • 39 Assou-Ekotto
  • 10 Carroll
  • 16 Jenas
  • 36 O'Neil (Barton - 77' )
  • 03 Traore (Wright-Phillips - 60' )
  • 07 Phillips (Kranjcar - 69' )
  • 09 Austin


  • 26 Murphy
  • 28 Ehmer
  • 11 Wright-Phillips
  • 17 Barton
  • 19 Kranjcar
  • 20 Henry
  • 32 Faurlin
Awayday Pie Rating

From the seats, myself and Jenson could not fault the Pasty and did not hesitate with a perfect 10 vote. Another 10 came from Lee for the Chicken Curry Pie, which was also consumed by PK, who dropped a mark as he said it was hot and difficult to eat on the football terrace - 9.

Giving the Yeovil Pies and excellent rating of 9.75/10

In summary, yet again it was hardly a vintage performance from the R's but a win is a win and not for the first time, the spirit of this current R's side saw them cross the line. But I have to be honest, Yeovil didn't deserve to lose this and will no doubt feel very unlucky that they didn't get something from the game, but hey, we will certainly take that. It must be a warning for the rest of the Championship surely, that we are 3 points clear at the top and we really haven't played anywhere near as well as we are capable of...

Sadly at the end of the game, we didn't get to leave until 6.45pm as a fatal accident nearby led to road closures in the area. Of course, our thoughts are with those involved and credit also must be given to the Yeovil stewards for keeping everyone informed with what was going on and indeed, keeping everyone calm, well done guys.

With Anniversary celebrations to get back for, a nervous Jenson impressively got us back to Maidenhead at around 8.30pm. I had a further hour or so back from there making it a very long day, but was well worth it and was a very enjoyable football day out with the gang.

Lee will return next weekend as the R's take on Middlesbrough to hopefully extend our stay at the Top of the League, by which time, we may have either Carlton Cole or Harry Kane on board to help our thread bare forward line, just rumours at this stage of course.

Come on you R'ssssssssssss!!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Not One For The Football Purists.....

Last night the R's played host to a Brighton side that have had an indifferent start to the season. The visitors were missing their top scorer Ulloa so this provided Rangers' with the opportunity to seize the opportunity to open up a three point gap at the top of the Championship.

With this being a mid week game Jenson and myself worked in and around London in our respected jobs, with Jenson making an early arrival at 3.30pm and I was at the ground for around 5.30, a tad keen you may say!! Lofty was next to arrive shortly after myself and the three of us congregated just outside the Upper Loft entrance and had a good chinwag before making our way in the ground for a few refreshments.
It wasn't long before the three of us were joined by Michael, Zach and Pete (as well as some of Lofty's friends with names I failed to catch). As always we put the football world to rights, discussing the latest talking points including the 'Y' word etc. We then got onto the subject of the team selection and agreed that the team selected and formation was probably the best available, especially with the number of midfielders we possess within our squad.
We then discussed Bobby Zamora's exclusion from the match day squad (later to find out he's out until xams due to needing knee surgery). Pete was personally gutted as Zamora has been pushing for an inclusion into the Commonwealth Para Olympic squad....... personally I think he would be more of a hinderance to them and they are fully equipped with all they need to go and make a solid account at the Games, but it just goes to show how the level of his performance is being judged by others rather than me ranting on about him.....

Three changes were made to the side that beat Birmingham at the weekend.
Junior Hoilett and Zamora missed out through injury, whilst Tom Carroll dropped to the bench. SWP, Matty Phillips and Karl Henry took their places.

The game was an even encounter throughout the first half, with the R's making the better chances but there was a game of chess being played in the midfield and both teams found it extremely difficult to break one another down.
Matty Phillips and Charlie Austin had good chances in the opening exchanges with their efforts going wide and straight into the arms of Kuszczak respectively.
Keith Andrews had the first opportunity for Brighton as his 20 yard sweetly struck drive fizzed just over.
The R's then had Nedum Onuoha pull up after a chase with Ashley Barnes and had to be taken off with what looked like a hamstring injury. He was replaced by Benoit Assou-Ekotto, meaning that Clint Hill reverted back to a more familiar centre back role alongside Richard Dunne, with BAE moving into the left back position.
BAE made an immediate impact and was showing no signs of fatigue after his late night session on GTA 5 as his cross was superbly dummied by the hard working SWP and Charlie Austin turned before dragging his shot wide of the target.
The R's did find the back of the net when Matty Phillips excellent run and cross from an acute angle in the Brighton box evaded everyone and Joey Barton tapped home only to see the linesmans flag rise to signal offside.
Barton was then controversially penalised for two separate offenses within two minutes and on both occasions winning the ball hard but fair. The second foul ocured behind the referees back yet he reacted to the Brighton player being on the floor and wrongly booked Barton! This lead to a furious appeal by Barton and he was very lucky not to talk himself into a second booking!
The referee's performance was opitomised as he failed to spot Danny Simpson going over the top of the ball and crunching the ankle of a Brighton player. A free kick was rightly awarded despite the foul happening behind the officials back and somehow he got away without picking up a caution.

The first half was not one for the neutral and this was largely down to the midfield being battled out there and Brighton's ability to keep the ball without really offering too much attacking threat. Ashley Barnes was working hard for his team but was not receiving the supply or support of his midfield to really make a difference in the attacking third and often found Richard Dunne on hand to pick up the pieces and clear up in the R's defence.
The same can be said for Charlie Austin as he worked his socks off and often found himself coming deep to try the ball up but the midifeld were not running into the huge gaps in behind the Brighton full backs that we could probe and create more clear cut chances from.

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Brighton started the second half the better of the two teams but yet again were found wanting more in the final third and did not create too much threat to Rob Green's goal.
As the half grew the R's started to become more lively and started to create a little more in the attacking half.
Rangers' first real attempt on goal came from a Joey Barton free kick that was destined for the top corner but Kuszczak pulled off a fantastic save and tipped the ball around the post to leave the R's midfielder even more frustrated.
Mid way through the half it again looked like the R's scored when Matty Phillips managed to get his foot on the end of a bobbling ball in the area following a Barton corner. Phillips effort struck the underside of the bar and looked like it crossed the line from our angle, however the referee and his assistant failed to give the goal and the score remained 0-0.
As the minutes ticked down Richard Dunne had a great opportunity from 8 yards out but his header from a Barton corner flew well over the bar.

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Overall 0-0 is a fair result as both teams didn't really look like scoring. I'm surprised that the R's didn't gamble more at the end to try and pinch the three points but it looked like they were scared of being caught out on the Brighton counter attack that could've been an issue with the lack of pace that our two centre backs possess.
Brighton are a good technical team and do keep possession well and once they get Ulloa back and potentially strengthen their attacking options then you can definitely pushing for at least the play-offs come the end of the year.
As for the R's, we really need to give more support to Austin in the attacking third as he is working hard to hold the ball up but just isn't getting the midfielders to play off him and go behind him in the space being created by him coming in deep and leaving space in behind the opposition back four. With Johnson and Zamora now both being injured for a number of weeks we really need to bring in someone that will provide this support and get Austin on the scoresheet as he's doing everything right, he's just not getting the supply in the box where he has proven to be deadly.
It wouldn't surprise me if Harry Kane is the next arrival from Spurs before the Yeovil game at the weekend.

Onto our Man of the Match.
Once again we have found the gang split on the voting but we do just about have a winner. Luke opted for BAE who showed some good signs on his debut. Jess voted for Barton, I voted for Austin's hard working performance as Sam voted for Phillips. Trevor supplied a guest vote of SWP and an excellent display, especially with his hard work in the defensive areas. However, with votes from Lofty and Jenson, Richard Dunne is our Man of the Match for a solid performance at the heart of the R's back four.

Lofty returns on Saturday as we hit the road for the first time in a month and take the 'long ol poke' to Yeovil. How will the Somerset pies rate when we do the taste test? Stay tuned!

Adios for now!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Austin Powers R's To Victory........

After an International break that seemed to last an eternity we finally returned to Loftus Road to see if the R's could continue their unbeaten start to the season. Today's visitors were a steady Birmingham side.

Jess and myself set off at 11.30 in the hope we would get parked and around the ground early, however the M25 played it's usual card and was barely moving so we took to the back roads and eventually arrived with just enough time to grab some food before meeting Lofty and Jenson outside the Loft entrance. We had the pleasure of twitters outspoken R's fan Malcolm join us for a brief chat before we made our way into the ground and met Sam and Luke having a drink with Bob and Kris.

The team news today brought us unwelcome news as Andy Johnson missed out through injury and was replaced by the useless donkey Bobby Zamora.
Tom Carroll made his full debut for the R's, whilst Junior Hoilett made a return to the starting 11. They replaced Karl Henry and SWP.

The first half saw the R's enjoy a large portion of possession yet failed to create too many great chances in front of goal.
Hoilett saw the first shot of the game flash over the bar, whilst Charlie Austin was putting in a good shift to forge a few half chances for himself but always saw a Birmingham defender in the way to put in a last gasp block as he pulled the trigger.
Despite the R's looking the more likely to break the deadlock it was Birmingham who came the closest to opening the scoring. Lee Novak hit the inside of the post following Shinnie's centre.
Birmingham also had a glorious chance on the counter attack  and when the ball was squared to Shinnine it looked almost certain that the visitors would take the lead, however he somehow failed to hit the target and let the R's off the hook once again.
Rangers' were dealt with a blow just before half time as Junior Hoilett limped off and he was replaced by Matty Phillips who made his first appearance for the R's following his move from Blackpool.

We entered the half time interval disappointed by the opening 45 minutes, however you do have to give credit to Birmingham as they pressed all over the pitch and made it extremely hard for us to break them down. Birmingham also had the two best chances of the half, so on reflection despite having the lions share of possession we really needed something different that would create the visitors defence some issues, something that our beloved Zamora could not do if he really wanted to try. Zamora's lacklustre performance in the first half was a joke and really highlights that he could not give a monkeys about our team and is happy to take home his ridiculously large wage packet at the end of each and every week! The man is robbing a living!!!!!!

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A rare shot of Zamora near the ball!

Thankfully the chance came at half time and Zamora was replaced with SWP and we swapped our formation to a 4-2-3-1, with SWP and Phillips providing the width and Gary O'Neil being the supporting act to Austin. For me I feel that O'Neil is more suited to the central role as he strays out of position too much when he plays out wide.
Birmingham got out of the blocks quickly in the second half and seemed unfortunate not to go a goal up as Spector was ruled offside before slotting home from close range. That'll be one to look at during the highlights tonight!!
The substitution proved to worked as the R's took the lead within three minutes of the restart.
Phillips and SWP combined well down the right and the resulting tackle on SWP gave the R's a free kick on the left side of the Birmingham penalty area.
Barton's free kick was met by Richard Dunne headed effort and it was a sliced clearance from Adeyemi saw the ball hit the underside of the bar before Charlie Austin nodded home from all of three yards to grab his first goal at Loftus Road in front of the home faithful.
This gave the R's confidence going forward but the resilient Brum defence was holding strong and was proving difficult to get the second goal.
Birmingham had a very good shout for a penalty as the game looked to be heading for a 1-0 victory. Richard Dunne seemingly tripped Spector, however Mike Jones saw Spector's foul as a dive and booked him for his efforts. The Birmingham players did not seem to appeal at all for the foul and it was only Wade Elliott that led the two man appeal along with Spector. Lofty, Jenson and myself had our hearts in our mouths for a moment as we fully expected to see the ref point to the penalty spot!

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A hard fought victory for the R's and Birmingham really made us work hard for the three points. Having seen the visitors today I can safely say that they will not be in their current position at the end of the season. Once they get a few more attacking options then you will see them finish in the top half of the table.
As for the R's we looked to be lacking up front up the first half and the change of formation certainly helped our cause with SWP definitely making an impact in the second half. The change of position for Gary O'Neil also done the trick and he looked much more effective when he was playing behind Austin in the second half.
Defensively we looked sound and apart from the few scares mentioned there was not much more they could've done.

Man of the Match saw the gang split five ways and with there only being six votes we saw one player receive two votes and take the award. Luke voted for Charlie Austin, Jenson voted for Richard Dunne, Lofty voted for Tom Carroll and I voted for Nedum Onuoha. This meant that Jess and Sam's votes give Gary O'Neil this weeks award.

Queens Park Rangers

  • 01 Green
  • 02 Simpson
  • 05 Dunne
  • 06 Hill
  • 15 Onuoha
  • 10 Carroll (Jenas - 82' )
  • 17 Barton Booked
  • 23 Hoilett (Phillips - 39' )
  • 36 O'Neil
  • 09 Austin
  • 25 Zamora (Wright-Phillips - 46' )


  • 26 Murphy
  • 39 Assou-Ekotto
  • 07 Phillips
  • 11 Wright-Phillips
  • 16 Jenas
  • 20 Henry
  • 32 Faurlin

Birmingham City

  • 01 Randolph
  • 04 Robinson Booked
  • 05 Bartley
  • 06 Burn Booked
  • 15 Elliott
  • 23 Spector Booked
  • 24 Adeyemi (Lovenkrands - 82' )
  • 31 Caddis
  • 07 Burke
  • 12 Novak
  • 22 Shinnie Booked (Ferguson - 55' )


  • 13 Doyle
  • 27 Ferguson
  • 10 Ambrose
  • 17 Reilly
  • 20 Lee
  • 29 Brown
  • 11 Lovenkrands
Ref: Jones
Att: 16,953

We will return on Wednesday night for the tough encounter against Brighton.