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QPR humbled by MK Dons cup massacre — full match report
QPR humbled by MK Dons cup massacre — full match report
Sunday, 27th Jan 2013 16:25 by Colin Speller

Any hopes of a cup run to distract from QPR’s poor league form were brought to an unceremonious halt by League One MK Dons at Loftus Road on Saturday. Colin Speller was there for LFW.

Ah, the FA Cup. When I was a teenager (chorus from my children of ‘before the war!’) it was the stuff of dreams – heroic giant killings in front of packed crowds, semi-finals on neutral grounds, and a Wembley final watched by a nation that as one put the kettle on at half time thus causing the largest surge in demand on the national grid that year.

Forty years later and it is a pale shadow of its former self, undermined by disinterest from the bigger clubs, awful ITV coverage and semi-finals at Wembley. Most Premier League clubs see it as being well below the league and European competitions in terms of priority which puzzles me greatly. Sure, if you are still in the Champions League or battling for a top four spot in the Premier League it can be seen as an unwelcome distraction but if mid-table is the limit of your ambition, then I cannot see why you should not throw your resources into a decent cup run with the prospect of a place in the permanent record of English football.

Of course, if you are QPR, there are a number of factors that argue against such enthusiasm for this year’s competition. First, you are fighting for your Premier League life and you are desperate to avoid stepping off the gravy train just as fresh supplies of TV Bisto are about to double the volume available next year. Second, your track record in cup competitions is what is known in football parlance as ‘piss poor’. Last year QPR finally lost its unwelcome record as the professional club with the longest run (11 years) since it progressed beyond the round of the FA Cup that it had entered. This year the re-kindled interest in cup games meant that Saturday’s tie against MK Dons of League 1 was the third FA Cup game in a month, following the replay that had proved necessary to get past West Brom.

Despite the above, this year’s competition has given Harry Redknapp a chance to look at some of the fringe and returning loan players. On Saturday he didn’t like what he saw; in the end, the pre-match predictions of a gulf in class were proved entirely correct as MK won at a canter without ever having to get out of third gear. For their players, fans and officials it all must have seemed surreal. For those of us who have seen almost every kick of every game this season and last it was yet another example of a group of over-paid under-performing lightweights delivering a shift that would, in most normal walks of life, have them assigned to close performance management under the threat of dismissal in the event of failure to improve. Typically, this lot will simply collect another pay cheque, complain when they are not selected for the team, probably get a move to another club and carry on thus until they end up sitting in a studio at Sky Sports in expensive clothes making inane comments about some game or the other and cheerfully dismissing the opinions of anybody who has never played the game professionally.

There has been a lot wrong with QPR for a long time now. The Championship-winning season was amazing but at the same time the performance on the pitch reached a peak, so the farce off it came to a head with everything that was portrayed so well in The Four Year Plan. The problem was, as has been articulated so well on these pages by Clive, that the club arrived in the Premier League in a very poor shape. It did not own a training ground, the youth and scouting systems were of dubious quality, the squad was unbalanced and the ownership was in a state of flux. You all know the rest – the money thrown at new players, the changes of manager, the worrying level of spending, the poor results and the dire league position. With only a few days of the current transfer window left QPR are still in urgent need of better players and Harry is desperately rushing around Europe trying to persuade his targets that a Premier League relegation battle under the leaden skies of England and Wales is better than whatever fun in the sun they are having at the moment. Any candidate players who snuck into Loftus Road on Saturday will have seen little to encourage them either on or off the pitch. Whatever happens in the rest of this season the club simply has to get its act together if it is to survive and thrive in the longer-term.

One thing that the club did get right this time – albeit only after the ear bashing it got after the West Brom tie – was the ticket pricing. With seat prices slashed the home end was almost full with a strange mix of tourists and ‘occasionals’ outnumbering those grizzled regulars who had decided that they wanted even more of the fun they’ve been enjoying this year. The away end was pretty much full of noisy MK supporters but the atmosphere in the home end was strange – subdued even before the disaster started to unfold, occasionally ugly as it did so, but whilst quite a few did leave as the third and fourth goals went in there were still a surprisingly high number of people left at the end.

With his squad issues in mind and no doubt the electric window on his car warming up for deadline day, Harry decided to cast an eye over a team that was dominated by ‘possibles’. In goal was Robert Green behind a back four of Traore, Ferdinand, Ben-Haim and Fabio. The midfield was Mackie, Park, Granero and Faurlin and up front was Bothroyd and Campbell. On the subs bench were Murphy, Hill, Onuoha, Derry, Ephraim, M’bia and, returning from long-term injury, Zamora.

MK Dons’ line-up included habitual scorer against QPR Dean Bowditch, the much-heralded Darren Potter and old warhorse and fully paid-up member of the Joey Barton School of Football Manners, Alan Smith. The Dons were forced into a change after 20 mins when MacKenzie limped off to be replaced by Harley, but both teams otherwise remained unchanged until deep into the second half.

With people still taking their seats, QPR started brightly and knocked the ball about well. Within seconds Bothroyd had a shot at goal which was blocked away, then moments afterwards Faurlin swung the ball back in again from the left, Bothroyd nodded it down and DJ Campbell fired home from what looked in real time like a plainly offside position. The linesman’s flag was up immediately but looking at the TV highlights it looked like a close call and that Campbell was level when the ball was played. In any event, doubt about Campbell’s position did not stop people celebrating or Pig-bag blasting out of the PA. It always amazes me that people who watch football regularly can see someone score from a position that is dubious and not cast even a cursory glance to the officials before going mental. Maybe it was the ‘occasionals’ who started celebrating, thus getting the first of several lessons in disappointment to be delivered during the afternoon.

By contrast, moments later when MK scored, the initial reaction was one of surprise. Some close interplay by MK led to a corner. Shaun Green struck a low ball into the area towards the near post where it was met by the onrushing Traore with an attacker in tow. Suddenly, it was high into the net – apparently flicked there by the attacking player, but it was actually a Traore own goal. This explains the bemused looks on the MK players’ faces and, perhaps, why the attempt was not kept out by Rob Green. After a short pause, the away end went berserk and the rest of the ground fell into a resigned hush.

So, less than four minutes on the board and a goal down. How were QPR to react? For the next 36 minutes it seemed like there was basically only one team in it as QPR retained possession for long periods and probed and prodded away at the MK defence. Now such a comment and an examination of the match statistics would suggest that there would now be several hundred words in this report describing chances created and missed, saved or otherwise spurned. Sadly, it wasn’t that exciting.

Much has been made of QPR’s travails and it is the habit of football supporters everywhere to moan about goals conceded and fret about clean sheets. The Liverpool home game excepted this has not, in my humble opinion, been QPR’s main worry. Indeed I believe, that QPR’s away goals conceded record is one of the best in the league. The problem, as I see it, is that we don’t seem to have a clue how to attack. We can defend (mostly), we can move the ball about the midfield, but once we hit the final third we seem to lack anything that could be described as a plan. MK going a goal up inside four minutes meant that we needed to attack them. My heart sank at the prospect…

In the pub before the game Neil was talking about Luigi de Canio’s use of ‘shadow plays,’ which in essence, he described as being similar to NFL ‘plays’. In given situations players ran specific drills, most especially during a counter-attacks deep starting in their own half. These shadow play drills went beyond the attack itself to include contingent actions in the event of a breakdown and turnover of the ball. The latter moves were designed to deal with ‘counter-counter’ attacks. The current QPR side shows no sign of deploying anything like organised attack drills and boy does it frustrate. Basically they get hold of the ball, they move it towards the final third, get confused, then it all tends to break down and they are hugely vulnerable to the counter-attack.

I am no expert, as some of the ‘you don’t know what you are talking about unless you’ve played the game professionally’ brigade have pointed out before, but allow me the privilege of making these observations based on hours spent on my expensive perches in the Ellerslie and many away grounds. In no particular order…

- We lack movement. Very often the man carrying the ball has little going on in front of him. Sometimes there is actually nobody there, but against MK the formation did put people in front of the ball and in the box, but they were almost always static. - There is a lack of awareness. How many times does a QPR player turn back when there is space to go forward? Or turn into the defender when there is space the other way? Or does not spot an obvious and simple pass? Or dithers on the ball whilst he makes his mind up?

- The quality of the passing is awful. This may seem a harsh assessment but we play in a harsh league. By awful I don’t mean that it misses its target completely (that often!), it’s just that it is consistently just not good enough. The ball is to the feet when it should be in front (or vice versa), it’s hit with too much pace (or not enough), it’s on the ground when it should be elevated (or vice versa), etc. Watch the best teams and the ball is pinged around like it is on string. With QPR it is a case of a pass that’s not quite right so the recipient has to take two touches to control it, he then passes it to someone in a fashion that’s not quite right and ditto, and so on. At best all this just kills the pace and at worst it leads to a breakdown and loss of possession.

- We cannot cross. Crosses are mostly under-hit with poor elevation and strike the first man. Most of them start from a position between the halfway line and the penalty box and are slow, hanging balls that are easy to defend. When we do get to the by-line, we often produce the worst crosses. And don’t get me started on the quality of our corner taking. (If I want to see decent corners I watch the Football Conference).

If it comes to an assessment of what went wrong between minutes four and 38, then the simple answer would be ‘all of the above’. Nevertheless, one decent move did produce a Traore shot that stung the goalkeeper’s hands whilst a couple of others that looked to have opened them up fell at the last hurdle due to poor option selection or poor execution within the ‘we cannot cross’ category above.

So how were the individual players performing? Granero and Faurlin are one and the same player as far as I am concerned. Both flatter to deceive – they very much look the part with elegant turns and curling passes, but both are guilty of the problems under the awful passing rant above. Park was everywhere and nowhere – lots of running, little intervention and no real contribution. Mackie was his usual mix of energy and limitation but it’s difficult to be that critical of one who tries so hard. Bothroyd was his usual languid self and DJ Campbell was anonymous. In terms of the fullbacks, Fabio and Traore did get forward, but both ticked the box marked ‘awful crossing’ which in Traore’s case was a surprise and, thus, especially disappointing.

So, we huffed, puffed and tried and whilst the half-time stats showed shots on target in practice there was little that looked like penetrating a well-drilled MK defence that must have been truly surprised it wasn’t tested harder. And, as is so often the case in these scenarios, it was MK who mocked all QPR’s efforts in the cruellest possible way by scoring after 39 minutes from one of their few forays forward. And, what irony – all the debate about the roots of the club leading up to the game and they score in the manner of the old Wimbledon. A long punt up the field by Anthony King was misjudged by Ferdinand with a degree of incompetence that would have embarrassed a pub team player. It sailed over his head, bounced once and as it came down from the bounce it was swept past Green by Ryan Lowe. Ferdinand flapped his arms about in frustration, the away end went mental again and the home support’s collective head slumped into its hands.

There’s not much else to say about the first half. Fabio got booked for a foul, QPR had a couple of corners and did nothing with them, the ref blew his whistle and the home team left the pitch to a chorus of boos.

There were no changes at half time and as the teams lined up there was a feeling in the home stands that all was not lost. That didn’t last long! Very little happened in the first two or three minutes but what did suggested MK were very much livelier than QPR. Then they got a free kick in their own half, moved it right, then passed it inside before the ball was prodded forward through the right channel into the QPR penalty area. At the time and on the TV replays it looked as if the most forward MK player, Ryan Lowe, was clearly offside but the linesman’s flag stayed down and he chased after the ball doing a fair impression of Jamie Mackie. He caught it up, set off along the goal line towards the goal then cut the ball back to the onrushing Ryan Harley who swept it home.

In the immediate aftermath of the goal the QPR defence looked as ragged and torn apart as it actually was and all hope seemed gone. Now 49 minutes on the clock and 3-0 down. One of the ‘occasionals’ in a seat near us, very much the worse for drink, returned to his seat two minutes later, peered myopically at the scoreboard, asked several people in turn to confirm it was actually 3-0 and then sat there for about five minutes afterwards doing a fair Victor Meldrew ‘I don’t believe it!’ impression.

The next few minutes would have been equally unbelievable to him. Within two minutes of the goal there was another shot, this time by Chicksen, who might have done better. Then Faurlin, who was not exactly having his best day ever, got booked for clattering the same player. Then Ben-Haim tried to control the ball with his shoulder/arm and conceded a free kick well outside the penalty area on QPR’s right. The ball was swung over, it pinged back across the box and arrived at the feet of Darren Potter, who belted it home. The away end exploded for the fourth time and several of the QPR regulars walked out.

By this time the atmosphere in the home end was getting ugly. Displeasure was being aired freely and at one point every MK pass was cheered. In the end, we were perhaps saved from worse scenes by the fact that it was not the normal crowd. Those regulars who stayed were either very vociferous or quietly resigned, the newcomers and occasionals were bemused by it all. There were, though, some scuffles between QPR fans, I gather, and I know some of the occasionals were less than impressed by the caustic language on offer and that also led to some frosty exchanges. Not a good day in the stands, but it could have been worse.

Back on the pitch and a stunned QPR struggled to do much in the next ten minutes. By this time MK had them well sussed and were becoming pretty adept at soaking up what QPR had to offer before springing forward with pace and in numbers. It was at this point I genuinely thought it could be five or six and I’ll be honest – had I not promised to write this I would have left.

After 66 minutes Harry decided to salvage what he could from the day by giving Zamora a much-needed run out; he replaced the hapless Park. The latter may have sold us a lot of shirts but in a poor team he has struggled to make any positive impression and he was not of much use at all in this game.

The arrival of Zamora, the consequent change of shape and MK’s willingness to sit back and await their chance on the break was to allow QPR more freedom and opportunity eventually, but MK went close again and it wasn’t until Alan Smith’s departure to be replaced by Chris Lines after 75 minutes that things opened up to allow attempts from Mackie and two from Faurlin. With Zamora and Bothroyd both giving some physical presence in the box things were starting to happen closer to goal and after 82 minutes they combined to create a fairly scrappy headed goal for Bothroyd. Four goals down to MK Dons, we get a consolation and someone decides it’s a good idea to play Pig-bag again. Is there no feel for the game, the fans and the interaction between the two within the management of the club? Someone else obviously detected the collective wave of embarrassment – it wasn’t played again even though there was another goal.

QPR kept plugging away and there were further attempts by Bothroyd (twice) and Zamora (twice) before a looping header from Bothroyd back across the goal eluded everybody to find Fabio bursting into the box from the right, he prodded the ball goalwards and it found its way in. In the moments that remained DJ Campbell fired wide when he should have at least hit the target. Had this chance and one of the ones before the second goal been taken QPR could have had the unlikeliest of draws and yet another replay. But, that would have flattered them beyond belief and been very unfair to MK. As it is, they deservedly progress to the next round and QPR are left to concentrate on the league.

So, what did we learn today? Apparently Harry would say ‘not a lot’ because after the game he gave a pretty frank account of the shortcomings of the QPR team he fielded and suggested the failure of certain individuals had not been a complete surprise to him. Knowing Harry he will use this to lever boardroom action and maybe loosen the purse strings. It may also signal the completion of exit deals for one or two of those on show today; there will be few tears shed.

Did any of them pass muster? I actually thought Ben-Haim did ok and Fabio put in a decent shift. Traore had an off day, Mackie was his usual self but the rest were simply poor. Yet again the performance lacked energy and movement. So many of our players have an economy of effort that might be ok in quiet periods of the game, but Jamie Mackie aside they just don’t seem to be able to turn it on when needed. After watching the QPR highlights I thought I should cheer myself up by revelling in Norwich’s discomfort. Just watch the Luton goal: it’s a breakaway and as the play unfolds the Luton player at the bottom of the screen is holding his position at the halfway line. He then realises that they are light in the Norwich box and puts the afterburners on to try to get there. The ball is actually fired home at the near post but by the time it is crossed the guy at the bottom of the picture has absolutely bust a gut to get into the box. This is something that – Mackie aside – you just don’t see QPR players do.

In terms of MK Dons hats off to them for a very competent performance. The shame of it from our point of view was that I don’t believe they were ever really tested but they dealt very well with what was put in front of them and may well have had more in the tank had they been pressed harder. But it is absolutely impossible to make serious comment about the team or their manager based on what happened on Saturday. They were set up well and seemed very comfortable but QPR were pretty clueless in attack and handed them the first two goals. The linesman and/or QPR’s assumption about an offside call gave them the third and by the time the fourth arrived pantomime season was in full swing. Good luck to them in the next round, though if it means going to play Luton at Kenilworth Road I may not be able to resist a chuckle.

For the ‘occasional’ or newcomer QPR supporter, there was little on or off the field to encourage them back: a poor QPR performance leading to heavy defeat in front of a raucous away following resulting in invective and in-fighting in the home stands. Not a good return for the investment in cheap tickets.

For the regular this was just another drip in the water torture that is this awful season. We enter the last phase of the campaign with a faint hope of Premier League salvation, but I cannot pretend to be optimistic. We have an exciting new striker and another, albeit less exciting, returning from long-term injury. But, our best defender is about to leave and there is no current prospect of a new one. Whatever one thinks of the individual players we look awfully weak as a team and in the last two games I have been struck by just how much poorer we were than Spurs and West Ham. OK, so the former are an impressive side but the latter went on to get stuffed by Arsenal. Who knows? At least in terms of my points accumulator we are not that far off, but the pace quickens from here on in.

I shall make a confession at this point – I have actually found it increasingly difficult to watch in recent weeks and if QPR is a religion, then frankly I’m losing the faith. It’s supposed to be enjoyable, for fuck’s sake; it has been anything but and if it wasn’t for the mates and the craic before and after the game I would struggle to convince myself to come at the moment. Indeed, I found the backs-to-the-wall performance at West Ham so stressful that I walked out just after West Ham scored; it had been a very busy and tiring week at work and I just could not stand it any longer. I am not sure whether I can sit through several similar performances, for that is what we shall see, in the coming weeks but I know I should try if I am to retain the status of ‘supporter’ in my own mind at least. In all the debate about what needs to be done to mean that ‘we are never in this position again’ the management of the club should reflect on the fact that most of us just want to see a team that is committed, competitive, plays some decent football and is capable of providing some entertainment and enjoyment.

Knowing QPR they will haul themselves away from this low point and a vastly different team will nick a win against Man City. On the other hand, a more realistic target is a win next week against Norwich. One way and another, we need points on the board and if this debacle finally underlined that our salvation does not lie in the hands of Bothroyd et al then it may have at least done some good. We can but hope that something positive comes out of it although, as Clive says mournfully ‘it’s the hope that kills you!’

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QPR: Green 4, Da Silva 6, Ben-Haim 5, Ferdinand 2, Traore 3, Park 3 (Zamora 67, 6), Faurlin 3, Granero 4, Mackie 5, Campbell 4, Bothroyd 4

Subs not used: Murphy, Hill, Onuoha, Derry, Ephraim, M’bia

Goals: Bothroyd 83 (assisted Zamora), Da Silva 90 (assisted Bothroyd)

Bookings: Fabio 42 (foul), Faurlin 52 (foul)

MK Dons: Martin 7, Otsemobor 6, Lewington 7, MacKenzie 6 (Harley 20, 7), Chicksen 6, Kay 6, Williams 7, Potter 7, Smith 7 (Lines 75, 6), Bowditch (Alli 90, -), Lowe 7

Subs not used: Doumba, Flanagan, Rasulo, Ismail

Goals: Traore og 3 (assisted Green), Lowe 40 (assisted King), Harley 50 (assisted Lowe), Potter 56 (assisted Harley)

QPR Star Man – Fabio Da Silva 6 I’m tempted to say Jude the Cat but within a ramshackle team performance I thought Fabio da Silva put in a decent shift for which he was rewarded by his late goal. Ben-Haim did ok, Mackie showed his usual energy, Green was impossible to assess as he was exposed for every one of the goals and Zamora made an impact when he came on. The rest should hang their heads in shame.

Referee – Mike Dean (Wirral) 6 Didn’t really have much to do to be honest. There were claims for a penalty when Mackie went down in the box, rather too easily in my view, and at other times some robust engagement from the MK players attracted criticism from QPR players and crowd. But, all in all he wasn’t a factor, unlike his linesman who on a different day would have allowed Campbell’s goal and flagged MK offside in the build-up to their third.

Attendance 17,081 (2,900 MK approx) Solid, noisy and joyful support from the land of roundabouts and boulevards with the cheap ticket policy filling the home stands with a strange mixture of tourists, occasional attendees and hardened regulars. I can’t help feeling that a performance like that in front of the normal ‘church’ would have produced some very ugly scenes indeed.

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stuabd added 16:31 - Jan 27
...the pre-match predictions of a gulf in class were proved entirely correct as MK won at a canter without ever having to get out of third gear.

Thanks, very good.
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N12Hoop added 16:47 - Jan 27
Thanks for the report. You got the short straw there!
Not sure i agree with Harry's public criticism. When we do well, it's down to him, when we do badly it's down to the players. We should have started full strength, this was a chance to give us some optimism about a cup run. Instead we're all depressed contemplating trips to Barnsley.
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Neil_SI added 17:01 - Jan 27
Great effort Colin!

I still don't recall a time where I've seen the home fans cheering every pass of the opposition for so long or chanting "we want five", or a toilet roll being thrown into the pitch as Ji-Sung Park went off. Bizarre.

I saw plenty of problems in the crowd, which included a heated exchange at the front of R block between two supporters and a lot of foul language from the "occasional's". It was so odd to see the back of Q block and R block mainly sat down as well, which was another indicator that it was filled with casual fans.

It was certainly an opportunity lost for the club in that sense, but that's what happens if players don't take matches like these seriously enough. Having said all that, we've seen so many performances as bad or worse than this in the past twelve months that it really makes you raise your eyebrows or wince at what the club has now become.

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izlingtonhoop added 17:02 - Jan 27
...delivering a shift that would, in most normal walks of life, have them assigned to close performance management under the threat of dismissal in the event of failure to improve.

I made the observation to the fella sitting next to me that highly paid airline pilots performing as badly would lead to unimaginable disaster...

What will Ferdinand and park do when they have to do proper jobs?
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Nov77 added 17:26 - Jan 27
The praise of mackie for running around a lot whilst producing nothing is becoming laughable. It's a bit like when a little kid brings home a painting from school, it's clearly a sh*t painting, but you praise it and tell him how wonderful he is for doing it.
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TacticalR added 17:27 - Jan 27
Thanks for your report. A terrible match by all accounts - it does feel like the FA Cup is cursed for us. I can't help feeling the Ferdinand howler was the turning point, as given our lack of attacking nous, that was game over. The only consolation was that it wasn't the first team.

I think you're right to try to put the match in the context of our lack of a system of attack (although with the proviso that this wasn't the first team). I believe this problem goes right back to the Championship season where the Warnock team could sit back for long periods, and then rely on Taarabt or Helguson for a moment of inspiration.

Since the Liverpool game Redknapp has adapted to our weaknesses (and perhaps even made a virtue out of them), by putting Derry in front of the defence, and trying to grab the odd goal on the break. At least having no forward against Chelsea and Tottenham meant that there was no point in any of the other players putting in 'awful crosses'.

You also make an interesting point about Granero and Faurlin as 'one and the same player'. From the day Granero arrived I have wondered if they are too similar to play together, and would end up trying to do the same job in the same space (remember the period at the end of Hughes' reign when Hughes tried to move Granero over to the right wing?). The pairing seemed to work at first (beginning with Man City away), but came unstuck against a more physical West Ham at home.
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izlingtonhoop added 17:42 - Jan 27
Nov77

Much as I love him for his effort, I agree with you totally, it's just not worth it.
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Antti_Heinola added 17:50 - Jan 27
Good report, just a bit disappointed by the barbs against 'occasionals' as you call them. We're all QPR fans and I find the nastiness directed towards non-ST holders or even Korean fans there to support Park, bewildering and extremely unfair. Childish and petty.
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bloberts added 18:04 - Jan 27
Your ridiculous in thinking Mackie was our second best player, he was awful.
Bothroyd and Traore were miles better then him, very lazy of you.
Anyway everyone else has gone out so nobody will focus on ur embarresment!
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QPRCambs added 18:11 - Jan 27
Antii Heinola - I seriously hope you are not accusing me of 'nastiness directed towards non-ST holders or even Korean fans there to support Park' because if you are then that is a serious and unacceptable misreading of what I have written. The mention of 'occasionals' was merely an attempt to describe the background to the rather unusual atmosphere inside Loftus Road, not in any sense a 'barb' or attempt to criticise people for taking advantage of the cheap tickets because, duh, that was the whole purpose of the promotion. I tried to make three points (1) that the performance completely undermined the attempt to attract more regular attendance by those who came on a one-off basis on Saturday (2) that the ground remained relatively full in circumstances that would normally have caused it to empty and (3) the reaction to the debacle would have been a good deal uglier had the normal crew been there.

Re the comments about Mackie by others - I'm inclined to agree that his limitations are frustrating but I do find it hard to criticise him for Saturday's performance that took place alongside other players who were no more competent and applied a good deal less effort.
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qprrunner added 18:33 - Jan 27
Finally it seems were opening our eyes re Mackie. Galloping up and down the pitch when 4 nil down means nothing. I fear starting him week in week out will send us down, by far the weakest link in our usual XI. Also Granero second half was a joke, was like me playing 5aside when losing badly, walking around, not tracking back, not trying to tackle and whenever the ball fell to him just dribbling until he loses and the cycle would start over.
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ShotKneesHoop added 18:35 - Jan 27
How did Park manage to score 3?

Aside from run around like a Yorkshire Terrier, what did he do that was positive?

Being hooked from that lot shows even Harry agreed.
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YouRs added 19:16 - Jan 27
Can't disagree with anything you've written.
Mackie has been flattering to deceive for a long time now. Endeavour is simply not a good enough substitute for ability, of which he has very little. A wholesome player all the same.
Also agree that I too am sick to the back teeth of it. It is not enjoyable in any way shape or form watching the Rangers at the moment, and I'm getting to the stage where going is becoming an unwanted burden. Hands up who saw this coming at the start of the season. MK Dons. League 1. At Home. FFS.
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tsbains64 added 19:29 - Jan 27
Dissapointing game but give credit to the Dons
I am a supporter-I never boo the team or abuse the players. When we are hopeless I am frsutrated and air my anger but in an encouraging way
If there were a few more like me yesterday perhaps we could have turned it around
I for one still have the faith and think we will survive
Come on guys enjoy the ride-its easy to support a team that is winning every week-a real supporter encourages the team even when they are at the bottom!!
COYRs
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SterlingArcher added 19:34 - Jan 27
Thank God for Harrys honesty. Warnock would've blamed the match officials, the
press, picked on an oppsitions player, the sun, the ballboy - anyone, but himself.
Hughes would've done the above and brought to light the 'positives' from the game.

I don't think I've watched a more 'dumberer' footballer than Anton Ferdinand.
He's got all the attributes to be an average footballer at best, but I liken him
to Frankensteins monster -" dur...dur...and more dur (tweet)". Hello Turkey I hope Anton !!

Faurlins had his day. Too left footed, too slow. Granero too right footed. Too
slow.

Mackie - I so want him to do well, but I'm slowly running out of excuses to my
mates to why he should be a starter.

Jason Park - What on earth did he do at Man Utd ? Every Man U fan said he played
in every important game for them. he averaged 20 games a season in 8 years -
hardly a stalwart. Yesterday he was like a cow going through the latter stages
of BSC. Click - double barrel - boom boom (one boom for Bosingwa!).

I can't be bothered with the rest. Thank goodness we have Nelson for one more
game and the battling qualities of Derry and Hill. Not perfect, but essential in
our fight for survival.

Just to compound matters Brentford came within a whisker of upsetting former
Champion League winners. Leeds done Spurs and the mighty Oldham looked
brilliant against Liverpool.

Ferk the FA Cup. Harry sign some decent players on shit wages. Stick at it Mr
Fernandes and the Board and we'll get out of this Maelstrom and worry what all
the fuss was about ..............dur....dur....click...boom....





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Antti_Heinola added 20:03 - Jan 27
Apologies in that case Cambs, it might just have been the quote marks that gave off a negative vibe. I can see now I misunderstood your intentions there. Just seen a lot of negative comments about other fans in other posts and I probably projected that onto your report. Apologies!
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Neil_SI added 20:07 - Jan 27
Likewise, mine wasn't meant to be a barbed comment, more a shame for them that we had the type of match we did (same with West Brom at home) and the heated exchange/foul language (more than usual, though also the majority of this was coming from newcomers/casuals) is also likely to put some off too.
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qprmick added 20:27 - Jan 27
To put that team out, well, Harry got his answers. But many of us would have like a Cup run over survival in the Premiership, now we will probably end up with neither.
When was the last time we had a commanding centre half, this problem has been ignored for far too long.
It looks like Jamie is the next scapegoat,Oh! hang on, SWP will be back next game.
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Roller added 20:38 - Jan 27
Sounds like Park is retaining his scapegoat status, according to West London Sport Park came in for some abuse

"Has lacked sharpness but, more importantly, seemed to be affected by barracking from the crowd and looked increasingly brittle before being taken off."

Let's hope that the first team make it easier to support them on Tuesday, I'm very glad that I picked the City match over the cup game (at the moment)

Good report Colin
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DesertBoot added 20:56 - Jan 27
Good report and spot on in your break down of our failings.
I was actually disappointed we scored the two goals and didn't cheer either of them.
4-0 is what we deserved.
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derbyhoop added 20:58 - Jan 27
What have we learned?
If our back up central defenders are Anton and TBH, we're stuffed if anything happens to Hill or Nelsen. Oh s**t!
Faurlin isn't the player he was. Playing Faurlin and Granero together is a huge mistake
Park is finished. At almost any level.
Effort alone is not enough to make a PL standard player.
DJ Campbell may score in the Championship but is not a PL standard player
Don't believe anything HArry says. If he was serious about a cup run he wouldn't have picked that side.
A massive clearout is required. Yet another one!!!
We can add yet another humiliating Cup defeat to a very long list.
I can look forward to a nice local trip to Pride Park in 2013/14.
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AgedR added 21:06 - Jan 27
We seem to go from criticising skill, but, no heart (Cisse et al) to heart, but, no skill (Mackie). What a fickle bunch we are.

As for 'occasionals', I took the opportunity to sit a few rows above my normal Loft seat and have to admit, there was a slight feeling of "who's this new bloke", despite the fact they probably see me every week a couple of rows in front of them. It was tempered somewhat when I could not control an outburst of "Bothroyd you twonk!", after he found himself inexplicably caught off side just past the half way line. We are a territorial lot. It's natural I suppose.

I did take one, all be it rather hollow, positive from the game. That being, at a push, I think Ben Haim can probably do a job next to Hill when Nelson flys. I appreciate it's hardly inspiring, but, I think we might have to lump it. As I've noted elsewhere, I can't see many quality centre halves playing, let alone available on transfer or loan.

Thanks for the report Cambs. He's a tough comparison is Clive, but, without meaning to be patronising, I think it was excellent. Your observation about the "peeking" of the Championship team was perceptive and the reminiscence of de Canio's "shadow" plans, brought a wistful smile to my lips. I look forward to you report of Tuesday...more than the game at the moment.
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YorkRanger added 21:11 - Jan 27
Colin - excellent report.

The nail that you hit on the head for me was about it not being fun anymore. I don't get to as many games as some, but I cannot remember a game in the Premiership seasons that I have really enjoyed. Even Stoke at home (whilst a wonderful outcome) was tense and nerveracking. I don't think there has been a game where our football has been outstanding and we have won at a canter.

Pleased to say I'll be there on Tuesday night for more of the same...
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izlingtonhoop added 21:12 - Jan 27
BTW there was a bit of a to do outside the Springbok after the game.
After an embarrassment of a game it would surely have been better (and less shaming further) to allow supporters of an imaginary team from an imaginary city to celebrate and go home, without attacking them.
The bloke who got nicked after trying to hide in the pub was older than me FFS!
(fifty soon, if you want to know...)
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THEBUSH added 21:14 - Jan 27
Like everyone else, I feel so angry at this defeat, I was at least hoping for a little cup run.
HR is to blame for picking that team, but at the end of the day, it can only be the players who take the blame, why didn't they try harder ?
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