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Living and dying by the style of play — knee jerks
Sunday, 23rd Aug 2015 21:46 by Antti Heinola

Antti Heinola on another high scoring game, and another victory, against Rotherham United at Loftus Road on Stan Bowles Day.


I wasn't at the Wolves game but did read Clive's typically evocative report, which set the stage nicely for more of the same today. OK, we weren't unduly troubled by Rotherham at the back the way we were at Wolves, yet still we threw in two magnificently unprofessional goals, perhaps just to keep our weird ratio going. Meanwhile, up front we fizzed with menace and perhaps would have scored one or two more if we hadn't started to think it was all a bit too easy after about an hour. All of this made for an immensely enjoyable game of football - particularly in the second half.

In the excellent Stan Souvenir Programme, which I'll still be reading some time after the international break, Ramsey said in his notes: 'We've got a style of play and we'll live and die by it.' That style of play looks to be something like - let's have a lot of fun up front, play a formation that for long periods borders on a hipsterishly retro 4-2-4 (The WM formation could only be weeks away), and if we concede stupid goals at the back, well, at least it makes things interesting. We won a lot in this league under Redknapp, but most of the time it was joyless, turgid stuff. This was great fun. I couldn't honestly give a crap if we never played Premier League football again (although I hope we do, naturally) - I just want to be entertained, see goals, see good football and watch a team that enjoys attacking. Today we almost chucked away some fine work - luckily, we didn't. But I wasn't bored. Far from it. Good.

Tjaronn Chery

I've been holding back on jerking my knee in Chery's direction for a few games to get a better look at him. But, really, my first impression at Charlton hasn't changed much. He's clearly a skilful, accomplished footballer, very intelligent on and off the ball, a fine first touch, and excellent shooting ability. I mean, what more can you say?

Ramsey is clearly working hard to get him to play how he wants in this formation, and he does seem to get a little better each week. Today, as the three behind Austin constantly rotated to confuse Rotherham and find space, he occasionally seemed to drift out of the game a bit, but then he'd be there - working to retrieve the ball at the back, or playing a decent ball further up, or, on two occasions, making superb late runs to score a goal.

His first, as far as he was concerned, was the better. He started the whole move deep in our half, got the ball to Perch and then sprinted into the area to support Austin. As soon as Charlie laid it off (perfectly) I was already celebrating - I'd seen enough of him on YouTube to know he wasn't going to miss from there on his left foot. Superb goal. The second was great too, with Mass's determined run, showing great strength to delay until Chery arrived to slam it home - another fine late run into the box. A truly exciting player - like Luongo, and possibly Polti, it's really pleasing that we've not only dug out these possible gems, but that Les could persuade them to join our club at the start of a big transition. Could be a lot more to come from Chery this season.

James Perch

Well, he's had a lot of grief at games and on here. My initial reaction to his signing was that he was solid, a good pro, well-liked by fans of all his clubs, best of a declining bunch at Wigan. Resourceful, useful. But a heck of a lot of the (many) goals we've conceded have come down his side, or have involved him in some way. It didn't look good early on here, either. He looked nervy, unsure, maybe under pressure. He let a routine ball down the line go by him when, if he was in any doubt he should have knocked it out for a throw, but instead he tried to be cute, got out-paced and Rotherham almost scored. Ned had a go, and he looked downcast.

But after his super run and perfect cross for the opener, he definitely seemed to gain in confidence. There was a bit more bite in his tackling. He had another good spell well inside their half and then after the break he did an improved job in stopping Rotherham crosses - something he hasn't done well here since day one. I hope that all this is about settling down the back four (equally, Konchesky was much better today, especially second half) and eventually we might stop conceding two goals in every game. My judgement is reserved. I understand why we signed someone of his age and experience and flexibility, but at the moment he doesn't look happy. Improved today, though, even if against admittedly the weakest opposition we've faced.

Ale Faurlin

Well, there was plenty of good. That wand of a left foot still has all the guile it always had. His control and his vision are still excellent, the brain is still swift and smart. He constantly made good angles to receive the ball and to make the passes. One of his best traits is the amount of times he plays the ball you *hope* he will play when watching the game from a privileged perch above the fray - and when he doesn't, he's invariably seen something you've missed.

However, I have to echo a few thoughts that I've seen on here after the Wolves game - never a pacy player, he is painfully slow now. Players are able to drift off him or by him when there's open space in front with apparent ease. I hate to say this, as Ale is one of my all-time favourite players, definitely in my 'favourite' QPR XI, but I can't see him ever playing Premier League football again. It just looks like he doesn't have the legs for it. Having said that, this is only his second game back. Things could change dramatically if he avoids injury and continues to get fitter and stronger. Against good sides, him and Henry at the base of that midfield is just not mobile enough. It may well be that Doughty comes in for Henry at some stage, giving a bit of pace and some pressing power, and that may work out for the best. Or, you know, Sandro. Ha ha. Or possibly Luongo.

The positives far outweigh the negatives for Ale today. His stumble did set in motion the attack that brought their first goal (not helped by a stupid over-committed challenge by one of our defenders - not sure who), and when he slipped a few moments later, the signs of tiredness were clear. After he misplaced his first two passes of the game, he was very good afterwards, but he should have been off after 65 minutes. That sub came too late and perhaps cost us their first goal. He'd done almost 90 minutes in the week. The game was safe. He should have been off earlier. Mistake by Ramsey there - he may have been trying to get miles into his legs, but 65 minutes was enough, especially at 3-0.

We want you to stay

Shall we not sing this? It seems a smidge pathetic. And if we really are going to do this sort of thing, at least let's do it properly and start meeting up to put together a Glee-style mash-up of Stay with Me by Sinead O'Connor and Stay Another Day by East 17.

What are we trying to do, guilt them into staying? What are we offering in return? Jewellery? Naughty underwear? People booed Austin on day one and have constantly accused Phillips of 'not caring' since then. Even on here today I read that Austin 'seemed distant', as if he should be taking time out of the game to blow us kisses. Rotherham must be delighted he seemed distant, otherwise he might have scored five.


Fantastic to see him. I never, sadly, got to see him play, but the measure of a legend is when he walks out 30 or 40 years after he last kicked a ball for the club and you still wipe away a tear. Brilliant work from the club, who for many years did not treat former players how they should be treated. That seems to be changing now, I'm happy to say. And the fans, too, paid superb tribute throughout the game. I'll be donating both to his gofundme and the Alzheimer's one as suggested by his daughter in the programme. This is the stuff that makes me proud to be QPR.

Links Go Fund Me — Stan Bowles >>> Alzheimer’s Society Just Giving

Photo: Action Images

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Myke added 00:43 - Aug 24
Great analysis Annti. As I said after Clive's match report it was the performance of Stan and Gerry Francis in the opening game victory over Liverpool that got me hooked as a QPR fan 40 years ago this month! I agree with you about Ale sadly. In fact he was too slow two years ago before his third ACL injury. To be honest, I don't expect him to be here next year regardless of what league we are in. But let's enjoy what he brings to the table this year, just delighted to see him playing again. Ramsey must beware of not over-playing him initially - tired legs are far more prone to injury. As long as we keep scoring it should be an entertaining season. cos we clearly ain't going to keep (m)any clean sheets !

pedrosqpr added 05:06 - Aug 24
So for the naysayers would you take 6th in the league ! Chris Ramsey observations here. Would our previous manager figured out how to play Chery , I think not . Would never had brought him in the first place.
Ale probably needs game time and probably maybe a player that can't play 90 minutes anymore, when you have a squad it should be able to use Ale occasionally.
One other thing we probably will lose a few games with our gung-ho style , however probably the best entertainment in All the London football fixtures.

tsbains64 added 20:35 - Aug 24
spot on I like the Glee suggestion

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