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

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

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

QPR Fans Forum..

On Thursday, myself and Lee will be proudly representing Lofty Heights at the QPR Fans Forum;

You can watch the event live via the Official QPR YouTube account below...

It promises to be a very lively evening...


Saturday, April 26, 2014

R's Left With Plenty To Malone About......

Today the R's had the pleasure of hosting South London's finest, Millwall. The visitors have been bang in the middle of a relegation scrap as the R's were looking to seal a home tie in the play offs.

On the journey to the game we were seeing Twitter updates with all the trouble that was happening in the area, luckily the gang all managed to arrive at HQ safely, however Jess and I were stuck at Hammersmith Bridge for over an hour before finally escaping the traffic and parking up twenty minutes late. By the time we arrived in the ground with thirty minutes on the clock.

Two changes were made to the side that scraped past Watford on Monday.
Armand Traore and Kevin Doyle were replaced by Yossi Benayoun and Niko Kranjcar.

As mentioned above I was half an hour late arriving, however I was informed (after a few pieces of banter for being late) that we had not missed much in terms of action.
From what I was told Lee Martin suffered a nasty injury and was stretchered off. Apart from that we failed to get a shot on goal and Millwall looked the more likely to score.
For the remaining fifteen minutes it was much of the same as Millwall found it far to easy to breach the R's midfield and run at the R's defence that were held solid by some great defending by the ever dependable Nedum Onuoha.
Rangers' had their first real chance of the half when Morrison and Austin combined before the R's top scorer had has shot beaten away for a corner.
Then the R's were nearly punished by a catastrophic error by Dunne that let in Woolford, who then when one on one with Green scuffed his shot and somehow failed to hit the target as the ball bounced wide when it was easier to score!

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At half time the gang assembled on the concourse as we all welcomed back Jack after his six months of travelling around the Far East, how unfortunate do you have to be to come back from six months away to get Millwall as your first game back and then be put through what we had to witness.
The rest of us made the most of the catch up on what was officially our last home league game of the normal season.

The second half wasn't that much of a spectacle in all fairness with Millwall getting more nervous as the game wore on and the R's gradually woke up and became a bit more of an attacking threat.
It wasn't until the 76th minute that the R's were given the opportunity to open the scoring.
Hoilett's cross was stupidly punched away by Jackson as he challenged Zamora in the air.
After some time wasting by Forde to attempt to put off Austin he was duly booked before Austin was then finally allowed to take the kick. The R's top scorer made no mistake as he sent Forde the wrong way and gave the R's a lead that they hadn't looked like getting.
Following the penalty our referee, Kevin Friend, looked to give Millwall any opportunity he could to give our visitors the chance to level the game up and that nearly happened when Williams' free kick struck the top of the crossbar.
The three points looked almost certain until a twist in injury time.
Malone took aim after a scramble in the box, his shot looked destined to hit the crossbar, however Green looked to be safe and tip the ball over the bar, however in the end he palmed the ball into the side of the net and gifted Millwall the equaliser.

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All in all it was a dreadful game and deserved to end as a 0-0 on any other day.
We looked to be more interested in coasting our way through the game without picking up any additional injuries ahead of the play off games in the upcoming weeks. It's a dangerous game to play as our hopes rest on going into those games with our best players and then they will have to turn on the style, something we have only done for 4-5 games all season! I'd rather build the players confidence up and go into the two legs with momentum and players who are comfortable with the way we play and leave no room for error. Just a matter of opinion though!

Onto our Man of the Match. Lofty has decided to abstain as the performance was not good enough. Jenson opted for Carroll. The overall winner with four votes from Jess, Sam, Luke and myself is Charlie Austin, purely based on him grabbing the goal and looking like he gave a monkeys whilst he was out there. A mention has to go to Onuoha as he is definitely our shining light in defence and is holding it together whilst Dunne is struggling for form.

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Lofty will return for our final visit to relegated Barnsley on Saturday.

Ahead of that Lofty Heights will be in attendance for Thursday's Fan's Forum after 10 years of running this blog we have been given recognition for the hard work we have put in.
From myself and Lofty we'd like to thank all our readers for the support over the years and continuing to provide us with your feedback!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Wat It's Like To Be Lucky!.....

This afternoon the R's played host to a Watford side that still had play-off aspirations this season having enjoyed a good win against Ipswich in their previous outing. The R's were looking to gain confidence having resting the majority of the first team at Leicester on Saturday. What R's side were going to turn up today??

The gang assembled outside the Blue and White bar before kick off and we were extremely pleased to see that Redknapp had decided to take this game seriously, with a strong and attacking looking side being picked against a Watford side who have shown good form as of late. The selection actually left Jess, Sam, Luke, Lofty, Jenson, PK, Jointy and Lorna all feeling that this was going to be a good three points earned come the end of the ninety minutes and definitely a momentum builder going into the final two games of the season before the play-offs.
For Lofty, Luke and myself this game had a bit of pride resting on it, with friends and work colleagues being Watford fans, so we were all looking for a positive result, especially me with my boss being a Watford fan!!

The team was much changed from the Leicester game, as previous stated, with eight changes being made.
Out went Hughes, Yun, Assou-Ekotto, Henry, O'Neil, Kranjcar, Benayoun and Maiga making way.

Starting Eleven (3-5-2) - Green; Onuoha, Dunne, Hill; Simpson, Barton Carroll, Morrison, Traore; Doyle, Austin.

As you can see above we strangely lined up with a 3-5-2 formation that has previously seen us lose 1-0 at Charlton and draw 1-1 at home to Blackpool, with the team looking like they had no clue on how to play the system, lacked any width and lost the midfield battle.
Well much of the aforementioned was on show today, with Simpson and Traore not being at all comfortable as wing backs with no support in front of them and once the ball was played in behind them there was no idea who should cover, leaving us exposed both out wide and in the centre of midfield.
This meant that Watford, who were passing the ball around at ease, enjoyed the lion share of possession and were looking the most likely to create any decent scoring opportunities, whereas we were happy to play on the counter attack, without really posing too much of a threat.
Doyle and Austin were working hard up front but with a lack of service coming into them, it was always going to be a long afternoon for them.
With the visitors on top, it still took them fifteen minutes to get their first real chance on goal when Deeney's effort was well saved by Green as he tipped it around the post.
For the first time in five games it looked like we had actually practised defending corners, well it was either that or Watford were terrible at set-pieces, if anything I think it was the latter of the two!
The visitors were then gifted a glorious chance to open the scoring as Dunne was easily dispossessed by Deeney, who then played in McGugan but the former Forest midfield could only blaze wide when it was easier to hit the target.
On the stroke of half time the R's finally forced a save out of Almunia as Tom Carroll's free kick was beaten away by the Spaniard.

At half time it was a very different atmosphere amongst the group in the interval as the half that we witnessed was far from entertaining from a home perspective and was a matter of time until Watford carved out a decent chance and punished us for it. It's clear to see that 3-5-2 is not a system that works for us and has been used in order to accommodate Dunne and Hill alongside Onuoha, however this does leave us wide open in midfield and means we lack any attacking width, something that has been a strength of ours and with Austin back leading the line we need to ensure we are providing the service that he needs to fire us to being victorious.

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The second half continued in the same vain as the first half and we had not learned any lessons from the opening period and within five minutes Watford capitalised on their pressure.
Deeney flicked on to his strike partner Ranegie and he turned Dunne inside and out before striking across Green into the bottom corner to give Watford a deserved lead.
Watford them seemed to be happy to contain the game and allowed the R's to gather a bit of momentum and apply some pressure on their defence for the first time in the game.
On the hour mark Rangers' nearly got themselves back in the game when Austin's brilliant header was hacked off the line when it seemed to be a certain goal.
With twenty minutes remaining Redknapp gambled as he made a double change with Doyle and Simpson making way for Zamora and Hoilett. Frustratingly we continued to play with the same formation!!
As Watford continued to stand off and allow us to grow into the game it meant that Morrison was having more of an influence in an attacking sense and was looking like the likely source of an equalizing goal.
It was Morrison who was fouled on the edge of the box with fifteen minutes to go that gave the R's a fantastic opportunity to level the game. From a central position, twenty yards out and a five man Watford wall to contend with, it was Joey Barton who stepped up to take responsibility. Austin placed himself just on the right side of the wall and as Barton begun his run up, Austin dragged the defender on the end of the wall away and Barton curled his shot through the gap and past a helpless Almunia.
The goal sparked a bit of life into the Loftus Road crowd who had been quiet for the vast majority of the game. The Watford fans on the other hand were very vocal throughout and tried to create an atmosphere on their own, however it all went very quiet once Barton's goal went in.... woops!
All joking aside, the lead nearly lasted all of thirty seconds and it took a brilliant goal line clearance from that man Nedum Onuoha to ensure that we had a stranglehold on gaining a point.
Despite Watford needing a goal to continue their push for the a play-off place there was not the urgency that we thought they would bring to the closing stages and in all honesty it was Rangers' that looked the more likely to win the game in the final five minutes.
Hoilett and Morrison continued their recent good form and were the ones who looked like they were going to create an opening for the winner and they did not disappoint.
The R's counter attacked and were four on three with the Watford defence as Morrison run from deep before playing in Zamora, who was dragged to the floor for a certain penalty however that was waved away and within seconds of the decision being waved away Austin had collected the ball once again, turned and then curled a sumptuous effort into the right corner with Almunia standing no chance whatsoever and the three points were wrapped up!

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You have to say that Watford definitely deserved something from the game, however we've played better than that this season and lost, so I'm not going to shed any tears for them as I'm sure they wouldn't feel guilty if they had produced the smash and grab that we have.
It was far from vintage, very gritty but we are definitely going to have to do better than that once the play-offs come around in a few weeks time.
I will most definitely be enjoying catching up with the Watford fans at work tomorrow, although I do expect them to be very quiet it the morning!!
This win meant that Jointy had seen us score whilst he was sitting in the Loft for the first time in six games and this was the first victory he had seen when sitting in the Upper Loft for over two years!! Sweet!!!

As for the Watford fans, I'm not sure what it is you hold against little ol QPR, we're from London and you're from Hertfordshire so it's not a London Derby we partake in, we just enjoy the banter you bring. Maybe you can take your anger to Luton as you'll be playing them in a few seasons......

Onto our Man of the Match. Quite a one sided contest here. Lofty voted for Morrison and his excellent second half performance, Sam and Jess voted for Onuoha and his superb defensive covering for our old boys in defence. All remaining votes from Luke, Jointy, Jenson, PK and myself all went to the ever reliable Joey Barton for putting in a massive shift in the centre of midfield and being a leader when all was not necessarily going well for us, the man was immense!!

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I will return next weekend after the Millwall game, providing I stay alive after their visit to Loftus Road!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Queens Park Strangers almost out 'Fox' Leicester..

Leicester 1-0 QPR Reserves

QPR suffered yet another defeat in front of the Sky Cameras, going down to a narrow 1-0 defeat to already promoted and likely Champions, Leicester City.. in a game in which it looked like Rangers had surrendered before a ball was kicked..

With it being an lunchtime kick off, it was an early morning start and I was picked up by Jenson and PK and 9am. Jenson returning after a few weeks following social commitments and a trip to Las Vegas, of which myself and PK enjoyed the many stories from his week in America.. and after hearing them, it's somewhere I definitely need to visit! Jenson had drawn some attention from his tweet the previous evening, stating that his source had revealed it would be a very much changed Rangers side as Redknapp looked to rest many players ahead of the remaining games, including the play offs.

We actually arrived in Leicester at approximately 10.20 and following PK's striptease in the car park, we had a very quick pint in the previously visited Counting House pub., before heading to the ground to meet up with Lee, Jess, Sam and Luke.  By now, the news of the team had filtered through and we were all a bit miffed to say the least, as well as being hugely disappointed. My normal reports would see the line up towards the end, but here was the line up to take on the best team in the Division..

QPR: Green, Simpson, Yun, Onuoha, Hughes, Kranjcar, Henry, Benayoun, O'Neil, Assou-Ekotto, Maiga Subs: Murphy, Morrison, Dunne, Wright-Phillips, Keane, Zamora, Donaldson

Onto the game and Leicester had the lions share of the opening possession, but Rangers were slowly improving as the half went on and had the best of the early chances, with Yun and Kranjcar forcing Schmeichel into comfortable saves. A goalmouth scramble later ended with Kranjcar seeing his close range effort come back of the Foxes keeper.

The home side then created two chances in quick succession, both falling to King who firstly volleyed straight at Green from close range and then following a dreadful error from Karl Henry, rounded Rob Green before seeing his effort superbly cleared off the line by Nedum Onuoha.

Just before the break, Rangers really should have been ahead, when Kranjcar pulled the ball back to Maiga who shot well wide!

Onto the second half and this makeshift Rangers 11 were more than holding their own against a Leicester team that looked very much like they were already on the beach and who could blame them for that? On the hour mark, Maiga again had a great chance after being found by Kranjcar - a confident striker would have surely let rip at the goal, but he dithered before curling harmlessly wide.

Ten minutes later and Leicester were ahead when Drinkwater played in Nugent, Assou-Ekotto failed to pick up his run and the striker made no mistake, drilling past Green from a tight angle, a great finish!

With no goals in the side, it was always going to be a tough call that Rangers would get back into this but it nearly came via an unlikely source when Suk-Young chased a loose ball and just beat the advancing keeper to it, his momentum took him into Schmeichel and the ref blew for a foul as the ball looked as though it bobbled into the net. It had in fact hit the side netting but it didn't stop Lee who continued abusing what was a dreadful referee!

With 12 minutes to go, our task was made even harder when Assou-Ekotto received a deserved second yellow card for a late challenge on King. His first card in the first half maybe could have warranted a red in itself for a quite awful challenge on the quite awful player that is Mahrez, who must have rolled the length of the pitch after the challenge. His diving continued throughout the course of the game...

Assou-Ekotto marched uninterested from the pitch and we can only hope he continues his march back to White Hart Lane, but at least Suk-Young may get a deserved chance against Watford on Easter Monday..

Man of the Match

Almost a clean sweep with only myself and Jess differing from the rest, Jess picking out the afore mentioned Yun Suk-Young on the left of midfield, myself choosing Danny Simpson who played his Captain's roll superbly. But with votes from PK, Jenson, Lee, Sam, Luke and Lorna, today's award goes to the Chief, Nedum Onouha.

Awayday Pie Rating

With Leicester selling the Pukka range, there was never going to be much disappointment, perhaps only that they weren't selling the Balti. But there was little deliberation as we all tucked in, myself and Luke the Chicken and Mushroom and Lee, PK and Jenson, the Steak and all firmly voting a very decent 8/10.

In summary, all things considered, this wasn't a bad performance at all. The reasoning of course can and will be argued, but personally, I think the fans, who deserve it and pay a lot of money following their team up and down the country, week in and week out, should always see the best team available. I honestly think a near or full strength R's side yesterday would have won the game as Leicester were not quite at the races. But in saying that, credit must go to the makeshift Rangers side that put in a very creditable performance.

To finish, Congratulations to Leicester City once again on your deserved Promotion and indeed, the impending Title!

Happy Easter Everyone!!

Lee will return on Easter Monday as a very different looking R's side, take on Watford at Loftus Road...

Come on you R'ssssssssss!!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Five-brant R's Win To Turn The Corner.....

The SKY Cameras visited Loftus Road today in what was supposed to be a crucial game in the race for promotion to the Premier League. Unfortunately our visitors Nottingham Forest have seen their challenge fizzle out in recent weeks and seemingly have their heads on the beaches ahead of the summer already. Could the R's capitalise and gain a must needed win?

With the game being on SKY is was an early alarm call for us all this morning as we made our way to the ground and made an early entrance. Jess and I arrived to see that none of the gang were sitting on their usual position on the wall and it wasn't until we made our way into the ground that we met up with PK, Sam, Luke, Michael and Zach. Lofty had taken his position in his seat early as he had a potential new lucky charm as company in little Coral.

Redknapp played tinkerman once again as four changes were made to the side that flopped at Blackburn on Tuesday night.
Onuoha, Jenas and Austin came in to replace Young, Henry and Keane.

Kick off was seven minutes later than scheduled as a mark of respect to the 96 Liverpool fans that went to Hillborough for the FA Cup Semi Final match against Forest, never to return home. They will never be forgotten!

The R's got off to a flying start as Morrison and Hoilett combined well as the latter pulled the ball back for Carroll to take aim, only to see Darlow save with his outstretched left arm, however he could only parry the ball and Yossi Benayoun was on hand to head into the empty net from six yards out.
This settled the R's as they played with a high pressing style that meant that Forest were not allowed to settle and could not get their most dangerous player in Henri Lansbury on the ball and creating havoc in the R's defence, instead Forest were left to resort to long balls that were not effective and left the R's to comfortably deal with many attacks that Forest posed.
Rangers' were dealt with a blow with just fifteen minutes on the clock as Jenas limped off with the injury not entirely clear for us all to see. He was replaced by Karl Henry.
Rangers' did continue to pose a threat, with the most likely sources coming through Morrison and Hoilett. Austin was leading the line excellently for the R's and his hard work ethic was certainly rubbing off on those around him. Austin was unfortunate to not get on the scoresheet when he came within inches of touching home Assou-Ekotto's superb cross from the left wing.
There was however one weakness in the R's defence that Forest could expose and that's set pieces, no surprise that the scores were soon level via this method.
Lansbury's corner was met by Lascelles who rose unmarked to expertly head home with Forest's second chance of the game! How many set pieces have we conceded in 2014?? Clearly we are not learning our lesson with corners and seriously need to start learning how to defend!
Luckily for the R's just five minutes later they regained the lead.
Hoilett went on a teasing run and bustled his way through the Forest defence like a knife through butter before he poked the ball past Darlow as half time loomed.

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At half time we all gathered outside the Blue and White it was clear that Coral was having a great day out as throughout the first 45 minutes she showed plenty of enthusiasm towards the game and was giving plenty of encouragement towards those on the pitch. All of us where thoroughly enjoying how animated she was getting, hopefully the final result would leave Coral with a very happy memory of her day out.

The opening exchanges of the second half were pretty much a stalemate and it wasn't until Danny Simpson headed off the line from Halford's header on 70 minutes, ironically from yet another corner!
On 75 minutes Forest won yet another corner.  Before the corner was taken Charlie Austin off and replaced by Bobby Zamora. During the substitution I turned to PK and said 'goal'... was I going to be right? Rangers' frailties were exposed once again as yet another corner from Forest was whipped in the box and the smallest player on the pitch, Matt Derbyshire, was on hand to score Forest's second goal from a corner and leave the home fans groaning once again!!
With Austin now off the pitch we were now left worrying where the goal threat was going to come from.
Rangers' were also forced into their final change of the game as Hoilett limped off as he was replaced by Kranjcar.
With five minutes left on the clock the R's won a corner of their own. Despite the first cross being cleared, Simpson then put in a deep cross that Onuoha just managed to keep in play, he then exchanged passes with Morrison before swinging a right foot at the ball and curled home a beautiful effort to lift the roof off the Loft!
Proceedings were far from over as Forest won themselves yet another corner with two minutes left on the clock. Rangers' again let Forest get a free header in on goal, however this time we were lucky to have Rob Green fully alert and save on the goal line.
With three minutes of injury time being awarded it could've been a nervous ending for the R's, however as Forest pushed for the equaliser and we soon caught them on the counter attack to score the fourth. Tom Carroll's long ball was brilliantly controlled by Zamora as he advanced on goal before putting the ball on a plate to Morrison, who did not slot home with a first time shot, he instead decided to turn the Forest defender and 'keeper inside then out before then rolling the ball home a secure a much needed three points.
We hadn't long stopped celebrating Morrison's goal and the R's broke away again as this time Morrison turned provider as he lobbed the ball over the final Forest defender into the path of Zamora, who then smashed his shot into the floor before seeing the ball bounce over the despairing Darlow to make it 5-2!!

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It was not a vintage performance by far, however you have to create the chances in order to score the five goals that we did and the final three goals were taken extremely well.
We do have to highlight the fact that we cannot defend a set piece for toffee, it is a huge weakness of ours and Forest could've easily scored 4 from corners today. It begs the question, what do we practice in training?? It was part of our downfall at Bournemouth last Saturday and continues to be our achilles heel. Surely Wally Downes needs to focus on this as part of his defensive coaching sessions during midweek and sort the mess out in front of Rob Green, you have to feel sorry for the R's 'keeper at the moment as he is not getting the protection from the R's defence at set pieces at present.
The re-introduction of Onuoha was vital to the centre of defence as he is so composed as well as having the extra two yards of pace that Dunne does not possess these days.
It was also great to see Austin back in the starting line up getting vital minutes in and his hard working style in so infectious that his team mates around him also run themselves into the ground.
Forest brought down a good travelling support and although we could not hear them in the Loft(to be fair they probably couldn't us in the Loft) but Jess has rightfully informed me that they were in good voice and it's unfortunate that they did not get the same amount of effort from their players as they did not look to interested for large parts of today.

On to our Man of the Match. Luke voted for Danny Simpson as Jess placed her vote for Tom Carroll. The remaining votes from Sam, Lofty, PK and myself go to the hard working Yossi Benayoun. He covered every blade of grass today and worked tirelessly for the team. He certainly looks like a different player to the one we saw before Christmas!

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Overall a great day out for the R's fans and no-one in their wildest dreams would've bet on us scoring five goals in this one!
It was good to see Coral enjoy her first match day experience and really engage in the whole experience. She is definitely a good luck charm for us and hopefully Lofty will be able to bring her along to another game soon to continue the good luck coming our way!!

Next weekend sees an Easter double header as we travel to Leicester for the early kick off on Saturday before then returning to Loftus Road on Monday to host Watford. Lofty and I will report respectively and hopefully will see the R's build on today's victory as we look to keep the pressure on Derby to secure that vital third spot before the end of the season.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

A Depressing Evening of Football...

Blackburn 2-0 QPR

Blackburn did their play off chances no harm at all this evening, by putting yet another big dent in QPR's own promotion hopes, running out 2-0 winners at Ewood Park.

Unfortunately, being such a long haul midweek and with Jenson currently partying in Las Vegas, there was no LH representation in Blackburn tonight, for what was, I am sad to say, a very predictable outcome.

Much has been said throughout the season about Redknapp's inability to field a settled side for consecutive games, but even the most ardent of R's fans, couldn't help but be shocked and indeed, worried when tonight's line up was announced;

QPR Green; Simpson, Dunne, Young, Assou-Ekotto (Yun 77); Hoilett, Henry, Benayoun, Carroll (Maiga 68); Morrison; Keane (Austin 68).
Subs not used: Murphy, Donaldson, O’Neil, Zamora.

The surprises being starts for the 'I just cannot be arsed' Assou-Ekotto, Will Keane of which we are all still waiting to see just what exactly this lad offers and how on earth did he ever get signed by Man United and a shock return for the almost forgotten man, Luke Young. If there was ever a midfield to not warrant playing against a team from the North, it would not have Carroll and Benayoun in it..

But there again, most R's fans questioned the line up for the Middlesbrough away game which saw a 3-1 winning return.. so would this happen again??

No of course not..

I searched unsuccessfully for a stream on kick off time, but by the time I had given up and looked for audio sources elsewhere, we were already behind after a 9th minute goal from Gestede.

The reports coming through on the social media from people at the game, were by no means favourable and shortly after the half time break, we were 2 down - Spurr's effort apparently squirming under Rob Green before finding the net.

If I am honest, my interest was now below zero and my next glance at the football was at full time and to make it worse, those from down the road had scored a late winner to progress to the Champions League Semi Final. A very depressing football evening indeed..

and now for a moan...

Well, we know about the injuries and we know about all the loanees but it is puzzling to see and explain just how this season has turned out like it has. At the end of the game tonight, we currently sit in fourth spot, a mile away from the auto spots but with a nine point cushion for the play off positions. Now if there is any team in a false position, I am afraid it's us. Things have not been quite the same since McClaren left us for Derby and an absolutely dreadful transfer window has seen this season simply just fizzle out.

The amazing thing is, at the end of May, we could well be celebrating our return to the Premier League!! But personally, I would rather just write off this season and build again in the Championship next season. I know I am not alone in thinking that promotion could be an absolute disaster as all HR would do, is convince TF that he will need several more players in order for us to compete and the same mistakes would happen all over again..

We seriously would, be better off staying down for another season, dare I say with a new Manager? and a partner for Charlie Austin. That is all we will need and we can start bringing through promising and hungry youngsters such as Hitchcock, Harriman, Ehmer and Petrasso etc and off loading some of the expensive mistakes we continue to make. Use the loan system, but use it wisely, not bring in so many that we don't have enough room to play them all and continually rotate the team to accommodate them. It would help also, if they were at least interested in playing for our beloved club..

I will sign off now and await Harry Redknapp's latest bout of excuses and what a great club, Blackburn are with a fantastic history etc (no disrespect intended Rovers fans)

Lee will return at the weekend following the live TV clash with Forest, with hopefully some more refreshing things to report on..

Come on you R'sssssssssss!!!

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Lewis Grabbs the Points for Bournemouth..

Bournemouth 2-1 QPR

QPR missed yet another golden opportunity to close the gap on Burnley, with a disappointing defeat, albeit to a very much in form Bournemouth side at the Goldsands Stadium this afternoon..

With Jenson attending a friends wedding, I took the wheel for my first away drive this season and despite being held up on the M25 for a good hour, I picked up PK from Burnham at 11.30 before making the short trip to the seaside. We met up with Lee, Jess, Sam and 2 friends, Ryan and Shaun at the services to discuss our Grand National selections, before convoying into Bournemouth. Unfortunately, Luke was missing today, taking part in a Charity Football Tournament.

We arrived at the Stadium after a trouble free journey and we all got a very pleasant surprise - as myself and PK were rifling through our pockets for a car park fee, the attendant informed us that to park just a stones throw from the Stadium, would be a pound!! Yes, just one pound!! Great value indeed and really good of Bournemouth not to fleece fans like so many do up and down the country!!

With time creeping on, we made the short walk to the ground and straight in as the rain started to gain momentum. Food and drink were consumed as we all had a catch up before taking our place in the sold out away end.

Onto the game and Rangers did start very well and former R's keeper, Lee Camp was at his best saving well from Jenas's effort from outside the box. Camp was in action again moments later when Hoilett teed up Morrison, who's half volley looped off the ground and was dipping in before Camp tipped it over the bar.

It was then Rob Green's turn to perform heroics at the other end, with a great save from a Kermorgant effort from about 12 yards out. Lewis Grabban then should have done much better, finding himself free on the left before dragging his shot wide.

But in first half stoppage time, the R's went behind in all too familiar fashion, when Harte's corner saw Elphick easily get the better of Dunne before heading home. All to easy for Bournemouth..

It was safe to say that we were all extremely disappointed to be a goal down, especially after a good opening 20 minutes or so and of course, being caught out by the simplest of set pieces.

The despair soon turned to joy as Rangers drew level, just 60 seconds into the second half - Tom Carroll lofted a lovely ball into the path of Traore, who drove to the bye line before firing smartly past Camp before celebrating with the away end.

Bournemouth then went on the attack and Green was forced into action again, tipping over a fierce drive from Pugh. But on the hour, the home side regained their lead, Dunne was again found wanting as Kermorgant drifted past him, his effort was deflected across the face of the goal before the impressive, Lewis Grabban fired in from close range.

Rob Green again, prevented Bournemouth from extending their lead, turning Arter's effort over the bar. With 25 minutes to go, R's fans certainly had a sight for their sore eyes when Charlie Austin made his return from injury, replacing the hapless Maiga. It began to look even more positive for Rangers when 5 minutes later, Arter's two footed tackle on Hoilett saw the referee produce a straight red card.

But the numerical disadvantage only spurred the home side on and Grabban broke free on the left, only too see Green pull off yet another fine save, with his team mates threatening little at the other end.

But in stoppage time, the R's forced a corner. Rob Green joined the attack and this time, the R's didn't play a frustrating short corner and the ball found Dunne who saw his header cleared off the line. The referee brought the proceedings to a halt shortly after.

Thanks to Sam for some excellent photos!!

Queens Park Rangers

  • 01 Green
  • 02 Simpson
  • 39 Assou-Ekotto
  • 10 Carroll
  • 05 Dunne Booked
  • 06 Hill
  • 23 Hoilett
  • 16 Jenas (Benayoun - 72' )
  • 40 Maiga (Austin - 65' )
  • 04 Morrison Booked
  • 03 Traore (Zamora - 80' )


  • 09 Austin
  • 13 Yun
  • 20 Henry
  • 21 Young
  • 25 Zamora
  • 26 Murphy
  • 35 Benayoun

Man of the Match

A near clean sweep, with only Jess differing from the rest of us, but only after a controversial change of mind late on (hehe), picking out Armand Traore for an excellent performance on his return from injury. But for the rest of us, there was no hesitation in our votes for Rob Green.

Away Day Pie Rating

Myself, Lee and PK all went for the Steak and Ale, well, we had little choice with that being the only flavour on offer. We all agreed that the pastry was good, plenty of filling but a big let down with the lack of gravy, making it a very nice but very dry Pie. A unanimous 7/10 from all of us.

As already mentioned, this was another huge opportunity missed with Burnley being held at Watford. If we had taken maximum points in the last two weeks where Burnley have taken just one, it would be a mere 5 point gap instead of the 10 that it is now, which means it will more than likely be the play offs for us, and it looks as though the players have already long since settled for that.

Post match comments from Harry Redknapp have been baffling, in saying that Hoilett and Morrison didn't hurt the opposition enough. Now, for the first 25 minutes, Rangers channelled almost all of their attacking play through Hoilett. Once Bournemouth had sussed this out, they doubled up on him and that also led to a huge improvement in their play as their confidence grew. Morrison did actually seem the most negative he has during his time here, where he would lay the ball off when perhaps, having a real run and go at a firm Cherries backline may have had more success. Redknapp also stated we were too predictable?? Excuse me Mr Redknapp, you are the Manager, this is your job to change things if things aren't working. But I guess when things normally don't work for Harry, he buys or loans in another player, something you can't do during a game.

As much as I like both players, Hill and Dunne does not work in the middle of defence with Dunne being found wanting again several times today. A lively attack are going to have a field day and when fit again, Onouha must be the choice to partner Clint Hill.

In saying all this, I must credit Bournemouth, who are on a superb run and you can see why, they work their socks off!! Such heart, passion, hunger and desire is a pleasure to watch, even more so if it were to be shown by the players in Blue and White Hoops. Bournemouth thoroughly deserved their three points today.

As for the Play Offs, well, they are all about momentum, something Bournemouth are showing at the moment and it wouldn't surprise me at all if they sneaked into 6th place. But momentum is clearly something that is lacking at QPR and if indeed, we do make the dreaded play offs and stumbling across the line like we seem to be now, there will be no need for Mr Fernandes to order their Wembley suits just yet...

Our defeat, as well as Derby's, has ensured promotion with 6 games to go, for Leicester City and much deserved it is too. Our Congratulations go out to them and all involved!!

I will return in the week following another tricky away encounter at Blackburn on Tuesday night..

Come on you R'ssssssssss!!

Thursday, April 03, 2014

LH Talks to Cherry Chimes..

Earlier this season, we were asked to do a Q and A for excellent AFC Bournemouth blog, Cherry Chimes. Well, site Author, Peter Bell must have liked us as he has come back for another round of questions ahead of Saturday's match against the Cherries.

The link for the latest Q and A and indeed, Peter's excellent blog can be found here..

Cherry Chimes