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

Friday, January 31, 2014

Maiga Joins as the Window Slams Shut...

QPR have again, left it right to the last knockings to conclude their Transfer Window business, by signing West Ham striker, Modibo Maiga on loan until the end of the season..

The 26 year old Mali International has struggled to make an impact at West Ham this season but on his late signing, Modibo told the Official QPR Website -

'It is an exciting new chapter for me. I am here to play games and score goals.'

Maiga will wear the number 40 shirt for the R's.

Well as said, Maiga's signing has concluded QPR's transfer dealings this window. Following the dreadful news that Charlie Austin will possibly miss the rest of the season, it was blatantly obvious that strikers were needed and we brought in 4!!

So with Burnley being an early kick off,  it's time for myself and Lee to sign off..

Come on you Rssssssssss!!



Keane Joins On Loan......

In true QPR style, it was a late one and at about 10.50pm, deal number five of the day has been completed as Will Keane has passed his medical and joined the R's on loan until the end of the season.

Keane enjoyed a brief loan spell with Wigan earlier this season is regarded at a bright prospect at Old Trafford and see the move into a Promotion chasing side as a key learning process for the 21 year old striker.

Harry Redknapp told the Official QPR Website of his latest capture...

“He’s got a good eye for goal, leads the line well and will provide us with good competition in the final third.''

Diakite Departs......

Forgotten man Samba Diakite has left the club following a frustrating period on the sidelines.

Diakite had disappeared since last years thrashing at home to Liverpool and many of us fans had wondered whether he has been locked away in the janitors cupboard at the Harlington Training ground and recently returned to the R's bench for the last few games.

He will be on loan until the end of the season.

Kev Is in..........

Another transfer swoop has been landed as the R's finally get the man they chased two years ago, Kevin Doyle.

Doyle joins after two disappointing relegation seasons at Wolves and this is after he was refused a move following their relegation from the Premier League.
Doyle has gone off the boil during this frustrating period and could see a move to West London as a chance to rejuvenate himself and get back to the form we saw from him during his time at Reading(spit!).

The 30 year old has played for the Republic of Ireland has 50 caps to his name.

Doyle joins the club on loan until the end of the season.

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R's Start Deadline Day With Treble Deal........

Rangers' have started deadline day by announcing three deals before lunchtime.

Firstly Coll Donaldson, a young 18 year old right back from Scotland, has joined the club for around £150k on a three year deal from Livingstone.

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Our second signing is Dellatorre from Atletico Paranaese on loan until the end of the season. The QPR Scouts have recommended the Brazilian to Harry Redknapp.

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Lastly we see Aaron Hughes sign from Fulham on a deal until the end of season.
The 34 year old Northern Ireland International has a wealth of experience and will provide essential defensive cover with several injury concerns starting to appear in the R's squad.
Hughes will wear the number 18 shirt for the R's.

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Further developments look to be happening as Harry Redknapp looks to bolster his attacking options on the back of the dreadful news that Charlie Austin is likely to miss the rest of the season through injury.

Stay tuned, it's going to be an eventful last nine and a half hours at Loftus Road!!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Hooray For Henry.....

Last night the R's took on a Bolton side that were fresh off the back of a 7-1 mauling at the hands of Reading and were looking to bounce back by halting our progress in the pursuit of Leicester. Could Rangers' continue the recent good run of form?

With this being a mid-week game the troops were all weary of the potential traffic issues that halted progress on the A40 last time round, however with no real issues around the area Lofty, Sam, Luke, Jenson and myself all congregated outside the Blue and White bar before kick off, with Jess having to arrive by train with her Dad and Brother due to her working commitments. Unfortunately we were missing PK due to having work in Southend and not finishing until late in the evening.

Two changes were made to the side that beat Huddersfield.
Danny Simpson missing out with a back injury, whilst Gary O'Neil dropped to the bench. They were replaced by Armand Traore and Matty Phillips.
Traore's inclusion meant the Assou-Ekotto moved over to an unfamiliar right back position, but a player of his class was never going to struggle was he.....

Within 30 seconds Bolton were forced into a change of personnel as Tim Ream collected a nasty looking head injury after a clash of heads with Charlie Austin.
Bolton had the better of the opening half an hour with Darren Pratley having two great opportunities with one being comfortably saved by Green whilst the other flashed just past the far post.
Halfway into the first 45 minutes it looked like the R's worst nightmare was about to come true.
Austin looked to land heavily on his right shoulder and after treatment the physio signalled for Austin to be replaced. The groans around Loftus Road were evident when the signal was given, not only because we were about to lose our main goal asset but also because we could see that man Bobby Zamora getting ready to enter the fray. However Austin's stubbornness saw him get his shoulder heavily strapped up and he soldiered back onto the pitch to continue on despite looking as if he was in a great deal of pain.
Bolton then came even closer to taking the lead. Craig Davies cut in from the Bolton left and curled a superb effort at the far corner of Green's goal. Green stood there helpless as he saw the ball sail past him, only to see the ball hit the underside of the bar, bouncing out before Traore cleared the lines for Rangers'. A huge let off!!!!
This spurred and quiet Loftus Road into a bit more voice as they got behind the team more vocally and with five minutes of the half remaining their reward was given.
Phillips wriggled free inside the Bolton penalty area and despite Lofty demanding him to "hit it", Phillips floated a delightful ball over to Austin who headed across the 'keeper from six yards out and gave the R's the lead going into the half time interval.

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At half time we all gathered once again with Michael joining us on this occasion with relief once again that we had not been punished for playing poorly. The passing was very lacklustre at times, with Henry and Carroll not being able to gain any kind of control in the centre of midfield. We were just grateful as ever that our saviour Charlie Austin had delivered the goods once again.

Rangers' started the second half the better of the teams and five minutes in grabbed a second goal through the most unlikely of sources.
Assou-Ekotto's corner from the right was cleared but only as far as Karl Henry, who took a touch before unleashing an unstoppable drive into the bottom left corner!!!! Henry didn't give much of a celebration, however those of us in the stands were in total shock that we had witnessed a cracker from someone who very rarely takes aim. If I was Henry scoring a goal like that I'd of ripped my shirt off, revealed my beer belly, much like the Paddy Power advert that's currently out.

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On 69 minutes Austin was taken off as we wrapped him in cotton wool ahead of Saturday's massive game against Burnley. Bobby Zamora replaced him and the Zamora chants started......
It wasn't long until Zamora was involved and in a positive manner! He played a delightful ball for Johnson to run on to and as Johnson advanced on Lonergan he was taken down for a certain penalty, referee D'Urso put the whistle to his mouth to award the spot kick, only to then refuse it and play on..... unbelievable!!!!!
Bolton were given a lifeline with six minutes to go after some sloppy defending left Jay Spearing with the space to take aim and with his shot going safely into the arms of Rob Green it was hugely unfortunate that Richard Dunne got his legs in a tangle and deflected the shot inside of Green to set up a nervy final few minutes.

In the end it was a deserving three points despite not being at our best and with Bolton not making the most of the chances they had in the opening half an hour.
With Burnley dropping points that now gives us a small cushion going into Saturday's early kick off.
We will need to play much better on Saturday than in recent weeks as our passing has been poor and have lacked a tempo in the opening exchanges. When we pass the ball around a lot quicker we tend to open teams up more and create more chances. It would be great to see Barton back in the middle directing proceedings as we really to miss his quality when he's not on the field.

Man of the Match time. The gangs vote saw a three way tie as Jenson and Luke voted for Matty Phillips, Lofty and Clive opted for Andy Johnson, Sam and Jess picked out Karl Henry whilst myself and Michael chose Niko Kranjcar. This means it goes to Editor's choice and for the first time I am going to go against my original vote and let Karl Henry pick up the award despite having a poor game and I give two reasons why, number one being his goal was superb and number two being he'll never win the award again! Hooray for Henry!!

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I shall return on Saturday following the huge game against Burnley!!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Charlie Plays An 'Udder Blinder......

The R's returned to Loftus Road following on from last weeks contender for Away Day of the season at Ipswich with another tough encounter ahead of them, the visit of Huddersfield Town.

The pre-match conversations revolved around our enjoyable experiences with the Huddersfield fans in Ibiza nearly 9 years ago when we toured over there, however the friendliness didn't seem to exist today as the Police surrounded the Green to eradicate any trouble that was starting to brew around Shepherds Bush Green at 2pm.
Myself and Jess then met up with Sam and Luke before Lofty and Jenson arrived for a good chinwag and catch up of the week that had passed us.
The team news arrived shortly afterwards and we were happy to see that a second striker was named in e starting eleven as Andy Johnson returned in place of Yossi Benayoun as the injured Joey Barton sat out with a thigh injury. His replacement was Karl Henry.

Huddersfield started the game the brightest and their speed of breaking away and running at the R's defence was causing all sorts of problems for our warhorses Clint Hill and Richard Dunne.
The visitors took control of proceedings and if it wasn't for poor finishing from Danny Ward and Nahki Wells then we could've easily found ourselves three or four behind by the break.
There was a distinct lack of atmosphere around Loftus Road and if it wasn't for the Huddersfield fans creating some noise you would've been excused for thinking that we were playing in a library this afternoon.
It was soon apparent that the new style narrow diamond formation that the R's midfield were playing was not very effective and left us lacking width, with only Simpson and BAE attacking the flanks to provide Austin and Johnson with the service they needed to trouble Smithies in the Terriers goal.
The closest the R's came to breaking the deadlock in the opening 45 minutes came from a corner as Austin crashed his header off the bar, the rebound from Hill was then saved before Karl Henry himself hit the bar!

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A much needed change took place ahead of the second half, with Matty Phillips replacing Gary O'Neil. O'Neil looked to of taken a few knocks in the first half so this was probably a precautionary action.
Phillips' introduction gave Rangers' a much needed boost of energy and some of the unexpected that would provide us with the attacking threat that we so desperately needed.
It was that man Phillips that was at the heart of the action that led to the first goal.
He drove in from the right wing position, evading several tackles along the way before finally wriggling free and passing to BAE who was free on the left wing. From there BAE cut the ball back to Johnson, who in turn flicked the ball into Austin's direction, from here the R's number 9 took 3 touches, with the last seemingly being one touch too many, before he blasted the ball into the bottom right corner and lifted the tension around Loftus Road!
Rangers' did grow in confidence from here but just ten minutes later the visitors were level after some sloppy defending.
Carroll was caught napping on the edge of the R's penalty area before Hammill crossed for Wells to stoop in and head home.The R's fans nightmares had come true as we were all hoping for Wells to sign for us during this transfer window, however our loss is definitely Huddersfield's gain.
The continued to grow into the game as it progressed as they tend to do these days, with the last half an hour being where we look the most dangerous, with today being no exception.
With ten minutes left on the clock we were treated to a rarity........ a goal from a corner!!
Assou-Ekotto's delivery from the right was met by who else but Charlie Austin and he headed home from eight yards with aplomb.

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On reflection of the game I can honestly say that the only difference between the two sides today was the finishing. Huddersfield spurned too many chances today and were punished for not making the most of their chances.
The R's have to be very thankful for the hard work and goals of Charlie Austin this year. He never stops running and has scored many vital goals over the course of this season and is looking like he will be the first striker since Andy Thomson to score over 20 goals in a season and that was in the 2001-02 season!!!

Our Man of the Match today saw a near clean sweep with only Jess voting differently and going for Assou-Ekotto. The remaining five votes from Lofty, Jenson, Sam, Luke and myself all went for the excellent Charlie Austin. Goals win games!

With next weekends fixture being cancelled I shall return a week on Tuesday with my report after the home game against Bolton.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Faith Restored as QPR Remove Tractors Wheels...

Ipswich 1-3 QPR

A superb second half performance gave QPR an impressive away win, running out 3-1 winners at Portman Road this afternoon..

With it not being the furthest away game to travel to, I was picked up by Jenson and PK at 11 and I must say, it was an absolute breeze of a journey which saw us in Ipswich town centre at around 12.30 and that was after a quick coffee stop. After parking up, we met up with Lee and Jess before walking round to the opposite side of the ground to collect our tickets. Unfortunately, Sam and Luke decided to give this one a miss today due to family commitments. We were in the ground in plenty of time for refreshments and a very enjoyable catch up.

Onto the game and what I must say, looking a very negative R's line up went about their task against a very much inform Ipswich who were unbeaten in 9 games and had sneaked into the top six almost under the radar. As a spectacle, the half was very forgettable. The home side had the first real chance when Joey Barton eventually cleared from a manic goalmouth scramble, before the ball came almost straight back in, only to see Chambers balloon over the bar after being closed down by Clint Hill.

At the other end, Rangers had plenty of the ball but again, were struggling to create chances. A superb Gary O'Neil low cross was begging to be tapped in but avoided everyone. O'Neill again, crossed from the right to find Austin who's headed saw Gerken pull off a remarkable point blank save in the Ipswich goal. In the stands, Jenson's hands were already on my shoulders celebrating, we were sure it was going to hit the net, it really was some save!!

On a busy concourse at half time, I think it was safe to say there was plenty of concern around after what was overall a very forgettable first half. It's also safe to say that the majority of a very healthy R's away following, didn't expect what was coming next in the second half..

And it all started on the 52nd minute when Niko Kranjcar picked up Ekotto's throw in, skipped past 3 players and into the box, before firing a low shot into the corner..

14 minutes later, the lead was doubled when Austin's effort from outside the box, was parried by Gerken, into path of the oncoming Gary O'Neill who calmly slotted the ball home for his first R's goal...

A further 8 minutes later, the Rangers end was in full celebration again, when Clint Hill's long clearance from the back was not dealt with by Tommy Smith, letting substitute Traore nip in behind before stabbing the ball into the net.. another with his first goal for the club!

The R's were in complete control now and the away end were well on their way to celebrating what was going to be a very good away win. In stoppage time, Tommy Smith redeemed his earlier mistake by volleying home superbly from a corner in stoppage time. Little consolation for the home side and even less for Lee and Jess, seeing their 25/1 3-0 bet go down..

Queens Park Rangers

  • 01 Green
  • 02 Simpson
  • 39 Assou-Ekotto
  • 17 Barton (Henry - 40' )
  • 05 Dunne
  • 06 Hill
  • 36 O'Neil
  • 10 Carroll
  • 09 Austin
  • 19 Kranjcar (Phillips - 85' )
  • 35 Benayoun (Traore - 68' )


  • 03 Traore
  • 07 Phillips
  • 08 Johnson
  • 11 Wright-Phillips
  • 15 Onuoha
  • 20 Henry
  • 26 Murphy

Man of the Match

So refreshing again to have so much choice but we whittled in down to just three in the end. Lee picked out Gary O'Neil as his choice with Jenson choosing Niko Kranjcar. But with 3 votes, from myself, PK and a late call from Jess which clinched it, todays award goes to Richard Dunne.. Dunne Dunne Dunne Dunne.. (sorry, couldn't resist!)

AwayDay Pie Rating

The top mark came from PK who rated his Chicken and Bacon at a 9, Jenson followed with his Chicken Balti getting an 8, disappointed that no fork was supplied. The no fork option gave positive feedback from Lee from his Chicken Balti as it was consumed with little mess or effort, awarding a 7. The latter could not be said for myself who was somewhat disappointed with the more onion, less chicken filling and with no fork, managed to spill a big lump down the front of my coat - 6

Giving the Ipswich Pies a very respectable rating of 7.5/10

In summary, with us missing last weeks Cup Tie, this was the first awayday of 2014 for us and what an enjoyable one it was too. As mentioned, at half time I don't think any of us could see what was coming which was a good, positive, attacking display from the R's, which certainly brought it's rewards. Long may it continue...

Despite the traffic being heavy getting out of Ipswich, it was another breeze of a journey home, Ipswich is certainly up there with one of my favourite away days.

Lee will return with one of his memorable reports next weekend as we take on Huddersfield at Loftus Road.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend...

Come on you R'sssssssssssssssssss!!

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Four too Easy for Everton...

Everton 4-0 QPR

QPR's dismal record in the FA Cup continued as Everton eased their way into the fourth round with something to spare..

Soon after the draw, it was decided by myself and the gang that this one didn't really appeal and it was one of those rare times that there was no Lofty Heights representation at all at Goodison Park.

With no streams available, it was around the radio/TV for myself and the first shock of the afternoon was the news that due to an slight injury to Rob Green, Julio Cesar would be starting in goal. Now, I understand the reasoning that it is purely marketing to help get the very highly paid, Brazilian mercenary out of our club this window, but I have to say that if you were Brian Murphy, you would be gutted not to get the nod for this one...

From a personal point of view, the moment I heard that Ross Barkley had given Everton the lead, it was more or less game over. Jelavic added to the scoring with a brace, along with a missed penalty for his hat trick and Seamus Coleman added the fourth. The TV highlights showed absolute heroics from Clint Hill clearing twice off the line to prevent the scoreline being even more emphatic.

The most disappointing part of the day, despite high profile opponents, was the several texts I have received and reports read on the social media, is that Rangers didn't put up much of a fight at all and didn't muster a single shot on target during the entire match. This is very concerning when you consider, albeit with changes, the quality we have in our team with plenty of Premier League experience. Obviously not being there I cannot comment any further.

It is rumoured that Harry Redknapp is currently trying to thrash out a deal to bring Jelavic to Loftus Road, possibly on loan and will await that one with interest. But the way Roberto Martinez was talking after the game, the deal looks unlikely, but you never know...

Queens Park Rangers

  • 33 Julio César
  • 02 Simpson
  • 39 Assou-Ekotto
  • 36 O'Neil
  • 06 Hill
  • 15 Onuoha
  • 07 Phillips
  • 17 Barton
  • 09 Austin (Benayoun - 76' )
  • 20 Henry (Johnson - 58' )
  • 03 Traore (Kranjcar - 45' )


  • 05 Dunne
  • 08 Johnson
  • 14 Onyewu
  • 19 Kranjcar
  • 25 Zamora
  • 26 Murphy
  • 35 Benayoun
So that's the FA Cup over for another year and if Sheffield Wednesday beat Macclesfield in their replay, the Annual QPR FA Fourth Round day off, will take place on 25th January,

I will return next weekend as we are back to league matters on the road to Ipswich...

Come on you R'ssssssssss!!!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Lofty Heights Talks to The Gwladys Street Preacher, Everton Blog

Everton supporter, Gary Maiden asked if we could ask a few questions for his excellent Everton blog, ahead of todays FA Cup Tie...

Click here for The Gwladys Street Preacher..

Thanks, Gary for the opportunity and we wish you all the very best of luck for the rest of the season..

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Job Don...... Badly!!!!

Today Rangers' fans visited Loftus Road for the first time in 2014 in hope of seeing a much better performance than we have seen of late. The opportunity to put poor showings against Forest and Watford behind us came as Doncaster Rovers were the visitors. 
Could the R's avenge the last minute defeat that was dealt to us when we visited the Keepmoat just four weeks ago.

Jess, Clive and myself made our way round the M25 before reaching our usual parking spot, only to find that Lofty was parked up just three cars in front of us. Due to the rain we all refused to move for around half an hour before finally conceding that we needed to brave the rain on our short walk to the ground.
Shortly after getting through the turnstiles we met up with PK who still seemed to be struggling after the Watford after party on Sunday evening.
Sam, Luke and Lorna all made an appearance just before we all headed to our seats.
Jenson was not in attendance, the reason was not clearly known, so I shall put it down to a hangover.

Rangers' made two changes from the dull affair at Watford. Gary O'Neil and Charlie Austin were restored to the starting eleven as Matt Phillips and Tom Carroll made way.

The R's started brightly with Krancjar going close after an excellent through ball from Hoilett found Simpson advancing down the right flank and pulled back to Kranjcar who done everything right but hit the target.
In the build up Hoilett pulled up injured and was quickly replaced by Matt Phillips, who was extremely unlucky not to of retained his place in the starting line up.
That was pretty much the only highlight for the home crowd to get excited about as Doncaster pulled the strings and took apart the R's midfield piece by piece and carved out several excellent chances but found themselves lacking in the final third.
Doncaster's pressure finally got it's reward just before half time.
Yossi Benayoun was easily brushed off the ball and spent more time complaining than concentrating on tracking back whilst Doncaster broke clear. Macheda played in Theo Robinson and his drive left Rob Green with no chance as it nestled in the bottom corner.

At half time we were all in agreement that we were deservingly behind to an efficient and hard working Doncaster side. Rangers' lacked any energy and enthusiasm during the first 45 minutes and to be honest it really did not look like Rangers' had any kind of chance of getting anything from the game.

The start of the second half saw Yossi Benayoun rightfully get hauled off as Andy Johnson took his place and signalled the R's intentions of wanting to attack Doncaster and put all the wrong from the first half right.
As it was the half started as the first half ended, with Doncaster much in the ascendancy.
Only Matt Phillips looked the likely source of being Rovers' downfall as he was looking extremely dangerous on the right wing and produced several excellent crosses that found neither of the R's forwards correctly anticipating the cross and the frustration for the home fans continued.
Doncaster, in my opinion, were very unlucky and on the wrong end of a poor refereeing decision when Gary O'Neil took out a Donny attacker with a waist high challenge. How Doncaster were not awarded a penalty and given the opportunity to double their lead is beyond me. Rangers' should of been two down and without a hope of getting anything from the game........ that is how bad the R's were today. As it was we we very fortuitous and made the most of it!
The equaliser soon followed. Assou-Ekotto's far post cross was met by Austin, who's header was blocked before the ball bobbled through to Phillips and he tapped into the unguarded net to lift the tension around Loftus Road and give us all hope. This was Rangers' first goal since 14th December at Blackpool.
Just as it looked that the visitors were about to take away a deserved point there was a final twist in the tail.
With 93 minutes on the clock Rangers' broke away and Phillips fed Simpson down the right and the resulting cross was picture perfect and Charlie Austin, who had no right to win the header, leapt and met Simpson's cross and directed his powerful header into the far corner and sent R's fans into raptures!! Turnbull got a good hand on the header, however the header was so powerful he could not keep it out!

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Doncaster can feel massively hard done by as they deserved something from the game and really controlled the majority of the game. On any other given day they would've probably won quite comfortably.
Rangers' were poor today and shows that we really need an injection of pace in our game as we are so slow and lethargic, it's very painful to watch at times.
The positive to take out of this is that we have our match winner back in the team and despite Austin having a relatively poor game, he worked his socks off and popped up with the winning goal at the most crucial moment of the game, that's why we paid good money for him at the start of the season!

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Onto our Man of the Match. There are several contenders selected from the gang today. Clive opted for Joey Barton, whilst Lofty and Luke swayed towards Danny Simpson after he produced the fantastic cross that assisted the match winning goal. However with four votes from Jess, Sam, PK and myself our winner is Matt Phillips for his hard working display and always looked a threat as he attacked the Doncaster full backs and popped up with the equalising goal.

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Lofty will return with a report of the FA Cup game at Everton at the weekend.

Happy New Year!!!!!