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|QPR slump to four goal defeat to end a dire season - Report|
I thought we'd have a nice day out at the end of a crappy season. It turned out to be cold, windy and delayed over an hour on the train home. In the middle of the day, QPR decided to let Norwich have a grand day out to celebrate the departure of Ruddy et al.
We were shít; the players knew it, the fans knew it, even the Norwich fans knew it.
At least there's always next year.
|Brentford certain to test QPR's derby mettle - Preview |
For those interested, and since they've removed it from their website...the Chelsea preview:
PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: QUEEN’S PARK RANGERS V CHELSEA
Absence is unlikely to have made the heart grow fonder in the 15 years since we last travelled to the north of the Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham for a competitive match, but this fixture is eagerly anticipated. Club historian Rick Glanvill, club statistician Paul Dutton and former Chelsea and QPR player Clive Walker celebrate the return of the Rs versus the Blues…
Chelsea arrive at our second west London derby of the season on a high, having hit 13 goals in three games in all competitions. The thrashing of Genk established a new highest score for home games in the Champions League and allowed Andre Villas-Boas to rest several regular starters fully ahead of the short trip across the borough to Shepherd's Bush.
It will be our first league meeting with Queen's Park Rangers for 15 years and it is fair to say the hosts are quite worked up about it. Less so Blues supporters. And to the experienced Chelsea players it is obviously a potentially tricky fixture, but still fundamentally third versus 11th.
Last weekend's strike by Heidar Helguson is the only home goal scored by one of QPR's own players over 376 minutes this season.
The noises from the Rs camp are redolent of the clichés produced by the underdog before a cup final: the crowd being the 12th man, the baying hordes close to the pitch affecting the visitors, and the playing field itself being smaller than Chelsea are used to.
Well, it is true that at 112 yards by 72 Loftus Road has one of the League's smallest fields. However, it is just one yard shorter and one narrower than the familiar surface of Stamford Bridge.
QPR is a club that has had to roll with the punches over recent years. On top of an impressive promotion campaign, there has been substantial change at boardroom level.
New owner Tony Fernandes pledges to invest more than the previous regime, which had encouraged but not justified the 'richest club in the world' mantra. (At least one of those previous owners, Bernie Ecclestone, is a well-known Chelsea supporter.)
The Malaysian straight away partially reversed deeply unpopular season ticket price hikes - though home attendances are still currently averaging only 84% of the 19,000 capacity.
He also invested in wages for players such as Joey Barton, Anton Ferdinand and Shaun Wright-Phillips (pictured below) to bolster manager Neil Warnock's squad.
Still, Rangers are yet to win in front of their own this season - their two wins have come at Everton and Wolves - and they were humiliated 6-0 in the junior west London derby at Fulham.
And in the week Patrick Agyemang went on a month's loan to Millwall, fellow striker DJ Campbell has gone under the knife for a metatarsal injury that will rule him out for some time.
Add the spats between teammates Adel Taarabt and social media lifestyle coach Barton, and Warnock's odd attack on a fan who leaked the news that Taarabt had been dropped to the bench ahead of their recent 1-1 draw with Blackburn, and you have a club under some pressure.
On the other hand, Chelsea must secure all three points to maintain pressure on the Manchester clubs, who face each other earlier the same day. They must do so without Fernando Torres, on a run of four goals in four matches, who serves the last of his three-match suspension.
With several regulars restored to the starting line-up on Sunday, the Blues are one shy of 6,000 league goals. Who, if anyone, will claim that minor landmark at Loftus Road?
By the way, travelling Chelsea fans should be aware that Rangers policy is that no alcohol will be on sale in away end at their ground. Perhaps they believe, as we hope, that the home fans will be the only ones needing to drown their sorrows.
It would be remiss not to mention another huge derby match taking place up north. Crewe v Macclesfield, though, is a Football League Division Two game.
Meanwhile, in Manchester, United entertain City. The hosts have had much the better of their meetings at Old Trafford since 2008.
|QPR bid farewell to Kenny the Moneyball goalkeeper|
The stats say it all - 32 goals conceded in 46 games in our promotion season. A record like that isn't earnt by a dodgy keeper, irrespective who they have playing in front of them.
|Hughes’ axe brings overdue end to QPR’s era of mismanagement|
"But you’ll excuse me if I’m not rushing onto their Twitter accounts, as some have done, to thank them for “everything they’ve done” and their “years of service” won’t you?
Somebody asked what kind of supporter delighting in the release of players made me. Let me tell you: it makes me a supporter who’s been paying for match and train tickets for the last four and a half years to see these four players (or more often and more to the point not see them at all) and is bloody sick of it."
*round of applause*
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