Not a single positive to be taken - knee jerks
Saturday, 26th Sep 2015 20:18 by Antti Heinola
A long night by the river for Antti Heinola and the other QPR fans, here he runs through his usual six talking points after a shambolic performance from Chris Ramsey’s team.
I've no doubt been called a 'happy clapper' or other such nonsense, but the truth is I'm always willing to give managers a fair chance (with the exception of Harry Redknapp, but that was more personal than anything). I tend to stick with managers until very close to the bitter end and usually the moment I think it's time for a manager to go, he goes pretty soon afterwards.
QPR fans have become addicted to believing success is another managerial appointment away - the fact is, since Ian Holloway left around a decade ago, only Neil Warnock last lasted even close to two years - the constant changes have done us no real favours and have frequently left us with bloated, expensive squads. Success is demanded, and for a lot of fans they want it pretty much immediately with no hiccups. Or that's how it feels. But I always want to give managers a chance and the benefit of the doubt. So I certainly don't think the time has come to replace Ramsey - but at the same time, if we get something like that utter bullshit again in the near future, I can't see him lasting.
Because this was beyond poor. This was utterly humiliating. I could take drubbings at the end of last season with a squad full of players who knew they were leaving and probably didn't care much anyway. I could take teething problems at the start of the season and games where things don't quite go right. I'm willing to accept defeats because I want to look more long term and have the reasonable opinion that there was huge change in the summer and that change will not have immediate effects. The club Les Ferdinand is trying to help build will not appear overnight, in three months, or even in a year. It will take years. But as long as I can see progress, effort, signs that things are moving along, and some entertainment, I'm happy. For now.
But last night was an abomination. It was awful, dreadful, without a single, tiny redeeming factor. It was a disgrace from everyone involved from start to finish. That has to be laid at Ramsey's door. He has a good squad with good, experienced players who just won a decent point at Hull. There was absolutely no excuse for that last night. It was embarrassing. And the players looked suitably embarrassed at the end.
I class that performance as one of the worst I have ever seen from a QPR side. Top ten, maybe top five.
And the reason for that is that even in the worst drubbings you can usually point to one or two players and say 'well at least they tried - at least they put a shift in, at least they did their job, even if no one else did.' Last night not a single player, to my mind, scored better than 4/10. Right through the team we looked off the pace, at times disinterested, at others completely lost, bereft and shellshocked. Not a single player took responsibility out there. Some outright hid, especially in the second half. So while the blame has to be laid at Ramsey's door as coach, and for how slow we were to start (not that we ever really started), every single player must take blame too. It was pathetic.
Of course, Ramsey might say what chance does he have when Green drops the ball again or Faurlin gifts a second goal with an awful pass, or the entire defence decides to give McCormack the freedom of the penalty area for the third, or Perch puts in a pussy of a challenge when trying to stop the fourth goal, but the fact remains: we concede on average more than two goals per game. And it is not getting better. Our defending, both as a team and the back four, is now at crisis point. We gift goals every week. This has to be rectified.
The Chery sub
This to me showed Ramsey panicking and showed inexperience. I hate accusing any manager of naivety. It's ludicrously patronising coming from any fan and managers/coaches usually make decisions with good intentions at heart and for what they see as good reasons. But this was dreadful man-management.
We were 3-0 down. Barring a Port Vale-sized miracle, the game was over. At 2-0 he should have changed things tactically, probably dropping Luongo and Phillips back deeper and playing Chery off Austin to try and get more compact and compress the spaces between the lines. He didn't. He did nothing until he decided to haul off Chery, on TV, after just half an hour, and without changing the shape. That was needlessly humiliating. It wasn't going to change anything and could certainly have waited until half time. I don't doubt that the reasons were right - Mackie's energy, his ability and willingness to track back would certainly help. But it was needless. And it got what it deserved - we still got thrashed and on top of that you have a player not happy with his coach.
Chery had not even had a particularly bad game (compared to everyone else) - Ramsey said he wasn't doing his job, but who was? Picking him out of that lot was unfair. Having said that, Chery should have stayed on the bench and showed solidarity with his team-mates. Even then, Ramsey compounded his error by telling Incenzo he had acted 'appallingly' and would be dealt with. A 'no comment' would have been far wiser. Or even better, a cover up saying he'd told him to get a shower, but still dealt with it behind closed doors. All in all, Ramsey's worst 45 minutes of football by some distance.
Is slowly, seemingly, heading back to his pre-Ramsey days. He did try last night, but nothing came off. Even his usually reliable crossing was diabolical. He couldn't beat his full back. His relationship with Perch is almost non-existent, with neither making decent runs or angles for the other. Needs to buck his ideas up - we'll need him to take responsibility with no Austin or Polter.
It was a shame he had to be at fault for the second goal because actually at 1-0 he had started playing some nice balls and we were using him as the fulcrum and I thought we were well in the game. But that pass was a real killer - both to him and the team. You could tell it affected him badly. He found himself a bit in the second half as he forlornly toiled to try and make up for his error, but it was a game to forget for him (as it was for everyone). At least, though, he kept going. Henry's complete absence from the second half was unforgivable, even allowing for the fact he was shoved out on the left.
Normally after games like this, about 24 hours after everyone's vented their spleen you get a brave poster starting a thread with a title like 'positives' or 'perspective'. Perhaps sometimes that's even me. But not this time. There was not a single positive from last night, other than the walk along the river with a beer before the massacre was nice and, eventually, the game did actually end. I hope I don't witness another gutless, pathetic display like that for a long, long time.
This feels like a big moment for Ramsey. Either the chips are down, everyone rallies behind the coach, he takes a long hard look at his methods and tactics and team selections, and we come out and win against Bolton and keep a clean sheet and start again. Or the same poor form continues (Hull apart) and Ramsey will start to hear his name being chanted from the stands a little more loudly than it was last night, alongside the words 'we' 'want' and 'out'.
Totally, completely, unacceptable, gutless tripe. Perhaps the worst thing was that while Fulham played well and fully deserved to win, probably by more, I at no point thought to myself 'blimey, this lot are good. They might do well this season.'
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