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Redknapp and Remy silence the Saints – full match report
Redknapp and Remy silence the Saints – full match report
Monday, 4th Mar 2013 01:30 by Clive Whittingham

A goal and stellar performance from the returning Loic Remy meant it was many happy returns for Harry Redknapp at Southampton on Saturday in more ways than one.

Harry Redknapp turned 66 on Saturday, and when he opened his eyes for the first time that morning he could have been forgiven for wondering exactly why he was still bothering with the football management game.

With each passing season this is a sport that is turning its back on the likes of Redknapp more and more. Trendy, young, mostly foreign, coaches are infiltrating football carrying iPads, Pro Zone technology and books about the power of positive thinking leaving the likes of Peter ‘Reidy’ Reid and the other grizzled old pros complaining about the unfairness of it all from the Goals on Sunday sofa. The Spurs side that Redknapp built and took to the Champions League now looks like it’s going back there with 35-year-old Andre Villas Boas at the helm while Redknapp was sacked at White Hart Lane in the summer, and overlooked for the England job. Other offers were few and far between and he was killing time on Match of the Day when Queens Park Rangers, bottom of the Premier League and without a win from their first 16 games, asked if he fancied one more rescue mission. It must surely have crossed his mind that his recent record warranted a better offer than that.

On Saturday he met the Southampton club he was in charge of seven years ago that also recently dispensed with an English manager in favour of Mauricio Pochettino who, coincidentally, turned 41 on the day of this game. The Saints faithful don’t remember Redknapp fondly, partly because they were relegated from the Premier League under his charge but mainly because he then subsequently walked out on them to rejoin their bitter local rivals Portsmouth. As if his advancing years, and QPR’s seemingly terminally lousy form of one win from ten games, wasn’t enough to get him down an afternoon of hostilities from the St Mary’s crowd apparently awaited him.

And then there was the Daily Mirror’s lead sports story for Saturday morning. The paper claimed three unnamed senior players from QPR’s squad had “lifted the lid” on the recent training camp in Dubai which, far from being the tough work out sceptical fans had been promised, had allegedly been a week long excuse for a drinking binge. One described it as a “stag party”. QPR have never been more than three weeks away from another media controversy of some sort but, with the league table and balance sheet the way they are, stories like this only add to the feeling that this is a club on the brink of being completely out of control – if it isn’t already.

But the pundits are reticent in writing off QPR just yet, despite all known facts pointing to a relegation by the end of April, and that’s because there’s life in Redknapp yet. By 5pm on Saturday he was marching down the touchline, applauding a raucous travelling support numbering 3,000, and punching the air to mark a potentially significant victory. In a game of such mediocre quality it could easily have been mistaken for one from a level or two below, Rangers won through because they had a couple of game changers and Southampton did not. Redknapp recalled Loic Remy and David Hoilett to the attack and the Saints had nobody of equal quality – that, in a nutshell, was the deciding factor.

Remy has been hugely frustrating in his two months in English football so far because while he can clearly play the game it’s been a struggle to actually get him fit and out on the park. The Fragile Frenchman poses a threat to any defence with his pace, movement, game intelligence and clinical finishing but none of that is much use if he only starts one game in four – especially as QPR’s attacking options without him are almost non-existent.

On paper Redknapp’s method of shoehorning him and Hoilett back into the starting 11 looked curious. Adel Taarabt dropped to the bench, admittedly looking tired and ineffective in recent games but only because he was picked out by opponents as Rangers’ only player with any attacking ability, along with Andros Townsend who has been excellent since joining on loan from Spurs. The obvious question was whether the decision was related to the leak to The Mirror but Redknapp refuted that suggestion and cited footballing reasons.

There was plenty of evidence to back him up. A quarter of an hour into this game Hoilett dissected a square Southampton defence with a cross field pass that Remy took in his stride, wrong footed goalkeeper Artur Boruc with an intelligent shoulder drop and lashed into the net despite the best efforts of Fox to get it off the line. Adrenalin still pumping Remy then cracked a first time volley from the edge of the area that Boruc had to fumble wide. There was more attacking threat in that 90 seconds of action than the R’s had mustered for several weeks prior.

Eyebrows were also raised about the selection of QPR’s three man midfield. Rickie Lambert has been grabbing the headlines on the South Coast this season but Southampton’s survival quest is built on the hard working duo Morgan Schneiderlin and Jack Cork who buzz around the base of their midfield. Rangers went up against them with Esteban Granero, whose struggles to adapt to the English game continue; Ji-Sung Park, whose work rate would once have made him the ideal man for such a situation but clapped out engine these days make him rather a liability; and Stephane Mbia, who was publicly lambasted by Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville for bizarrely toying with his gloves on the edge of the penalty box for several seconds while Manchester United walked around him and scored a second goal last week.

Granero was questioned early and often. Southampton besieged him when he dwelt on possession in the crucial middle third, denying him a canvas for his artistry. It was clear from the very early moments that the Spaniard would either have to increase his work rate and roll up his sleeves or die a slow and agonising footballing death in the late afternoon sunshine. Sadly, as is becoming all too common with the former Real Madrid man, he just couldn’t adapt his game to suit the circumstances and nine minutes into the second half he was hooked for Jermaine Jenas.

Park could easily have gone off as well or instead. His descent from Manchester United’s go-to man for the big occasion into a lost cause even QPR cannot afford to spend time rehabilitating has been remarkably quick and had shown no signs of slowing until the final 15 minutes of this game. The South Korean international lost his footing almost as often as he conceded possession which meant he was either laid out on the turf or desperately trying to retrieve his own mistakes for almost the entire game. He looked just as out of his depth as Granero did but for different reasons and it’s actually a surprise he was even still on the field to do what he did 13 minutes from time.

Jose Bosingwa, keeping his place at right back, knocked a ball into the right channel and asked Park to chase down Maya Yoshida who’d come across to tidy the situation. Suddenly it looked like the Park of five years ago as he sprinted after the ball, executed a fine sliding tackle on the rather lethargic Yoshida and accelerated along the byline into the penalty area. Redknapp had recalled Jay Bothroyd to provide a greater presence to the attack between Hoilett and Remy and when Park picked out a fine ball across the six yard box the former Cardiff striker could hardly miss from four yards out. QPR hadn’t scored twice in a Premier League match in ten attempts, and hadn’t scored at all in any of their previous five home games, but they had two here.

Bothroyd, wildly inconsistent to the point where sometimes you wonder why he only has one England cap and others you question whether he’s actually a footballer at all, did a passable impression of a Premier League centre forward on Saturday and deserved his goal. The real story though was Park. Buoyed by the assist suddenly he was everywhere: chasing lost causes, harrying Southampton players, charging around like a lunatic. In a manifestly excessive six minutes of injury time added to the end of the game by referee Howard Webb, Park chased the ball through four Southampton passes, forcing the home team to go backwards and run the clock down, always denying them a clear line of sight to the penalty box. It was wonderful to see, but where has this player been – not only this season but for the previous hour or so in this game as well?

This was by no means plain sailing for the visitors who had to endure long spells without the ball during the game and overcome several setbacks to achieve the win. Southampton equalised at the worst possible time - during three minutes added to the end of the first half - in shambolic circumstances. Julio Cesar has been carrying an injury for several weeks now and as a result his wonderful form of January has rather collapsed. He was culpable for at least two of the goals in a recent thrashing at Swansea and here even a bad knock could barely excuse his fumble of Jay Rodriguez’s routine low shot which allowed Gaston Ramirez to seize on the rebound and chip a clever finish over the stricken Brazilian for a momentum-killing equaliser.

Cesar emerged after the break but the Saints smelt blood. Rodriguez was the first to ask a question with a fair but firm challenge on the keeper as a high ball dropped from the sky and although Cesar was initially equal to it and punched clear he required lengthy treatment afterwards and subsequently spilled another speculative long range shot from Rodriguez in exactly the same way he had done for the goal.

The QPR coaching staff had a decision to make and with a quarter of an hour left to play they elected to replace Cesar with Robert Green. Now if Jay Bothroyd is inconsistent then Robert Green is bi-polar but the accident-prone stopper had been in fine form on a recent outing against West Brom in the FA Cup and he endeared himself to the travelling faithful here with a fantastic one-handed stop at point blank range after Jose Fonte had wriggled free at a corner and firmly planted a header towards goal. Within seconds he’d flung himself off to his right to turn a low shot from long range around the post. The hosts had clearly seen Cesar as a weak link to target and the sight of Green fully fit, in form and making saves deflated Pochettino’s men and the crowd – many of whom were filing into the exits long before the end despite the delicately balanced scoreline.

They’d made such a bright start to the game as well. The promised hostile atmosphere for the Redknapp return was more petting zoo than lion’s den but the Southampton team set about its work well regardless. The first corner was forced inside 30 seconds and Cork soon dragged a shot wide of the target from the edge of the box after Mbia missed an attempted interception on halfway. More missed tackles from the Londoners’ rag tag midfield allowed Adam Lallana a chance to shoot wide a minute after Cork and when Lambert then nodded a deep cross back across the face of goal both Lallana and Puncheon looked certain to tap in from close range before being muscled out of the respective chances by Hill and Mbia – Webb ignored the subsequent penalty appeals. As QPR initially struggled with the pace of the game, Bothroyd and Mbia were both booked for wild challenges and Traore later followed them - although on that occasion Webb appeared to be conned by Ramirez’s obvious dive. It wasn’t Traore’s day for decisions because when substitute James Ward-Prowse hacked into him in the final minute Webb decided a ticking off was sufficient when he’d shown yellow cards for less earlier in the game.

Southampton though often appeared uncomfortable in their own skin. Shorn of Lallana’s services before half time they struggled to implement Pochettino’s favoured style of slow, patient build up from the defence. At Loftus Road in November Nigel Adkins’ Saints had absolutely battered QPR and won the game 3-1 with Rickie Lambert and Jason Puncheon starring in a system that focused on getting the ball into wide areas as early as possible and then servicing the central striker with good quality crosses. Pochettino appears to be keen to abandon this more typically English style in favour and the continental method made popular by Spain and Barcelona abroad and played successfully on these shores by Swansea City. But by doing so in the middle of a season when the team just seemed to be finding its feet at a higher level playing the old way, and attempting this with players ill-suited to the job, he’s running a huge risk and gambling with the club’s Premier League status. Southampton have now won just one of the last seven and have conceded 11 goals in their last five matches.

They lost heart in the second half, even before Bothroyd bagged the winner. Fox poked wide early and Rodriguez was a foot away with a curling 20 yarder that Cesar was nowhere near. But their best move of the match came to a premature halt when Lambert was flagged offside and Fonte’s wild lash wide five minutes after half time was more typical. The midfield may have been messy, and the possession stats weighted in the opposition’s favour, but QPR looked more dangerous when they did have the ball and Hoilett emphasised that with a jinking run past four players on the hour that just ran out of space tight to the byline before he could produce a glorious finish. Later Remy teed him up for a shot that was blocked inside the area by Clyne.

Few could understand where six minutes of added time came from at the end of the game but QPR were unusually professional and committed in seeing it off with few scares – Green commanding his area well. The result provided Redknapp with a platform to attack The Mirror story in his post match press conference, branding it nonsense being peddled by an agent with an axe to grind. “Read all about it, Southampton 1 Queens Park Rangers 2,” he said.

He’ll have slept more soundly on Saturday night I’m sure. A day that looked and felt for so long as though it would be a final nail in QPR’s season ended with a faint tapping noise being heard on the inside of the coffin lid. Perhaps Redknapp, and his Rangers, aren’t quite finished just yet.

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Southampton: Boruc 6, Clyne 6, Yoshida 5, Fonte 6, Fox 5 (Shaw 57, 6), Schneiderlin 6, Cork 6, Puncheon 5, Ramirez 6 (Ward-Prowse 74, 6), Lallana 6 (Rodriguez 43, 6), Lambert 6

Subs not used: K Davis, S Davis, Richardson, Do Prado

Goals: Ramirez 45 (assisted Rodriguez)

Bookings: Fonte 45 (foul)

QPR: Cesar 4 (Green 74, 7), Bosingwa 6, Samba 7, Hill 7, Traore 6, Park 6, Granero 5 (Jenas 53, 6), Mbia 6, Remy 7, Hoilett 7, Bothroyd 7 (Fabio 90, -)

Subs not used: Onuoha, Taarabt, Townsend, Mackie

Goals: Remy 14 (assisted Hoilett), Bothroyd 77 (assisted Park)

Bookings: Bothroyd 16 (foul), Mbia 22 (foul), Traore 44 (foul)

QPR Star Man – Loic Remy 7 A brilliantly taken goal was obviously the key moment, but his pace and positioning makes him a constant threat and provides QPR with an attacking outlet that they simply don’t have without him. Whatever slim survival hopes Rangers have, they hang almost entirely on Remy’s shoulder.

Referee – Howard Webb (South Yorkshire) 6 The Premier League’s best referee by a country mile, but I thought he was slightly below par on Saturday. Regularly allowed himself to be conned by play acting, from Ramirez in particular, and yellow carded Traore on one such occasion. Later allowed Ward-Prowse off without a booking for a foul equally as bad as the ones he booked Mbia and Bothroyd for. I felt the nine minutes added on in total was excessive as well, considering there was only one injury requiring treatment in each half.

Attendance – 31,728 (3,100 QPR approx) And here’s another problem with new stadiums like St Mary’s. Harry Redknapp returning to Southampton, the club he relegated and then walked out on for Portsmouth, was being talked about in the build up as a grudge meeting of epic proportions. The QPR manager was the talk of the Southampton message boards before the game as they prepared to tell them exactly what they thought of him and make his afternoon a living hell. At The Dell maybe it would have been, but at St Mary’s the reception was barely audible. There was booing certainly, but when you compare it to the genuinely frightening scenes at West Brom a decade ago when we returned shortly after pinching Ray Harford from them this was absolutely nothing. In fact if you weren’t aware of Redknapp’s history here the whole thing may well have bypassed your attention altogether. Even when they’re filled with 30,000 people for a match as important as this, with all its extra circumstance and intrigue, these places look and feel like Ikea distribution centres with the atmosphere to match. If QPR are to ever escape Loftus Road they must design its replacement creatively and carefully to avoid ending up in a similar bland vacuum.

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Kaos_Agent added 02:31 - Mar 4
Thanks Clive. It must have been satisfying to award our 3 attacking players sevens. What would the pregame odds of that have been? Or of Boswingnut managing a six? He is looking more engaged lately.

Some good omens. Hoilett's timing is coming back which is critical as he is one of the few R's who can make an incisive run in the final third. Remy stayed healthy again. I reckon Park's heroics will have been prime time news in South Korea, and good on him, but can he sustain it? Samba and Hill generally solid. Green can claim credit for the win as much as Remy or Bothroyd. And most importantly, the locker room buzz had to go up a full notch after the win. Some bad omens too. Granero looked under-sized, and sulky, again. M'bia picked up another yellow (7 and counting). Set pieces still unconvincing.

We're flirting with that cruel Mistress Hope again. God she's irresistible, isn't she?

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QPR_Nippon added 02:31 - Mar 4
Park's performance was an interesting one. I was particularly unkind to him on the match thread and thought he was the one who should have been replaced rather than Granero.

Having watched the game again and having had the chance to rewind and reply bits of it I would say that, even before the goal, Park was actually a lot more effective (and Granero a lot poorer) than I'd given him credit for. True he hadn't offered much at all going forward prior to the goal and did have two poor moments, once when he passed the ball into touch and another when he lost his footing and lost possession which Clive alluded to above, but other than that he covered a hell of a lot of ground and won back possession on several occasions.

Basically, watching the game second time around it was like I'd been watching a completely different player the first time around - a classic case of 'confirmation bias' I reckon ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias )

First time I was really annoyed that Harry had picked him and so everything I was watching was simply confirming my belief that he was a completely spent force, running around a lot to absolutely no effect. The times where he put a foot in and won the ball back, or read the play and made good interceptions, really didn't register - but the two errors I mentioned above certainly did.

Of course it was impossible not to notice Park's contribution for the goal, and it really did give him a bit of extra bite and confidence thereafter, but on the rewatch it really struck me that Park had been effective before that and played a key role in a very good defensive away performance that limited Southampton despite all their possession to very few clear cut chances.

I think on that performance he's got a part to play for the remainder of the season, particularly away from home, and that reports of the demise of his engine may have been exaggerated.

Other than that observation, superb report as always Clive.
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isawqpratwcity added 02:39 - Mar 4
Great report, Clive. It's delightful to have genuine cause for optimism.

If we'd lost this one, everyone would be blaming Harry's team selection: no Mackie, Taarabt, Derry or Townsend, but it worked!!! Is Harry a genius, or very, very lucky?

It was a delight to see a QPR striker so calm (unpanicked, even) in front of goal. Remy came with (and immediately demonstrated) great skill. We were always going to be depending heavily on him because of the fitness of Johnson and Zamora. Gratifying to see some of the boo-boys do well and hopefully turn things around.

I've said it before, and now the egregious Kia J has weighed in to agree, that this is the first out of the last four transfer windows that we haven't spent enough. Once Cisse was loaned out, Harry should have got in two strikers.

Kudos to the away fans again. They were the only ones I heard on my stream.
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qprmick added 04:36 - Mar 4
Good read. Maybe our team should get on the lash more often. Nice to see some of our players have woken up and realised the situation we are in. Took Park a while but, he is not at United where they all work hard. Hoilett, I had given up on him he was fat and really slow. I hope this is not a false dawn but we will soon find out versus Sunderland. We couldn't win two on the trot could we?
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derbyhoop added 06:12 - Mar 4
The winning goal involved Bosingwa, Park and Bothroyd. Then Green pulled off that great save.4 more unlikely heroes you'd struggle to find.

Saints 67% possession to our 33% makes grim reading but attacking intent gives us hope.
Beat Sunderland next week and redknapp's
20 points from 12 games doesn't look so far out of reach.
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N12Hoop added 07:01 - Mar 4
It's the hope that kills! I thought we'd be put out of our misery on Saturday, now we go into the Sunderland game with a bit of a hope. Still don't think we can pull off the great escape, especially because its unlikely Remy will be an ever present.
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isawqpratwcity added 07:12 - Mar 4
Tbf, Derby, the Beeb gave possession as 55/45, but with the less subjective shots 17/5 and on target 9/3.

But with a bit more confidence, optimism and spirit, its eminently doable.
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ngbqpr added 07:28 - Mar 4
As I usually spend all Saturday morning coaching kids football, a 350 mile round trip from my midlands base to Southampton would normally be off the agenda. For this game I made arrangements to ensure I could make it, and managed to get on the road by 10.30, with a 9 year old in tow who I must admit is yet to be fully convinced of the wisdom of supporting Rangers.

We had a clear run most of the way. Well ahead of schedule and in good spirits. Then suddenly it all seemed to get...well, very QPR. First my older son (committed Rangers til he dies but at uni in Manc and thus unable to make the trip) texted me: "just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, they go on a 5 day bender". Having not had time for a morning messageboard trawl, I texted back "???". His reply was simple and unnerving - "Dubai. Mirror". Then as we turned onto the A33, it was doing a passable impression of a car park.

We maanged to get into the ground early enough for me to read the Mirror story on my phone. It was far worse than I had imagined - even by Rangers standards. Heart sunk. 9 year old asks me why I'm not standing up & applauding the team out like usual. Don't have the stomach to tell him that I'm wracked with guilt for dragging him all this way to watch this bunch of wasters, or for trying to force him to follow this shower for life. Instead mutter something about applauding when I see some real effort. Suffice to say I don't applaud at all during the first 14 minutes.

You know the rest. From somwhere, a heroic away win is pulled off with Samba & Remy, the two much questioned Jan purchases, both immense, and a gaggle of boo boys combining to produce the winner - the lead then being protected marvellously by a reject of a stand-in keeper.

9 year old is still buzzing all the way through Sunday, and I really think this could be the game that makes him hoops for life. He is beginning to understand that this rollercoaster of a soap opera might, just might, be a more interesting path to take than following a team for whom pretty much any win is routine, a home draw is disaster.

To paraphrase SAF: QPR - bloody hell.
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R_in_Sweden added 07:29 - Mar 4
It wasn't pretty to watch, still amazing how a victory puts a spring in your step. Be very interesting to see how Harry sets up the team against Sunderland, I'm actually optimistic about Saturday. Still waiting to see Granero smile though. It says in your report that Mbia was booked for a foul, it looked more like he was trying to take part in a piggy back race to me, with an unwilling Saints player as his horse.
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QPRski added 07:52 - Mar 4
A very professional performance to take all 3 points. But I admit I was shocked when I saw the team selection. Although it was great to see Remy and Hoilett on the team sheet, I really could not understand the selection of Boothroyd/Park over Taarabt/Townsend. Also, I would have taken off Mbia and Bothtroyd at half time as I was sure they would see red cards. But it worked!

Well done to Harry for his brave decisions. Also a big thanks to the fans, as the noise heard on TV was impressive.

Now Harry has the diemma of the tactics and team for the Sunderland home game. But in Harry we trust!
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WokingR added 08:41 - Mar 4
What a great day out!
Only marred by an incident mid 2nd half when one of the Southampton players blatantly dived to earn a free kick. I looked across to see Clive doing the gayest impression of someone diving that I have ever seen. He made Tom Daley look manly.
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steveB66 added 10:17 - Mar 4
Great result but as Jay Bothroyd said on Talksport postmatch if we dont beat Sunderland next saturday it counts for nothing.

Good to see our strikers coming in to goals when it counts, we need to be the form team of the trailing bunch from here on in and it certainly looks like one or two of the others are looking shaky.

My only other observation not made elsewhere is that Ji-Sung Park ought to invest in a longer set of studs as the number of times he loses his footing suggests that karate slippers are probably not the most suitable form of footwear?
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dixiedean added 11:32 - Mar 4
Great win- a Saints mate of mine said he's never seen Lambert made so ineffective,so great credit to Hill & Samba- not sure I agree that "Danny Mk 2" was anything other than excellent and a very comforting presence when hanging onto a lead.It's a mystery how we can win any game with that midfield 3. Yes, Park redeemed himself at the end, but Granero was hopeless yet again. Neither quick nor strong enough to retain the ball and constantly caught in possession, including criminally 30 secs into 2nd half, as if he hadn't learned lessons from the 1st half.To call him a passenger is an understatement. And my friend Mbia once again gets a stupid booking and then has to walk on eggshells for 60 mins to avoid a 2nd one. It's uncanny that he gives the ball straight back almost every time he wins it. He's like Diakite in many respects, except he doesn't give any attacking thrust which Diakite does ( on a good day). A very poor footballer in my view, although I've had it in for him ever since his moronic red card v Gooners and he's dumb enough to get another one at a critical point before the season's over. Hope I'm wrong . Clive, I'd budgeted for 5 mins overtime as Cesar's saga took a long time and we did a few other blatant bits of time-wasting, eg Hoillett feigning injury, not to mention all the subs,so 6 mins wasn't such a great shock. Impressive how we handled it though. Tempted to pick Green v Mackems even if Cesar fit, even allowing for RG's inconsistency.Cesar always looks like someone trying to avoid getting hurt.Not the bravest. If we have to leave Loftus Rd, let's move to St Mary's - it's our fortress !
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jonno added 11:40 - Mar 4
Slightly unfair on Park, who actually had a reasonably good game. Granero was abysmal and could easily have been taken off before half time. Good report though.
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JAPRANGERS added 12:09 - Mar 4
Thanks for your always superb reports Clive! As I am unable to see matches in the flesh, your reports are so welcome. Particularly when we get a rare victory!
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RonisRs added 12:15 - Mar 4
fantastic feeling that we won, may it continue and the belief Harry has continues.
i am now really confused as to what the right team should be for Saturday.
one thing is for sure, i think Green should probably play ahead of Cesar. an inconsistent Green, is better than an injured Cesar.
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Antti_Heinola added 14:10 - Mar 4
Love your reports Clive, and usually agree with 95% of what you say, but I struggled with quite a lot with this one, have to say:
1. agree with Jonno, Park had been ok if not great for the whole game, a 6 seems harsh.
2. I'll be in the minority but I thought the ref was excellent and 6 mins injury time was about right (although he actually played less than that) - there were a couple of injuries, Cesar took an age to go off etc. But then maybe I'm just pleased he didn't send Bothroyd off.
3. Profoundly harsh on Cesar for the goal. I thought at the game it was bad, but on the replay it clearly veers at the very last second - there was next to nothing he could do.
4. I actually thought the atmosphere in St Mary's was good. Certainly better than it's been at LR for ages. I like it as new stadiums go.
5. 'The Spurs side that Redknapp built' Hmmm...
6. Another minority one for me - I don't think Townsend has been 'excellent' at all. Plenty of endeavour, plenty of hard running and no little skill, but barely a decent cross or dangerous pass or shot to his name (barring one decent effort v Norwich, maybe). Still, I was surprised to see him on the bench.
7. I also felt Southampton hadn't abandoned the typically 'English' style that much. Unlike us, they are incredibly keen to get the ball in the box. almost every chance to throw a cross in was taken, particularly from the points of the area. Sadly for them, the quality wasn't quite there or Hill & Samba dealt with it all quite well.

All in all, interesting read as usual - not saying you're wrong on the above, I probably am wrong, but them's me views! Just glad we won a bl00dy game, although it'll mean nothing if we don't beat Sunderland. Mbia is going to need to keep an eye on Sessegnon...
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ngbqpr added 14:21 - Mar 4
Antti - I agree the atmos from the Saints fans was pretty good by new stadium standards

I noticed on their forums they're complaining that their singers are 'split' by the away section - but like at West Ham, that can be quite effective / intimidating
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Northernr added 15:43 - Mar 4

Anti -
1. Got to disagree. I thought he was fairly dreadful and on for a 5 until the assist and the late rally. Why can he not keep his feet?
2. I thought Webb allowed himself to be conned on several occasions. He played 6 minutes and 3 seconds at the end.
Disagree totally on 3 and 4 and I think you're splitting hairs with 5 and 6.
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Rangersw12 added 16:13 - Mar 4
I thought the report was harsh on Park he did was he was supposed to do and that was run around and put the opposition under pressure

Granero was poor and isn't adapting to English football quick enough and it makes the decision to loan Faurlin even more strange

All in all a draw would of been a fair result but we got lucky for once



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enfieldargh added 19:42 - Mar 4
Park ran around a lot, fell over more often than not. He seems to try and impose himself on the oppo only for them to wrong foot him or a little side step and just go by him.


Reminds me of harpo marx, keep expecting him to jump on someones back to try and wear them down



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smegma added 20:27 - Mar 4
Glad someone agreed about the ref. He was conned a few times and the foul on Traore near the end was even worse than Bothroyds foul and ten times worse than Mbias alleged foul. He didn't even talk to the player. Webb seemed to be playing to the home crowd all afternoon.
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benbu added 21:01 - Mar 4
A fantastic 3 points rarely felt southampton threatened and other than the mistake for the goal we looked comfortable. We looked well balanced and had a proper outlet with remy out wide and going
Forward. Clive I really can't agree with you about st Mary's it's a fantastic new stadium in a nice city with bars only ten mins walk away. This is one of the better new stadiums and exactly what rangers need in west London. You made a point about the atmosphere which is to be argued too. It's not the new stadiums that create an atmosphere it's the importance of the game, the time of year and what's at stake. Look at few examples- Cardiff away 2 years ago when bothroyd scored for them it was deafening incredibly loud. Liverpool away old ground last season I've heard more noise in a morgue. Loftus road last week was terrible against united but Chelsea and stoke last year like a 40,000 stadium. I really dont believe that the age of a ground affects the atmosphere. One other very trivial thing- David hoilett NO it's junior like everyone calls him.
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Myke added 10:14 - Mar 5
Interesting comparison to make betweenRemy this season and Cisse last. Both only play intermittently (albeit for different reasons) but ultimately Cisse scored the goals that kept us up. That's why the decision to loan him out still seems crazy to me. Between the 2 of them you would be guarenteed one fit, available, dangerous striker every week - maybe Bothroyd will prove to be our secret weapon- stranger things have happened!
City's win over Villa last night completed the perfect weekend of scores. But it's too late isn't it? I mean 3 wins in 28 attempts means our situation is hopeless doesn't it. Hope - I hate you, you bitch!
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francisbowles added 16:47 - Mar 5
After last night it isn't too late, four point gap with ten to play? To state the obvious we need to build on Saturday and put pressure on at least the three teams above us.

The problem is these days is that everyone watches everything and Sunderland will have a game plan based on the team and formation we played on Saturday. However, Harry now has options offensively and seems to change it around all the time. With previous managers I used to have a pretty good idea what the team would be but with Harry, anyone's guess!

I believe that Green has had his biggest problems at home so I hope that if he does play he can control his nerves. Cesar on the whole has had his dodgier moments away. The back four did well on Saturday but Fabio is waiting in the wings and could come in at either full back position or in midfield. We will have to watch them running at us with Johnson, Sessignon and Mclean who can all be lively.

Midfield kept there shape well but gave the ball away too much. I don't see an alternative to Mbia at the moment as Diakite seems to be out of favour. Perhaps Tarabt could come in for Granero. I would persevere with JSP as he was full of running, closing down and getting his foot in. Hopefully, his confidence will also have improved.

Remy, Hoillet and Bothroyd all did well and I think we should start with them again.

If Zamora is 'fit' he should be on the bench with Townsend, Mackie, Granero, Fabio (if not in the 11) or Jenas, a defender and a keeper.

I agree that the ref was poor on Saturday but thought that there would have been more than three minutes added to the first half and five in the second. I thought that St Mary's was a nice ground but it lacked a bit of atmosphere from the home fans. Swansea was more intimidating as it is smaller and again we were sandwiched. Additionally, they had a Wembley final to look forward to whereas Southampton were having a poor game.

Let's hope we can get Loftus Road rocking now that we have had something to lift our spirits.

Come on u rrrrr's
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