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, February 23, 2014


Charlton 1-0 QPR

QPR turned in probably their worst performance of the season as struggling Charlton grabbed an injury time winner at the Valley this afternoon, in front of 3,500 travelling R's fans who deserved so much better...

Being a London Derby, it was a late start to proceedings as I was picked up by Jenson and PK at around 12.30. After a slowish but easy journey, taking in the sights of the Olympic Park, we arrived in good time, parking at the local Makro and then taking the short walk to the Stadium to join Lee and Jess who were doing a bit of ticket touting outside. As kick off approached we went in to join Sam and Luke before queuing for some refreshments. But after seeing the line up, we were all pretty pleased as it appeared we had ditched the 4-4-2 formation that was clearly not working and reverted back to a 4-5-1, or so it appeared...

Queens Park Rangers
  • 01 Green
  • 18 Hughes
  • 03 Traore
  • 06 Hill
  • 05 Dunne
  • 15 Onuoha
  • 16 Jenas
  • 10 Carroll (Benayoun - 81' )
  • 14 Doyle (Maiga - 70' )
  • 23 Hoilett (Keane - 59' )
  • 04 Morrison


  • 12 Keane
  • 13 Yun
  • 20 Henry
  • 26 Murphy
  • 35 Benayoun
  • 36 O'Neil
  • 40 Maiga
As the game started, it appeared the formation was more of a 5-3-1-1. Rangers had a lot of the ball but not for the first time this season, were lacking in the final third and the game was set to continue in this vain. On about 12 minutes, the home side had a great chance to take the lead - a superb Jordan Cousins strike struck a post before the shirt pulling, Reza Ghoochannejhad's follow-up also hit the woodwork. Hopefully that will be the last time I am typing his name...

After a few half chances, Nedum Onuoha took the bull by the horns and went on a run, stepping past a few players before going over in the box from a Morrison challenge of which the referee quickly ruled out a penalty. The TV pictures showed although there was minimal contact, there was no case for a penalty and it was probably Nedum's momentum that took him over. And that was the first half..

With the away end bulging to capacity, we decided to stay in our seats and the taller ones amongst us, stand up and stretch our legs - the away end at Charlton really doesn't have people over 6ft tall in mind. To say it is a bit of a squeeze is an understatement and if you can get both arse cheeks on the chair and sit straight so the blood circulation isn't taken from your knees, you've had a result..

Like so many games before this season, we were all hoping for a much improved second half performance that would see us roar home to victory.. well, it didn't happen..

We still had lots of the ball and a baffling substitution of Keane on for Hoilett, gave us all hope of a better attacking threat.. it didn't happen. Although when the chance came, new loan signing, Ravel Morrison sliced the ball well wide when it looked easier to score. With the latest change ineffective, Redknapp removed Doyle and put on Maiga to try yet another attacking partnership. Shortly after we were almost gifted a lead, but we even managed to balls this one up -  Charlton keeper Thuram-Ulien's clearance fell straight to Maiga, who took the ball round the keeper at a tight angle, had control of the ball yet after seeing the onrushing Keane coming in for the inevitable tap in, let the ball drag out of play.. absolutely unbelievable!!

Plenty of frustration followed as Charlton were not in this game at all but Rangers just could not step up a gear and find anyway through - with minutes to go, Traore found space on the left, crossed into the box, finding Morrison who saw the ball late and the ball bounced off him and into the keepers arms, at this point, I think it is safe to say we had all accepted a draw.

But the home side then smelt blood and Adjarevic's effort was superbly saved by Green in stoppage time and from the resulting corner, the inevitable happened - Johnnie Jackson arrived unchallenged at the far post to head down, through the legs of Green and into the net - From there PK was bulldozing his way down the row and towards the exit, followed swiftly by Jenson. I said a quick goodbye to Lee and Jess before joining the thousands of furious R's fans clambering for the exit..

Man of the Match

Although there is a couple of mentions for Rob Green from Lee and PK, I flately refused to take any nominations from the gang at all - happily enough, I had no disagreement from the rest of the gang so this weeks award is N/A

Away Day Pie Rating

After royally being mucked about at one kiosk, we were sent to the other side of the stand as we were told we could get pies from there - on arrival found they did not do pies and it was Cornish pasties or hot dogs only which gives Charlton an away day Pie Rating of 0/10.

However, not wanting to be too harsh, myself, Lee and Jenson sampled the mass, dry, pastry filled pasties and voted a 4, 3 and 4 respectively, giving Charlton a Pasty rating of 3.66/10

In summary, I think it now high time for a rant! Now, personally I am not one of the doom and gloom, Harry out merchants you find on twitter after a bad R's result, but I am now extremely concerned. Myself and Lee discussed in the 2nd half where is a goal going to come from and I don't think Redknapp knows either. To change the formation 3 times in one game was quite ridiculous. Yes, we have had injuries to key players and yes, that pitch yesterday was dreadful, but we just cannot finish every match looking for excuses. At some point we are going to have to man up, stand up and get on with the job of which it seemed none of the Rangers players yesterday knew exactly what their jobs were??

When Neil Warnock took over a few years back, the first thing he mentioned is that we cannot build a team with so many loan players and it seems we have made the same mistakes again. With 8 currently on the books, we can only play 5 and Harry seems to be chopping and changing on a weekly basis.  We were discussing on the way home that now we have had another bad result, will any more players be coming in this week? It's what Harry does - if it doesn't work, bring in more players! What about the young and hungry players doing well on loan around the leagues and from the EDL and reserve teams? Do they not deserve a chance? Well I guess if you are a club that wants to bring through some home grown players, then do not appoint Harry Redknapp as Manager.

Anyway, despite what I have just said, I am not one of the Harry out brigade but I along with many others, am extremely concerned with what I witnessed yesterday. Not one to quote stats either but fail to see how any team can dominate a game with 70 percent possession, but cannot muster a single shot on target!!  But like always, we will all be there again next week to do it all over again..

Lee will return next week as we take on the self acclaimed, Champions of Europe, Leeds in yes, another live televised Sky Game.. it just gets better doesn't it??

Come on you R'ssssssss!!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Morrison Un-Ravel-ed As New Loanee.....

This afternoon the R's announced the emergency loan deal of Ravel Morrison from West Ham.

The deal will officially be completed on Friday, meaning that the 93 day loan will last for the entirety of the season up until the scheduled Play Off Final date of 24th May.
Clearly a lot of thought has been put into this to ensure every possible scenario is covered by the Management Team at Loftus Road.

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Morrison started the season in superb form and was even touted as an outside chance of making the England World Cup squad this summer but unfortunately injury and some "behind the scenes issues" have left Morrison very unhappy at Upton Park and has been trying to find a way out since January.

Alex Ferguson has previously described Morrison as one of the brightest prospects since Paul Scholes and that's not because he has wild ginger hair like Scholes, Morrison is actually a technically gifted player.

Morrison definitely has the energy and creation within him to help the R's midfield come alive once again and could start to really influence us positively on the pitch and take the pressure off our ageing defence that has struggled in recent weeks.
Yes Morrison has baggage with a well publicised 'bad attitude' however we are used to that with Adel Taarabt aren't we? This could be the signing that helps us define our season and get the final promotion push back on the rails that we have started to fall off recently.

Morrison told the Official QPR Website during an interview today -

 “I just want to help QPR get to the Premier League – that’s my only objective during my time here,”

“If we manage to do that, it would be great for everybody connected with the club. 

“All I want to do is play football. I just want to show everyone what I can do week in, week out.

“The aim here is to get the club promoted and I want to contribute in helping QPR to get there.”

Morrison will wear the number 4 shirt and is likely to feature on Saturday against Charlton.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Royal Disappointment......

Rangers' looked to bounce back from Monday's nights no show at Derby as Reading visited Loftus Road as the Sky cameras once again came to spoil our party.

Jess and myself arrived at the usual parking place with just over an hour to go until kick off and we met up with PK before taking a walk down the Uxbridge Road and then met up with Lofty and Jenson. Within ten minutes the gang were in full force as Sam, Luke and Jointy joined us before heading in for a pre match natter ahead of a match that had a lot of pride at stake for Sam, Jenson and I.

The R's team had some much needed changes after Monday night with Hoilett, Traore and Keane coming in for O'Neil, Carroll and Johnson. In fact all three failed to even make the bench!

Before the match started both teams and the fans in attendance stood to give the legend that is Sir Tom Finney a minutes applause after the greatest product of English Football sadly passed away at the age of 91 on Friday.

Rangers' started brightly and enjoyed good possession without really threatening to break the deadlock, however when Reading had their first attack ten minutes in, they opened their account.
Slack defending saw Le Fondre have time to cross from the left wing and found Williams totally unmarked to head home past the outstretched arm of Green. The marking was atrocious with Assou-Ekotto having the choice of four Reading players to pick up as the rest of the defence just disappeared into thin air and gave away yet another soft goal.
Reading could've been two up minutes later as Williams yet again found himself unmarked but this time could only head his effort into the grateful arms of the R's number 1.
Rangers' got themselves back on level terms with twenty minutes on the clock.
Traore done superbly well down the R's left before drilling his cross into the path of Keane, who had his shot stopped superbly well by McCarthy before Pearce's attempted clearance at the loose ball came off Kevin Doyle and nestled into the back of the net. Doyle quite rightly celebrated his second R's goal in front of the Reading fans.
The R's took great confidence from this and nearly grabbed a quickfire second when Hoilett's effort was deflected by Gorkss onto the post before going out for a corner. Assou-Ekotto's perfectly whipped in corner was met by Keane and his header was directed inches over the bar.
Keane and Doyle looked to be forming a good partnership as the Man United loanee showed some excellent touches as he looked to play in his strike partner on several occasions but was just falling short on each occasion.

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At half time we were all pretty confident that we could build on an encouraging end to the half and go on to win the game.
During the half time interval we also met up with birthday boy Michael who was enjoying a half time beer as a few insulting guesses were given as to how old is was before we found out that he is in fact a youthful soul.

As we made our way back to our seats Lofty took up a new seating position several rows in front of us with Laura, who also joined as at half time, and was given a bit of banter by the gang and the row behind us before we all shut up and let him enjoy the company he was in, little did he know what was to come..... more on that later!!
A good start is what the R's needed and that lasted all of ten minutes!
A Reading corner from the Rangers' right hand side was floated to the back post and there was Pearce totally unmarked to head home from close range and make the most of some more terrible defending.
Minutes later the final nail in the coffin was hammered in.
McClearly advanced on goal as Assou-Ekotto just kept backing off and backing off before McClearly unleashed a powerful effort from thirty yards out into the top corner. I hate to say it but it was a brilliant goal and worthy of winning any game!
With that being said Will Keane made way and was replaced by our knight in shining armour, Bobby Zamora! What does he do in training to get himself ahead of Maiga??
Rangers' continued to battle and when Hoilett's pinpoint cross seemingly looked to be destined for Doyle's head from a yard out, however the Irishman somehow failed to make any contact and the chance was wasted.
We were given a glimmer of hope when Gorkss was given a red card for his challenge on Hoilett as he looked to break away down the right hand side. Again I have to be honest and say that it wasn't a red card for me, yes the challenge was a little late but we've seen worse challenges than that this season go unpunished!
Despite Hoilett and Traore's best efforts to create any danger going forwards the game just drew out to the final whistle and Reading were the deserving winners.
With five minutes to go the person sat next to Laura in the rows in front of us started to take his frustration out on the fans around him like the idiot that he was before making the outrageous outburst "How many of you go away? You're not real fans......." With that being said Lofty had to be held back by Laura as PK, Jenson and myself soon shot up before being joined by the row behind us and many others around Block NU in telling the jumped up little prick to shut up as he tried to out all of us. It's amazing how a few shandies in a kid can begin to ruin an afternoon's football for everyone. It shouldn't matter whether you attend home, away or not, we all support the same team and need to get behind the team we all love, not take it out on fellow supporters and act like a complete c@nt.
He was rightly kicked out and has apparently a short stadium ban will be dished out, or so we've been told by the stewards after the game.

We are currently looking really out of sorts and have many loanees in the squad, much like we did a few years ago with the likes of Carl Ikeme, Marcus Bent, Tamas Priskin etc played like strangers and it's very much the same with the second half of this season.
We look at the second half and really wonder what Harry can do with the squad he has and the answer is not a lot. Unfortunately he's brought in a lot of players that lack any energy and pace that is so badly needed to be injected into this team. With the likes of O'Neil, Benayoun, Krancjar, Henry, Jenas, Carroll around the midfield and the width coming from Hoilett, Traore and potentially SWP, we really do like any pace when we break forward.
I have to say as well, a lot of people called for 4-4-2 this season however since we have played it we look very weak in midfield and we do not control game the way we have previously this season. I would love to see us go back to the 4-2-3-1 formation that we have been used to seeing over the past few seasons as it gives us more protection in front of what is a frail defence at present and if we play with two pacy wingers in Hoilett and Traore we will look more of a threat going forward as well.
Mistakes have been made in the transfer windows and we now have to do our best with the squad we have at present, with a potential 8th loanee in Ravel Morrison to come in on Friday and provide the firepower he need from the number 10 position.

Man of the Match time. This week we see another landslide vote with Armand Traore being the shining light in a terrible performance as his attacking threat looks to be creating plenty of trouble for opposition defences.

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Lofty will return next week as we make the short trip down to The Valley as we take on Charlton.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

QPR Suffer Ram Raid..

Derby 1-0 QPR

QPR failed to go back into the automatic promotion spots, in what was overall, a disappointing outing away at Derby, who in turn, close the gap on the leaders..

With Sky very kindly selecting us again, this time for a Monday night fixture, it was just myself and Jenson who decided to brave this one, but sadly, the journey up was dominated by concern for Jenson's home, of which area is now under high flood alert. Can only hope that all is ok there? The journey was an absolute breeze and after parking and using the Harvester for some refreshments, we made the shortish walk to the Stadium..

Onto the game and despite a relatively negative looking line up, the R's were keeping the ball well, but as the game wore on, Derby were attacking with much pace, which looked sadly lacking from the R's on the night.  The home side almost took the lead on the quarter hour in quite bizarre fashion, as Hill's clearance from a corner hit the onrushing, Buxton and forced a superb reflex save from Rob Green.

But sadly, on 20 minutes, the opening goal duly arrived from Derby in what caused much a debate - Clint Hill looked to be fouled by Chris Martin before conceding a corner - a corner of which was not met by the greatest of punched clearances from Green, falling into the path of Eustace who's header looped into the net, but it looked very much like Hill was impeded by Martin on the line before the ball dropped in. Now, after watching it back again, I would say it was a foul - however, I would be bloody fuming if the R's had had a goal chalked off for that. Both players had their eye on the ball and although O'Neil was impeded by Martin, it certainly was not the  intention like in the old days, to bundle the player over the line. I think if anything, the R's have a very good case about the awarded corner but hey, these things happen..

The goal certainly knocked the stuffing out of Rangers and Derby were well on top, but in saying this, the R's created the best chance and nearly brought the game level just before the break - O'Neil's cross was met by debutant, Aaron Hughes but his header was well saved by Lee Grant.

A few issues at my workplace meant I spent most of half time on the phone rather than catching up with people but was back in time for the second half of which Rangers had made some needed changes, with Maiga and Hoilett replacing Johnson and O'Neil respectively..

Although it was a much improved second half from the R's, we just couldn't manage to break down a very hard working Derby side who were determined to fight hard for their victory. Joey Barton tested the keeper from long range before Nico Kranjcar saw his near post headed cleared off the line. Junior Hoilett was becoming more and more of a threat and with 7 minutes to go, smashed an effort into the side netting which a good number of the travelling R's fans, thought had gone in, much to the amusement of the home support on the right. But despite 5 minutes of stoppage time, the R's just couldn't find their way through and Derby earned a huge three points!

Queens Park Rangers

  • 01 Green
  • 18 Hughes
  • 39 Assou-Ekotto Booked
  • 17 Barton Booked
  • 05 Dunne Booked
  • 06 Hill
  • 36 O'Neil (Hoilett - 45' )
  • 10 Carroll (Jenas - 79' )
  • 08 Johnson (Maiga - 45' )
  • 14 Doyle
  • 19 Kranjcar Booked


  • 03 Traore
  • 15 Onuoha
  • 16 Jenas
  • 20 Henry
  • 23 Hoilett
  • 26 Murphy
  • 40 Maiga

Man of the Match

Myself and Jenson were both in agreement with our choices, but further text messages from Lee and Jess and no further nominations, confirmed a clean sweep tonight for our debutant at right back - Aaron Hughes

Away Day Pie Rating

Apologies for no Pie rating from ourselves this evening but after eating in the Harvester beforehand, myself and Jenson did not want to abuse our waistlines any further, leaving the expert analysis to my friend, Simon who rated his chicken and mushroom as an ok, 7/10

In summary, with the negative way Rangers lined up for this one, it was not the fact that Derby beat us, it was that QPR lost it. It was definitely a lets not be beaten line up which lacked pace and width for the first half. Yes, we improved greatly for the second half but overall, an inept first half display cost us dearly..

Lee will return next week as Rangers host Reading, again selected for TV Coverage on Sunday - Sky Sports, please leave us alone, thanks!

Come on you R'ssssssss!!


Saturday, February 01, 2014

Three-ling Game Ends In Fair Result.......

Shortly after the January Transfer Window shut we all made our way back to Loftus Road for what was a massive game against third placed Burnley.
Would Harry's transfer magic help us gain a vital three points and extend our lead over Burnley to six points?

With it being the early lunchtime kick off the gang all had the joy of having an unwelcome early alarm call in order to arrive at Loftus Road in time for the 12.15 start.
I met up with Lofty and Jenson just outside the Upper Loft at 11.30 as Jess went to meet her Dad and Brother after their train journey up. We were joined by Sam and Luke before PK made a late appearance as we made our way to our seats.

With the R's being dealt with the huge blow that Charlie Austin is out for a prolonged period his replaced was new loanee Kevin Doyle.
Other changes included Joey Barton coming in for Karl Henry and Nedum Onuoha taking the place of Tom Carroll.

Rangers' started brightly but were dealt with a blow on just five minutes. Matty Phillips looked to go over his ankle and tried struggling back to his feet before realising that he could not continue and was taken away on a stretcher. He was replaced by Junior Hoilett.
With Phillips just being taken down the touchline, Rangers won a corner which was expertly delivered by Niko Kranjcar and Kevin Doyle's front post run was brilliantly timed to meet the corner and guide the ball into the near post.
Rangers' looked to kick on and when Hoilett broke clear as fired a shot just wide of Tom Heaton's goal.
As expected Burnley were soon to test the R's defence but with their first effort on goal they drew the game level. Burnley took their throw in on the right hand side and Trippier found a small amount of space to whip in an inch perfect ball to Danny Ings who volleyed home with Rob Green having no chance what so ever!
With ten minutes of the half remaining Rangers' took the lead through another player with his first goal for the club.
Niko Kranjcar's corner was flicked on by Clint Hill who found Richard Dunne in acres of space to divert his left foot shot through several Burnley players into the back of the net! Finally after 28 games Jess' prediction of Richard Dunne to score first or anytime actually happened and her rubbing hands celebration in the Paddock was clear for us all to see at the back of The Loft.

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At half time we all made our way to the concourse very happy with what we had seen and Kevin Doyle's inclusion was certainly justified as he worked his socks off and was winning a lot of headers for Johnson to attempt to run onto. We were also buoyed by Barton's return as he helped solidify proceedings in midfield after a roping evening on Tuesday against Bolton.

What the R's needed to do was start the half well and ensure they kept things tight in defence but just ten minutes into the half Burnley were level once again.
Kightly advanced down the Rangers' right virtually unchallenged by Hoilett or Onuoha and squared the ball to an unmarked Vokes who neatly disposed of the cross and set up an interesting final thirty five minutes.
Following the goal the R's started to come off the rails and the sloppy defending allowed Burnley to take a quick throw and allowed Arfield to advance into the penalty area unchallenged before pulling the ball back to Ings who uncharacteristically missed the target when we fully expected him to give Burnley the lead for the first time in the game.
As it was Burnley only had to wait several more minutes for their next golden opportunity. Assou-Ekotto dwindled around as he tried to casually shepherd the ball out of play but found himself too weak in his quest to hold off Ings as the Burnley striker robbed possession before he found his strike partner Vokes who tapped into an empty net. Absolute disaster!!
Rangers' looked as if they had lost their way and running out of ideas.
Then came the introduction of last minute loan signing Modibo Maiga on for an ineffective Andy Johnson.
With ten minutes to go Rangers' got themselves level.
Hoilett showed a rare moment of brilliance as he managed to beat Mee before drilling his cross across the six yard box and found Maiga who tapped home from close range.
Shortly after the goal the R's won a corner on the right hand side. Assou-Ekotto's inswinger found Hill who somehow managed to bundle his effort just wide of the near post.
Just as we thought the game was safely ending in a draw their was on final moment of heart stopping action. Assou-Ekotto was once again caught being too casual on the ball as he got caught out by Stanislas, who took the opportunity to attempt to chip Green, only to find his effort bounce just wide of the post.

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I have to say the draw was a fair result with both sides creating good chances but Burnley were certainly the more clinical of both teams with their potent strike force.
The second half saw Burnley take control of the midfield with Barton and Kranjcar really needing some help in that area and we could find the balance between having that third midfielder and second striker one which will need to be worked upon in between the next few games.
Overall the two new additions that made an appearance today made a positive impact on the side and I'm happy to say that we at Lofty Heights are very pleased with the business conducted on Deadline Day, with some sensible deals made with all parties brought in capable of helping us achieve our goal of promotion this year before reassessing the squad in the summer if we do achieve promotion.
Credit to Burnley today they have a great work ethic amongst their squad, with two quality strikers who will always score goals in this division. They will definitely be in the mix come the end of the season.

Onto our Man of the Match. Lofty picked the returning Joey Barton, Jess picked out money winning Richard Dunne, Jenson and Michael picked out Niko Kranjcar but with four votes from Sam, Luke, PK and myself the Lofty Heights award goes to débutante Kevin Doyle for a hard working display that was awarded with an early goal.

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Lofty will return with one of his always entertaining reports when he and Jenson make the trip to Derby next Monday!