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Queens Park Rangers 1 v 2 Rotherham United
SkyBet Championship
Wednesday, 13th March 2019 Kick-off 19:45
QPR plumb new depths in Rotherham debacle - Report
Friday, 15th Mar 2019 00:07 by Clive Whittingham

Well, if you thought Saturday's debacle with Stoke City was bad, let me tell you about Wednesday night's disgraceful nadir against Rotherham United.

My word. How do you write jokes for that? Have I told you about that time I went to Prague on a work trip…

Let’s get serious here for a few minutes. We get it. We really get it, those of us that are left. The hangers on, the football tourists, the South Koreans and their Ji-Sung Park replica shirts, the ones who ran a coke dealership out of the bogs in the away end at Charlton Athletic and the morons who stuffed it into their face and then spent the second half attacking other QPR fans… they’ve gone. Melted away. Doing other things. Lost interest. It’s just us now, again, and we get it.

We get that Queens Park Rangers won the lottery twice and blew all the money. We get that the club has been chronically mismanaged down to the bottom of a very deep hole from which it will take many years to climb back out, even to the point of being an upper midtable Championship team again. We get that the parachute payments are ending, that the Financial Fair Play regulations paint us into a corner, that we’re rapidly becoming a ‘have not’ in a league full of haves. We get that it’s a tough job, being the manager of QPR, and that we don’t seem to get particularly better or worse for changing whoever is in that role. We get that the players are limited, but trying, and the slightly less limited ones are going to have to be repeatedly sold to keep us peddling along. It’s sapping. And we completely understand.

Chris Ramsey was savagely pilloried. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink loudly abused. Ian Holloway sternly criticised. And now Steve McClaren, on a longer losing run than any of them, just gets a bit of a ‘meh’. We’re numb to it. We don’t think there’s anybody better out there who would come here, and even if there was we don’t back our board’s ability to find them. And we get it. We get all of it. We have become a patient, understanding, empathetic and apathetic bunch. Most groups of supporters, most groups of QPR supporters down the years, would have been setting fire to parked cars and looting shops by now, but at QPR in 2019 standards and expectations have now slipped so far that we’re just sitting there taking it, with barely a cross word said. The team doesn’t even get booed off after these defeats, and that’s partly because people have stopped caring but mainly because this is a knowledgeable crowd that gets it. We get it. Got that?

Good. Because what we don’t get, what we must never get, what should never be acceptable to any team wearing our colours, what should never be served to us ever again under any circumstances, is that fucking disgusting pile of complete dog wank that was phoned in by way of a performance at Loftus Road last night. However tough it gets, whatever the circumstances, whoever the manager is, whoever the players are, that was a performance that shamed the entire club and everybody involved in it. We have sat through a 7-1 at West Brom, a 6-0 to Newcastle, a 6-0 at Fulham, a 6-0 at Man City, a 6-1 at Chelsea. And now we’ve been made to sit through this. And, in so many ways, this was worse. Even for this club, this was wholly unacceptable and must not be tolerated.

The context, we all knew. Rotherham United, third bottom, hadn’t won an away game all season. In fact, they’d only won three games of any sort on any ground in their last 30. In fact, they didn’t win an away game in the whole season the last time they were at this level either and it’s been 43 away games in the Championship since their last, which was almost three years ago at MK Dons. QPR are very charitable in these circumstances usually. Good QPR teams, QPR teams that knew what they were doing, QPR teams you’d pay to watch, QPR teams you were proud of… those QPR teams would always do something like lose to Swindon Town or let John Jensen score or concede a diving header to Lloyd bloody Doyley. Not a problem. It’s us. It’s part of the charm. But, again, not like this. This was something else.

QPR approached this task in three different and completely ineffective ways. Firstly, by booting long raking balls out to the wings in the vague direction of Jake Bidwell down the left or Darnell Furlong down the right. These often went into touch. Secondly, by doing that thing where they ponce around with the ball for a bit in their own half before passing it back to Joe Lumley for him to boot it down the field. These, too, often went into touch. There cannot be a team in world football that passes the ball back to its goalkeeper as much as we do. He’s like the default option, even when the man in possession is 70 or 80 yards down the field they’re thinking primarily of Lumley. And, thirdly, by just booting it. Full on, care free, sky high, Peter Kay-style whacks down the field towards nobody in particular. After a prolonged debate about where an early free kick might be placed, Jake Bidwell belted it straight into the Ellerslie Road stand. A free kick.

QPR didn’t pass the ball, they didn’t pass the ball forwards, and they didn’t have shots at the goal. One Luke Freeman free kick midway through the first half was nudged towards goal by Tomer Hemed and saved by Marek Rodak in the Rotherham goal – should have scored – but that really was it. I’d describe it as kick and rush, but there was no rush, it was just kick. A front two of Hemed and Ebere Eze didn’t exactly scream hard yards on paper, but frankly a player of Hemed’s experience and ability should be abjectly ashamed of his 72 minute “contribution” here. Time after time when these aimless hoofs came down the field they would find him still very, very, very slowly coming back from the offside position he’d been ambling about in during the previous “attack”. Ihiekwe could have played him in a suit. I mean, just move your fucking arse man. We’re not asking a lot are we? Move about a bit. Look busy, we’re paying for this.

A fourth more effective tactic was a quick release from Joe Lumley, over the head of Joe Mattock, for Bright Osayi-Samuel to chase after. The former Blackpool man was treated to a rare start here with Pawel Wszolek benched and set about the task nicely. He was patently quicker than Mattock, and caused the full back problems right from the off, giving him a ten yard start and beating him to the first ball, then doing the same again moments later and drawing a foul and a yellow card from referee David Webb. This was wonderful. Exactly what you want: young, quick, talented winger looking confident; creaking, painfully slow, full back looking frightened and booked early. Keep doing that. Keep going there. Keep picking away at that. There’s joy there. There’s low hanging fruit.

McClaren, after 25 minutes, moved Osayi-Samuel to the other wing.

I’m sorry, I’m going to have a little swear now, feel free to skip this par. What in the name of actual fuck are you doing? What are you doing? What are you doing? Sitting down there drinking your fucking coffee, surrounded by a coaching cast of bloody thousands at a club that’s meant to be skint and saving money, and after 25 minutes you look at the situation and think the best thing to do would be to move Bright Osayi-Samuel away from the full back he’s already beaten twice, the full back he’s already got booked, the full back he’s got on toast, and move him to the other side of the field. Mind officially blown. I’ve never pretended to know anything about football, this is just fan’s eye view stuff, McClaren used to be the fucking England manager, he can drink me under the table with his talk about transitions and moving through the thirds and all that clever shit. But fuck me sideways. Is he fucking backwards or something? Jesus Christ.

Anyway. So that was the first half, and honestly I'd rather guide my dad into my mum than go through it again. The general consensus at half time was that Saturday’s brain tumour against Stoke had actually been a fun afternoon at the football compared to this shower and it was just as well that there was nobody there to see it. Later the club declared an attendance of 10,854, which was bold. And hilarious. I’ve seen more people in bus shelters.

Rotherham, for their part, were a nervous sort of ok. In Semi Ajayi - who looked like the worst centre half I’d ever seen in my life when Rotherham lost here 5-1 on their last visit - they had the best player on the pitch. Now a central midfielder, he dominated the middle of the park with a mixture of poise and power. Five minutes in he beat two QPR players to headers, collected the ball, unloaded what I’m led to believe is called a “shot on goal” and Jake Bidwell made a brave block. Later hard working but non-scoring forward Michael Smith nodded a back post cross back where it came from, over Lumley, and down into the six-yard box sparking something that might have resembled a panic if QPR had been conscious and alert enough to be panicked. Wiles went through on goal, Lumley slid under him well and saved, he’d long since been flagged offside.

To change this, McClaren did nothing. Second half, same team, same players, same completely disinterested lone striker, same midfield unable to pass the ball, same full backs having a mare, same centre backs whacking the ball out of play, same result. Mass Luongo and Osayi-Samuel could hold their heads up but everybody else looked knackered, or like they’d rather be somewhere else, or both. The manager retook his seat in the dugout, with his ten bazillion coaches, and his seven unused substitutes, and off we went again for, literally, more of exactly the same. More of the aimless, senseless, whacking the ball down the field. More of the passing it back to Joe Lumley. Nobody putting a foot on the ball. Nobody passing. Nobody having a shot. Having plumbed new depths in the first half QPR set about drilling down further, all the way through awful, pathetic, embarrassing and shameful until they finally got to the point where it was actually just completely unprofessional. Still no substitutions were made.

Over the public address appeal went out for Lawrence to contact the nearest steward. Clever Lawrence, that old blind date trick with the faked phone call. Wish I’d thought of that.

Just how simple it could have been was shown when Osayi-Samuel picked up the ball, got it under control, and ran with it towards the goal. Rotherham were completely spooked. What was this witchcraft? Chuck him off a cliff at once see if he flies. He cut the ball back through the area and nobody was able to apply a touch. This received a standing ovation. Liking what he saw, big Toni Leistner went marauding down the field next, like a dog loose on a school playground, again causing panic in a visiting team shot of confidence, before teeing up Osayi-Samuel for a shot over. See. See. Just do that. Run with the fucking ball towards the fucking goal. It’s over there. It’s the white metal thing with the net hanging off the back of it and it won’t fucking bite you. Try a few things. Have a few shots. Attack. What is this weird style of play we’ve got ourselves into where we value possession for the two centre backs more than we do scoring a pissing goal?

At the other end Smith again caused a goalmouth scramble with a backpost header, and then later missed an absolute sitter with his head from eight yards after being left completely unmarked for a left wing cross. Two massive warning signs, and still no substitutions. Perhaps the problem is there’s so many of them down there decisions like substitutions have to be put out to consultation and it takes a while. My hatred for Lawrence grew further.

Then, 20 minutes from time, it happened. It had been coming, and it happened. Ajayi, no surprise, with a powerful shot from the edge of the box, through a crowd of players and into the bottom corner. Now, wouldn’t you just know it, all the substitutions. Couldn’t make a fucking substitution quickly enough now. Veritable hive of activity down on the touchline now. Seventy one minutes of liquid faeces, absolutely fine. One bloke sticks one in the bottom corner and suddenly the entire team needs a rejig does it? Come on mate, have a day off. Off went Warrior Hemed, as if he’d ever really been on in the first place. On Came Nahki Wells, who promptly went through on goal and poked the ball wide of the post. Off went Jordan Cousins, with a pass completion percentage in low single figures, and on came Mide Shodipo. Off went Ebere Eze, and on came Pawel Wszolek, a winger to play ten between two other wingers.

This sparked something resembling a reaction. It had taken 80 minutes, and a Rotherham goal, but QPR were now playing with something sort of resembling urgency and tempo. There was some running about. There were some passes played forward. There were some shots on the goal – Wells’, which was a sitter, and then Osayi-Samuel’s, which went straight in the net for the world’s most underserved equaliser after good approach work from Wszolek and turned a catastrophic result back into just a shit one again. Celebrations were low key.

Just as well really because rather than push on, rather than force the issue, rather than salvage the win, rather than take advantage of Rotherham’s brief wobble, QPR decided to go back to what had worked so, so, so well for them before. This included the concession of a series of mindlessly dumb free kicks in their own half, the final one of which was given up by Darnell Furlong to cap a retched personal performance and planted by substitute Forde plum onto the head of Ajayi for a winning goal with the last kick of the match. Ajayi deserved it, Rotherham deserved it, and Queens Park Rangers really, really deserved it.

Match Gallery: 15 photos

Afterwards Steve McClaren said his team had been “poor”. Oh for poor. Poor is a world away from this. Poor is something to aspire to. Poor is a roaring coal fire on a cold day. Poor is an ice cold beer in 30 degrees of heat. Poor is a soapy tit wank. I’d take poor. I’d enjoy it. At least he didn’t carry on like his shit didn’t stink - if he’d given it the classic “there was only one winner at 1-1” bollocks I’d have had to be physically restrained. But this wasn’t poor. This was a long way from poor. And he’s lucky to still be employed after it.

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

QPR: Lumley 5; Furlong 4, Leistner 5, Lynch 5, Bidwell 5; Osayi-Samuel 6, Luongo 6, Cousins 4 (Shodipo 72, 6), Freeman 5; Eze 5 (Wszolek 80, 6), Hemed 3 (Wells 72, 5)

Subs not used: Ingram, Cameron, Scowen, Manning

Goals: Osayi-Samuel 86 (assisted Wszolek)

Bookings: Bidwell 43 (foul), Furlong 90+4 (foul)

Rotherham: Rodak 6; Vyner 6, Ihiekwe 8, Wood 6, Mattock 5; Taylor 7, Ajayi 8, Towell 7 (Crooks 64, 6), Newell 7 (Forde 83, -); Smith 6, Wiles 6 (Jones 90+2, -)

Subs not used: Palmer, Price, Yates, Williams

Goals: Ajayi 71 (unassisted), 90+5 (assisted Forde)

Bookings: Mattock 17 (foul)

QPR Star Man – Mass Luongo 6 Him and Bright. Apart from that… Luongo couldn’t really have done any more, tried any harder, run anywhere else to try and make things better here. But he was fighting a losing battle.

Referee – David Webb (Durham) 6 Gave a lot of free kicks, but then QPR committed a lot of fouls. Bit fussy, and as during the Derby game did a lot of gesturing towards his watch during blatant time wasting and then added a pitiful three minutes onto the end of the game (though played a more realistic five).

Alleged Attendance 10,854 (330 Rotherham) Biggest laugh of the night this one. Apparently just 783 people fewer than were here for Leeds in the FA Cup when they sold out the School End. I certainly wouldn’t want whoever counted this up to be measuring me for a carpet. Perhaps it includes McClaren’s legions of staff?

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Phil_i_P_Daddy added 00:20 - Mar 15
Taking everything into consideration, this result is right down there with Vauxhall Motors.
I’m worried we’ll be looking back on last night fondly this time next season.
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simmo added 01:46 - Mar 15
Fantastic report and commendable given the shite we've endured since the turn of the year.

We're going to Hull next. Mental.
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HastingsRanger added 02:23 - Mar 15
Lawrence’s whereabouts generated a Sparticus episode around, easily the best moment of the night.
Woeful night.
Felt sorry for Pavel.
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E15Hoop added 04:00 - Mar 15
Clive: Did you read Amit Bhatia's tweet after the game? I'd be surprised if Schteve hasn't already been told in no uncertain terms that he's in danger of taking a permanent vacation to his hair island if this doesn't improve sharpish. (Not that I'm convinced that Schteve does anything with this kind of information apart from have a gentle word in Big Warrior Haemorrhoid's ear and politely ask him if he might perhaps consider occasionally running a bit..)

Perhaps, like you said during pre-season, Schteve might by now be contemplating suicide at the direction his career is rapidly heading in. Don't worry Son, Plymouth's quite nice in the Spring, and we always play so well at Blackpool..
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YorkRanger added 06:50 - Mar 15
Excellent, hard to disagree with a single word. The last two sentences say it all really. If it wasn't for the fact we probably can't afford to pay him off and that there is no one obvious who would want to come, then SMc would surely have gone after that. I fear for Saturday. Cameron should be the first name on the team sheet.
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Paddyhoops added 07:49 - Mar 15
Tell it like it is Clive! Since I came to this country from Ireland in 1987, I've been a regular at loftus road(it was the glorious team of 75/ 76 that did it for me). I often get asked by glory hunting Man utd and Arsenal fans "why QPR?" I can never quiet answer that except to say the little glories always outweigh the multiple miserable days. I have to say wednesday night was one of those. I've sat through the 6.0 v Newcastle, Milton Keynes Fa cup disaster but this was the worst. Anger has replaced apathy. Clueless from start to finish, poor ball retention, little or no game plan and from where we sat a lack of passion!!
For the life of me how could McLaren think that the 11 he started with were worthy of staying on the pitch until the 72nd minute is beyond me. As for Hemed, another Boswinga in the making. Rotherham fully deserved their victory. That's what hard to take, they are an utterly limited side which unfortunately is what we've become.
Can't see McLaren lasting much longer at this rate and frankly he and his minions don't deserve to.
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toboboly added 07:55 - Mar 15
Very good report, disagree about Luongo being MOTM. Bright all day long.
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TheChef added 08:28 - Mar 15
Players and coaching staff have to hold their hands up for this one. We've seen how the team can apply themselves and have a proper go, I mean we beat Leeds a few weeks ago for goodness sake. And then they turn up and do this - did they think Rotherham would just roll over, and they'd have to do the bare minimum? Forget the away games now, we just need to find a way to get as many points from our remaining home games.
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smegma added 08:37 - Mar 15
I reckon that was pub football at its worse. But pub football teams don't have a plethora of analysis,medical, video experts on the touchline outnumbering both sets of substitutes. A bloke I speak to regularly at Academy games says he's never seen so many backroom staff at Academy games at any ground in Europe. He's a scout for Chelsea.There are also about 4 people in their lime green tops sitting in front of the press box videoing/analysing every aspect of every game. I believe it's known as scatology.
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BostonR added 08:40 - Mar 15
Wonderful read!

Having seen Amit's twitter reaction, I guess SMc is in the last chance saloon at Hull. I am not for sacking him, but given the woeful performances at Brentford, Stoke and Rotherham it is hard to see us getting 7-10pts before the end of the season.
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Mytch_QPR added 08:41 - Mar 15
Depressingly accurate. I think I speak for the majority when I say I con't mind losing to a good team if we show some effort and pride, but all Rotherham had to do was to try harder and play like a bang average team - and try harder they did. Fair play to their supporters, too - there can't have been more than 50 of them but they made a noise pretty much throughout the duration of the game (I use the term 'game' loosely).
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Michael_Hunt added 08:42 - Mar 15
Superhoops! More like Superhoofs!

I said exactly the same thing to my neighbour about the number of green jacketed assistants; how on earth can we afford that many and what exactly is their job?
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WokingR added 08:51 - Mar 15
Think about it though Clive, because you've given us all a mental image that is going to really take some shifting.
Would you really rather "guide your dad into your mum" ?
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billericaydicky added 08:57 - Mar 15
Brilliant again Clive. "Poor is a soapy tit wnk"is my particular favourite.

Enjoy Hull...
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BuckR added 09:02 - Mar 15
Hard to disagree with any of that. Especially nonsense of BOS being switched to the left which was madness. BOS should definitely take MOTM though. No one even near him in terms of effort and what little quality there was.
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terryb added 10:28 - Mar 15
This morning is the first time I've dared face message boards since that game!

I'm prtobably on my own, but I thought we were (very) slightly better than against Stoke. However, Rotherham were far better than Stoke. That has more to say about how i rated Saturday's performance(?) though!

I still can't understand why when facing a team of giants, we continually played nearly every ball aerial. Surprise, surprise, Rotherham won all of them!

Having just written that paragraph, I asked myself if we were worse against Stoke & I still came up with yes!

Pawel to play upfront for anyone? He couldn't be worse than Hemed or Wells playing that role!

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Marshy added 10:48 - Mar 15
Surely it can’t get any worse than this. Absolutely diabolical performance. Total disgrace. Osayi Samual was the only Bright spark. Was Hemed ever any good? He’s so slow, he makes Matt Smith look like Usain Bolt.

McClaren has to go, either now or at the end of the season. The team was devoid of any ideas, or of any tactical awareness. However, perhaps naively, I actually think our players are capable of much better than this. To be fair they have proved it on a number of occasions this season. We just have to get the right man in charge, alongside coaching staff who know what they’re doing, rather than the Rent a Crowd which we have.
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Rangers67 added 11:04 - Mar 15
Agree, great report that sums up the current set up brilliantly. Glad that someone else has spotted what has been apparent for a long long time, McLaren hasn,t got a clue !
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extratimeR added 11:15 - Mar 15
Aanotyer great report Clive!

Holding head in hands when Bright moved inside, Sunday morning pub manager would not have done that!!!!!!!

We then decided it was black humour time!

I think the only reason I'm still going is to read Clive's match report, nice touch to mention Luongp as well, he kept going, ( and may will do so at the end of the season)

Cheers Clive grim times, again
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paulparker added 12:44 - Mar 15
All of those results and displays you talk of have been under the reign of Teflon Tony when are the fan base going to wake up and start to realise Fernandes is s cancer on this club
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isawqpratwcity added 13:21 - Mar 15
I'm giving up defending McClaren until things improve. F*ck 'im. He's on his own.
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Spiritof67 added 18:06 - Mar 15
Clive, you summed it up perfectly in your report. The other thing that was so frustrating; if we did get the ball out wide we decided to cross the ball for Matt Smith. Oh hold on, he’s not playing, well let’s cross the ball exactly the same everytime and maybe Smith might suddenly appear like the Genie out of the lamp. I suppose that fact that there are so many of the green jacketed team in the dug out, must be SO confusing, as each of them must have their own individual clipboards, but the only clipboard missing is the one that says “try a shot on goal!”
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GroveR added 18:24 - Mar 15
"honestly I'd rather guide my dad into my mum"

I thought "I'd rather suck off a Chelsea-supporting tramp in a skip filled with binbags full of catshit and vomit" was bad. You've fùcking trumped me there bruv.
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Burnleyhoop added 19:44 - Mar 15
Don’t have any recollection of anyone in a hooped shirt trapping the ball and looking for a simple forward pass. Maybe the reason our back four just humps it 40 yards every time they get it, is because they have absolutely no faith in the ability of our midfield doing anything useful with it?

No motivation, no technique, no game plan, utter shambles of a performance. Question is why?
We are capable of so much more. Everyone involved in that farce needs to take a long hard look......
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thehat added 20:18 - Mar 15

Brilliant again Clive - I am one of the hardy souls who still "gets it" and was there Wednesday.

That report has almost made going worthwhile - The dark humour is on a different level.

Bring on Hull - Have a good day and thanks for keeping us all motivated!!

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