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, December 28, 2014

A Waste of an Afternoon......

We returned to Loftus Road after the Christmas festivities to enjoy what looked like a tasty London Derby against Crystal Palace in a game that neither side wanted to lose. Could we recover from our Boxing Day disappointment at Arsenal?

Just twenty four hours before the game Neil Warnock was given the axe so we could not welcome our former manager back to where he guided us back to the Premier League a few seasons ago.
This came as a shock to ourselves and probably a few of the Palace fans as there were games, like this one, where he could of redeemed himself and gained confidence from the board and fans alike. It was Keith Millen who took caretaker charge yet again for the Eagles.
The gang arrived quite early on at Loftus Road in what was a game that Jess wanted three points from more than any other team as she hates Palace as much as we hate Chelsea and Reading! Early jokes around Lofty, PK and Jenson buying Jess a half and half scarf as a late Christmas present went around when Jess, Sam and myself arrived in our usual meeting point. Zach was already in attendance and Luke arrived slightly later after he was at a kids party early this morning, it's nice to know he has friends close to his mental age.

Several changes were made from the Boxing Day defeat as some of our "better players" returned to the starting line up in a more familiar 4-4-2 formation. The biggest shock was the inclusion of Junior Hoilett to the starting eleven after his shocking exhibition of crossing at the Emirates.

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This definitely was not a game for the football purist and in all honesty it's probably the worst game I have attended in a long long time!
The first half had very few chances to note with Austin having a pot shot well held by Speroni and at the other end Puncheon hit the post with a curler and Zaha failed to make the most of the follow up.
The highlight of the half was the minutes applause for former R's defender Clarke Carlisle on five minutes, we all wish him a speedy recovery!

The second half was much the same.
Leroy Fer volleyed just wide and shortly after saw Speroni make a decent save.
Caulker had one cleared off the line by McArthur from a Barton corner as Palace had a late claim for a penalty but Jess informs me that it was a shocking dive!

In-between all that was long ball after long ball after long ball after long ball after long ball...... you get my drift!
As mentioned before this has to be one of the worst games we have been involved in for a while. Palace were playing a long ball game to three pacey wingers who could've forced a mistake out of our defenders, however whenever we played long ball it was always aimed at Zamora and he probably won the ball three or four times during the entirety of the game. It was clear that we needed to change things and get another ball player on the field so we could actually pass the ball around rather that hoofing and hoping! Austin received no service at all today and that's the reason he didn't threaten the Palace goal we we threatened very little overall!! There was no plan b, just hoof it and hope....
As for Hoilett.... I've given up on him! He continues to run down dead ends, doing stepovers and going inside and out rather than doing what he used to be good at, running at people and beating them with pace! The same goes for Phillips, how have we ruined two decent wingers and reduced them to being utter crap?? Barton's delivery was terrible pretty much all game and for me very few players come out of today with any credit at all.

So for our Man of the Match. PK gave his vote to Richard Dunne whilst Lofty voted for Karl Henry who was superb today in my eyes. However with four votes from Jess, Sam, Luke and myself was Maurico Isla. Today we saw how good he could defend and kept a very tricky Bolasie very quiet all game! Let's hope he continues to put in performances like this!

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I will return on New Year's Day following our home game against Swansea. One thing can be sure, we won't be getting a sore neck looking up in the air after this game!!

Enjoy the New Year celebrations and here's to a fantastic 2015!!!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

And Arsenal Make it Nine...

Arsenal 2-1 QPR

QPR's search for their first away point of the season, sadly continued as Arsenal were the latest side to cash in a what has become a banker home win..

Firstly, I hope you all enjoyed a fantastic Christmas, as we approach a very busy festive football period and we were all hoping that Rangers could continue with the Christmas cheer..

With it being such a busy period, the Rangers line up had very much the look of having the next two home games firmly in mind..

So again, we find ourselves setting up different for an away fixture and it was very evident from the off that this was a straight back five and yet another lets hope to frustrate the opposition and nick a draw line up...

And Rangers were extremely sloppy in the first half as Arsenal dominated proceedings and in the 9th minute, were given a great chance to start the ball rolling when Traore brought down Sanchez with a complete mess of a tackle - Sanchez himself stepped up but Rob Green's fine form continued as he guessed right and comfortably save the spot kick.. maybe this was to be our day after all.

Rangers offered little and the resistance finally gave in on 37 minutes when Welbeck and Carzorla linked well to find Gibbs on the left, who crossed for the completely unmarked Sanchez to head home and make amends for his earlier miss from the spot.

Onto the second half and Rangers got a surprise way back into the game, as Giroud chased a long ball, shadowed by Onuoha, who as the ball went safe, nudged Giroud slightly and the Frenchman's reaction was to get up and put his head straight into the face of the R's defender - who's reaction to fall to the floor was completely over the top, but there was no doubt it was a pathetic thing to do from the Arsenal striker and a deserved red card followed..

But before Rangers could take any sort of advantage, Arsenal all but made the game safe - some superb work from Sanchez drew out 3 defenders before finding Rosicky on the right who coolly finished with a neat side foot.

As typical as it has been all season, with the game all but lost, Rangers started to play and were given a lifeline on 79 minutes when Hoilett was felled in the box by Debuchy. There was contact but there was no doubt it was a softish penalty of which Charlie Austin smashed home his 12th goal of the season..

Frustratingly, Rangers were now going for it and Hoilett was causing problems on the left side but his final ball was somewhat lacking. Kranjcar's corner was later met by Vargas but was scrambled away by the Arsenal defence. But if the first R's penalty was soft, there was no doubt we should have had a second when Fer crossed for Zamora who was taken out by Gibbs as the R's substitute was about to pull the trigger. A definite penalty waved away by referee Atkinson and the hopes of taking a point were taken firmly away as Arsenal held on..

Man of the Match

Just four votes received this evening with myself singling out Rob Green who's fine form continued in the R's goal. Niko Kranjcar was Jenson's choice but the Boxing Day winner, picked out by Lee and Luke was Steven Caulker.

So, as already mentioned, the away woes continue for QPR. Yes there are positives and we could well have got something out of the game, but it was frustrating yet again that we suddenly come to life with 15 minutes to go when the game is all but lost. Maybe a change of mental attitude away from home is required rather than a change of system and personnel.

We now have two, dare I say, winnable home games ahead of us and Lee will return in a couple of days time as the R's take on Palace at Loftus Road..

Keep the Faith and Come on you R'sssssss!!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Hats Off to Charlie....

This afternoon the R's hosted a West Brom side that were fresh from their derby day victory against Aston Villa and looking to extend the gap between themselves and the bottom three. Could the R's take the boing out of the Baggies and get themselves a much needed win after Monday night's defeat at the hands of Everton.

True to recent form myself and Jess arrived late once again and missed much of the build up to the game with the gang but we did bump into Jack on our way to the ground before happily joining up with Lofty, PK, Jenson and Luke for an unusually confident pre-match chinwag and exchange of Christmas cards before heading up to the Upper Loft.

Four changes were made from the team that lost on Monday night. Isla(personal reasons), Mutch, Hoilett and Phillips were all benched as they were replaced by Caulker, Henry, Zamora and Austin.

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The visitors got out of the traps extremely well, being very quick to close down the midfield and defence at every opportunity which in turn lead to the R's mis-placing many passes and were not able to get into any rhythm at all.
The Baggies looked threatening down both wings as Varela and Sessegnon's pace led to Vargas and Fer having to drop deeper, meaning that as the R's trying to break on the counter there was only Austin and Zamora up there to try and hold the ball up and the support was not quick enough to ensure we could take advantage of a West Brom defence that has conceded the least amount of goals on the road out of all the teams in the league.
After spurning two early chances through Gardener and Ideye, Albion took the lead with ten minutes on the clock.
Pocognoli's corner found Lescott unmarked and the former England man made no mistake to head home his first goal since joining the club in the summer.
Ten minutes later the visitors extended their lead. Varela and Sessegnon exchanged passes to release Varela through on goal before slotting underneath Green to double the difference. Green could and maybe should've done better, however it was an excellent one-two that created the space for Varela to break free before scoring.
The silence that was around the ground echoed how stunned we all were that we found ourselves two down after twenty minutes and looking totally out of sorts and really wondering how we were going to come back from this. The next goal was always going to be a key moment and potentially an indicator as to how the game was going to pan out.
Five minutes later a lifeline was given to us. Barton's inswinging corner led to Fer and Morrison coming together, it was not clear what happened but it was enough for referee Pawson to point to the spot. In all honesty I did not see what it was for and West Brom fans were clearly incensed by it so it'll be one to view on Match of the Day!
Austin stepped up and rifled past Foster, who dived the wrong way, relief!!!
This gave the R's a lot more confidence, however the Baggies midfield three were outnumbering Barton and Henry and often left gaping holes either side of them, leaving us susceptible to further attacking threats and the pace of the front three.

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Going into the break we were all quite happy, relieved yet still confident that we could get a result from this, which says something about our recent form at home. We just needed to settle ourselves down, get the passing game together and stop playing long to Zamora so often.

I joined Jenson bang on the restart as Lofty and PK remained downstairs a few minutes more, leaving the pair of us to celebrate the early equalizer by ourselves.
Barton's corner was met by the leaping salmon that was Richard Dunne who saw his header clawed out of the top corner, only for that man Austin to stroke home from a few yards out. Game on!!!
Minutes later the West Brom defence was opened up once more as Austin played in Barton, who was through on goal before then being tripped when he was going to be one on one with Foster. How the penalty was not given I do not know!! Livid is the most polite word I can give!!! It will easily be one of the most stonewall penalties you will see this season!
This opened the game up, with both teams looking threatening at either end as the two teams both looking like they could grab another, this one was going to go either way!
Austin was denied a hat-trick on several occasions by Foster, however the top scoring Englishman would not be denied the match ball.
It was yet another Barton corner that was fired in and Austin was on hand to thump home his header and deliver another three home points for the R's!

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For once it was three set pieces that led to all the R's goals, which in recent years has been a rarity in W12 but Joey Barton and of course Charlie Austin played a huge part in snatching three points today. Barton did not enjoy his greatest game, in fact I thought he was terrible in the first half but his second half performance more than more up for it as he showed the battling qualities that helped to spur the rest of the team forward whilst also leading from the front as captain and being very vocal throughout the game.
Special praise also has to go to Dunne and Caulker, who despite conceding two goals, were strong and resilient throughout in what was a testing battle against Brown Ideye and Berahino when he came on.
But Charlie Austin, what more can you say about him?? A fantastic centre forward, he may not have a great deal of pace, however he always manages to find himself in those key goal scoring positions and has been the catalyst of our side now for a season and a half. The fact that he has been involved in over 60% of our goals this season shows how essential he is to the success of our side.

Our Man of the Match has been a simple choice, our match winner Charlie Austin!

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Lofty will return after our Boxing Day game against Arsenal where anything more than zero points will be a huge bonus!

From myself, Lofty and the gang, we'd like to wish you all and your families a very Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Rangers Fail to Deflect Away Record...

Everton 3-1 QPR

QPR's wretched away from continued, this time at Goodison Park where Everton ran out 3-1 winners, leaving the R's now the ONLY team in England without an away point..

With the SKY cameras choosing this one for a Monday night fixture, it was always going to be a tall order getting to this one, or indeed, wanting too, so close to Christmas and the expense that comes with it. So instead of a stream, it was a night in front of the TV. Well, for me, the laptop as the other half chose to watch the Bette Midler thing on ITV, so on a personal note, it was double the pain having to listen to that and watch the R's get beaten on the road once more.

To be fair, this one wasn't as bad as the scoreline may suggest and Rangers were well in this game in the early stages - Matt Phillips went close from the edge of the area latching onto Baines's clearance.

But with the home fans starting to get edgy, Everton went and took the lead when Ross Barkley picked up the ball in his own half, played a neat one two with Lukaku, before carrying on his run before lashing the ball into the top left corner. The ball did take a slight deflection off Isla but it only helped it on it's way and Green was never going to stop it - a great goal.

It was 2-0 shortly before half time and when your lucks out, your luck is most definitely out - a free kick on the edge of the box from Mirallas, deflected off the jumping Vargas, wrong footing Rob Green and then into the net.

It was hoped Rangers would make more of a fight of things in the second half but on 53 minutes, if it wasn't already, it was game over -  a poor clearance from Green ended up with Mirallas finding McGeady, who crossed for the unmarked Naismith to head home, despite the best efforts of Richard Dunne on the goal line.

Rangers did then have a real go and there was a glimmer of hope on 80 minutes when Mutch saw his effort palmed out by Howard, only into the path of Bobby Zamora who tapped the ball home.

But hope was all it turned out to be and it could have been worse late on when Etoo hit the post for the home side in stoppage time..

Queens Park Rangers

  • 01 Green
  • 14 Isla
  • 22 Dunne
  • 15 Onuoha
  • 13 Yun Suk-young
  • 07 Phillips (Zamora - 59' )
  • 17 Mutch Booked
  • 08 Barton
  • 10 Fer (Kranjcar - 77' )
  • 23 Hoilett
  • 24 Vargas


  • 05 Ferdinand
  • 06 Hill
  • 11 Wright-Phillips
  • 12 McCarthy
  • 19 Kranjcar
  • 20 Henry
  • 25 Zamora
Man of the Match - sadly only one vote came in and it was Lee, who highlighted Everton's Besic as his choice, and Yun for the R's. For me, we had a real go when Zamora came on and that is my choice, as he scored his first goal since 'that' goal at Wembley. So using the Editors Choice, this weeks vote goes to Bobby Zamora.

As mentioned, this wasn't as bad as the scoreline suggested and the R's in spells played some decent football. But the longer this away record goes on, the worse it will get as the pressure will continue to mount..

We will be back at the weekend as Lee will review the vital HOME game with WBA..

Keep the Faith and Come on you R'sssssss!!

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Charlie and Leroy Get the Job Dunne......

This afternoon saw another huge battle at the bottom as Burnley made the trip to Loftus Road in what would be an important game for both sides. Burnley themselves have been in good form as the R's are heavily relying on their home form to stage their fight for survival. Surely an intriguing game was ahead for us?

The gang had two casualties today as Jenson attended his wife's birthday and PK missed out due to his car breaking down. Traffic held Jess and myself up and we arrived fifteen minutes before kick off, delighted after hearing Chelsea lose to Newcastle.

Two changes were made to the side that lost at Swansea on Tuesday.
Onuoha and Kranjcar dropped to the bench as they were replaced by Isla and Zamora.

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The first half was far from an entertaining encounter and very few points to note.
Burnley had the better of the chances with Rob Green having to be in top form to prevent the visitors taking the lead. Green fumbled Marney's right wing cross as Isla got in the way of the R's number one and the ball fell to Arfield, who must've thought he'd won the lottery, had a gaping goal in front of him and looked to place the ball beyond the Rangers' defence that were laying on the floor, amazingly Green made a great recovery and spread himself as wide as he could and deflected the shot out for a corner via his face. An incredible recovery and save!!
Green was again called into action shortly after as George Boyd picked up the pieces on the edge of the box and unleashed a left footed swerver that started outside the far post and curled in towards the top corner..... it was destined to nestle in the top corner but that man Green somehow stretched his arm out to fingertip it onto the post and out for another corner! Green was on song again following an immense performance at Swansea mid week and it was going to take something special to beat him today!
The R's finally started to get a foothold in the game after twenty five minutes and had one real notable chance in the first half.
Vargas beat Ben Mee down the R's right and fired in on Tom Heaton's goal but saw the effort blocked before then being cleared to safety.

At half time I cannot say we were enthused at all, this game wasn't for a football purist and had a sense that neither team wanted to lose the game. Burnley had the better of the chances and were unsettling the R's with there full on pressure play and didn't allow our midfield to settle or string passes together and this often led to us hitting a long ball to Zamora or firing their passes wayward.

Burnley started the better of the teams in the second half but the R's grabbed the all important first goal six minutes into the half.
Zamora released Austin down the R's left and the former Burnley man squared beautifully to Fer as the Dutchman grabbed his second goal at Loftus Road in two games when he side-footed home to raise the roof and release all the tension that had been building up around the ground.
The goal should of deflated the visitors, however to their credit they used this as a springboard to put Rangers' under the cosh in a very nervy ten minute spell for the home faithful.
The intense pressure led to the R's making a change with Zamora coming off and Kranjcar coming on to play behind Austin a give an extra man in midfield and try to nullify Burnley's attacking threats.
With fifteen minutes left the game was finally put to bed.
Rangers' strung together a good twenty plus passes before Isla and Vargas played a clever one-two with each other as Isla then pulled back a delightful cross to Austin who fired home to seal the points and it certainly looked like the R's number 9 enjoyed scoring it before giving the Burnley fans a little wave as he jogged back to the halfway line.
The visiting fans were soon waving good bye to Austin as straight from the re-start Austin was giving a second yellow for what looked like a fair aerial challenge that Keane fell from like he had been shot. No sooner had the second yellow been dished out he jumped straight back up and made a miracle recovery! I may be wrong with what I said but that's how it looked to me.....
Burnley applied their numerical advantage well, however they did not create too many clear cut chances to, if anything Rangers' should've extended their lead further when Fer slid in Yun Suk-Young one on one with the 'keeper back the left back's shot was well saved by Heaton.

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This was a massive three point for the R's and sees us rise from the bottom of the table to fourth from bottom.
It was a very hard earned victory and you have to credit Burnley for a very hard working performance and did not allow us to settle in any way during the game but it was the better finishing by us that ultimately won the game. Danny Ings looks like a player with huge potential but when you have the likes of Ashley Barnes, Lukas Jutkiewicz and Marvin Sordell as choices behind him, they are going to heavily rely on him to pull them through the season.
Austin's red card overshadowed another good performance by him and in all honesty him missing the Everton game will provide him with a much needed rest ahead of the huge games we have coming up against West Brom and Palace.
You also have to give a massive amount of credit to our defenders today as we were put under a huge amount of pressure but all of the back five put in fantastic performances and this was our first clean sheet since we beat Villa at the end of October.

Onto our Man of the Match. Sam gave her vote to Fer for another great performance in front of the home crowd. PK went for Green after the incredible saves he made in the first half kept us in with a chance of winning the game. The remainder of the votes from Jess, Lofty, Luke, Jenson, Lorna and myself go to a very worthy winner in Richard Dunne. He was simply superb today and did not put a foot wrong at all!

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With the Everton game being on Monday next week we can all enjoy a stress free weekend and look forward to the difficult trip to Goodison Park.

Until then Keep The Faith!!!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Green Takes Liberties in Swansea..

Swansea 2-0 QPR

QPR's dismal away form sadly continued this evening, with two late goals sealing the win for Swansea, despite heroics from Rob Green in the R's goal..

No LH representation in Wales tonight unfortunately due to various commitments from us all and being a bit too close to Christmas to justify the expense. Jenson made a late decision not to attend as Swansea announced tickets were off sale, with Jenson hoping to pay on the door.

So, for many of us, it was a good old stream, sat in the warm. Personally, I was running late getting home and was enduring the torture of Lee, Jenson and Luke on our Whassap group, chatting about the game which was very difficult, as I was sat in my car, I was struggling to keep up with it all.

The general feedback was that the R's were holding their own, although threatening little, but what was obvious was the game Rob Green was having in the Rangers goal and one save in particular, which I haven't seen yet, had the boys drooling!

Happily I was indoors and settled for the second half which sadly , wasn't much to write home about from a Rangers point of view. Rangers were hanging on somewhat and offered little as an attacking threat, only forcing a couple of corners towards the last 20 minutes with Green still producing heroics at the other end.

With twelve minutes left and just as we all hoped we may hold on for a valuable, precious point, Swansea finally managed to beat Rob Green - as Rangers pushed up for an offside, the ball was played to Ki and with Dunne playing him slightly on, he fired home with a powerful effort from a tight angle.

It was game over five minutes later, when Leroy Fer lost possession on the left and decided he would just stand there rather than chase back, the ball found it's way to former Ranger, Routledge who finished well from outside the box.

The Rangers heads were certainly down now and only the post prevented Bony from making it three..

Queens Park Rangers

  • 01 Green
  • 15 Onuoha
  • 22 Dunne
  • 04 Caulker
  • 13 Yun Suk-young
  • 20 Henry
  • 08 Barton Booked (Hoilett - 80' )
  • 24 Vargas
  • 19 Kranjcar
  • 10 Fer Booked
  • 09 Austin


  • 05 Ferdinand
  • 07 Phillips
  • 12 McCarthy
  • 14 Isla
  • 17 Mutch
  • 23 Hoilett
  • 25 Zamora
Man of the Match - never a more easy a vote - Rob Green - a truly outstanding performance!!

So, that's 7 away games and 7 defeats for Rangers this season and the away form remains a concern. The performance of Green was a massive positive to take from tonight and a further positive is, that we are at home on Saturday...

Lee will return to review what will hopefully be another thrilling home win over Burnley...

Until the, Keep the Faith and Come on you R'sssss!!