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Out of form QPR pick up another defeat, and injury, at Southampton – report
Monday, 29th Sep 2014 19:34 by Clive Whittingham

QPR suffered a fourth straight away defeat of the season at Southampton on Saturday, despite an overall improvement in performance level.

If Harry Redknapp is wrong and QPR don’t survive in the Premier League this season, the club may well look back at August and September as the time when the damage was done.

Business always starts late in a World Cup summer, and the play-off final winner is at a real disadvantage as the manager cannot begin planning until the end of May, well after all other 19 clubs in the top division. Redknapp openly admits that his forward planning had stretched only as far as which golf courses he’d take a membership out at when the Wembley final against Derby in May seemed to be slipping away from his team.

But the mitigation stops there for Rangers because the rest of Redknapp’s excuses ring very hollow indeed. Redknapp says a number of players were late back from the World Cup – as if QPR were the only team with players in Brazil – and he was hampered by having eight players on loan last season who all had to return to their clubs, as if somebody else foisted those temporary signings upon him against his will.

The manager has also admitted that his team isn’t fit enough, and that’s there for all to see. Against Southampton on Saturday the R’s looked a good deal fitter and more up to the pace of the game than they had in abject surrenders at Tottenham and Manchester United in the previous away games this season. But it was still only good enough to hang onto the coat tals of a team who have just as much excuse as QPR for poor performance – the sale of half a dozen of their best players and departure of the manager during the summer can’t have been easy to recover from – but are absolutely ripping into this year’s Premier League and currently, implausibly, sit second.

The fitness thing is really starting to grate. How hard can it be to get a squad of footballers fit? There’s no better example than Southampton of a team that also endured a high turnover of players during the summer, and had a load at the World Cup, and they look like a fit, organised, cohesive unit.

Although Rangers looked a bit more like it at St Mary’s, you could still see the distinct differences between the attitude, pace and fitness of the two teams in the first ten seconds. QPR, through two misplaced passes and a clearance rushed into under pressure from an onrushing opponent, conceded a throw in deep in their own half from their own kick off inside the opening ten seconds. It was a microcosm of their approach to the season – don’t worry, slow start, we’ll get going eventually, bit of time that’s all… The Premier League is an unforgiving place.

Indeed the opening ten minutes was a harrowing affair for Rangers and their travelling army of supporters. Rob Green saved routinely from Victor Wanyama down in the bottom left hand corner after three minutes and then made a fine one-on-one block against the impressive Dusan Tadic out by the corner of the penalty area, although had the goal been scored QPR would have had good cause to ask why the goalkeeper felt the need to race out that far in the first place.

Redknapp has picked Sandro at the base of his midfield to protect the defence, fresh from a knee injury the manager had originally said was caused by a sliding goal celebration in training – a crock of shit as it turns out. That risk didn’t look like it was helping the team to begin with, and certainly didn’t when the Brazilian hit the deck after seven minutes and, after prolonged treatment, left the field with a head injury to be replaced by Karl Henry. Not a particularly durable "beast" is he?

The change actually helped. Karl Henry was much maligned last season, because in a division where QPR were spending more than ten times what some of their opponents were on transfer fees and wages, a defensive midfielder in front of a quality back four wasn’t necessary, and his sideways passing and refusal to cross the halfway line would slow things down and allow opponents to get ten men back behind the ball.

Now, thanks to injuries to several other midfielders, Henry has stumbled upon another first team opportunity at a higher level and Rangers may actually find this to their benefit. Suddenly the sensible, possession retaining, steady passing game is valuable as it keeps the ball in QPR’s possession – something the team is badly struggling with so far this season. Henry blotted his copy book with a cynical foul on Sadio Mané around the half hour as he threatened to seize the second half of a one two and break into space – and Henry was fortunate referee Mark Clattenburg didn’t dish out a second booking immediately for booting the ball away in frustration – but that apart he was a vital cog in the clunky QPR machine on Saturday, protecting a defence that is crying out for Nedum Onuoha to be reinstated next to Steven Caulker, while retaining the ball for a feckless midfield ahead of him.

His calming influence didn’t stem the pace of a frantic encounter too much though. Harshly penalised for handball, Henry could only stand and watch Green flap the resulting inswinging free kick on to the back of Jose Fonte and, fortunately for the keeper, out for a goal kick. The spectre of Alex McCarthy looms large over Rangers number one. Three minutes later a promising QPR attack only succeeded in opening up space for the home side to break back and Tadic struck the base of the post with a heavily deflected bouncer past Green. No more than 60 seconds later Graziano Pellè struck a firm shot into the side netting, with most of the Southampton fans to the left of the away end celebrating what they believed to be the opening goal.

The visitors were fortunate it wasn’t, they should have been well behind at this point, but one or two signs that Rangers may have it within them to frustrate the Saints started to surface. Nathaniel Clyne was booked for a hack on Armand Traore and Mané followed him into Clattenburg’s notepad for a trip on Henry, although that one seemed like a harsh decision. Matt Phillips, continuing to frustrate more than he thrills, thrashed over when there were passing options and Niko Kranjcar sent an ambitious shot wide after a fine crossfield ball from Rio Ferdinand set the wheels in motion on another QPR attack. QPR were at least attacking here, contrary to Redknapp’s previous miserly policies in road games.

In six minutes of added time at the end of the half Charlie Austin curled a shot wide but only Morgan Schneiderlin will know how he contrived to role the best chance of the half wide of the post when through on Green in the area after a fine ball through to him by Mané.

The big half time question, along with the usual quest to throw as much beer down your throat and coke up your nose as possible in 15 minutes, was would QPR be able to make the most of that reprieve? The answer? No. Not 60 seconds after the start of the second half, Chilean right back Mauricio Isla – who continues to look wholly uncomfortable in that position, and alarmingly slow across the ground – tripped Mané right on the very edge of the penalty box and Tadic should have done much better with the free kick than simply curling it hopelessly over the bar. Isla is becoming a real problem for Redknapp, who bought him to play right wing back only to abandon the system, and chose to sell last year’s full back Danny Simpson while not registering the only other one at the club – Michael Harriman – for the 25 man squad. Isla’s form is showing those decisions up for what they are – shambolic management. Redknapp has reduced his own options down to simply praying that Isla gets better, at least until January.

QPR, it should probably be said at this point, involved just five players here from their promotion winning team, and of those only really Charlie Austin and Matt Phillips were regular starters. The obsession with ditching everything that was good about a promotion winning team in favour of ever more shiny new trinkets continues to infect and enthral QPR with exactly the same results every time. Both Simpson and Onuoha would have made a noticeable, positive difference to a rickety looking defence here. Armand Traore didn’t do badly trying to suppress Tadic, and Steven Caulker played reasonably for an hour before bizarrely allowing Pellè to start running in behind him unchecked, but Rio Ferdinand continues to look like an ageing pro topping his pension up with testimonial money, and Isla is flailing badly.

Rangers would have good cause to feel aggrieved had Wanyama scored in the fifty second minute when he cut into the area and shot at Green – Rangers had been away at the other end until Mark Clattenburg pulled play back for an alleged handball by Niko Kranjcar, although the decision looked like a guess and was very harsh indeed.

But there can be no excuses for the goal that did finally break the deadlock two minutes later – Ryan Bertrand running into the area unchecked by Matt Phillips, behind the static Isla onto a pass from Mané and firing a low shot right through Robert Green and into the net. The goalkeeper should have saved it.

The flood gates were starting to creak. Isla was caught out again within a minute, allowing Pellè to set up Steven Davis for a shot that was magnificently blocked by Caulker at full stretch. The rebound fell the way of Tadic, who was calm and composed enough to craftily trick his way into space in the six-yard box but not t produce a finish and Green made a fine save. The goalkeeper then had to scramble the ball off the line from the resulting corner. All hands were at the pump, but the water was winning.

A promotion can win a manager so much good will from the supporters of his club that they often maintain patience with him the following year a good deal longer than even the chairman. Few wanted Neil Warnock sacked when Tony Fernandes pulled the trigger in January 2012, for instance. But the way many perceive QPR came out of the Championship last season – spending more than everybody else, loaning more players than everybody else, boring the tits off everybody, grinding their way through the play-offs – means what little positivity Harry Redknapp was able to build has already been burnt off.

The mood among the support base is turning increasingly ugly. On Saturday at St Mary’s a small group of the travelling support had already rolled out a despicable ditty about Loic Remy which, if sung in any great number at Chelsea in a few weeks’ time, will make a mockery of the club’s abuse of John Terry and bring heavy, negative national press coverage on the club and who knows what else besides.

Southampton taking the lead, and then QPR inexplicably deciding that their first corner of the game should be played short, rather than thrown into the box hunting an equaliser – two of QPR’s three goals this season to this point had come from corners delivered to the back post – turned the mood blacker still. A father, sitting quietly throughout the game with a boy of no more than six, grumbled at the decision of Kranjcar to go short and was immediately set upon and attacked by the foul-mouthed gibbon in front of him who felt it appropriate to scream aggressive obscenities into the guy’s face about “supporting your fucking club” while the child cowered in fear and then burst into floods of tears. A brave assailant in purple alongside him joined in from behind the larger man before then pretending he’d had nothing to do with any of it and was in fact required to stand hugging and protecting his girlfriend from potential retribution from the evil, crying six-year-old. That was, of course, until the police had left the scene, when he decided to get brave again and start the row all over, forcing the father to take his inconsolable son to the other end of the block first and foremost and then, a few minutes later, tragically, home altogether some 25 minutes before the game had ended.

The scenes were similar to Charlton last season, when one of the toilet cubicles had a queue of people a dozen long, openly going in at half time – and various points during the game as well – to brazenly stuff as much coke up their nose as they could. It’s creating a toxic situation in the away end where ever increasing numbers of the travelling support are so pumped, wired, on edge and out of control that set backs like late Charlton winners or opening Southampton goals are sparking fights and scuffles among fans of the same team all over the stand.

Typically, just as you start to wonder whether this constant attendance at away games, to sit in a hostile atmosphere where once you felt you were among friends, to watch a team with zero chance of actually winning an away game, for upwards of £40 every other week, is worth it, QPR suddenly reel you back in a bit. Out of the blue, after 65 minutes, Charlie Austin pulled a square ball from Eduardo Vargas out of the air with his back to goal, spun and smashed home a brilliant equaliser in one glorious fluid movement. A magnificent goal from a player who, prior to that, admittedly with little service, had made next to no impact on proceedings at all.

There was the demon hope again. The QPR fans finally sang as one. Southampton swapped Mané for Long. Rangers looked like they were capable of going on and getting more from the game for a brief, shining moment.

And that’s all it was because, criminally, the London side conceded a second goal almost immediately. Tadic headed the ball in to Pellè in the penalty area, and the Italian striker made it six goals already for the Saints this season, and 54 in his last 63 appearances for Southampton and Feyenoord, with an outrageous scissor kick. I’d question the position for the goalkeeper, if I didn’t think it would have me accused of a witch-hunt. Overall though, a cardinal sin for a team that had just taken the lead.

Little more than Southampton deserved overall. They should have made it three 12 minutes from time when substitute Long got in behind Caulker far too easily and, with Isla entirely absent, seized onto a pass from Davis but couldn’t beat Green with a low shot.

QPR slung on Bobby Zamora and went long. This caused Southampton more problems than it should have done and Austin will feel he should have hit the target with a late header from a chipper Leroy Fer cross – the Dutchman once again fine with the ball, but powder-puff light without it and seemingly incapable of ever winning a tackle.

The chance for redemption came when Niko Kranjcar was fouled on the edge of the area six minutes from time. The Croatian scored a beautiful free kick against Stoke to salvage a 2-2 draw a week ago and couldn’t have gone any closer to doing so again here without actually succeeding – a wicked, curling effort over the wall beat keeper Fraser Forster all ends up but bounced back into play via the underside of the bar and the goal line. Steven Caulker, agonisingly, headed the rebound over the open net under pressure.

An improvement from QPR, who had a dig but came up short. They’ll need to be better again, and fitter, and quickly, if they’re to avoid being cut adrift, because it’s hard to see West Ham away next week being a great deal different to this, and the fixtures thereafter look unkind to say the least.

Redknapp cut a figure his supporters would call philosophical afterwards. It could more accurately be described as bored. He needs to find some passion, and some answers, rather than tired excuses, many of which don't reflect well on his work, and he needs to find them soon.

Links >>> Reports and Ratings >>> Photo Gallery >>> Message Board Match Thread

Southampton: Foster 6; Clyne 7, Alderweireld 6, Fonte 6, Bertrand 8; Wanyama 7 (Cork 69, 6), Davis 7, Schneiderlin 7; Tadic 8 (Targett 90, -) Mané 7 (Long 68, 6), Pellè 8

Subs: Davis, Mayuka, Reed, McCarthy

Goals: Bertrand 53 (assisted Mané) Pellè 67 (assisted Tadic)

Bookings: Clyne 25 (foul) Mané 32 (foul)

QPR: Green 6; Isla 4, Caulker 6, Ferdinand 5, Traore 6; Sandro – (Henry 11, 7) Phillips 5 (Hoilett 58, 6), Fer 6, Kranjcar 7; Vargas 6 (Zamora 77, 6), Austin 6

Subs: Hill, McCarthy, Dunne, Onuoha

Goals: Austin 65 (assisted Vargas)

Bookings: Henry 29 (foul)

QPR Star Man – Karl Henry 7 Difficult situation, coming into a game QPR were already well second best in far earlier than he ever thought he would be introduced, but the forced substitution actually benefited Rangers as Henry provided much needed protection for a ragged defence, and kept the ball intelligently when QPR did have it, enabling them to move further up the field. Cynical booking and lucky not to be dismissed for kicking the ball away immediately after but a decent showing overall.

Referee – Mark Clattenburg (Durham) 8 Kept hold of a game played at a wild pace very well indeed. Was kind to Henry after his booking, although a red card would have been harsh. The yellow for Mané soon after that was also a bit over the top I felt, but otherwise another excellent display from one of the league’s better officials.

Attendance – 30,504 (2,800 QPR fans approx) Said it already – the away end was an unpleasant place to be. The chanting about Loic Remy from a minority at the back, QPR fans abusing other QPR fans, a child led away in tears after some moron went for his dad for no other reason than him criticising a short corner routine. There’s little fun in following QPR away from home these days once you’re actually through the turnstile and into the ground. Heading for a really serious incident or flashpoint soon.

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OldPedro added 20:03 - Sep 29
Thanks for the report Clive. The most worrying aspect for me is what happened off the pitch rather than on it with the abuse of a fan and his young son. I have a son of a similar age and it is making me think twice of taking him to some away games even though as we live in Yorkshire are often easier to get to than home games.

It also makes me appreciate the family section at Loftus Road (although I accept that the lower loft may not be the best place for it).

As far as the performance of the team goes, I can't help feeling that other managers seem to be getting more from their players than Redknapp currently. And I wonder who he would be playing at left back if Traore had gone during the transfer window given that HR doesn't seem to want to give Yun a chance.
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WestonsuperR added 20:13 - Sep 29
I have many similar comments to Clive but not sure if it's of any value to repeat how worryingly bad Isla has been and how unfit we look compare to other teams. I would add though that we seem to have a real lack of movement and ideas, numerous times we had the ball at the back with nothing on and then just a hopeful long ball slung forward, can't remember that happening to Southampton on any occasion.

For me this performance was only slightly better than Man U or Spurs. We were outplayed for much of the match and notice the match stats show 9 shots on target to our 2, Southampton also hit the woodwork 3 times in total and could easily have had 5 or 6 goals if they had been more clinical with their finishing.

We did at least create a little but a huge improvement is needed in our Away performances otherwise it is hard to see where we will pick up any points on the road.
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RangerKIK added 20:22 - Sep 29
That all sounds a bit alarming Clive. Haven't been to an away game for a while, hard to muster the enthusiasm, but however frustrating supporting this club is there is no place for racist songs and aggressive behaviour. QPR football of the 70's yes please all the other nonsense that went with it er NO.

There is a saying in Poker that if you can't see the sucker at the table then you are the sucker. I hope I am wrong and it isn't us but every other premier game I watch on the TV, highlights or otherwise, all the other teams look more organised than us, more committed than us and the thing that seems really noticeable, much faster than us. It is becoming so frustrating to see teams like Swansea and Southampton, who have nowhere near our resources, thriving while we just look shambolic, slow and unorganised. What is it going to take for this club to become a serious proposition in this league? On and off the pitch.

The only silver lining is that 3 points will still march you up the league but we need to work really hard grinding out games for a while and hopefully by Christmas we can start to play with a bit of flair as well, if/when the defence gets organised.

Finally if you look at the goals scored against us. Rio is at fault for quite a few. He is just not on the pace or strong enough at the moment. Time for a change maybe. What does his contract allow!! :-)
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wokingrs added 20:32 - Sep 29
I was thinking of taking my 8 and 7 year olds to Chelsea away. Won't bother now. I don't want to subject them to mindless chanting about the colour of Remy's skin, Drogba having aids etc. As Clive said, you used to be able to go and watch Rangers all over the country and feel totalling safe amongst friends. Sadly this is long gone.
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YorkRanger added 20:45 - Sep 29
Sad to read on many levels.
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Kaos_Agent added 21:25 - Sep 29
The gibbon and the racist chanters should be identified and banned. I have zero tolerance for either type of behaviour and so should QPR management.

And meanwhile, on the pitch:
- Hoilett's direct running helped set up Charlie's goal. Why can't we see more of that?
- How can Isla play for a top international side and yet be so unimpressive here? Is he another Granero (unimpressive when not in a top side)?
- Traore has generally picked up his game and should be acknowledged for that.


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AgedR added 22:22 - Sep 29
Utterly shameful from a minority of numbskulls. These idiots aren't supporters and if this is present against Chelsea at the home of racism that will be just about done with Rangers for a while.

Fantastic report as always Clive. It's hard to ignore the exasperation in your words.



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probbo added 22:48 - Sep 29
Thanks Clive. I only caught the highlights but our defence looks extremely ropey and your comment about Rio topping up his pension was spot on. It was a shame we didn't stay focused immediately after what was a sublime piece of skill by Charlie Austin got us back on level terms.

Sadly for Redknapp there was never going to be much upside after last season's play-off win. He could have retired with the Club returned to the Prem and the gratitude of the fans. The only realistic objective this season is staying up which should be do-able but his whole demeanour and everything he says post match makes me wonder if he's up for the challenge.

Sorry to hear about the pond life ruining these away trips.
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HastingsRanger added 23:08 - Sep 29
Many thanks for the report.

What is worrying me most is the some of your accurate observations regarding pension fund players (a proven liability for us in the recent past), a bored manager, fitness and team selection. If we are to stand a chance, changes that might not be palatable to players' egos need to be made - such as bringing in Onuoha - and I don't think the mood of the manager is committed enough to do that.
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SeanMiguel added 23:09 - Sep 29
Southampton this past weekend marked my first away match outside of London. I've been going Loftus Road for 10 years.
My mate and I (also his first away match) were impressed by the atmosphere at Yates before the match and by the banter in the walk up to the stadium.
After that? Well, my opinion would be that the travelling support was flat from the outset and never sang together until we scored. I didn't see any of the nastiness reported by Clive - I just saw apathy and bitching and moaning about the performance, pretty much from the opening whistle. Some of that was understandable, some of it was kinda depressing. I'm proud to be a QPR supporter win or lose but the away support on this occasion did not fill me with pride.
Performance-wise, I think that we were poor in the first half and rode our luck at times. We probably should have been down a goal early. It's easy to forget (as Clive does) that Rob Green's opening moments were actually quite good.
The 2nd half was a decent half of football overall. We fell behind behind on what seemed like a fluke of a goal but I was happy to see that we didn't let our heads drop. Junior Hoilett came on for Phillips and, for my money, he was our best player going forward. Clive didn't mention him at all which is surprising to me. It was his good work with the ball that opened up Vargas on the right, who Junior then hit with a sweet pass that Eduardo sent into the middle. Charlie's finish was pure class.
That we ended up losing on a Pelle wonder goal and could have come home with a point had Niko's shot been three centimetres lower seems to also have been lost on Clive.
Southampton had allowed 3 goals in 5 matches prior and none of them were conceded at home.
We played some good stuff at times and Charlie's finish was mint. I think that this match is something to build on to be honest. Time will tell...
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062259 added 02:36 - Sep 30
To describe the performance on Saturday as an improvement is clutching at straws. There were still far to many stray passes, turnovers of possession, players running into blind alleys, aimless long balls and dead ball kicks not getting past the first defender.

The scoreline flattered Rangers, as did the draw against Stoke, and all the wishful thinking in the world isn't going to change the fact that, apart perhaps from Burnley and maybe Newcastle at present, this is the worst performing team in the Premier League, heading for the drop.

Clive, you have been dancing around the issue since the middle of last season......with the best squad by a mile in the Championship the only explanation for the dire football and poor results was the coaching and management. Now, with an improved squad which includes new players most people were pretty pleased with when they walked through the door, the sub-standard output can only be laid at the door of the same coaching and management. Look at what Warnock has achieved in no time at Palace since his return - two wins, two draws, 8 goals. Any more of that and Fernandes will surely explode. More proof that good coaching of average players can achieve more than average (at best) coaching of good players. Look at Leicester and West Brom too.....are their squads really that much better than QPR's?

Call it, Clive.

PS - I happen to think that Green was caught flat-footed for the second goal. A taller, more alert keeper would have at least got closer to the volley. Green should be grateful that the spectacular opportunism of the scorer has deflected attention from him. And the first goal was totally down to him.
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ActonOccident added 03:13 - Sep 30
"There’s little fun in following QPR away from home these days once you’re actually through the turnstile and into the ground. Heading for a really serious incident or flashpoint soon. "

Let's not forget the home playoff leg against Wigan.

http://www.itv.com/news/london/update/2014-05-19/video-released-of-violence-in-s

Not fan-n-fan I know, but that was a particularly unpleasant memory and some mindless, dangerous stupidity. None of these sticky undies stains were brought before a court, as far as I know. This moron from Saturday will probably be back screaming abuse at bemused civilians on the Jubilee Line next weekend. If AirAsia and Tune Group are serious about dressing QPR up as a product, they need to do some housekeeping before it's ready to be wheeled out alongside those stewardesses caked in make-up.
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Recoilboss added 07:22 - Sep 30
How depressing to hear about the charged atmosphere and vitriol spewed forth. There is always the danger, when you attend a football match, that you’ll get stuck next to a retarded gibbon or two unfortunately. One good argument for bringing back standing I suppose - in the old days you could simply move off and park yourself somewhere more palatable.
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Spiritof67 added 11:05 - Sep 30
Enough has been said about the mindless idiot abusing a Father and young child just sitting in the stand to support their team. Hopefully the racist chanting will be nipped in the bud, otherwise if this chant is repeated at Stamford Bridge, I envisage real problems at Stamford Bridge, from other mindless idiots , outside the ground at the end of the game.

As for the match v Southampton; although it was an improved performance from the previous two league away games, we are still much too pedestrian in moving the ball forward a distinct lack of energy in midfield. In addition to Isla, I thought Phillips performance was average and it was too easy for him to be caught in possession and in the first half when given the opportunity to shoot, blasted his shot over the bar. You don't get many opportunities at this level and you have, at a minimum, make the keeper work.

I'm yet to be convinced by Ferdinand who although is very comfortable with the ball when he is given time, does not have the commanding stature at the back. Any opposing manager will target him as someone who can be outmuscled in future games.

Still I'm sure the wealth of experienced coaches that Harry has available to him will be able to sort this out to improve our preformances............watch this space.




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EastR added 12:04 - Sep 30
come on folks, someone knows, name them and shame them
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jj77 added 12:46 - Sep 30
To echo what others have said - the description of the behaviour in the away end makes me much sadder than anything to do with the performance.
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dixiedean added 14:05 - Sep 30
I was near the front so didn't hear the Remy stuff . Abuse him by all means, but not for his race or colour. That stinks. As for the cokeheads, if someone from the club is reading this, can they please take action, eg arranging for plain-clothed police to hang around the loos and arrest these low-life ? There must be a way of giving an anonymous tip-off to Police for this. Shocking about the man with his son, which I also didn't see thankfully. A disgrace and befitting of the Neanderthals from SW6. I thought ( and hoped) we were above that.As for the game, yes we were better than at OT & WHL ( not difficult) but Arry is deluding himself if he just thinks this will all drop into place miraculously when people ' gel'. All we get is excuses - players not fit, players bought late in transfer window ( oh the irony of that one Arry !) , team not gelled - didn't we get the same sh*t from Hughes ? - injuries, no strikers ( whose fault is that Arry ? ) . All teams have all the above issues so, get on with it man. That's what you're paid for. Tony F, please don't give this con-artist an extended contract. Tell him he must earn one by keeping us up . He's done zilch to even be talking about one, never mind signing it so the sooner ( and cheaper ) he goes the better IMO. Henry did well as you said Clive, but actually I thought Traore was MOM in keeping with his usual wildly fluctuating form ( cue nightmare at WHU). Caulker & Rio were scandalously bad and Caulker doesn't even have the excuse of being old ! The biggest frustration for me is Fer who showed v Sland what he is capable of, yet has the air of a man who can't be arsed most of the time and was totally bossed by Wanyama and just kept whingeing every time he was out-muscled by an opponent who wanted it more On current showing HR has major problems all over the pitch with too many holes to plug and with zero coaching ability " in the building " ( Copyright M Hughes ) it's hard to see how that will be solved any time soon. As the Saints fans sang ' " Harry Redknapp, he's taking you down " A sobering thought .
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Varwell added 14:12 - Sep 30
The cocaine issue described by Clive is worrying and following my experience and those around me at the Wembley play off quite frightening. I was in the corner of the Bobby Zamora end near an aisle about twelve rows from the front. From well before kick off a big guy just on the other side of the passage was behaving in a wild manner with bulging veins and eyes popping out. As the game started a little black kid in a hi viz bib who looked about 16 tried to get him to sit down and calm down. The thug completely ignored him and spent the whole of the first half not only hurling vile abuse but also rushing down the aisle to the security fence to threaten physical violence to any Derby player who came near. There was a steward sitting on a stool facing the crowd about two feet on the other side of the fence who spent the whole game avoiding looking at the one enormously obvious troublemaker.
Because nearly all of the second half action was at the other end he spent most of his time screaming abuse at all of us around him for not joining him in trying to sing the Niko Niko Charlie Charlie song. By this time everyone including his mates were giving him a lot of space as he became even wilder and out of control. There were lots of families around with young girls as well as boys and I do not know what the parents and grandparents were able to say to them other than try to ignore him as we all did.
During 45 years of going to football matches and experiencing Saturday nights in the middle of Glasgow after Rangers Celtic games, witnessing enormous mass brawls at England Scotland matches and in my early days supporting QPR trying to get from Stamford Bridge to the tube station alive I have never actually felt frightened because I always believed if you applied common sense, avoided confrontation and kept your head down you would be OK. Also alcohol induced aggression always seemed predictable and fairly short lived.
The worrying things about the drug fuelled behaviour was that it went on for the entire game, if anything getting worse and the fact that it was so uncontrolled. I was very surprised that the stewards did nothing, what exactly would it take to get slung out of Wembley?
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romfordranger added 23:04 - Sep 30
The season so far is following the usual trend of hope to frustration, before utter despair. At least we didn't get stuffed, and a rare away goal made a nice change, but hard to see us staying out of the bottom 3 this season. Harry is finding it hard to look interested, and probably wondering why he didn't retire. It is not enjoyable supporting QPR, and only Fernandez is unable to see that Harry doesn't have a clue. His tactics are non existent, the fitness levels of the players an absolute disgrace, and certain players that always get picked but not on merit. If only we lost in the play off final, Redknapp retired, and a younger forward thinking manager with a long term plan was appointed. This is going to pure torture this season, I always try and stay positive but can't see any light at the end of this tunnel!
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pedrosqpr added 07:35 - Oct 1
Was about to rip in to Harry Redknapp but all your points echo mine so no point, for the record 2 years ago all the fans around me in the west paddock wanted him I was a bit dubious.
However I must say I'm happy with the signings he made.
As far as away days I will be going to west ham but I have purchased a seat away from the QPR fans I was at Charlton last season and some of our fans were appaling . I also would like to say if I hear any rascist chants I will report to the club,like most QPR supporters I feel disgusted . BTW Loic Remy never said he was staying it was the chairman and the manager who kept saying he would stay.
Our options up front have been light even last season and Harry Redknapp has never addressed this championship play off final or not.
I didn't go to Southampton so I didn't see the entire match but pleased that Karl Henry is doing well.
finally a word about Rio Ferdinand, I'm quite sure he is a great influence around the club but perhaps he should be used as a substitute coming on in last 20 minutes to sure up the defence if it looks ragged or needs to be organised , not for 90 minutes though.
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steveB66 added 09:58 - Oct 1
Divisions in our fanbase about the merits of keeping Harry Redknapp on or ditching him for a new model are there for all to see. The messageboards give testimony to this.
Nevertheless, despite our various frustrations to hear about the abuse handed out to a Father and his young son is sickening to say the least.
The abuse of Remy is also, in some ways, pathetic, it feels like some fans are trawling around looking for scapegoats and then channeling their energies in to abuse and hatred rather than getting behind the team.
It feels like a section of our support has come in to this season with hugely inflated expectations and six games in, have given up on us already. Whatever happened to the fans that only a few seasons ago kept on singing and getting behind the boys even when we were six goals down at Craven Cottage?
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tsbains64 added 10:32 - Oct 2
goals were great but shame we could not convert Nicos opportunity or hold on for the draw
Hope we can turn this around
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TacticalR added 21:34 - Oct 9
Thanks for your report.

It felt like we were second to everything and had difficulty holding on to the ball. Southampton got on top of us and always had players on Niko.

Stupendous goal from Charlie. Better than the Pellè goal I thought. And a great free-kick from Niko.

One point that you didn't mention was that the passage of Southampton play that led to the second goal was initiated by Rio Ferdinand's misplaced pass from defence under no pressure whatsoever.
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