|The Kaspars Gorkss conundrum - history|
Thu 01st Nov 2012 22:27 by Clive Whittingham
QPR and Reading meet on Sunday both chasing a first win of the season, with the R’s hoping to cope a little better with former charge Kaspars Gorkss than they did last month.
Recent MeetingsQPR 2 Reading 3, Wednesday September 26, 2012, League Cup
After a patchy start to the campaign, QPR’s 2012/13 season really started to come off the rails in September when newly promoted West Ham and Reading both came to Loftus Road and won, scoring six goals between them in the process. The Royals went first, without a win themselves in the league and fielding a mixture of first and reserve teams for a League Cup clash. QPR stuck their first choice 11 out there and seemed to be on course for due reward when Junior Hoilett powered through the visiting defence and scored his first QPR goal. Although Reading subsequently equalised when former QPR defender Kaspars Gorkss headed in a free kick, the home side restored their advantage after half time with a fabulous long range strike from Djibril Cisse. That looked like being that, but a physical Reading side forced their way back in and a mixture of their persistence and QPR’s defensive incompetence allowed first Nicky Shorey to curl in a long range free kick and then Pavel Pogrebnyak to back heel in from close range. The Russian subsequently missed a stoppage time penalty that would have made it 4-2. Reading went on to lose 7-5 in remarkable circumstances in the next round.
QPR: Cesar 6, Dyer 6 (Nelsen 64, 5), Mbia 6, Hill 7, Onuoha 5, Mackie 5, Granero 6, Faurlin 7 (Diakite 87, -), Park 5 (Zamora 67, 6), Hoilett 6, Cisse 6
Subs not used: Green, Derry, Wright Phillips, Ehmer
Goals: Hoilett 14 (unassisted), Cisse 71 (unassisted)
Bookings: Mbia 26 (foul), Cisse 71 (over celebrating)
Reading: McCarthy 7, Cummings 6, Gorkss 7, Mariappa 6 (Morrison 79, -), Shorey 7, Kebe 6 (McCleary 69, 6), Karacan 6, Tabb 6, Robson Kanu 6, Pogrebniak 6, Hunt 7
Subs not used: Taylor, Gunter, McAnuff, Le Fondre, Church
Goals: Gorkss 15 (assisted Shorey), Shorey 76 (unassisted – free kick), Pogrebnyak 81 (assisted Hunt)
Bookings: Kebe 60 (foul), Robson Kanu 84 (dissent)
Reading 0 QPR 1, Friday February 4, 2011, Championship
QPR secured a crucial 1-0 away win at play off chasing Reading in a live Sky match on their way to winning the Championship in 2010/11. This was a game won against the odds as the omnipresent three man refereeing committee that Brian McDermott’s Reading are famed for took control of the game from the appointed official Russell Booth. First Matt Mills deliberately upended Hogan Ephraim on his way through on goal but after the committee surrounded the referee and screamed in his face he escaped with a yellow card when it was an obvious red. Frustrated and wronged, Ephraim lunged into a tackle a moment later and Mills et al surrounded Booth once more and persuaded him to issue a red card. Down to ten against an in form team, QPR dug in and stuck it so far up Mills’ arse you could see it at the back of his throat when Ale Faurlin played Wayne Routledge in with eight minutes left and he took the shot on early, beating Federici who should have done better.
Reading: Federici 5, Griffin 5, Ingimarsson 6, Mills 5, Harte 6, McAnuff 6, Tabb 6 (Robson-Kanu 76, 6), Karacan 6, Kebe 6, Long 5, Church 5 (Manset 68, 7)
Subs Not Used: McCarthy, Gunnarsson, Hunt, Khizanishvili, Cummings
Booked: Griffin (foul), Mills (foul)
QPR: Kenny 8, Orr 7, Connolly 7, Gorkss 7, Hill 7, Routledge 8 (Hall 90, -), Derry 8, Faurlin 9, Ephraim 6, Taarabt 7 (Moen 86, -), Hulse 6 (Miller 66, 7)
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Rowlands, Chimbonda, Shittu
Sent Off: Ephraim 42 (serious foul play)
Booked: Hill (foul), Connolly (foul)
Goals: Routledge 82 (assisted Faurlin)
QPR 3 Reading 1, Saturday November 6, 2010, Championship
Controversial refereeing decisions have punctuated our recent clashes with Reading and it was no different when these sides met at Loftus Road in November 2010. The R’s won 3-1 despite Bradley Orr receiving a straight red card before half time for a tackle on Hal Robson-Kanu that was crude, but barely merited a red. QPR were already in the lead by that stage thanks to a penalty from Adel Taarabt after Brian Howard had hacked him down in the penalty area during a typically mazy dribble. Reading must have fancied their chances against ten men in the second half but Rangers, and Taarabt in particular, were irresistible. Ale Faurlin rammed in a second and Tommy Smith converted after Taarabt’s free kick had been saved either side of a fine goal from Shane Long.
QPR: Kenny 7, Orr 6, Connolly 7, Gorkss 7, Walker 7, Derry 8, Faurlin 9, Mackie 8, Taarabt 9 (Clarke 80, 7), Smith 8 (Ephraim 90, -), Hulse 6 (Agyemang 81, 7)
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Leigertwood, Rowlands, Parker
Sent Off: Orr (serious foul play)
Booked: Derry (ungentlemanly conduct), Clarke (handball)
Goals: Taarabt 27 (penalty won by Taarabt), Faurlin 61 (assisted Mackie), Smith 71 (assisted Taarabt)
Reading: Federici 7, Griffin 6, Khizanishvili 6, Mills 6, Harte 6, McAnuff 5, Tabb 6 (Antonio 81, 6), Karacan 6 (Church 62, 5), Howard 6, Robson-Kanu 7 (Hunt 72, 6), Long 7
Subs Not Used: McCarthy, Cummings, Pearce, Armstrong
Booked: Mills (foul), Karacan (foul), Antonio (foul)
Goals: Long 68 (unassisted)
Reading 1 QPR 0, Tuesday March 16, 2010, Championship
QPR didn’t get the best of luck with refereeing decisions in their two meetings with Reading the previous season either, particularly in the game at the Madejski Stadium where our old friend Gavin Ward was in vintage form with the whistle. At the time both teams were enjoying resurgences under new management with Neil Warnock and Brian McDermott leading their sides up the table after winter relegation fights. Young referee Ward took centre stage by sending Damion Stewart off just before half time under heavy duress from Reading ’s three man refereeing committee and then awarding the Royals a late penalty which was converted by Gylfi Sigudsson for a 1-0 win.
Reading: Federici, Griffin , Mills, Ingimarsson, Bertrand, Kebe,Tabb, Sigurdsson, Howard (Rasiak 61), McAnuff, Long (Church 67)
Subs Not Used: Hamer, Gunnarsson, Matejovsky, Robson-Kanu, Khizanishvili
Booked: Rasiak (diving)
Goals: Sigurdsson 85 (penalty)
QPR: Ikeme 7, Connolly 7, Stewart 6, Gorkss 8, Hill 7, Faurlin 7, Leigertwood 6, Priskin 6 (German 87), Taarabt 7 (Ramage 80, -), Ephraim 6 (Cook 90, -), Simpson 7
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Cook, Vine, Buzsaky, Borrowdale
Booked: Faurlin (foul), Leigertwood (repetitive fouling), Hill (foul), Connolly (dissent)
Sent Off: Stewart (two bookings – foul, obstructing goalkeeper)
Previous ResultsHead to Head >>> QPR wins 27 >>> Draws 17 >>> Reading wins 37
2012/13 QPR 2 Reading 3** (Hoilett, Cisse)
2010/11 Reading 0 QPR 1 (Routledge)
2010/11 QPR 3 Reading 1 (Taarabt, Faurlin, Smith)
2009/10 Reading 1 QPR 0
2009/10 QPR 4 Reading 1 (Buzsaky, Simpson, Vine, Agyemang)
2008/09 QPR 0 Reading 0
2008/09 Reading 0 QPR 0
2005/06 Reading 2 QPR 1 (Furlong)
2005/06 QPR 1 Reading 2 (Cook)
2004/05 QPR 0 Reading 0
2004/05 Reading 1 QPR 0
2001/02 Reading 1 QPR 0
2001/02 QPR 0 Reading 0
1997/98 QPR 1 Reading 1 (Spencer)
1997/98 Reading 1 QPR 2 (Spencer, Swales og)
1996/97 QPR 0 Reading 2
1996/97 Reading 2 QPR 1 (Spencer)
1966/67 QPR 2 Reading 1 (Marsh, R Morgan)
1966/67 Reading 2 QPR 2 ( Langley pen, I Morgan)
1965/66 Reading 2 QPR 1
1965/66 QPR 0 Reading 2
1964/65 Reading 4 QPR 0**
1964/65 Reading 5 QPR 3 (Keen 2, Bedford)
1964/65 QPR 0 Reading 1
1963/64 QPR 4 Reading 2 (Bedford, Kean, Leary, Vafiadis)
1963/64 Reading 1 QPR 2 (McLeod 2)
1962/63 Reading 1 QPR 1 ( Bedford )
1962/63 QPR 3 Reading 2 (Large, Collins, Malcolm)
1961/62 Reading 0 QPR 2 (Towers 2)
1961/62 QPR 3 Reading 6 (Lazarus 2, Angell)
1960/61 Reading 3 QPR 1 (Longbottom)
1960/61 QPR 5 Reading 2 (Bedford 2, Lazarus 2, Barber)
1959/60 Reading 2 QPR 0
1959/60 QPR 2 Reading 0 (Andrews, Bedford )
1958/59 QPR 2 Reading 0 (Kerrins, Pearson)
1958/59 Reading 2 QPR 2 (Longbottom 2)
1957/58 QPR 3 Reading 0 (Woods, Longbottom, Petchey)
1957/58 Reading 3 QPR 0
1956/57 QPR 1 Reading 1 (Peacock)
1956/57 Reading 1 QPR 0
1955/56 Reading 3 QPR 1 (Cameron)
1955/56 QPR 3 Reading 3 (Smith 2, Angell)
1954/55 Reading 3 QPR 1 (Kerrins)
1954/55 QPR 2 Reading 3 (Shepherd, Smith)
1953/54 QPR 2 Reading 0 (Smith, Tomkys)
1953/54 Reading 3 QPR 1 (Shepherd)
1952/53 Reading 2 QPR 0
1952/53 QPR 1 Reading 0 ( Harrison )
1947/48 QPR 2 Reading 0 (Boxshall, Hatton)
1947/48 Reading 3 QPR 2 (Durrant, Boxshall)
1946/47 Reading 1 QPR 0
1946/47 QPR 2 Reading 0 (Heath, McEwen)
1938/39 QPR 2 Reading 2 (Bott, Devine)
1938/39 Reading 2 QPR 4 (Fitzgerlad 2, Bott, Fulwood og)
1937/38 QPR 3 Reading 0 (Fitzgerald 2, Stock)
1937/38 Reading 1 QPR 0
1936/37 Reading 2 QPR 0
1936/37 QPR 0 Reading 0
1935/36 QPR 0 Reading 1
1935/36 Reading 1 QPR 2 (Cheetham 2)
1934/35 Reading 0 QPR 0
1934/35 QPR 2 Reading 0 (Dutton, Watson)
1933/34 Reading 5 QPR 0
1933/34 QPR 0 Reading 0
1932/33 Reading 3 QPR 1 (Goddard)
1932/33 QPR 0 Reading 3
1931/32 QPR 2 Reading 0 (Wiles 2)
1931/32 Reading 3 QPR 2 (Blackman 2)
1925/26 Reading 2 QPR 1 (Burgess)
1925/26 QPR 1 Reading 2 ( Campbell )
1924/25 QPR 1 Reading 0 (Johnson)
1924/25 Reading 2 QPR 1 (Hart)
1923/24 Reading 4 QPR 0
1923/24 QPR 1 Reading 4 (Birch)
1922/23 Reading 0 QPR 0
1922/23 QPR 1 Reading 0 ( Davis )
1921/22 QPR 1 Reading 1 (Birch)
1921/22 Reading 0 QPR 1 (Gregory)
1920/21 Reading 0 QPR 0
1920/21 QPR 2 Reading 0 (Gregory, Smith)
1907/08 QPR 1 Reading 0* (Barnes)
* - FA Cup
** - League Cup
Kaspars Gorkss >>> QPR 2008-2011 >>> Reading 2011-present
David Seaman and Andy Sinton, two players recently featured in this history column ahead of other fixtures, will testify that QPR fans have never been shy of booing a player. Sometimes – Zesh Rehman, Joey Barton – the Loftus Road faithful don't even wait for the player to leave before getting stuck in and sometimes – Andy Cole – they have a bash for no reason whatsoever.
But when Latvian defender Kaspars Gorkss returned to W12 for the first time since his move to Reading 18 months ago the warm reception even stretched as far as him being given a round of applause from the home faithful after heading in an early equaliser at the Loft End.
Now Gorkss certainly isn't the first old favourite to return to Loftus Road and do us some damage. But we're not talking about Alan McDonald coming back with Swindon and keeping goal successfully for an hour after 17 years of loyal service to the R's, or even the much maligned Simon Barker returning with Port Vale and netting after an 11 year career in West London – in fact Gorkss was only with Rangers from 2008 to 2011. So why all the love?
Well, firstly, Gorkss was that incredibly rare thing at QPR in recent years: a well scouted bargain. He'd excelled in the Championship at the heart of the Blackpool defence after arriving from Ventspils in his homeland thanks to the connections and local knowledge forged by the Tangerines' new investor Valeri Belokon. Usually while players like Gorkss are moving for £250,000 QPR are out there chasing the tail of some £2.5m alternative with a dodgy knee, so it made a refreshing change to see Rangers taking advantage of a ridiculously low release clause in his contract to bring him south, particularly as this was the time when any old Patrick Agyemang was being brought into QPR on ludicrous money.
As ever with QPR the transfer was fraught with difficulty. Blackpool wanted to know exactly how QPR had got wind of the release clause, and why Gorkss was so aware of the contract on offer in London when his club hadn't given Rangers permission to speak to him about terms. The answer, of course, was that QPR hadn't exactly played by the rules but in rare defence of the administration at that time, this is the sort of thing that people just accept goes on in the game and in reality Blackpool were simply trying their luck. Why not? Not only had Gorkss defended superbly in his first year in English football, he'd also scored eight goals at the other end thanks to his aerial prowess at set pieces.
This sort of thing that everybody else gets away with usually ends up with QPR embroiled in some kind of hearing at The FA, and initially things looked to be heading that way as an official complaint was made. Meanwhile Norwich picked up Pool's Wes Hoolahan for exactly the same money, in exactly the same sort of deal dictated by a contract clause, and nobody said a word about it. But Rangers, in a rare moment of genius, managed to smooth the troubled waters by convincing Blackpool that sending Daniel Nardiello and Zesh Rehman their way was an adequate peace offering.
Secondly, having got him to Loftus Road , Rangers couldn't help but admire the big Latvian's performances, often in a struggling team, and his bravery. Never a week went by when a match wasn't stopped so Gorkss could have some hideous head wound taped up and the sight of him continuing to head the ball away with blood all over his face became a frequent one. I remember a game at home to Coventry City where he found himself, unusually, in the left back spot trying to deal with an attack which ended with him shepherding the ball out for a goal kick and then getting a big shove in the back that sent him careering head first into a Sky camera that would not ordinarily have been there. Another gash, another bandage, and on he played.
But thirdly I think the QPR fans actually came to feel sorry for him. Having been promised riches and Premiership football in London Gorkss could only watch on as the newly minted club he joined struggled, and the one he left beat the odds to make the top flight with Ian Evatt, who'd been nowhere near as good as Gorkss during his own spell with QPR, at the heart of the defence. Gorkss probably thought he'd had the last laugh when Rangers were then promoted in 2011 and Blackpool relegated the other way, but he was then inexplicably sold by Neil Warnock that summer.
This was the beginning of Warnock's downfall at Loftus Road for me. The generally accepted theory is that Flavio Briatore had closed his wallet because he knew he was about to sell the club and Warnock had to generate funds for some new signings by selling the only defender QPR had that anybody else would actually be interested in. There is probably some truth in that but reading Warnock's Independent column since it seems that he just didn't fancy Gorkss in the top flight. Considering the additions Warnock made with that money and how they have done subsequently – Bruno Perone, Kieron Dyer, DJ Campbell, Jay Bothroyd – it's hard to think how we'd have been worse off keeping Gorkss in the squad. That's said partly with hindsight of course – I was delighted with the Campbell capture – but not entirely. I remember a pre-season friendly at Crawley just before Gorkss' departure where he essentially carried Perone through the game against League Two opposition. The Brazilian was abysmal then, and when he subsequently played for the first team, and yet he signed and Gorkss left. Fitz Hall started getting regular run outs. Dogs and cats living together. Crazy scenes.
So Gorkss left a club that then got promoted, and then when he did win promotion he found himself sold on to a club back in the division below. His stony face in the publicity shots that appeared on the Reading official website spoke volumes. Fortunately for him his personal performances carried on where they'd left off at QPR and for the second year running he won the Championship with a team in blue and white hoops. This time Reading kept hold of their man and have played him regularly this season. So the warm applause for his goal is understandable – though I doubt it will be repeated if he scores this weekend.
Of course looking at Reading 's horrendous goals against record, which was hammered still further during the week when Arsenal scored seven to recover from four goals down, and Gorkss' recent performances perhaps we can see where Warnock was coming from. Gorkss hasn't been alone in performing poorly at the heart of the Reading defence, but he's had his arse handed to him a couple of times already. Replacing him with Fitz Hall and Bruno Perone may not have been the best idea, but it would seem that replacing him with Danny Gabbidon may actually have been quite shrewd.
While Rangers are desperate for Reading to struggle as the quest to find three worse teams than ourselves begins in earnest once more, there are probably a good number of QPR fans who would like to see Gorkss rewarded for years of toil in the lower division with success at last in the top one. Not this weekend though.
QPR 4 Reading 1, Tuesday October 20, 2009, Championship
Highlights of Flavio Briatore’s reign as chairman at Loftus Road were few and far between. QPR worked their way through eight permanent managers in three seasons and despite shelling out millions on long contracts for supposedly proven players the team actually looked like it might be relegated towards the end of the 2009/10 season.
But earlier in that campaign, for one glorious fortnight, it seemed as though everything was coming together in spectacular fashion. Jim Magilton was not a popular appointment, following on from a farcical season where Rangers had been managed permanently by Iain Dowie and Paulo Sousa and temporarily on two occasions by Gareth Ainsworth and boasting a less than impressive record from his first managerial position at Ipswich . He made an inauspicious start to life at Loftus Road with no wins from the first four league games against Blackpool, Plymouth , Bristol City and Nottingham Forest.
But things started to come together for the former Northern Ireland international in September. He added Ben Watson to his midfield on loan and he formed a formidable partnership with Martin Rowlands that serviced three advanced midfielders further forward including Akos Buzsaky, Wayne Routledge and Adel Taarabt. A narrow win at Scunthorpe kick started things, with a superb performance and 2-0 success at Cardiff following soon after and a first home win of the season sealed in spectacular 5-2 fashion against Barnsley. QPR were winning, and playing beautiful football at the same time.
Meanwhile, down the M4, Brendan Rodgers was struggling with his Reading rebuilding job. They’d been relegated from the Premiership in 2008 and kept faith with both the team and the manager Steve Coppell initially only to run out of steam in the play offs during their first bounce-back attempt. The impending end of parachute payments and ambition of the players saw chairman John Madejski embark on a fire sale that included Stephen Hunt, Leroy Lita, Kevin Doyle, Marcus Hahnemann, James Harper, Khalifa Cisse and eight others. Rodgers had impressed the previous year in his first senior managerial role, guiding Watford to safety after arriving midway through the campaign and even making Tamas Priskin look like a reasonable footballer in the process. He’d been brought in with a three year remit to turn Reading back to the Premier League but would ultimately last barely three months, and a thrashing under the lights at Loftus Road was another nail in his coffin.
QPR had followed up the Barnsley win with a 4-0 thumping of Preston at Loftus Road on the Saturday and they set about Reading in similar fashion that Tuesday evening.
The free flowing, passing football that Magilton demanded was wowing the home faithful when our old friend Andy Hall intervened. Every football supporter moans about referees, it’s part of the game, but Andy Hall was so awful against QPR on so many occasions one could only conclude that the chunky Birmingham official either had a thing against the Super Hoops, was so totally incompetent he made Gurnham Singh look reasonable, or was just one of those absolute pricks you happen upon in life sometimes. Perhaps he was a combination of all three. After half an hour he brought QPR back for a free kick when they would have preferred an advantage, and then yellow carded Ben Watson for taking it too quickly which, as it was his second of the game, meant a red. An outrageously stupid piece of refereeing from an official who was never anything other than irritating, and a prime example of somebody who approached the job without a modicum of common sense.
Ultimately the injustice only served to rile Rangers. Akos Buzsaky curled the resulting free kick over the wall and into the bottom corner to give them the lead, then three minutes later Jay Simpson got on the end of Wayne Routledge’s cross to slam home a second – QPR’s goal of the season that one, coming at the end of a move that had begun with Kaspars Gorkss picking up possession in his own six yard box.
Rodgers was probably still confident of turning the game around against ten men at half time but Hall – who always was a spinless twat – ruined the Reading half time team talk with another by-the-book, no-common-sense yellow card right from the kick off of the second half that saw Ivar Ingimarsson sent off and the numbers evened up. Rangers were never going to lose from that point and as the passing football continued to flow substitutes Rowan Vine and Patrick Agyemang both got on the scoresheet in some style in the final 20 minutes. A late strike from Shane Long was mere consolation for the visitors.
Within a month, both managers were out of work. Rodgers was sacked and replaced by his chief scout Brian McDermott, who remains to this day. Magilton’s Rangers scored four times in a match for the third time in a week that Saturday at Derby County live on the BBC but subsequently collapsed with a 5-1 home defeat by Middlesbrough and 3-1 set back at Watford, after which Magilton allegedly headbutted midfielder Buzsaky in the dressing room.
Magilton was sacked and replaced, for five matches, by Paul Hart. By the end of the season QPR were under the charge of Neil Warnock and lucky to avoid relegation. But for that one week at least, everything Magilton and Rangers touched turned to gold, and goals.
QPR: Cerny 8, Ramage 8, Stewart 9, Gorkss 9, Borrowdale 8, Buzsaky 9 (Mahon 66, 8), Watson 6, Faurlin 8, Taarabt 9 (Agyemang 75, 8), Routledge 8, Simpson 8 (Vine 53, 7)
Subs Not Used: Heaton, Hall, Alberti, Ainsworth
Sent Off: Watson (two bookings)
Booked: Watson (foul), Watson (taking quick free kick), Borrowdale (foul), Faurlin (foul)
Goals: Buzsaky 31 (unassisted), Simpson 39 (assisted Routledge), Vine 71 (assisted Borrowdale), Agyemang 83 (assisted Mahon)
Reading: Federici 3, Cisse 3 (Sigurdsson 46, 6), Mills 5, Ingimarsson 4, O'Dea 5, Tabb 3 (Howard 46, 7), Gunnarsson 5, Kebe 6, McAnuff 7, Long 5, Church 5 (Robson-Kanu 59, 5)
Subs Not Used: Hamer, Karacan, Rasiak, Pearce
Sent Off: Ingmarsson (two bookings)
Booked: Ingimarsson (repetitive fouling), Ingimarsson (foul)
Goals: Howard 86 (assisted McAnuff)
Pictures - Action Images