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Antti's Six Knee Jerks: QPR 1 Preston 2 14:13 - Apr 16 with 1864 viewsAntti_Heinola

Like a tethered hot air balloon. Flying high one minute, back on the ground deflating quickly the next.

1. CHANGES: I'm not too bothered about changes at this time of the season. I know it angers some, and I can see why, but with our place secure, I don't really have any problem with changes being made. But, I'm very much on Clive's side with this one: not too many.

We're already down to the bare bones at the back, so we are by definition weak at centre half. So, to remove not only two of our most consistent players in midfield, but also the two forwards who impressed the most AND scored three between them a few days earlier is just asking for trouble. I have no issues with giving Ingram a run - no issues at all with any of the *players* he picked. But for me, there were just a couple too many changes. That might not have saved the game and equally playing the same side might also have resulted in a loss. We don't know. Picking the same team does not guarantee results. But Sylla, surely, deserved to keep his place having scored two and been taken off early in the week? Same with Smyth? Sylla in particular must be wishing for the sort of prolonged run Washington has been granted (more than once). He's on form, he's scored two, Smith has played tons of football this year: let the man play!

I do have sympathy for Ollie. We want to see what Cousins can do when he finally gets a run in his preferred position. We all want to watch Eze. But there are a few games left, there's time to tinker and experiment without ripping everything up from game to game. to play devil's advocate, it is worth pointing out that the first 15 mins aside, we were not great against Wednesday (nor did we need to be after going 3-up) - in fact, on another day they might even have come back for a draw. So it wasn't as if changes were ludicrous, but any team will find it difficult having to adjust that much from game to game.

2. INGRAM: A couple of years back a few chin-strokers were keen to tell us that of our two new keepers, Ingram would end up usurping the more experienced Smithies. Seems unlikely now, although it's worth remembering that some people wrote off Smithies after he came on for 20 minutes when Green had been sent off. It's very harsh to judge any player, but particularly keepers, on just one or two games. But Saturday did show the value of a settled, confident goalie. In the week, we'd seen Smithies outshine the Wednesday keeper; here the Preston keeper had almost nothing to do and Ingram was very much a mixed bag: some confident punching, some nice takes, a couple of well-saved shots. But also some poor distribution, a moment of madness in the first half when he was forced to hack down a Wednesday player, and some unconvincing handling. So not great then, but we should have a better idea of his skills assuming he completes the rest of this season.

3. CENTRE HALF: This is beginning to become a problem position - in fact, amazingly, considering our inability until recently to take chances, it's the position that most needs looking at this summer. I didn't think either Baptiste or Robinson were that bad on Saturday, but neither were great either. Baptiste seemed at times unable to communicate effectively with any players around him as he challenged three or four times for the same ball with a different colleague each time. Robinson is decent but in truth was never quite the great player he has been credited as being at times - we were more just relieved he was competent at CB when we had so few other options. Lynch is both inconsistent and injury prone, Onuoha's may well to leave and Hall may have to look for new line of work. Even if Onuoha and Robbo stayed, Baptiste should be moved on so we need a new one. If one leaves we really need two, and if both go we may need three centre halves come August - because Robbo/Baptiste at the back next season is a recipe for even less clean sheets than this season, if that were even possible.

4. EZE: Certainly not his best game for us, PNE made sure of that through the subtle use of clever bodychecks that the referee couldn't hope to catch, yet his play was still the most enjoyable thing on show in blue and white hoops. His clever movement, his total calmness on the ball in any situation, his bursts of speed, his vision and most importantly his ability to make the difficult passes when he does see them did shine through - just not very often. Played the pass of the game when releasing a ravenous Smyth down the right wing in the second half - absolutely wonderful play.

5. REFEREE: Never blame refs for results - chances are, he's made less mistakes than any player or manager. and the narrative of a game where Ollie has changed half the team and we went a goal up cannot be that the ref is to blame. But he was poor. You know he was poor because first half he was getting sarcastic cheers from PNE fans when they got a decision, but at the end of the game he was booed off by home fans. I see Clive reckons the Sylla penalty decision was not much of a shout, but that looked as clear-a pen as I've seen all season. He shielded, held off tight marking and only when he was ready to strike did he fall after being clearly yanked back. I know Sylla is eccentric, but even for him that would've been an odd time to take a dive. But it was the bodycheck on Eze that really took the biscuit - as people called for a yellow card, they were left gobsmacked that it wasn't even a foul. Sadly, for a man of his size, he seemed to be bullied by PNE players, who took advantage of him at every turn, particularly in the final, trying 15 minutes, when they acted as if it was a tennis match - you know, when you get to stop and have a drink every 3 minutes, because it's such hard work under all that hot (15 degrees) sun. The issue really is that until you book someone, players will keep doing it because what have they got to lose? A ref who resembles the Terminator could hardly have been more timid. The only thing more timid was our attack in the second half, in fact. So it wasn't his fault we lost. But any game when you come away discussing the ref is a sign he's had a mare. And he had one.

6. CHAMPIONSHIP: It is bloody annoying to be bouncing around like this: brilliant at Villa; disappointing at Reading. Quiet first half v Fulham, superb second half v Fulham. Take Norwich apart, get taken apart by Hull, demolish Sheff Wed in 12 minutes. But it's not all down to Ollie's eccentricities. Our 4-1 win v Norwich was followed by our loss to Hull and Norwich smashing promotion-chasing Villa 3-1. After beating us 4-0, Hull did also smash Burton 5-0, but then lost 1-0 at home to Sheff Wed, who had just lost 4-2 to the side they (Hull) had just beaten 4-0 (us). This league is a stupid, enjoyable, unpredictable bunfight. For all we know, keeping the same side barring Luongo for Scowen might only have resulted in a heavier defeat. Still, that's why I like it. I'm yet to even feel a tiny pang of longing for the terrible Premier League.

Bare bones.

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Antti's Six Knee Jerks: QPR 1 Preston 2 on 15:25 - Apr 16 with 1761 viewsblacky200

Have to agree with most of that. Especially No. 6.
The BBC headlines after Newcastle beat Arsenal "Newcastle all but secure their place in the Premier league" says it all. If you are not one of the top six clubs then all you have to do is survive to make a successful season.
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Antti's Six Knee Jerks: QPR 1 Preston 2 on 16:19 - Apr 16 with 1680 viewsqprd

I was one of those people who wrote off Smithies when he came on for the last 20 minutes against Forest in 15-16. I was wrong (but my judgment was clouded by the very disappointing result)

Having said all that, why does our fanbase rate Ingram so highly? Sure, he's a decent shot stopper. But his distribution is pretty average to below average. In the few appearances he's made, he's parried saves into dangerous areas, leading to goals (like against Sunderland last year in the League Cup)

Worst of all, Ingram just refuses to leave his line. He regularly just stays back and waits to make the save rather than come out and break up play. Maybe he needs time, but he strikes me as a keeper who does not control the box.

Lumley may be the answer as our #1, but Ingram, in my humble opinion, is mostly surely not.
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Antti's Six Knee Jerks: QPR 1 Preston 2 on 17:09 - Apr 16 with 1620 viewsdaveB

said on another thread the changes are just a smokescreen and an easy excuse to hide behind. I suppose it's the end of the season though and after last year it's the thing people are looking for but didn't think that was why we lost the game or that he was wrong to make changes. Holloway always going to say he made too many changes as thats what fans want to hear.

Far bigger problems than Manning in for Smyth or Eze for Freeman was the lack of protection for the full backs making us easy to play around for the 2nd possibly 3rd game running. This needs to be addressed in the summer otherwise we are in for a long season playing a back 4 next season

Also picking a small team against a side very good at set pieces was a mistake and one that got worse as game wore on as each change made us a smaller team and we eventually lost to a set piece.
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Antti's Six Knee Jerks: QPR 1 Preston 2 on 17:18 - Apr 16 with 1608 viewssimmo

Antti's Six Knee Jerks: QPR 1 Preston 2 on 16:19 - Apr 16 by qprd

I was one of those people who wrote off Smithies when he came on for the last 20 minutes against Forest in 15-16. I was wrong (but my judgment was clouded by the very disappointing result)

Having said all that, why does our fanbase rate Ingram so highly? Sure, he's a decent shot stopper. But his distribution is pretty average to below average. In the few appearances he's made, he's parried saves into dangerous areas, leading to goals (like against Sunderland last year in the League Cup)

Worst of all, Ingram just refuses to leave his line. He regularly just stays back and waits to make the save rather than come out and break up play. Maybe he needs time, but he strikes me as a keeper who does not control the box.

Lumley may be the answer as our #1, but Ingram, in my humble opinion, is mostly surely not.


So you concede you made a snap judgement on Smithies and got that wrong, but then make roughly the same decision on Ingram based on what exactly? 2-3 games across 18 months?

ask Beavis I get nothing Butthead

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Antti's Six Knee Jerks: QPR 1 Preston 2 on 17:25 - Apr 16 with 1599 viewsbosh67

Antti's Six Knee Jerks: QPR 1 Preston 2 on 16:19 - Apr 16 by qprd

I was one of those people who wrote off Smithies when he came on for the last 20 minutes against Forest in 15-16. I was wrong (but my judgment was clouded by the very disappointing result)

Having said all that, why does our fanbase rate Ingram so highly? Sure, he's a decent shot stopper. But his distribution is pretty average to below average. In the few appearances he's made, he's parried saves into dangerous areas, leading to goals (like against Sunderland last year in the League Cup)

Worst of all, Ingram just refuses to leave his line. He regularly just stays back and waits to make the save rather than come out and break up play. Maybe he needs time, but he strikes me as a keeper who does not control the box.

Lumley may be the answer as our #1, but Ingram, in my humble opinion, is mostly surely not.


You do realise that now you have written this that he will go on to replace Buffon at Juventus.

Never knowingly right.
Poll: Rename South Africa Road stand the Stan Bowles stand

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Antti's Six Knee Jerks: QPR 1 Preston 2 on 19:30 - Apr 16 with 1518 viewsEsox_Lucius

He was as good as Smithies when he was playing regularly at Wycombe and got rave reviews from Cobblers fans in his loan spell there but you want to write him off after 2-3 appearances in the QPR side? Pathetic.

The grass is always greener.

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Antti's Six Knee Jerks: QPR 1 Preston 2 on 21:08 - Apr 16 with 1418 viewsdaveB

Antti's Six Knee Jerks: QPR 1 Preston 2 on 19:30 - Apr 16 by Esox_Lucius

He was as good as Smithies when he was playing regularly at Wycombe and got rave reviews from Cobblers fans in his loan spell there but you want to write him off after 2-3 appearances in the QPR side? Pathetic.


wouldn't write Ingram off but seeing him a few times his kicking is a weak point and might hold him back in the Championship
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Antti's Six Knee Jerks: QPR 1 Preston 2 on 21:57 - Apr 16 with 1356 viewsAntti_Heinola

Antti's Six Knee Jerks: QPR 1 Preston 2 on 19:30 - Apr 16 by Esox_Lucius

He was as good as Smithies when he was playing regularly at Wycombe and got rave reviews from Cobblers fans in his loan spell there but you want to write him off after 2-3 appearances in the QPR side? Pathetic.


I don't think anyone has written him off. All of qprd's critiques are, it has to be said, correct. Only thing I'd quibble with is that I don't know if he would be an effective replacement for Smithies or not.

Bare bones.

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Antti's Six Knee Jerks: QPR 1 Preston 2 on 10:26 - Apr 17 with 1161 viewsterryb

I thought the biggest problem with Ingram on Saturday was that he didn't seem to command his area or communicate with his defenders.

These are vital component's of being a goalkeeper & hopefully was a one off.
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Antti's Six Knee Jerks: QPR 1 Preston 2 on 11:58 - Apr 17 with 1113 viewsTacticalR

3. CENTRE HALF. We have somehow staggered through the season with a patched up central defence that was originally supposed to operate through Hall. It's looking like a big problem if we are going to try and replace both Onuoha and Robinson in one go.

5. REFEREE. I don't know what happened to him but he looked completely overwhelmed in the second half and unable to get control of the game. God knows why he let that blatant foul on Eze go.

6. CHAMPIONSHIP. Yes it's unpredictable. The biggest change recently is the goals. Scoring 8 goals in 2 home games is pretty amazing when you think back to when Holloway first took over and we went on that terrible run and only scored 1 goal in 6 games. Those goals have covered up some weaknesses in defence where we have looked pretty naive in recent weeks.

Air hostess clique

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Antti's Six Knee Jerks: QPR 1 Preston 2 on 12:19 - Apr 17 with 1079 viewsqprd

Antti's Six Knee Jerks: QPR 1 Preston 2 on 19:30 - Apr 16 by Esox_Lucius

He was as good as Smithies when he was playing regularly at Wycombe and got rave reviews from Cobblers fans in his loan spell there but you want to write him off after 2-3 appearances in the QPR side? Pathetic.


Upon rereading what I wrote, I did come across as overly harsh. I wouldn't write him off. But I don't think we can rely on him to be Smithies' replacement yet.
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Antti's Six Knee Jerks: QPR 1 Preston 2 on 12:45 - Apr 17 with 1043 viewsphilc

I think that purely on the economics, we will see one of Smithies or Ingram leave in the summer, especially as we have Lumley as back up.

It obviously depends on an offer being received and the size of the fee that will determine which one it is.
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Antti's Six Knee Jerks: QPR 1 Preston 2 on 17:30 - Apr 17 with 934 viewsOldPedro

Ingram is only 24 which is quite young for a goalkeeper. Agree that I would expect one of Smithies / Ingram / Lumley to leave in the summer.

Extra mature cheddar......a simple cheese for a simple man

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Antti's Six Knee Jerks: QPR 1 Preston 2 on 18:40 - Apr 17 with 891 viewsrsonist

I'm not particularly expecting that big bid for Smithies to come in really. It seems clear that if it was going to it happen it would have already. It's a bit like it was with Austin - we know he's great but other clubs appear to have reservations about him that fall outside of the main business of putting the ball in and keeping the ball out of the net. Maybe if Cardiff go up, or when Butland leaves Stoke I suppose.

Personally what I would do with the keepers is sell Ingram with a favourable buyback / first option / sell-on, loan out Lumley again with a short recall clause, plus promote Brzozowski from the u23s and if possible get in a old reserve looking to get into coaching to keep Smithies company.
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Antti's Six Knee Jerks: QPR 1 Preston 2 on 18:50 - Apr 17 with 883 viewsrsonist

Share the widespread frustration and agree in general about the chopping and changing. One thing I do feel worth mentioning is that it's alright for us to complain about it like they were pawns on a chessboard (and it is alright - we're asked to pay a pretty penny) but a little different for Ollie interacting with the players on a daily basis and trying to maintain a positive working environment by rewarding (presumably) good performances in training. It's not an easy balance to find.
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Antti's Six Knee Jerks: QPR 1 Preston 2 on 23:23 - Apr 17 with 808 viewsCiderwithRsie

I'm a bit surprised you're so keen to move on Baptiste in the summer - my impression is that he's limited but solid at what he does, seems to me like a useful squad player.

A fit Hall (as opposed to a Fitz Hall) would be a big difference, it will be sad if he doesn't come back, though it does rather look that way.
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