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Queens Park Rangers 0 v 1 Ipswich Town
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 19th August 2023 Kick-off 15:00
When it’s your day – Report
Sunday, 20th Aug 2023 21:32 by Clive Whittingham

QPR were expected to lose to newly promoted Ipswich Town, and did, but there was plenty to fuel optimism in a beleaguered fanbase in the way things played out, particularly once our new found embrace of sport science provides us with a team that can last longer than an hour or so.

In the, supposedly, notoriously unpredictable world of the Mercantile Credit Trophy, it’s rare to find two teams uniting the collective narrative quite as comprehensively as this year’s versions of Ipswich Town and Queens Park Rangers.

Ipswich are brilliant. Certainly the best team promoted from League One since Chris ‘oooh I’m dead northern me’ Wilder’s We’ll Give It A Reet Good Go Us Sheff Utd, who went straight through the division in 2017; possibly the best since Wolves did likewise in 2014, when Jorge Mendes was still more interested in them than cosying up to the Kingdom of Murdering All The Gay People; maybe even since that nonsense Jean Tigana Fulham lot who ponced around here for a short while with somebody who looked a lot like actual Karl-Heinz Riedle up front. The early summer season previews, buoyed by Sunderland’s impressive return to this level, tipped them around sixth or seventh, which felt punchy. As is the way of these things, this only imbued later filers with the belief their “quite fancy” could actually turn out to be “definitely would” and you started seeing the Tractor Boys tipped around fourth and fifth. By the time the opening weekend came around it felt like the rest of the division may as well not bother – just give them the bloody thing now and let the rest of us write them off and carry on as if they’re not there, like they do in Scotland.

With 98 points, 101 goals, an unbeaten run two shy of the club record of 23, notable cup performances against second tier sides, an apparently brilliant young managerial talent who’s built on his Bend It Like Beckham cup success, and an end to the League One season in which they won 13 and drew two of 15 games, scoring a frankly obscene 43 goals and at one point keeping eight straight clean sheets (two 6-0s and three 4-0s among this nonsense)… it’s easy to see the appeal. This level of frothing excitement at what’s in store is usually only reached in Britain’s provincial towns when they publish the name and address of a paedo in the local paper.

Queens Park Rangers are dog shit. Proper, old school, white dog shit, the likes of which you rarely find any more. Certainly the worst team the division has seen since that poxy Rotherham outfit that won one away game in two years (at Loftus Road, natch); possibly the worst since Burton Albion accidentally got themselves promoted into this division and regretted it immediately; maybe even the worst since non-league mainstay Yeovil Town crossed the streams against all advice and landed themselves league games against the likes of Leeds United who, as we know, are absolutely massive and never once had the upper tier of that stand closed due to lack of interest however you might erroneously remember it. It counted as an optimistic take if you could find a season preview published with us somewhere in the bottom three other than dead last and down with the Christmas decorations. The pundits who’ve played and managed the game, the journalists who pay attention to the Championship, the amateurs who actually put the time in and do the research… none of them could find a reason for optimism in W12. As is the way of these things, this only imbued the “banter generation” - whose sole aim is to say the most provocative thing they can in a clippable minute and 30 seconds for social media clout, whose ‘spit on it and call it foreplay’ approach to research would shame a freelance at the Sunday Sport, and whose facial hair is more cry for help than the sort of beard adult men are capable of fostering - to start feasting on the carcass with their steaming hot takes.

With two wins from 28 games through the spring, a pair of cup exits to teams from the division below, three more managers worked through, a collection of checked out mercenary footballers who weren’t that good when they were paying attention, a style of play so medieval you could stage a round of The Crystal Maze within its confines, and a summer transfer window budget to correct all this of the likes Robert Mugabe used to put together for Zimbabwe… you can at least see where the doom mongers are getting their material from. This level of outright, universal misery hasn’t swept across W12 since they closed the original Goldhawk down.

Less than ideal, therefore, for Rangers to have this as their only home league fixture before September 16. Not so much an unwanted guest at a family funeral as a whole stag party rocking up to bang out Bamboleo on the coffin lid while nan quietly sobs in the corner. Thank you Grandad, thank you for fighting the war.

Gareth Ainsworth, as we always feared would be the case at a club that loves to eat its young, is the lightning rod for a torrent of internal and external criticism and ridicule for everything from his tactics down to his snakeskin boots. Fair, his team selections, tactics and style to this point could just as easily have come from handing a chimp a machine gun as employing him; and his appearance is that of a man sentenced to three whole mid-life crises to be served concurrently. But, the situation he’s inherited here, the mess he has to clean up, the shit that’s gone on and continues to occur that we haven’t even heard about, and the complete and utter lack of any resource to do anything about any of it, means this is a near impossible job. No sane manager this side of the Conference would have even considered taking this on (not you Paul Ince, wanker) and Gareth himself only accepted it out of blind love. Like some lovesick eejit walking away from an idyllic, ten-year marriage with his perfect fit to run off and live in a hut in Ethiopia’s Danakil Desert with some girl he titted up in the bogs at his Year 11 prom who got back in touch via the Facebook.

On top of all of that, the fixture computer gives you a home game to begin with, against the one team you have managed to beat at Loftus Road in the last 15 attempts, and you have to switch it to an away because you didn’t get a bloody move on with the pitch repairs quickly enough in the summer. With everything Gareth has to deal with here you’d think we’d be giving him every possible piece of support we could muster to help along the way. Instead we leave him with Watford A, Cardiff A, Southampton A and Middlesbrough A to begin with. If he’s angry, he’s hiding it well. He’s certainly a better man than me in that regard. I’d have been giving it a full Liam Neeson routine in the hunt for whoever is responsible for such an easily avoided catastrofuck. I will find you, and I will give your office the full Arthur Fowler treatment.

Some respite might have come in the League Cup – somebody interesting, somebody rubbish, somebody we don’t have to play very much, somebody we can beat… Norwich. Great, thanks for that. A fixture we’ve literally played more than any other. Still, the delaying of it did mean we were in the second round draw and could see who was coming next - somebody interesting, somebody rubbish, somebody we don’t have to play very much, somebody we can beat… Bristol City. Have a day off will you? It’s like there’s a higher power at work here. Listen, real talk, whichever one of you it is wanking over the au pair’s tits while the missus is at the shops, stop it. You’re angering God and he’s going all Old Testament levels of vengeful on us.

So, the one home league game we do have is this apparent complete mismatch against Ipswich Town/the starting lineup of the 1976 Philadelphia Flyers. We stuck 2-0 defeat down in the preview and focused on how nice it would be to see everybody back in the Crown and Sceptre.

How did it go? Well, better than billed and expected. The full and frank exchange of views/outright player revolt post Watford debacle has brought a dramatic change of shape, style and approach which much better suits this squad, and frankly is at least watchable. If we’re going to get beaten every week fair enough, but let’s not do it carting a wheeled cannon around an pretending it’s any kind of a strategy. Everything about the first hour at Cardiff last week was much more what I thought and hoped Gareth Ainsworth’s QPR would be about: pace and service in wide areas; support for Lyndon Dykes; hard yards run; high tempo maintained; difficult to play against; stuff going on in the penalty area; centre half, arse the size of the new ULEZ zone, not standing for any nonsense. We deserved that win, and were good to watch for the most part. Here the system was replicated: its two stand outs, Sinclair Armstrong and Paul Smyth, were back; Dykes’ absence was a big blow but Chris Willock was brought in from the naughty step; Steve Cook made a home bow and Jack Colback faced his former club from the bench. This week, like the very mast majority of all the weeks before it, was one week too soon for Jake Clarke-Salter.

There were early scares. Cook, a little bit casual, robbed but then rescued by his new partner Morgan Fox. Andre Dozzell, still playing like the Year Seven who was the best player at primary school, conceded a needless corner from which we entered Wes Burns into this year’s World’s Most Unmarked Man competition and he sportingly headed wide from no range at all.

QPR, though, were, relatively speaking, at it. Vaclav Hladky was dissuaded of the notion he’d be allowed to fanny about on the ball for long periods of time by Sinclair Armstrong booting him high up into the air after six minutes. Heard about your Blockbusters, you’ll need more than that tonight. Referee Geoff Eltringham, as referee Geoff Eltringham is wont to do, granted a motion to declare a writ of Boys Will Be Boys and kept the cards in his pocket. Soon Armstrong was ruining Dancien’s afternoon – bashing him about, taking the ball from him, turning him, outpacing him – and then unleashing a ferocious drive, across the goal, off the inside of the far post, right along the line, off the inside of the near post, and back out into play. Fuck me dead. You with the au pair, I’m telling you, pack it in.

Smyth miscontrolled the ball, fell over it trying to retrieve the situation, then fouled a man – yellow card. Ah. Less than ideal. But soon Chris Willock was going all 2021 on us with a high press, win, drive, foul and yellow for Mass Luongo in return. How’d you like them apples? When Armstrong took a thick turn on Burgess he caused further panic, pinged a low shot nervously saved by Hladky, and Smyth was just shy of the rebound. Better. Better. Crowd into it. You R’s and all that. Chair, suddenly enthused after a bit of a lackadaisical start, intercepted a ball, cut infield to his favourite picnic spot, aimed for the top corner and missed by an inch or three.

Ipswich finished with a beautiful move that George Hirst – never knew he was this tall did you? Well I never knew. Well I never knew. – smacked over when he might have done better. But, given the aforementioned narrative, nil nil at half time was better than we expected, and unfair only in the respect QPR probably deserved to be in front. Gareth talks a lot of face-saving rot about lads who’ve “given him everything” after they’ve just had a comprehensive gob bumming from Blackpool, but here they definitely were, and he’s right that a Loftus Road crowd will give you a lot of time for that sort of thing IF you’re playing some decent football to go along with it. Here they were combining both, justifying a more favourable score, and were applauded from the field.

The start to the second half was… less fun. As ever, an opponent ran out of the tunnel collectively fired up, revving the engine, ready to go, snapping into everything. We mooched about stubbing cigarettes out and looking for where we’d put our kit. One long ball we thought was sailing out for a goalkick actually, in fact, wasn’t, and having been returned to a totally unprepared penalty box sparked the sort of panic you usually only raise shouting ‘Tory’ in the Vauxhall Tavern. Dozzell fouled a geezer with his back to goal going nowhere, offering instead the chance to plant a free kick directly into our area. And if you thought that was thick, Chair then stuck a lazy leg out to prevent the quick taking of that set piece and was booked. Dense as a dying sun. This sort of thing – the foul, the yellow, the slipshod concentration, the slackness after a half time summed up by our Sunday league style ‘warm up’ – is, sadly, not new.

Malaise can very quickly be blown away by the presence and influence of Armstrong. Picking the ball up wide on the left you sensed something was afoot from the moment he got it under control. Pace terrifies defenders, and the lack of it in our team is one of many reasons we’ve been so easy to play against over the last 18 months. Armstrong turned inside, popped it between the two defenders, and feasted on the wide open space beyond. Should he have squared it to Chair? You freeze frame it, analyse it in slow motion, Monday morning quarter back, cold sober light of day, and yeh he should. At high speed, in the moment, having done all that, and reached right to the edge of the six yard box, I think he was within his rights to shoot. A good save by Hladky. Chair left to flap his arms in frustration. Let me tell you something now, there’s no way in a thousand million years Chair would have passed in the same situation. Probably would have scored mind.

The whole thing exacerbated from the resulting long-ish throw by Smyth, which Chair brilliantly widened into a shooting opportunity, causing an outright siege in the six yard box, amongst which Osman Kakay missed an open goal from three yards you’d have scored yourself. A full Hugill, no make-up, out in the wild.

When it’s your day it’s your day, and when it’s not it’s not. Last week in South Wales Cardiff hit the bar twice, QPR won, and we heralded the result, performance, approach and style. Here, QPR hit the inside of both posts, stick an early contender in for miss of the season, and lose. Osvaldo Jaconi will tell you the season is long and hard, don’t get het up by narrow stuff going this way and that early on, focus on the direction of travel – and that’s certainly a good deal more encouraging than it was walking out of Vicarage Road.

What’s not, however, is something else that was true of both last week and this. When the clock strikes 60 minutes, QPR are immediately reduced to a quivering, wasted piece of jelly. Every one of them. Not helped by Sam Field’s kamikaze attempt to stop one Ipswich counter leading to him being removed for, I think, a concussion substitution. But, still, Sinclair Armstrong cramped up immediately after the hour and took most of our hopes and dreams with him as he went, and he wasn’t alone. We were absolute baggage for the final half an hour, as we have been in every game we’ve played to date. Ainsworth slung on Dixon-Bonner to try and temper it, but once more left Stephen Duke-McKenna sitting down too long. Jack Colback came on and fouled everybody. Sideshow Rayan was here and you couldn’t fault his legs, work rate and willingness. Paul Smyth ploughed away all afternoon, at one point tangoing Leif Davis all the way down the Stan Bowles touchline from halfway to byline and winning a corner – you are now carrying my child, it is the mystery of the dance. But, by and large, the energy and fitness levels deflated so alarmingly rapidly I was just waiting for Elaine to pull the manual inflation nozzle out of our beltline and blow on it.

The thing I’m most alarmed at is Gareth’s post-match assertion this is actually the whole idea. That in an effort to avoid the muscle injuries which plagued us in 2022/23 we’ve essentially forgone the normal pre-season fitness work in favour of ramping it up slowly over a number of months, leaving us playing the early games of a season where matches are regularly topping 100 minutes with a team only capable of playing 60 and, as we know, zero strength in depth from the bench. Essentially, to win a game, we need to be far in front enough after an hour for the opposition not to be able to catch up. While that just about worked at Cardiff it’s a hell of a burden to place on a team which hasn’t scored three goals in a game for nearly a year. His only defences to it are we’ll get better as players come back and get up to speed and what injuries we have had are from impacts. Give him his due, you add Dunne, Clarke-Salter, Colback, Dykes and a couple of new arrivals to this and it’s a prettier picture. Clarke-Salter did indeed get booted in the calf, Dunne’s shoulder exploded into a thousand pieces, Dykes got kneecapped, Field killed himself to death. But, having placed so much emphasis on sport science over the summer, hired a whole load of new staff in that department (while, it should be said, retaining everybody that was here last year – skint or not skint, pick a team), to now be saying the team only being able to do 60 minutes is part of the plan is quite the thing. Let’s also not forget we had very strong suspicions a good number of those so-called “muscle injuries” last season were more to do with wanting to be at Reign on a Saturday night rather than playing Middlesbrough away.

Ipswich, predictably, took the game over. I’d thought them a little over confident and cocky in the first half, perhaps taking the result for granted, maybe taking us a little lightly as I believe Cardiff did a week ago. If Ainsworth has simultaneously lowered expectations to such a degree that a Loftus Road crowd is coming away from now one win in 16 home games going “not too bad really”, and having opponents tossing it off against us, then perhaps there is rhyme and reason to the piff and bullshit he spouts in interviews. Things like Hladky’s delaying long enough for Armstrong to boot him in the first half typified this, in just the same way the rescuing of an apparently dead ball to cause a panic at the start of the second half signified a significant a change in mentality (and perhaps half time bollocking from their bright young coach) in the second stanza.

The midfield became overrun and dominated by Sam Morsy – the sort of squat staffy you see the local roided twat hanging from tree branches to strengthen his jaw – and Massimo Luongo – who several of this site’s regular message boarders promised me repeatedly and solemnly was not good enough for this level of football. Hmmm and hmmm again. By contrast QPR’s new central pairing, Dixon-Bonner and Colback, respectively lost the ball and then a 50/50 tackle in the area to allow Conor Chaplin to poke home what turned out to be the winner. Pissflaps.

Chaplin, sensing blood in the water, met a slack second ball in the area with a volley wide, and then shot straight at Begovic off a neat set back. Space and time opening up in abundance now. Burgess headed a corner over, should have scored. Luongo, on the turn, would have scored but for a terrific save in the bottom corner by Old Man Begovic. That made up for an earlier wild throw, straight to the nearest Ipswich player in front of him, which we and he were singularly fortunate to get away with.

I don’t know whether this is a good time to say this, but every single one of these Ipswich players, and indeed Kieran McKenna himself, has moved there on a free transfer, or for a fee we could have comfortably afforded at that time, but chose instead to spend on other things. In two cases – Dom Ball, Mass Luongo – these are players we had in the building and chose to let go. In several others – Conor Chaplin, Freddie Ladapo, the super Nathan Broadhead – it’s players who played brilliantly, often repeatedly brilliantly, against us, and we nevertheless ignored. Ignored because McClaren wanted a “team of men”; or Lee Wallace had captained Glasgow Rangers who are a “magnificent football club”; or Honest Mick had been at Tyler Roberts' fucking Christening. This entire Ipswich team and manager has been available to us, on our budget, in some cases repeatedly, over the last five years, and we’ve ignored each of the bastards in turn, preferring instead to lather ourselves up in self congratulation for loaning Ethan Laird.

I once saw Dara O’Briain at Sheffield City Hall tell a story about how his usual bit of going down the front row asking what people had done for a living had, one night in Croydon, yielded oh so many accountants and secretaries until a bloke said “well, I did used to be The Milky Bar Kid, if that’s the sort of thing you were after”. Yeh, I mean, that’ll do. Forget everything else, forget everything that’s gone before, forget everything we’ve said and written to this point. Fitness, Ainsworth, Ipswich, season previews, styles and shapes, substitutions, get Duke-McKenna on you coward, Luongo… all of it, gone, nonsense, irrelevant. If… If only…

Ilias Chair picked up a ball under the camera gantry a little before time was called. Still some 60 yards from the goal, he drew his size three back, and stuck the whole thing right through the valve of the ball. I lay and watch the golf on TV sometimes, as you do when you’re 38 and a Clive, and often a smooth talking American will tell me it’s 210 yards to the flag from here which, if it were me, would be a trip involving an Uber, but they’ll then tell me the caddy is taking out a seven iron. Alone in my darkened living room I will mutter quietly under my breath “fuck off”. Illy has selected a pitching wedge. We haven’t seen a last throw of the dice like this in these parts since Harry Redknapp tried to prevent a relegation by spending £12m on a bouncy castle partially resembling Christopher Samba. Kids love reptiles.

But, wait, the ball takes flight with an alluring arc and speed. It’s Sydney Harbour Bridge in size, shape, trajectory and ambition. And it’s travelling. It’s really travelling. Hladky is on the move, backwards, at an increasing pace, and rising level of concern. The ball, having briefly startled the Heathrow-bound A380 pilots out of their Molly-infused state of euphoria, is dropping. It’s dropping fast. Why is it doing that? Oh my God, it’s going in. It’s going in. You miss all those chances, you hit all those posts, of drag us through this fucking ordeal, and then you just pop one in from the Uxbridge Road in the last minute.

It dropped, like a satellite returning to earth, perfectly angled beneath the crossbar but not so far out as to risk an unkind bounce back out over the top. And Hladky, fully airborne, saved it with one hand. Spectacularly. Now here is a man who doesn’t appreciate narrative. Or art. Or joy.

You thought the Steve Cook bicycle kick was ridiculous. Had this gone in, I’d still be there now. Running up and down the roof of the executive boxes, nude, exposing an erection the could see from the International Space Station. “What a spectacular erection” they’d say to each other, those astronauts. And they’d be right. And it would all be fully justified. As I’d very much enjoy explaining to His Majesty’s Constabulary, the Metropolitan Police Service’s fine upstanding custody sergeant back at the station, and at great length and expense in a later court hearing. Worth every penny.

You won Vac. Enjoy the clean sheet bonus, I hope it makes you very happy. Dear Lord, what a sad little life. You’ve ruined my night, so you can have the money, but I hope you spend it on some lessons in spirit and empathy, because you have all the spirit and empathy of a reversing dump truck without any tires on.

I’m so much happier with QPR playing like this than they had been prior to this week under Gareth Ainsworth. It’s what I thought and hoped his version of our team might look like, not that dreadful, Argos version of Tony Pulis football he was force-feeding us previously.

The easy, lazy response is it’ll be our day more often than not if we play like this, but I’m not sure that’s true. We’re a severely limited side, with zero strength in depth, not fit enough to do more than an hour of football, and already losing first team players to bad injuries at a rate of one a week once again. Bad results bleed away belief in what you’re doing. But, I’m more confident it’ll be our day enough, playing like this, with this spirit and style, to survive this year, than I was before. And I’d rather do it like this in any case.

To quote C Montgomery Burns, I know what I hate, and I don’t hate this.

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

QPR: Begovic 6; Kakay 5, Cook 6, Fox 5; Smyth 7, Dozzell 5 (Duke-McKenna 90+3, -), Field 6 (Dixon-Bonner 67, 5), Paal 6; Willock 6 (Colback 46, 6), Chair 6, Armstrong 7 (Kolli 65, 6)

Subs not used: Walsh, Richards, Larkeche, Gubbins, Adomah

Bookings: Smyth 19 (foul), Chair 50 (failing to retreat/being a knob), Field 55 (kamikaze mission), Colback 90+8 (repetitive fouling)

Ipswich: Hladky 8; Donacien 5 (Clarke 37, 6), Woolfenden 6, Burgess 6, Davis 6; Morsy 7, Luongo 7; Burns 5 (Jackson 82, -), Chaplin 7 (Harness 90+2, -), Broadhead 6 (Hutchinson 82, -); Hirst 6 (Ladapo 90+2, -)

Subs not used: Ball, Slicker, Taylor

Goals: Chaplin 75 (unassisted)

Bookings: Luongo 21 (we’ve seen that before)

QPR Star Man – Sinclair Armstrong 7 Electrifying, unpredictable, terrifying. Might score the best goal you’ve seen in your life one minute, could kill a geezer the next. From a level-headed strategy point of view, he’s bringing pace, aggression and goal threat to a team wholly lacking in any of that for too long. He makes us difficult to play against when so many opponents have had it too easy. From an emotional, soul of QPR, Peroni-addled football supporter vantage point… he’s fun, and exciting. I watch players like Tyler Roberts and I feel what’s left of me departing my body. You can stay if you like, but I’m leaving. Football is meant to be fun, and exciting. Going to QPR is meant to be fun, and exciting. Amongst the rabid decline of the club and the team, the rise in hipsterism, social media, the away games surrounded by coked up dregs intent on so much gratuitous violence and “banter”, going home and away with QPR, and following football in general, has become an outright chore. This boy, and Paul Smyth playing like this as he did last week, could potentially be the start of bringing the joy back. It might be a long road given the state we’re in, but I’ll go to the well with these two while they await like-minded reinforcements. More like this, and him.

Referee – Geoff Eltringham (Durham) 8 Agh, botched the stoppage time. Seven minutes added, of which Ipswich deliberately pissed away the first three making needlessly prolonged, convoluted, clock running substitutions. Under the protocol this season we’re told to expect that seven to become ten in those circumstances. Not that we’d have scored, baggage that we were, unless Ilias had another 60 yarder in him, but it was annoying all the same. Annoying, too, because it would have been nice to give a referee a 9/10, and say as we often do with this guy that this is how it should be done. Couple of very mediocre penalty appeals from either side rightly laughed off. Cards, caution, common sense, advantage, calmly used in the proper proportions. We never win with him (2-3-11 from 16) but, at this level, you won’t find many better.

Attendance 16,790 (2,800 Ipswich approx.) The place still looks so good full and all in colours for these summer games. Loft End, resplendent in Trevor Francis tracksuits tribute, has now witnessed just five goals in that net in 30 home matches. I was worried I’d be dead before we score another, now I’m worried I’ll be dead, reincarnated several times over into ever more miserable existences – a sewage stained pebble on a beach in a Southern Water district, a beautiful ornamental fish trapped in a Bracknell pet shop, a PR sent out to defend Mason Greenwood – and eventually back as a downtrodden, bald QPR fan once again just in time to witness the next.

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pudd66 added 23:06 - Aug 20
Brilliant writing Clive
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PhilT added 23:58 - Aug 20
Top read Clive
Unfortunately it’s not me with the Au pair
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karlski added 00:37 - Aug 21
Up there with your best. I don’t have enough fingers to count all the golden one liners in this treasure trove. Feeling sanguine about it all right now, and praying Sinclair stays fit.
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JayP added 02:11 - Aug 21
Outstanding read. Now if someone could explain the Au Pair reference to me?
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royinaus added 03:59 - Aug 21
Good job I work in here alone - many laugh out loud gems in this one.

Agree with everything you said (except the bit about Chair scoring Armstrongs chance) but performances like those of Smyth & Armstrong make sitting up til 2am (soon to be 3am) on a Saturday night/Sunday morning much less confusing - I didn't for once rouse my snoring wife from the couch this week (she does try) asking why I put myself through it.
We'll be there from December 2 through to New Year. Will pop into The Crown & Sceptre & say hello on match days.
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snanker added 04:49 - Aug 21
Ah you're at being a funny bugger again Clive. A better very R's result than expected with absolutely no football gods on our side Sat. arvo !! Thanks for jogging my year 11 prom memory though, she was 5'10" long blonde curly hair, blue eyes and a goddess figure ! The one that got away & nowhere to be found on Facebook !!
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thehat added 08:02 - Aug 21
Thanks Clive - Enjoyed reading that and a good way to get me going on a Monday morning.

After Watford I thought we were falling fast with no sign of the bottom. Maybe just maybe Watford was the bottom and we are now starting to see the green shoots of recovery.

I feel a bit more confident that we will get going after the international break and anything we can get at Southampton and Middlesborough will be bonus points.
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WokingR added 08:35 - Aug 21
Steve Cook says if you can make it to todays open training session, he'll have another go at that overhead kick, just to see your promised celebration.
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gigiisourgod added 08:39 - Aug 21
Alright, I’ll stick to her arse and see if we get anywhere
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LeedsR added 08:54 - Aug 21
Great write up again - loved the Airplane! reference!!
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Marshy added 12:51 - Aug 21
Some great performances out there, especially Sinclair Armstrong. Love watching him play. What a powerhouse. I was quite impressed with Morgan Fox who looked pretty solid to me, and he also did well in the Norwich game. Looks a good signing. Gareth as enthusiastic as ever in the post match interview, but let’s hope his “we are only going to get fitter and better” rhetoric, doesn’t come back to bite him. It’s fair to say we can put a decent 11 out when all fit, but we have little strength in depth.
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cranieboy added 16:56 - Aug 21
Excellent write up. Really enjoyed it despite the result. Great to hear some shoots of optimism, hope, and the chance of some entertainment.
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hoops_legend added 23:03 - Aug 21
Why oh why do I love QPR so much. They are so incredibly unlucky and although most of it is self inflicted - there is a share of bad luck thrown in. How did that hit both posts and not go in and how did the keeper happen to make a worldie against chair. How frustrating!
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rkk76 added 10:18 - Aug 22
My new favorite part of any report:

You thought the Steve Cook bicycle kick was ridiculous. Had this gone in, I’d still be there now. Running up and down the roof of the executive boxes, nude, exposing an erection the could see from the International Space Station. “What a spectacular erection” they’d say to each other, those astronauts. And they’d be right. And it would all be fully justified. As I’d very much enjoy explaining to His Majesty’s Constabulary, the Metropolitan Police Service’s fine upstanding custody sergeant back at the station, and at great length and expense in a later court hearing. Worth every penny.
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simonqpr added 14:12 - Aug 22
Brilliantly written Clive, keep up the good work.
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TacticalR added 12:58 - Aug 26
Thanks for your report.

You're right, it could have gone a different way, just as Cardiff could have gone a different way. Where I thought Ipswich had the edge was in their passing. It was just that bit more fluent and accurate than ours. I don't know if that's because of the run they've been on. Then as our key players ran out of steam they began to get control of the game. Ipswich used the same ball across the box several times, and one of those times led to a goal. And yes, Luongo, who we got rid of, was quite influential.

As for loaning Ethan Laird (and not looking in the right place for players), this has been a persistent feature of the Fernandes regime: hoping to bask in a bit of reflected glory by signing players from big clubs, or big name players, or big name managers. Even Jim Gregory did it, hiring Tommy Docherty as manager after he had managed to relegate Manchester United.
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