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Could the last one out... - Preview
at 10:56:42

If you regard professional football as firstly an entertainment, and only secondly a fight for points, then yet another manically depressing piece (it's all you do) is not necessary.
This QPR team is the most watchable we have had since Adel strutted his stuff. We have retained the players that make it entertaining.

For years you have been complaining of bloated squads full of unwanted players previous managers signed. Thanks to the sensible decisions over less than a year that is done with. However for you we always seem to have too many players or too few.

Only up front are we short. Which is a shame, but in my opinion Bristol City may find themselves with the Nakhi Wells we had in 2018/19 rather than our 2020 version. Hugill maybe a marginally less effective scorer than Wells but for my money he is more entertaining.

Actually I am thinking of buying season tickets again, for the first time since Jimmy Floyd and Holloway destroyed the pleasure.

We are at last on the right track and it's more fun to watch.

Focusing on the league - Preview
at 11:14:02

Putting a different slant on it I would expect the last thing any Championship manager would want is to arrive at the first week in March having to play an unnecessary game against the second best team in Europe, to have to put out my best team though they are knackered after 7 matches in the shortest month, only to get a 6-0 drubbing with the risk of injuries high.

That when I am trying to build momentum in the League, get as close to the play-offs as possible and attract better players to the club.

We saw last year what the cup did for McClaren. Brief praise, the inevitable loss of League form and then the sack.
Pressure building as QPR hunt elusive away win – full match preview
at 10:05:29

That's a panicky piece for someone telling everyone else not to panic. You could call it "a journalistic display of breathtaking incompetence".

It's a modern trend to speak of anyone whose decision didn't bring the desired result as if they are a mindless idiot. The fact is that the SWP, Granero, Faurlin, Park combination worked OK against Man City, Chelsea and Spurs and even brought some OTT glowing compliments. Hughes had a dilemma. Should he stick with that combo and hope to build a settled unit, or react to what he knew lay in wait with West Ham and make yet more changes on top of those that have been forced by injuries. For all we know that was a close call.

Important in that decision would have been a wish to use Cisse. Some may try to dismiss Cisse's contribution but 7 goals in 11 starts is hard to overlook. If Cisse had been left out there would have been just as many calling Hughes a mindless idiot for that decision.

"....a managerial display of breathtaking incompetence". Don't a silly. He just got it wrong for entirely understandable reasons.
Allardyce Hammers Hughes on grim night in W12 – full match report
at 13:11:09

Good report. Thanks.

If Samba had been on from the start and sent off after 18 minutes (highly likely) leaving us with 10 men for 80% of the game Hughes would probably have been blamed for that one too. The fact is that he (wrongly) placed his faith in SWP, Park, Faurlin and Granero, the four who played Spurs, and they let him down. The only one who came out with any credit was Ali. If you were harsh you could say that Granero ended up mainly hiding, and doesn't deserve your 5.

This adds a bit on the stats side -
Hostility and handshakes, QPR and Chelsea prepare for round four – full match preview
at 11:36:09

Why anyone would think that a team of strangers is going to stand much chance against the Champions League winners I don't know. But a season ago the fickle finger of fate guided us to a fluke result so who knows.

Thanks to an off-duty policeman interfering and an easily persuaded magistrate we are where we are on the other stuff.

Terry was acquitted on 13th July.
The FA charged him on 27th July.
The hearing date is on 24th September because the FA know it is necessary to get specialist lawyers on that panel.
If you are criticising the FA on this it is only because you criticise them on everything else and like to be consistent.

For some reason this makes me laugh
JOHN TERRY. Prevent lip readers from accusing you of making racist remarks by concealing your mouth in a pointy white hood. (via @timcore)
QPR lucky to claim first point from Norwich draw – full match report
at 10:03:38

Hughes showed with Diakite last season that he wants the player to take responsibility for not stretching the referee's patience too far. So he would have been reluctant to take Clint Hill off, as he was reluctant to take Diakite off. In principle it's good management to place the responsibility on the player and try to keep them on the pitch, though it's a risk
QPR lucky to claim first point from Norwich draw – full match report
at 22:24:06

Fair conclusions imo. I only saw it on the Sky 1 hour highlights but we had improved little from the Swansea game.

It took best part of 12 weeks Jan-March for Hughes to build an effective team from the mottley arrivals of the last two transfer windows. So it will be no surprise to see him experimenting and reaching no obvious conclusion before November with this lot. As long as Fernandes doesn't freak out I wouldn't really worry about that. The high turnover of players was one of the reasons I had low expectations for the first half of this season. All we really needed was a better CB, a holding midfielder and if necessary a Kenny replacement. Like you say, a load of trinkets turned up. Lets hope they look good by Christmas.
Connolly cuts his QPR losses leaving potential unfulfilled
at 08:07:40

All true. Though I have never been a great fan of Matthew Connolly because I could never see the skill and presence on the ball going anywhere, but as you say that is probably the clubs fault as much as Matt's. I would like to think that players would take their careers into their own hands but that may be easier said than done. Certainly Matt and Kaspers seemed to get little positive assistance to build their promising partnership from Magilton and Warnock.

I have got to the point where I cringe with every new rumour and signing however good the player and successful their career. I know that the players can only go backwards with us, with the current madness for hiring a new bunch every transfer window. Please somebody stop the carousel and start building a team. Please.
QPR’s summer of optimism blown apart for super soaraway Swans – full match report
at 10:08:32

Invariably a mistake to jump to conclusions on the basis of one match.

This team is at least a couple of months from settling down properly and you don't improve a defence by keep changing it. Those two lessons have been spelt out to us over and over again in the last few seasons but apparently still haven't sunk in with some of our support.

I reckon that Mark Hughes will accept that he made some poor decisions in the way he set the team up to play Swansea and whatever plan the team came out with in the second half was a spectacular failure. Maybe longer term ideas and Zamora not being fully fit led him down that path. Who knows?

Rob Green is a goalie who it is hard to like. His 'look' and body language do not inspire confidence and when he can't keep a routine one out of the net the heart sinks. But whatever we think now West Ham supporters are in no doubt he was a good PL keeper for them over several seasons and I am sure, if we bite our tongues, cross our fingers and summon up the patience of a saint he will do an equally good job for us. That's some if.
Ji-Sung Park coup accelerates QPR brand building
at 08:40:57

Apologies for adding to the doubts but... My earlier comments were based on what I saw and thought of Park in the second half of last season. With so many people thinking Park is a great signing I delved a bit deeper.

Park played in only one of United's final ten matches. In the key loss to Man City.

The BBC's comment was "Park's contribution had been minimal and it was no surprise when he was the first player sacrificed by Ferguson before the hour, as he chose to give United more offensive options by introducing Welbeck".

Park didn't play in the other nine games but was an unused substitute seven times. This during that vital part of the season which included the loss to Wigan and that 4-4 draw with Everton. Not a time to be leaving a useful player on the bench.

The idea that Park was still Ferguson's 'go-to' player is sadly a very long way from the truth.

I think Park is with us to sell shirts and to promote the brand in Asia. If he contributes a great deal to us on the pitch that will be a bonus. I wouldn't be raising your hopes.
Can QPR summon spirit of Holloway’s cast offs for Stoke visit? History
at 11:12:09


I'm just accepting the possibility that Bolton and Blackburn might be as bad in the last two games as they have been for most of the season. We are not out of the bottom three because of the grace of God, we are out of the bottom three because there have been three worse teams than us.

In which case 34 points and a better GD may be enough. As it has been in 5 of the last 8 seasons.
Can QPR summon spirit of Holloway’s cast offs for Stoke visit? History
at 08:56:35

You may be right. Though the 'must win' mindset has never made much sense to me. Over and over again message board posters have worked themselves into a 'must win' frenzy only for us to lose, panic to ensue, followed by later realisation that things aren't that bad, we're still in 17th place.

In fact all we have to do is to at least match Bolton and keep Blackburn at bay.

It's quite possible that Bolton will lose both of their remaining games. They've already had four tough matches in 11 days. Last night after a 15 minute rally they had nothing left. Spurs didn't play well, they didn't have to. Bolton used the Muamba trump card, with limited effect. No sustained emotional boost this time.

We may have already reached the finishing line and only have to flop over it. Time will tell.

Like many Rsss fans I'm nervous as a kitten and a win on Sunday would be a huge step, but 'simply have to win'. Not true.
Liverpool caught in QPR’s Wednesday night lights – full match report
at 01:04:15

Poetic and entertaining. You are steadily turning into Stuart Hall.

How I enjoyed those It's A Knockout TV nights played out in small Italian town piazzas under bright floodlights. Huge cartoon wobbly men laid waste by unhinged Malian wrecking balls.

Did you go to the match?
Will QPR survive this season? If so, how? Forum
at 11:39:32

Antii I am not interested in what the bookies think or where the mug money is going. Betfair is a more reliable guide. Guys who are in a better position than a QPR fan to make judgements on the probabilities are working that market.

Like all sports betting it is about what is going to happen, not what has happened up until now. QPR fans find it difficult to unravel the two, particularly those who went to Blackburn.
Will QPR survive this season? If so, how? Forum
at 01:05:46


There are right opinions and there are wrong opinions. Time will tell who is right and who is wrong.

The betting odds still suggest that those who have no emotional involvement, a good grasp of the probabilities, and also who put their money where their mouth is, think we have the best chance of the five to stay up. The doom-mongers recite a list of our failings as evidence that we are going down. I am sure that the doom-mongers at Wigan, Blackburn and Wolves have an even longer, more convincing list.

It makes no sense to just look at our failings, but that is what many seem to do "It's not really short term form is it though? It's 25 games of a porous defence, lightweight midfield and a fairly blunt attack"

Well yes if you compare us with the top dozen in the division but the Wolves defence consists of one man - Hennesey, the Wigan attack is toothless, Blackburn teeter on the edge of a black hole with their captain refusing to play for them........and so on. I know which team I would rather be supporting.

Hughes is a cool customer. I always expected him to take his time in assessing the squad, work out his team and system methodically, and then build teamwork and confidence. During that period results were going to be difficult. In an ideal world that would still have accommodated a win against Wolves and a better show against Blackburn. It didn't but none of that changes the fundamentals. We are still not in the bottom three, we have good players ready to make an impact and a generally strong squad for relegation contenders. Extrapolating past form and expecting it to continue doesn't make sense in those circumstances. If you are thinking clearly you must be expecting us to improve.

Of course it could all go wrong. The odds reflect that. Football is a very unpredictable game and there are 13 matches from which to pick up points. Whether it's Man Utd, Man City, whoever I wouldn't give up on those points just yet.
Will QPR survive this season? If so, how? Forum
at 11:48:41

Dave and the odds compiler are the only ones making sense. As Owen says it's a five horse race. It doesn't matter that we have all sorts of weaknesses and problems if the other contenders are as bad or worse. As usual the journalists and bloggers tend to exaggerate and extrapolate poor short-term form and see a spiral of doom. The reality is less dramatic.
From hero to villain, Cisse’s mad moment costs QPR – full match report
at 00:16:21

As far as I can tell Cisse has never been sent off before, in a lengthy career in French, English, Greek and Italian football of around 400 games. Is it a flaw in a personality to react to violence against you by confronting the perpetator. Surely that's just human nature. Cisse's crime was not to follow the eccentric football code which all pros have ingrained in them, that you don't raise your hands. A code that leads to them to stand arms down forehead to forehead instead. There's irony there.

Cisse's only 'crime' was to let his teammates down. Anger is in all of us, and it's not a flaw.
A quiet exit for two differing QPR heroes
at 11:36:54

Always had great admiration for Martin Rowlands. I very much enjoyed watching him play and it is sad to see him go. It is a big regret that he wasn't given a proper opportunity to re-establish himself. From the comments I have read on this board it is clear that some supporters don't understand or appreciate the massive contribution Rowly made to QPR during the tough days. Hopefully Clive your comments have gone some way to redress the balance. Good luck Martin if you read this.

Connolly did a good job for QPR and he will do another good job at Reading. All he needs is the right manager to give him confidence and he will thrive. If Legs is an example Matt will get that at Reading. I never shared the OTT verdicts on Connolly's ability. To my mind he was just a good Championship defender who would suit a ball playing side. Neither did I think his form deteriorated that much. The team got better around him making his limitations stand out, and Warnock couldn't help moaning in public when the defence shipped a soft goal.

Bradley Orr is a good right fullback, but he isn't a PL right fullback. He has made an odd short-term choice.
Fernandes gambles everything on Warnock sacking
at 12:33:17

As a piece of fiction your account of what didn't happen at MK is quite readable. Like most sports journalists you fit the narrative to the outcome rather than seek the truth. The truth is that we have been patchy and inconsistent throughout. Lucky wins against Everton, Stoke and Chelsea, unfortunate dropped points at other times. We are probably where we deserve to be overall but the 'form' has not been in decline, we are just coming out of a run of very tough games with confidence understandably fragile. What you saw at MK was players like DJ, Bothroyd and Smith playing like DJ, Bothroyd and Smith do. Other players not brimming with confidence in a completely changed team. We were outsiders to win the game, and it was never going to be easy or pretty.

Warnock has never changed. His weaknesses now were all apparent in the first half of last season. Our early unbeaten run and Taarabt's exception individual ability allowed him play two defensive holding central midfielders, a 'holding' wide player (Hogan), a target man who rarely shot and basically we wore the division down with conservative football enlivened by Taarabt, Routledge and Walker. At Sheffield United he wasted strikers by the bus load. He has just been continuing that characteristic with Hulse, Bothroyd, DJ etc.

In compensation Warnock has many strengths. Let's hope the next manager has more, because sacking a manager is dead easy, finding a better one can be tricky.

I have not seen anybody comment on the fact that the Chairman has only five months experience (and has never appointed a manager), the CEO has four months experience of football full stop, and the Vice-Chairman only four years and not a great track record of persuading others to make good decisions. Our club is in very inexperienced hands. They may be enthusiastic and have a talent for PR, but can they run a football club?
Bale force blows QPR out of the water at Spurs – full match report
at 01:33:13

I had the misfortune to be a guest in the Spurs family stand in the opposite corner to you noisy neighbours. Horrendous being surrounded by the enemy and unable to vocally support your team, out of respect for your host. By the time we scored I couldn't contain myself. The payback came when Bale scored that brilliant 3rd and consisted of the bloke behind screaming full volume right in my ear. No doubt to his massive surprise I didn't flinch. He chose my deaf side.

Anyway there is no doubt what the Spurs fans around me thought had happened at half time. Their team took their feet off the gas big time and let us back into the game. Nothing whatsoever to do with our change in formation, personnel and intent.

It's natural to give less attention and credit to your opponents. So we think we improved. They think they stopped playing. I'd like to think it was the former but I really think that they could have increased the margin at any time just by upping the tempo and taking Adebayor off. Maybe if we were able to take a leaf out of Newcastle's book and work super hard for 90 minutes and build their sort of defensive understanding we could hold these top teams at bay.

Meanwhile we'll need to hire and park a fleet of buses against Man City and see whether Faurlin+Barton and Helguson+Bothroyd combinations are really more effective at some later date.
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