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Everton prolong QPR’s winless run – full match report
Everton prolong QPR’s winless run – full match report
Monday, 22nd Oct 2012 22:59 by Clive Whittingham

QPR remain bottom of the Premier League after drawing their latest home match 1-1 against Everton who played the final half hour of the game with ten men.

Is that a light at the end of the tunnel, or another train approaching?

Under-fire QPR manager Mark Hughes will certainly hope it’s the former, and will take plenty from Sunday’s 1-1 draw at home to high-flying Everton to back his case. The same result against the same opponents last season sparked a subsequent run of five consecutive home wins that catapulted Rangers to safety and despite extending the winless run at the start of the season to eight matches – the worst since 1991 – there were signs here that the feat could be repeated.

Hughes finally selected Junior Hoilett from the start in attack and he only deepened the mystery of why he’s been used so sparingly so far this season with a fine performance and opening goal – albeit heavily deflected – after two minutes. His drive, effort and attacking ambition was much needed as his supporting cast up front struggled to offer much by way of help as Everton double marked Adel Taarabt and Bobby Zamora turned in his worst performance of the season.

In midfield Hughes partnered Esteban Granero, who was impressive, and Samba Diakite who finally showed some of the form that he produced during a loan spell last season but has been sadly lacking since QPR made the move permanent in the summer. Rangers were better as a result, though they could scarcely have been worse than their recent performances against West Ham and West Brom, and may well have won the game had a stone-wall penalty been awarded to Hoilett for an obvious trip by Seamus Coleman in the second half.

But concerns remain. Everton may be in good form and fourth in the league, but they weren’t anything special in this game and still held QPR at arm’s length while playing with ten men for the best part of half an hour at the end of the game after Steven Pienaar was sent off. Selecting Armand Traore knowing he was only fit enough to play 70 minutes, and 35-year-old Ryan Nelsen fresh off the plane from New Zealand, betrayed a lack of confidence in the other options and meant that two substitutions were accounted for before the game had even kicked off. When the time came for them to be withdrawn Hughes made straight swaps, adding first Nedum Onuoha and then Anton Ferdinand to the mix despite Everton’s numerical disadvantage. One straight swap could be explained, two smacked of a lack of ambition.

And then there’s Ji-Sung Park who put in an improved performance here, but still nothing to write home about and certainly not enough to justify his constant selection this season ahead of the likes of Taarabt, Hoilett, and now Alejandro Faurlin who remained an unused substitute in this game. A tragic waste of a talent that could form a terrific midfield three with Granero and Diakite.

Initially at least things seemed very positive indeed. Everton forced two early corners but when captain Phil Neville dallied about returning the second to the penalty area Hoilett nudged him out of possession and then stormed forward down the centre of the field with Taarabt for company. He could, and perhaps should, have fed the Moroccan into the left channel but elected to take on a shot himself and saw the ball loop up off Leighton Baines, past the already-committed Tim Howard, and into the net. One of those buying a ticket to win the raffle situations.

Baines has been one of the stars of the Premier League season so far, combining beautifully with Steven Pienaar down the left flank and ripping apart better teams than Queens Park Rangers. That made the decision by David Moyes to move Pienaar infield and bring Kevin Mirallas across from the right to the left wing a strange one in my opinion and Everton were nowhere near as good as they have been when I’ve seen them previously this season as a result. Admittedly they were attempting to cope without injured duo Darron Gibson and Marouane Fellaini but still, it seemed strange to break up a combination that had born so much fruit this season.

The visitors could have gone two behind in the seventh minute when Howard took too long dealing with a back pass and then lost his footing on the sodden turf as Junior Hoilett closed in hunting a second goal. The American keeper survived by poking the ball out to the edge of the area but Zamora collected it, fed Taarabt and he teed Traore up on the overlap to deliver a low cross into the six yard box where Zamora had advanced and perhaps might have scored from close range had he gambled a bit more.

Perhaps Moyes was simply trying to give QPR a bit of something they hadn’t seen from Everton so far this season. That could well have been the thinking behind a free kick at the midway point of the half – very harshly awarded against Granero who appeared to win the ball cleanly – which looked ideally placed for set piece specialist Baines to strike but was instead hit by Jelavic and easily saved by Julio Cesar in the QPR goal.

Rangers did more with their own set piece from a similar position moments later when Park was fouled and Granero hung a ball up to the back post where Zamora and Stephane Mbia rather got in each other’s way competing for a header and the ball went over the bar.

If only Zamora had been so keen to compete in the air just after the half hour when Everton bagged a fortuitous equaliser that from a QPR point of view was the very definition of soft. First the R’s left their weakest defensive player, Adel Taarabt, to deal with two Everton players from an attacking throw in. That left Rangers outnumbered and scrambling about and they quickly conceded a free kick when Zamora fouled Jagielka. When Pienaar dollied that set piece up to the back post Zamora completely lost Distin and his free header rebounded into the net off the back of Julio Cesar having initially struck the base of the post. An all round shambles.

Understandably, given the start they’ve made to the season, confidence is fragile among the QPR squad. The home side was fortunate not to fall behind twice within two minutes of being pulled level. First Nikica Jelavic fell in the area after Stephane Mbia trod on his foot but referee Moss waved the appeals away. Everton immediately forced a corner from which the marking was almost as dreadful as it had been from the free kick a moment before – this time Jagileka took time out from a dominant defensive display to smack a header against Cesar’s bar.

What the R’s really needed to do was to put their foot on the ball and calm the situation down or face a repeat of the collapse that cost them points they deserved in a recent defeat at Tottenham. Thankfully, it seems some lessons have been learnt because for the remaining five minutes of the half that’s exactly what they did. A good move down the right set up Zamora in the area with his back to goal and he teed up Hoilett who fired high and wide. Then Granero was at the heart of a superb move that progressed right across the face of the area before being cleared. And the half ended with Taarabt firing over after Hoilett laid him in.

The second half was a nervy, staid, laboured affair punctuated by basic possession concession and pernickety refereeing.

Cesar summed up the mood with a nervy punch in the opening seconds of the half and Leon Osman shot over in trying to punish him. At the other end Samba Diakite, thanks initially to a lack of options to pass to, carried the ball past four men on a typically buccaneering assault and although his final ball into the area was good Park saw his attempts to force it home blocked away.

Still, it was good to see Diakite playing as he had done last season. He was my tip for Player of the Year this season and if he can keep this up then that’s not a bad shout but he needs a consistent run in the team and to show he’s capable of performing like this on a regular basis. Sadly, he’s just back from one suspension and he picked his customary yellow card – 11 in 14 matches since joining Rangers – for chopping Kevin Mirallas who was racing forward on a counter attack after Park had conceded possession. Prior to that he’d swept in and brought a brutal end to an Everton attack after Traore conceded possession in his own half. Park and Traore both owe Diakite a pint of whatever it is he drinks – blood? Tears of fallen Fulham players?

While Diakite – and Granero in four minutes injury time at the end of the game – could have few complaints about Jon Moss’ decision to fetch out a yellow card the referee rather lost the lot somewhat just after the hour mark. First there was a late tackle on Hoilett by Pienaar that left the QPR man requiring treatment and the South African picking up Everton’s first yellow card of the afternoon, but when Phil Neville did something similar to the same player five minutes later Moss elected not to issue a yellow card having initially taken the book out of his pocket. Does Neville know something about Moss that he doesn’t want to get out or something? Whatever the Everton skipper said it appeared to talk the referee out of booking him which I can’t ever recall seeing before.

And the farce deepened a moment later when Bosingwa – much improved on a horrendous showing at The Hawthorns last time out – got going down the right and lost his footing after catching Pienaar with his foot as he went to cross the ball. It was barely a free kick and yet having awarded it Moss immediately sent Pienaar off for his second yellow of the afternoon. That was a ludicrous decision in my opinion, one of the softest most unjustified red cards I’ve ever seen and far, far less serious than several other incidents in the game that went unpunished.

Moyes sent on Steven Naismith for Victor Anichebe – who makes the Cowardly Lion look like Evander Holyfield – and Hughes introduced Djibril Cisse for Bobby Zamora.

That was a straight swap, as was the introduction of Onuoha for Traore and then Ferdinand for Nelsen. The theme of a QPR player getting into a good attacking position only to find a lack of options to pass to continued when Hoilett embarked on an identical run to the one that brought him his goal and was again forced into a speculative shot through the want of something better to do with the ball. Rangers, and Hughes, have to be braver.

There was a nervous, frustrated air around the place. The crowd quietened down, the team was laboured, and Hughes stuck rather than twisted. Everton were clearly happy with a point given the flagrant time wasting from Howard that went persistently without check from Moss and the late introduction of Heitinga for Jelavic, but they could easily have won the game. First Mirallas cut in from the left and struck a long range shot that looked destined for the top corner before flicking up an over the bar off Mbia. More lousy marking from the resulting corner could easily have brought Everton a winner but Cesar made an outstanding save to deny Jagielka and keep the scores level.

Of all the QPR players it was Junior Hoilett who was doing the most to try and secure a victory. Taarabt set him up for a low drive that Howard parried down and Granero blasted into the side netting when he really should have squared it back into the danger zone. Then the young Canadian was clearly brought down in the penalty area by Coleman after stealing the ball off him on his blind side but Moss wasn’t moved. The frustration at that injustice seemed to drive Hoilett on more and within 30 seconds he’d cut in from the left flank and driven a powerful shot towards the far corner that Howard kept out with a camera save.

How in the name of God this lad hasn’t been starting regularly for QPR this season I do not know.

Moss may have missed Hoilett being tripped, and the foul on Jelavic in the penalty area in the first half, and sent off a player for very little while letting others off with much worse, and basically been a pain in the arse for the entire second half, but one thing he did decide to be very hot on with two minutes to go was the placing of a free kick in the QPR penalty box. Cesar was told to move it back, which he did, and then told to move it back further, which he did, and then lectured by the referee which required him to run half the length of the field and back again before play could restart.

Mr Moss is a school teacher, and don’t we all remember a school teacher like him? When there’s bullying, some kid setting fire to stuff, a fight, a serious issue he can be found hiding in the staff room. When there’s a kid wearing the wrong colour shoes, or a tie that’s a bit too shot, he’s there on the scene with detention slips. A fiddling while Rome burns sort of a fellow. What on earth did he gain by delaying the match for a minute forcing Cesar to take a free kick deep in his own half seven yards away from where he actually placed it in the final minute of the game? Do me a bloody favour.

The sides traded free kicks as the time ticked away. Granero was fouled by Mirallas and Taarabt lifted the set piece over the bar, then Baines had a wild attempt from similar range after Bosingwa’s mindless foul on Leon Osman.

In four minutes of injury time Granero showed his advanced thought process by squaring a free kick wide to Bosingwa rather than just chipping it up into the area. The Portuguese full back’s cross was poor but was only cleared out as far as Diakite and although his shot was blocked it looked for one glorious moment that it was going to fall back to Granero in the area but Jagielka crowned a man of the match display with a last ditch clearance to deny him a tap in.

There were plenty of positives to take from this match: Granero, Diakite, particularly Hoilett, the result against a very good Everton team, the improved solidity after the recent debacles with West Brom and West Ham. But several negatives as well: Zamora’s poor performance, the continued underperformance of Park, the dreadful marking at set pieces, the lack of ambition when playing against ten men.

It’s Arsenal away next but then there are three winnable games against Reading and Southampton at Loftus Road and Stoke away. We’ll know whether this game was brief respite or the start of the long climb back by the end of that run. Two wins from the four has to be the minimum target.

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QPR: Cesar 6, Bosingwa 6, Nelsen 6 (Ferdinand 83 -), Mbia 6, Traore 6 (Onuoha 72, 6), Park 6, Diakite 7, Granero 7, Taarabt 6, Hoilett 7, Zamora 5 (Cisse 71, 5)

Subs not used: Green, Wright-Phillips, Faurlin, Mackie

Goals: Hoilett 2 (unassisted)

Bookings: Diakite 66 (foul), Granero 90 (foul)

Everton: Howard 7, Coleman 6, Distin 7, Jagielka 8, Baines 6, Osman 6, Pienaar 6, Neville 6, Mirallas 6, Jelavic 6 (Heitinga 83, -), Anichebe 5 (Naismith 52, 6)

Goals: Cesar og 33 (assisted Distin/Pienaar)

Bookings: Pienaar 51 (foul), 60 (foul)

Sent off: Pienaar 60 (two bookings)

QPR Star Man: Junior Hoilett 7 Committed, hard working performance from somebody clearly determined to stay in the team. Posed a genuine goal threat throughout the game, often with limited support from those around him. Run close close by Granero and Diakite.

Referee: Jon Moss 4 Three big decisions in the game – two penalty appeals and a red card – and he got all of them wrong. Compounded that by paying intricate, microscopic attention to several incidents that he could have comfortably ignored altogether in the interests of getting the game to flow a bit more, while missing things that were actually important and needed dealing with. “Typical school teacher,” my dad would have said. And he should know, he was married to one.

Attendance 17,959 (3,000 Everton fans approx) Great to see this game sell out well in advance, the team needs all the support it can get at the moment. The atmosphere struggled at times, and peaked at others. It felt a bit like the team’s performance really – sort of laboured and nervous – all of which is understandable.

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qprmick added 00:10 - Oct 23
That team is close to the team most of us would have picked weeks ago. Hughes really needs a history lesson. Attack is always preferable especially against 10 men. Moyes must have been delighted to get the point after losing a man.
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Jigsore added 00:18 - Oct 23
How he missed our penalty appeal doesn't even bear thinking about. Forget stonewall, we're talking the Great Wall of f*****g China here.

Shame Taarabt got marked out of the game. Similar to what a lot of teams last year did when we came up. He's too good in some ways...

Oh, and Zamora displaying the workrate of a McDonalds employee on the nightshift. That's the kind of performance that got him sold by Martin Jol.

Decent performance though, coyrs.
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BrianWarren added 00:41 - Oct 23
Thanks Clive, as always' a good even well written report. I look forard to your view of the game, being in the US I sometimes get to see the game on TV, like last Sunday, but always' wait for your report. When you goto the game which pub do you frequent before the game ?
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TacticalR added 01:20 - Oct 23
This could have been worse, as Everton hit the bar, and there was an element of luck about our goal.

The Everton goal was simply awful. What is going on in the right-back area at QPR? Since Reading every team knows that you just pump a set-piece ball towards César's right hand post and you will get at least one goal during a match. It's like one of those parts of London that taxi drivers won't go to, except in this case it's QPR players that won't go there.

Park - Perhaps I noticed the weaknesses in his performance more because SWP wasn't playing, but I'm coming to the conclusion that there is something very wrong with Park. I can't remember if it was on LFW, but someone made the point that the less skillful a dynamic player is, the more he will suffer when he loses his pace, and I think this applies to Park. Whatever the problem is, he needs to be on the bench until he gets himself right. Up until now I've been saying every week that he is not on the same wavelength as his colleagues, but during this match I had the strong feeling that he simply does not know what he is doing. At certain moments it looks like he does not want to get his foot in, at others he throws himself into tackles. It seems as though he's not quite in control of his own body, and his body positioning for his shot on goal from Diakité's pass was just all wrong.

Diakité - I thought his gliding run forward from deep in midfield over to the right-hand side, followed by his pass to Park in the box was the moment of the match. You just never know which Diakité is going to turn up, but I'm glad the good Diakité put in an appearance here.

Granero - I'm still trying to fathom him. Although I (and many others) thought he was outmuscled during the West Ham game, he is actually very combative and genuinely seems to relish scraps in midfield. His sudden changes of direction are phenomenal, and can leave two or three players trailing in his wake.
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ozexile added 03:30 - Oct 23
Unfortunately taarabt did have one of those games where nothing quite came off. And yes he had a couple of men on him at all times. But this surely meant that there was space for other players that we could have exploited? Unfortunately we haven't got the tactical nous to do so. After 10-15 mins he should have been told to roam around and see who follows him. Will one go? Will they both go? He could pull them everywhere and create space. Yet no we just stand around easy to mark and expect miracles to happen.
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Kaos_Agent added 05:57 - Oct 23
Thanks Clive, well said again. This was a good starting formation, but ultimately short on offense. Against ten men, no less. So how to gain some ambition?

Why not start Hoilett with Cisse up front? Both can shoot with authority. Each has pace and enough demonstrated passing skill to serve the other. Feed them both regularly from Faurlin, Granero, Traore, Bosingwa. Taarabt and Diakite are both capable of long runs in (as is Mackie for that matter). That seems to me like a confident, pacy, attacking formation. With Nelsen and Mbia in the central back line again.

I realize we'd be rolling the dice with both Cisse and Diakite both starting, but if one of them gets carded early then sub in Zamora/Mackie/Park/SWP. If SWP re-appears as a starter (his favourite pass is backward, when he's not already been dispossessed) then we really are in trouble offensively.
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Roller added 05:58 - Oct 23
Interesting report as ever. You have criticised Hughes for his lack of ambition for his straight swap substitutions incidentally echoing condemnation that Man City supporters used to level at him, but, bearing in mind that Traore had to come off after 70 minutes and Nelsen after 80, what changes would you have made?
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QPRski added 07:28 - Oct 23
I am sure there was a massive cheer at the ground when the team was announced. After going one up in the 2nd minute, I quietly hoped that perhaps it could finally be our day and perhaps it could be one of those positive extreme results against Everton. Unfortunately, the dream harshly returned to reality on the half hour mark.

We played some great football with truely wonderful passing around the penalty area. Sadly, we could not either make the killing pass or utllise it when it finallly arrived. The Everton defence was very solid, something we can really envy, even when one player down.

It hurts when we finally have a good team selection, actually play well, have 30 minutes against 10 men....and still cannot get 3 points!
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Neil_SI added 07:29 - Oct 23
I struggled to enjoy this one, which is strange, but I just found it to be a really dull game and that's aimed at both sides. I thought both were poor and sloppy and it was just a scrappy percentage based encounter that lacked any real intensity or character.

There wasn't a lot of sophistication in the play from either team and it all seemed to be a bit too much of "play the way you're facing" for my liking and then reacting to whatever was in front of you.

But we should be pleased with a point, any points will do at the moment.
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DesertBoot added 08:51 - Oct 23
Very frustrating and disappointing final thirty minutes. Everton so comfortable as we lacked ruthlessness nor nous to open their door.
I was hoping Mackie would come on for Park simply as he's unorthodox and unsettling.
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Watfordhoop added 09:13 - Oct 23
I left the game disappointed and thinking back wistfully to an earlier time when we seemed to lack any direction and were heading for potential relegation. The board then appointed a proper coach, who worked on the teams weaknesses, and with basically the same buch of underacheivers, suddenly started winning games. Di Canio even made Damion Stewart look a good player.
Surely, even if Mark Hughes is not a coach he must have someone within his backroom team who can work on the weaknesses. I am simply amazed at his apparent unwillingness to change things when they are not working and I do wonder if he is watching the same game that we are. I felt that we needed Jamie Mackie in place of Zamora, if only because he will get the crowd going and his directness causes the opposition problems and his enthusiasm and confidence might even get through to the rest of the team.
Much as I do not want to see yet another change, I think that the Chairman should be asking the same questions of his potential managers that Napoleon asked of his generals: Not are they good, but "Are they lucky?".
I cannot be the only fan who is depressed at a great display by the team (which Sunday was not), but not the points that reflect what the manager thinks they deserve.
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qprninja added 09:21 - Oct 23
Ozexile, bit harsh on taarabt I think, it was his movement off the ball with a run to the left that dragged a defender and created the space for hoilett to run into to score.
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nadera78 added 09:40 - Oct 23
I've made my feelings known on the MB about our formation and team selection, so I'll simply re-state that I find it astonishing that Faurlin is not in our team. He'd walk into every midfield outside of the top four.

M'bia still stands a couple of yards too far off his man for my liking. "If you can't touch him, you're not marking him" as my old coach used to say.

As to the atmosphere, I think it's a result of the situation we find ourselves in with Hughes and this QPR squad. We know we've got good players but doubt their commitment, knowing deep down that they're here for the money not the shirt. Similarly, we're increasingly distrustful of Hughes but fear the consequences of replacing him. Add in some dismal performances, the league position, the ticket prices and the pre-season bluster, and suddenly you've got an uneasy atmosphere. Fans want to support the team, and have largely been doing so, but there are lots of nagging doubts. The fans need a win just as much as the players do.
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daveB added 09:51 - Oct 23
we looked a lot better on tv than I thought we did on Sunday. We had more than enough chances to win the game just lack a bit of belief in the final third and a bit of luck, we are still a shambles defending set pieces though, Stoke should be fun.
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PinnerPaul added 10:02 - Oct 23
Re the sending off, as they said on MOTD2 in real time it looked for all the world like a trip and Clive, you have ignored the fact that the two fouls sandwiched a very poor challeng in the back on Park by Pienaar, that resulted in a long lecture to him with Neville in attendance. You can't really expect to execute 3 (as they looked at the time) poor challenges in 10 minutes and stay on the pitch at this level.

Agree about the Caesar free kick though, that was appalling refereeing and likewise how Ellerslie Rd AR missed the ball hitting Everton defender on the head and going out for a corner late on I really don't know.

Us - Yes agree about the performance, thought back four earned higher marks though - all were solid and not really their job to mark defenders who come up for set pieces, although someone (Nelson?) should make sure that Zamora etc are doing their job.

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ozexile added 11:19 - Oct 23
Qprninja I didn't criticise taarabt at all? Just said he should have been given licence to roam to cause mayhem. If anything I'm having a go at Hughes for not letting him off the shackles.
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dixiedean added 11:34 - Oct 23
The Cesar nonsense was mindless - from the ref but also from himself. has he not got a brain? The linesman was clearly standing in line to indicate where the free kick was to be taken, so he tries to take it from 20 yds further on and looks surprised when he has to take it back. He's done the same thing in almost every game,which would be fine if we were trying to waste time - if only !On the other hand, there seems to be an unwritten law these days that keepers can take free kicks from wherever they like ( eg Howard from in line with penalty area when the offence was right by Ellerslie touch line)That always bugs me- if an outfield player takes it, they view it differently to a keeper. On a sep issue, was anybody else rendered nauseous by Warnock's claim that Kirkland went down too easily after being attacked by the Leeds nutter ? How he can dare to say that defies belief,esp with Diof in his team diving all over the place,not to mention Brown clutching his face to try to get a S Weds player sent off. NW has undone a lot of the good work he did for us and lost all respect and crediblity. He's back to being Colin I'm afraid !
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R_in_Sweden added 11:55 - Oct 23
Thanks for the report. Better performance but still no end product.

Agree with your sentiments regarding Faurlin being left out of the team. Park does not warrant a place in starting eleven let alone the captain's armband based on recent performances. There were a group of Koreans sitting in front of me and they shouted something indecipherable (to me) at Park every time he ran past, I tapped one of them on the shoulder and asked him to shout "do something" in Korean. Didn't seem to work though.

I just wonder how much pressure Hughes is under to play Park on the basis of promoting brand QPR in Asia. Or is it a genuine team selection by Hughes?

Enjoyed Diakité's performance and am fairly impressed with Nelsen.
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gigiisourgod added 12:27 - Oct 23
I can not decide if this is a nail in his prosecution or defence case. Suppose it depends on your feelings on him before the game and what he does in the next month
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THEBUSH added 13:08 - Oct 23
I thought Taarabt had a decent game in the holding of the ball. When he does this there is always a chance he will do something special.
I think he is developing nicely and can be a very important player for us, for me he is almost the real deal.
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QPunkR added 13:11 - Oct 23
Sweden - that's brilliant! I think we should all tell every Korean (and there are more and more of them every game, scarily) to shout 'do something!' at Park!!

And Diakité is turning into one of my favourite ever Rangers players, absolute psychopath but can glide past 4 men in one move and always looks like he's half asleep!! However, I draw the line at copying his shorts style when I play
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Monahoop added 15:45 - Oct 23
I agree with Neil SL's comments. It was a dull game played more in the spirit of a end of season mid table scrap. I was frustrated that we could not build on that early lead. For too long we played with fear, in fact it seemed to me MH set us up not to lose this game but at the same time not to win it either, so the result was inevitable. Not good at this stage Mr Hughes. Look where we are in the table and it doesn't lie. I could find few plus points to that performance and some may disagree, but I'm not convinced MH has won the dressing room anymore, certainly not from that showing. Only Granero and Taarabt put in half decent shifts.

I don't normally single out players for criticism, but Park is rapidly becoming a huge disappointment for me, not that I thought much of him at Man Utd either. Is too light weight and runs around like a headless chicken crashing into players. MH has had very few finest hours at Loftus Road. Park is not one of them.

Unless we see a dramatic upturn in fortunes, I feel a change is imminent. Preferably asap.
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francisbowles added 16:42 - Oct 23
I thought Hughes got it just about right on Sunday. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WAS TO STOP THE LOSING RUN! With that achieved, we can now go to Arsenal try to put in another decent performance and hope to get something to take into the following three vital fixtures. We could have easily have lost on Sunday and might have done if we had started putting attackers on for defenders. Another loss would have been another huge blow to confidence.

I think many mistakes have been made this season, not least selecting too many first team defenders, and not giving the likes of Ehmer and Harriman a chance, for the Reading cup match when we already had injuries. From where we are we must walk before we can run and hopefully this was the start.

I thought the midfield, including Park were good on Sunday but agree that Zamora was very poor and the defending at times worrying. Hopefully, we can get an understanding in the back four especially for set pieces.

Time to be positive, they need our support!
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30yarder added 18:02 - Oct 23
If i step on your foot, would you fall to the ground in slow motion, then while your down there start doing "oops upside your head" like a drunk dad at a wedding?...NO PENALTY
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hoops123 added 20:06 - Oct 23
Apart from the poor performance from Zamora and the anonymity of Tarrabt in the second half I thought this was e decent performance. Granero, Diakite and even M'bia did well. Faurlin should definitely have featured after the sending off. More positives than negatives for me, but Faurlin back in the centre with Hoillet replacing Park and one up front against Arsenal. Still remain confident we will pull clear.
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