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Things turn toxic as hapless QPR lose yet again - Report
Saturday, 8th Apr 2023 20:49 by Clive Whittingham

QPR lost for the ninth time in ten games on Good Friday, comfortably beaten at home by Preston in a shambolic performance that finally turned the crowd on their own team in earnest for the first time.

This week’s Victor Meldrew moment came in the twenty-third minute.

It began, as these things often do, with the implosion of the Queens Park Rangers defence and the twisting to mush of what must surely by form be the three worst centre backs in this division at the moment. Robbie Brady collected a deflected cross in acres of space on the edge of the box and slipped it quickly into the similarly unattended Alan Browne in the penalty box. He checked back onto his right foot, went searching for the far corner, and found it. For once, though, the luck was with QPR. The ball not only hit the post but hit the post with enough ferocity to carry the rebound beyond Troy Parrott and Tom Cannon who were both waiting for it in the six yard box and instead to Stefan Johansen to clear. With PNE heavily committed to the attack Rangers then got the benefit of not one, but two breaks of the ball in quick succession as first Lyndon Dykes and then Chris Willock were able to help the ball forward despite visiting players getting to the loose possession first. In the end, Ryan Lowe’s men simply ran out of numbers, and now within seconds of almost falling behind here was Ilias Chair, with the ball, in the Preston half, with nobody for company other than goalkeeper Freddie Woodman down at the School End, and all the time and space and pitch and goal to do whatever he liked with it. Chair set sail for port, while the villagers stood on the quayside and held their breath. One touch too close, a second touch stumbling, a third touch out of feet, here comes the penalty box, forty yards, thirty yards, twenty, ten, touch number four, here’s the goalkeeper, touch five, and now the finish. One on one, with Woodman committed, Chair went across the keeper and missed. He missed. He missed not by a little, but by a lot. You wouldn’t have wanted any of QPR’s other jokers in that position, and he wasn’t even close. Truly, I don’t believe it.

On such moments are matches won and lost, match reports written and angled and, given that Rangers are now being kept from the relegation zone only by Reading’s points deduction, seasons rescued or condemned. QPR’s little Moroccan international is one of the few you couldn’t fault for effort and commitment, at times the criticism of him has been that he actually tries too hard and attempts to do too much by himself, but he’s also no stranger to being on the wrong side of these game-swinging moments. At the other end of this ground a couple of months back he had a chance from the penalty spot to level a game against Sunderland which subsequently blew out to a 3-0 loss after his weak kick was easily saved. Goals change games, who knows how things might have been different if that had gone in, for Chair, for the team, for Neil Critchley, for the season.

Or, so the footballing cliché goes anyway. I said that night, and I’m tempted to repeat it again now, that I’m not convinced how much difference it would have made at all.

We know this beleaguered team of ours are fragile, mentally and physically, and going 1-0 up in games is vital to any remote prospect they have of winning because if they go behind they immediately melt like a snowball passing through the seventh level of hell. This team has scored one goal or fewer in 23 of its last 24 games and so conceding first means a point is the best you can hope for, and in reality such is the lack of character and spine sides like Birmingham scoring after two minutes at Loftus Road essentially end the match before it’s even really begun. I mean, never mind goals, last week’s three shots on target in a 1-0 loss at Wigan was something of a treat — Rangers had managed two shots on target or fewer in 12 of their previous 15 games, and would finish this latest debacle with just the one. The two matches they have won in the last 25, including the corresponding fixture with Preston, have both been 1-0, accomplished by taking the lead and then spending much of the rest of the game riding luck and clinging on for grim death. Two other near misses, against Sheff Utd and Swansea, were that without the happy ending.

So, yes, Chair’s miss was significant. And yet, as against Sunderland, as against basically everybody we play, Rangers were so far off their opponent, so miles and miles short in effort and commitment, so incredibly inept at the basics of the sport, so devoid of plan or shape, that I’m not that sure it mattered much at all. You cannot win games of football at the professional level playing like this, set up like this… behaving like this frankly. It once again looked like a token effort from a non-league team miles out of its depth in a cup tie. You couldn’t really look at any aspect of the performance, of anybody’s involvement in it from the QPR point of view, and find a positive anywhere. Preston, in pretty decent form but not exactly tearing up many trees in tenth prior to kick off, won deservedly, comfortably, easily, in something crunching between second and third gear. Perhaps Roger’s Profanisaurus could help me with something more colourful for ‘pathetic’.

Let’s go through the big stuff — not so much shooting fish in a barrel as shooting a hammerhead shark in a mop bucket, so glaringly obvious were the problems and deficiencies, and so often were they exploited. The visitors, who have scored just 37 goals this season which is the lowest total outside the bottom four (or at least it was, they’ve gone past us now, natch), won the game with two quickfire goals from Everton loanee Tom Cannon.

The first because — running theme — we weren’t tight enough to opposition players from their throw in, so Daniel Johnson was able to receive unmarked, give it back to Robbie Brady unchallenged, he was able to pick his spot for a cross around Ethan Laird who, for some reason, was ten yards back from his man, and then Cannon set off earlier, ran quicker and wanted to meet the ball with his head more than Jimmy Dunne did.

The second because — running theme — we are thick as pig shit. Ilias Chair gives the ball away in the centre circle, it breaks loose towards Troy Parrott, Balgoun and Dunne rush towards him when it only needs one of them, both then miss the ball entirely (give me strength), and the now unmarked Cannon, who’s run off the back of Dickie and Johansen without either of them noticing, gets a free ride all the way through to Seny Dieng. Needless to say his finish was a good deal better than Chair’s in the same situation. Six goals in eight for the Everton youngster now — Preston get him on loan to bolster their attack this season, Cameron Archer on loan to bolster their attack this season, and we get Topknot Tyler.

It was miraculous North End didn’t score more than this. Seven minutes, Dieng has to improvise a save right under the bar after a mishit cross threatened to sail all the way into the Loft End goal. Just getting to seven felt like something of an achievement having conceded after one, two and five minutes in the last three games. By the twelfth minute Sam Field’s poor giveaway had the visitors in again, and Dickie had to block to stop Cannon scoring at that point. It was frightening just how easy we were to get in on in situations like that — turnover of possession, one or two passes later, one smash down the field, Rangers absolutely screwed. There was zero midfield to speak of, whatsoever. Some old codger in a Stefan Johansen shirt turned up for his weekly Friday walking football league at the Play Football pitches on South Africa Road, got waved in through the wrong door, and ended up nominally doing 74 minutes.

Browne hit the post. The now traditional totally free header from an opposition corner was squandered from eight yards by Jordan Storey who let Dieng make a save when he should have been completely out of the picture. Leon Balogun, at one point, decided to head off on a personal voyage of discovery with the ball at his feet as last man and, when that predictably ended up with a fire at the old folk’s home, a younger, quicker, more talented lad in Troy Parrott ran off with the ball and it was time for yet another clear streak through on the QPR goal which somehow Rangers managed to rally and force behind. Praise the fucking lord that one didn’t go in or I presume we’d all have been summoned back for more tea at the training ground so Balogun could explain that while his actions may have looked fucking ludicrously stupid at first glance, in actual fact there was very sound logic to them. Limping again by the end, of course, so that might be that.

Jimmy Dunne hit the deck at the start of the second half after catching one square in the gentleman’s area. He wasn’t the only one suffering with ball ache here.

Chair and Willock’s two v two break at the start of the second half might have yielded more had the winger not been so determined to get the ball back onto his right foot, burning away valuable time, losing the moment. Their clever corner, soon after, worked Willock into the penalty area all by himself, but he got caught between the idea for a cross and a shot and did neither — Lyndon Dykes out of reach at the far post.

The Preston first, however, had been coming. It would have been scored minutes earlier but for Sam Field’s brave block. It could have been scored off a prior corner as Dieng spilled a routine ball behind. And it was scored off a routine throw in and cross that QPR couldn’t defend. Once again, as opposition momentum builds, as pressure is exerted, our game smarts simply do not exist. Nobody going down injured, just to disrupt the play. No substitution, to stem the tide or plug a leak. Nobody rattling an opponent, just to get the crowd back into the game and let them know it’s not that easy, we’re not that soft, and you can’t have it your own way — not a single booking here, in a two nil home defeat. No tactical fouls, no free kicks, no dark arts, no break, no brains. Just Preston pressure, building and building, unchecked, and soon the inevitable, defensively horrific, opening goal. You can genuinely fish more intelligent life forms than this out of your bathroom plughole.

There had been an uneasy peace to the point of two nil. The QPR supporters have been implored, for several weeks by Gareth Ainsworth, for a thick 60 podcasted minutes by Ian Holloway, and now again at half time by legendary former player and manager Gerry Francis, to stay behind this team. So painfully fragile is their mood that all we’ve really got now by way of tactics is begging the crowd to try and sing them to victory. But some long overdue cracks had started to appear at full time at Wigan a week ago after two wins in half a season, and when your on-field reunion of the 1992/93 Premier League team includes its physio, a relative of one of the coaches, a reserve player who made six appearances in as many years, but not the talismanic top scorer of the side for fear of the reaction he will get given his current role at the club, it’s clear you’re sitting in a tinderbox dreading an ignition source.

The manner of Cannon’s second goal was the spark. The players were forced to stand and wait to kick off by their opponent, and they were roundly booed and told “you’re not fit to wear the hoops” by a sizeable chunk of the home crowd for the first time in many a year. In the face of this fire, they wilted entirely. QPR’s attempts to get back into the game simply did not exist — Freddie Woodman the latest visiting goalkeeper who needn’t have bothered changing for work. Lyndon Dykes was afforded applause when replaced with ten minutes to go by the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, but Stefan Johansen copped it when replaced by Luke Amos, and when Buster Merryfield came on for Ethan Laird it divided the ground square in two and set QPR fan against QPR fan in the stand. Incidentally, this week’s Ethan Laird sit down sweepstake winning time was 67 minutes. Needless to say none of the four substitutions made a scrap of difference. I’ll be honest, I’m quite surprised to sit here and discover Amos, Lowe and Martin came on at all, because I don’t remember seeing them, and I was one of those who stayed to the end. Lowe’s interest and excitement in playing for this team feels similar to mine in the new season of Made in Chelsea.

It's really best for all concerned that Tom Cannon’s attempt to chip Seny Dieng for his hat trick goal on 71 minutes wasn’t barwide. Such was the manner of the chance — one long punt out of the Preston penalty area, Dunne comes to meet the ball by the dug out and runs past the thing, Cannon now with a clear run at the goal because that’s all it takes to get in on us these days, Leon Balogun coming across to mop up and falling straight on his arse (two sugars in mine Leon) — I genuinely think it might have started a riot if he’d scored it.

It’s tempting to sit here - after yet another home game in which every first contact, every second ball, every 50-50 challenge — and do all that tubthumping stuff about passion and effort and commitment and running about a bit, which this team lacks entirely. But you don’t solve the problems with this team by trying harder, and it is a worry when you hear Gareth intimating, like Ian Holloway before him, that everything can be solved through effort and application. It would certainly help, but there’s nothing about this team’s tactics or set up that suggests to me it’s going to win another game this season even if it does double its effort level.

There’s no pattern to it, no shape, no real attacking plan at all other than get the ball up the field as quickly and directly as you can. The amount of times we just whack the ball into the channel, whether there’s somebody there or not, frequently in fact just sending it flying off into the stand, is mesmerising in its own way. When the long balls are actually aimed at a live human from the team sheet, it’s frequently one surrounded by seven opponents with no runner beyond, nobody dropping off, nobody really even in the vague vicinity looking for a knockdown or second ball. Frighteningly easy to play against. So much of what we do I watch it and then think ‘ok, now what?’ Frequently the absolute best case scenario, barring some fucking Trevor Sinclair-style miracle bicycle kick from 30 yards out, is we win the header and flick the ball on down the field a little bit further away from our goal than it was before. Again, one chance in the game, one shot on target all afternoon, as the home team. I don’t really see a logical process of how, for instance, we intend to get Chair and Willock on the ball in decent areas, and once they are there what they’re to do with it next. It’s just, they’re good players, they’ll stand up there, we’ll put the ball in their half, maybe something will happen by accident, or coincidence, or law of averages. Look how bleak some of the numbers are again. Pass completion, bar Chair and Willock, every player in the team completed at 60-something percent or less. Paal 54%, Field 55%, Dykes 46%, Dieng 38% (!!) — basically the entire team giving the ball away every other time they have it.

Every manager we’ve had here recently has quickly come to the realisation that our centre backs are so ropey and slow that you have to protect them, by playing a back three (which we are at least now doing) and stationing somebody in front of them — Grant Hall, Dom Ball, Geoff Cameron. We’re just letting them be exposed, over and over again, often by one pass, or one lump forward. Preston’s second and what should have been their third goal was just one straight ball down the middle of the pitch, panicking our three central defenders into a collective bed shitting the moment it was played. Every opposition corner feels like a goal — Storey should certainly have made it so in the first half.

I can’t remember Laird or Paal crossing the halfway line with, or receiving, possession — wing backs such a huge part of modern attacks, and a key component of our early season goodness, and here’s Paal touching the ball less than anybody else, just 21 times.

And, at the risk of repeating myself, you don’t win many games of football while losing midfield. We didn’t so much lose it here, as surrender it. Watching Sam Field and the artist formerly known as Stefan Johansen go in as a two against a three of Daniel Johnson, Alan Browne (later Josh Onomah) and the always superb Ben Whiteman went beyond chastening into really quite embarrassing. A carve up wholly predictable from the moment the team sheets went in. Like sending a couple of Christians in with a bottle of insect repellent to fight three lions.

There was certainly a good deal of anger around from the moment the second goal went in. Me, I was angry weeks ago. I’m into acceptance now. For me this was nothing we haven’t seen before from this team, for weeks and weeks and months on end, and came as no surprise at all as my prediction in the match preview would attest to. This team is not good enough, it’s not committed enough, it’s not intelligent enough, it’s not confident enough and it is neglectful of the very basics of the sport. It’s also not currently set up in a way that can mitigate any of that — packing the midfield, for instance, to try and stem the unchecked flow of possession and opposition right down the middle of the pitch and straight in on Tilly, Tom and Tiny back there at will. In fact its set up, attitude to possession, systems for defending corners, even marking from simple throw ins, exacerbates and exposes all of this rather than minimises and covers it up.

It was… sad. Sad to see this team like this, these players like this. Sad to see and hear Gareth Ainsworth already reduced to a husk, just as we always feared we might do to him — ten years at Wycombe given up for this, poor bastard. Sad to see these supporters subjected to this again. Sad to see the club in this state again. Sad to see and hear and feel the ground like this once more. Sad that it’s only a Reading points deduction keeping us above water now, and sad that we all know that’s not going to be enough. Seeing the class of 1993 at half time, with their striker unable to join them for fear of being hounded from the field, actually added to the bleakness rather than reduce it. If I hadn’t seen such riches, and all that.

Gerry Francis tried to finish on a note of optimism, saying we’d hopefully soon be roaring back to the level “where Fulham and Brentford are”. We used to play those two in pre-season friendlies when he was the manager. Now even catching up with them feels less aspiration, more absolute pipe dream.

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

QPR: Dieng 5; Laird 3 (Adomah 67, 3), Dickie 3, Balogun 2, Dunne 2, Paal 3 (Lowe 67, 3); Johansen 2 (Amos 74, 3), Field 3; Chair 3, Willock 3, Dykes 4 (Martin 80, -)

Subs not used: Archer, Dozzell, somebody called Richards it says here

PNE: Woodman N/A, Storey 6, Lindsay 6, Hughes 6; Potts 6, Browne 7 (Onomah 45+2, 7), Johnson 7 (Ledson 88, -), Whiteman 8, Brady 7 (Fernandez 80, -); Cannon 8, Parrott 6 (Woodburn 80, -)

Subs not used: Diaby, Cornell, Slater

Goals: Cannon 59 (assisted Brady), 63 (assisted Onomah)

QPR Star Man — Terry Fenwick

Referee — Geoff Eltringham (Durham) 7 Crowd got a bit aggy with him at times, so you guys will probably disagree with me, but I’d always much rather games were refereed like this. Even got a yellow card out for a time wasting goalkeeper early enough in the game for it to make some difference which I love — though why on earth Woodman felt the need to do that I’ve no idea, wouldn’t have scored if we were still there now.

Attendance 14,620 (700 PNE approximately) Now in open revolt and only likely to turn more toxic from here barring some miraculous transformation on the pitch. Again, something really quite profoundly miserable about the whole experience. I genuinely, foolishly, thought we’d never have to suffer the likes of this again.

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NewYorkRanger added 21:35 - Apr 8
I strangely, perhaps masochistically look forward to these reports even more when we’ve been shite. Mainly because I find it hard to put into words what I’m seeing on the pitch, but your descriptions add a whole new level of depth, understanding and sadness.
It’s nearly 50 years since my first game at Loftus Road. I was forced into this by my dad, him by his dad.
I’ve done the same to my 10 year old daughter. She now doesn’t have a choice and is resigned to the fact that we are dreadful. At least I’ve seen some good times over the years. I fear she won’t for a very very long time to come, if ever. It’s just so sad. I think Fernandes has to carry a lot of the blame.
1

QPunkR added 21:36 - Apr 8
Thanking the good Lord I've been in Barbados the past couple of weeks and managed to miss these latest shtshows from this ball-less, odious playing squad. Into the sea with them, one and all
0

LeedsR added 22:37 - Apr 8
Apologies Clive, I’ve not been able to bring myself to read your recent match reports as it would mean that I would have to face up to the utterly sorry, sorry state of our club. To say we were devoid of any ideas, creativity or structure is an insult to the adjective. Were we this lacking in every department in our second half of the season meltdown under Warbs?

I want to think that we weren’t that far off in the second half of last season - ie that we had some moments of hope. Yesterday was a million miles from even that. Complete and utter hit and hope, assuming we ever got near the ball. Nobody wanted the ball, nobody had a clue what to do with it, even if they had it. Thoroughly depressing.
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Paddyhoops added 23:18 - Apr 8
I was scanning my phone looking for miracles at other relegation candidates matches as we just turn up knowing we have nothing on the pitch or from management on the sideline to do anything about our predicament.
We’re done.
0

tomde1 added 23:30 - Apr 8
What did actually go wrong with these players? It genuinely is baffling. Under Warburton it worked for a bit, had some problems, sure, but even the slide we had then would be a dream situation for us now. Beale jumping sure would impact, but we've had almost more games not under him than under him now...

I started supporting the club in the late 90s so I remember the dark old div2 days.. but this feels so so much worse. I don't see how we go forward without drastically changing the club from top to bottom.
0

Marshy added 23:31 - Apr 8
Should Gareth get the Haka guy in again, seeing as that supposedly worked so well the first time, and allegedly everyone bought into it. We could think up other ways to motivate the players, but in my opinion they all need a big kick up the r’s. Not that that would make any difference. The trouble with this lot is even if their lives depended on winning a match, they’d probably just take the easy way out and jump off a cliff to save them the bother of competing.

Gareth spoke in his post match interview about how in training they’ve been doing everything well, but that’s not being reflected in actual matches, as too many basic errors are being made. I think one of the fundamental problems is we have 11 individuals on the pitch, playing for themselves and their own agenda. We don’t actually have a team. You would have thought that pulling on the famous hooped shirt would be incentive enough for everyone to literally give their all, and work together in a cohesive and spirited fashion. But apparently not! This is not a team!
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Burnleyhoop added 00:38 - Apr 9
Ainsworth was brought in to galvanise the squad, but despite his best efforts, has failed miserably, along with his horrible hoof ball tactics. The problems clearly run much deeper than the so called “lack of confidence”.

There is simply nothing left in this squad other than acceptance of its fate. This is the end of the line for most of these players at qpr, along with the vision that Ferdinand had of creating an academy of rising young talent. It, has also failed spectacularly.

I now believe Sir Les should step aside in the summer as his position will be deemed untenable by the vast majority of the support base. A rebuild in the summer is needed to face the uncompromising style of football we will face in league 1. It might suite Dunne and Dykes, but that’s it, everyone else is mincemeat.

Who thought it would come to this? Sad indeed.





1

royinaus added 01:38 - Apr 9
My dads from Notting Hill, my mum from Shepherds Bush.
I blame the parents!
1

jtuck added 03:42 - Apr 9

Thank you Clive for giving this truly terrible performance the write-up it deserved. Many people have been saying on the board that they don't know how you keep churning out these match reports, but, as you say, it's the anger isn't it? And you are channeling our collective feelings. This team, these tactics and the accompanying PR b-s are not just bad...they are biblically, stupendously brain-dead bad and anti-football. At one point, a few weeks ago, I thought you were being too harsh on the players who are only human. No more. You got it right.
2

snanker added 05:03 - Apr 9
Too sad for words Clive but you get closer than anyone else.Over half a century of barracking for this club and last night I dreamt I was standing on the terrace chanting "come on Reading" ! Unmitigated shame and disgrace now rules !! A farce. Many heads need to roll.
0

steveB66 added 07:45 - Apr 9
Spot on Clive. Your comments reference Sir Les (about to be stripped of his honours?) not showing at half time and poor old Gareth being reduced to a husk are both very telling in their own way. Sad times at Loftus Road.
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Toast_R added 07:57 - Apr 9
Thanks Clive. My goodness it's grim
0

MickB added 08:41 - Apr 9
It sounds as if, in writing that, you passed straight through the slough of despond and into the existential abyss. As I recall the seventh level of hell is the destination of suicides.
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Sittingbournehoop added 09:03 - Apr 9
I thought it couldn’t get any worse after Critchley but totally proven wrong, it’s almost like the players see Ainsworth as a novelty appointment. It’s the worst I can ever remember from a team and a hopelessly out of his depth manager. There are no tactics apart from hoff it up to Dykes, no shape or style of play, no defending, no nothing, most non league sides would be better organised. Relegation is a certainty and a Wimbledon style long ball neck ache tedious football for next season. Just like Ferdinand as DOF, Ainsworth is another one I just wished had stayed well clear of the club, an absolute disaster of an appointment!
1

alanrangers added 10:02 - Apr 9
Spot on as usual Clive. One thing that has irritated me for sometime has been the lack of leadership on the field. Unless Balogun was Beale’s idea for a leader/organiser , no-one has been given or taken the role of geeing people up, bollocking team-mates when relevant and directing in-game play. No Venables or Francis onviously but no Derry or even Palmer. Rudderless in other words. In a similar vein there’s an interesting article in The Athletic by Alan Shearer on how fragile a football clubs ‘ecosystem’ is. I think ours was damaged in the Warburton meltdown and has never recovered.
1

PastCaringNW2 added 12:50 - Apr 9
Given that this attack has to practice against this defence what can either party possibly be learning in training? You'd be better off paying some mid table National League South side to come in three times a week to provide the oppo.

There's clearly no tactical plan so why bother training at all? You might as well have no coach, let the captain run the bench and let the players do what they fancy in the game. Could that really be any worse?

We'd actually be better off with the team going nowhere near a football pitch and spending the week in psychotherapy.

I have a lot of time for GA as a legacy figure but for Christsakes don't hire a head coach who has hobbies! You need monomaniacs, people who do little but watch, analyse, read and talk about football 18 hours a day. The level of fine detail that is involved now compared with 20 years ago literally makes it a different sport from the one Gallen and Ainsworth et al played. Motivational buzzword bingo is not coaching in 2023.

Back in November I listened to a really intereating pod with the Scandi coach who was allegedly in the frame after Beale. The man is clearly an obsessive and the attention to detail was quite frightening. Night and day compared with the platitudes a lot of our ex pro coaches trot out here. The line between pundit and manager seems wafer thin In England at times. Holloway talks a load of nonsense as well. Pre-data, condiment pots on the caff table levels of thinking. Getting the badges should be just the start. Here it seems to be treated as the equivalent of a driving licence.

Meanwhile Emma Hayes is sat at Chelsea, clearly bored with the WSL. She would have been an upgrade on Beale, a born winner, in need of a challenge and would sort this dressing room out in no time. Tough-as but smart with it.. Too late now as she is way too good for L1. Some might laugh but it's the Moneyball thing - we literally can't buy what we need so we need to be doing and thinking what no one else is doing and thinking and finding a different route to respectability. But we needed to do it a lot of yesterdays ago.
2

Northolt_Rs added 13:13 - Apr 9
“ and when your on-field reunion of the 1992/93 Premier League team includes its physio, a relative of one of the coaches, a reserve player who made six appearances in as many years, but not the talismanic top scorer of the side for fear of the reaction he will get given his current role at the club, it’s clear you’re sitting in a tinderbox dreading an ignition source.” Boom!
1

Andybrat added 13:27 - Apr 9
Scary thing was the acknowledgment in the Stan stand that this was the best team he could have put out ( bar possibly Tim for JoJo) and we actually all felt we stood a chance. Player for player are Preston better? , possibly not, but unfortunately this is a team game. Our fall from grace is even worth significant column inches in The Times Sport section ( sorry I am a Times Reader) with Rod Liddle ( Wall supporter) suggesting serves us right for the way we treated Warnock and how that is now biting us back. Also Clive you are in excellent company because he mentioned even more journos than I realised are Superhoops fans. Going down btw, for the 1st time I thinK it isn’t even going to be tight and I am a really annoying optimist.
0

Loft1979 added 15:44 - Apr 9
Fellow sufferers,

I think I have also succumbed. I can’t believe how bad this team is, not on paper since the individuals here are not as bad as their collective output. QPR have been bad for years. 2014’s promotion team was ‘fun’. Sorry but Warburton’s teams were much like this lot except to be saved by the afore mentioned characters like our hall of fame candidate Charlie and the Frenchman both who should be recalled at the earliest opportunity. Two to three comments I would like to throw on the wood pyre;

1. Sorry Neil Critchley .. you are absolved
2. Lee Hoos was supposed to be a solution but I can’t see that he has done anything like the job he was credited for at Burnley.
3. Sean Derry and Clint Hill please .. I don’t think GA can do this on his own. In fact I do think this a leadership issue.

0

DannyPaddox added 19:05 - Apr 9
The sorry state summed up accurately and eloquently as always. Just one thing. I’m wondering if a can of insect repellent could actually fend off a lion. Spraying it in the eyes might send the beast scurrying. Or maybe not. Either way it would make great half-time entertainment.
For the first duel of man with insect repellent vs lion with I nominate Ethan Laird.
1

Marshy67 added 20:53 - Apr 9
Your starter for 10.
One of the most famous adverts back in the 80's was made for the Milk Marketing Board.
The never to be forgotten phrase is one we could have the answer to next season.
That phrase?
"Accrington Stanley,who are they?"
0

dward1944 added 09:56 - Apr 10
AS succinct as ever Clive I live In Richmond North Yorkshire and normally go to all the Northern Games ,I brought a Hull Fan to Loftus Road this season he had never been and to see how the team had started to decline since those times is unbelievable my Grandson Tom is a Season ticket holder in R Block he was travelling Home and Away from Darlington but now as Student from Manchester I agree with his analysis games are controlled from the midfield we need which is under performing and there was no movement off the ball ,unless there is massive improvement and desire I cant see us winning another game,
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TacticalR added 14:14 - Apr 10
Thanks for your report.

The games feel meaningless as results are a foregone conclusion. As you point out, we aren't doing the basics. You were warning a while ago that we weren't going to win another game playing like this.

We make the same mistakes every game and if we can't score a goal then we've got nothing to hang on to (and if we concede a goal it's all over). If we couldn't win against struggling teams like Blackpool and Wigan, we were unlikely to win against a halfway competent side like Preston.

The really sad thing is that it's not just Beale's intake that haven't delivered (or have simply disappeared), it's that the key players from the Warburton era have suffered a collapse in form.
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