My son has worked out (so blame him if he's wrong!) that Jordan Cousins has started 11 league matches this season and that in those matches we have won 20 points, the only loss being the West Brom disaster. That means that we have won 19 points from the other 15 matches.
Personally, I wouldn't start him if we had a full squad available but maybe Cousins is a better, or at least a more useful, player than some of us think? I also wonder if he might be even more useful if/when he has a proper run of games.
Just putting it out there on this boring international weekend...
If there's one thing everyone on here agrees (I think!) it is that we have to develop a settled team and playing style. Whilst players should have some flexibility, it is ridiculous to build a squad of players who don't know from one game to the next whether and where they're playing.
As such, I hope that last year's shambles was Olly's attempt to see who could do what, with a view to building a good and settled team this year. I'm no coaching genius but I am convinced that, at this level at least, having a settled team and squad is crucial.
Based on the current squad, I'd pick the following team and stick with it for at least 3 games:
I'm much more of a reader than a poster on here (please never leave us Disco!), but I'm glad that there has recently been a growing trend towards reality and joking about our more impatient/blinkered/angry fans, e.g. joking about Gladwin being written off before half time on Saturday (just watch this space...).
Anyone who has been following our great, but irredeemably unsuccessful, club for as long as me (38 years in which we've never won a top trophy) knows that there is always more rough than smooth. For example, even the good teams of the mid 80s and early 90s turned in regular abject away performances every season (with the possible exception of 83/84) but the hype and the endless coverage of football was nothing like it is now, so we kept things in perspective. Anyone remember mass meltdowns when we flirted with relegation from Division One in, say, 1985, 1987 and 1991? No, neither do I.
Nowadays we are force fed the message that the Premier League is the only place to be and that every single game matters if it's live on Sky. Back in the real world Clive's analysis of the Championship's 35,240 fixtures is much nearer the mark but we all get sucked into the hype machine and start to believe that a mid season game against Ipswich is a must win when, plainly, it is nothing of the sort.
I'm not going to give my opinion on whether the club is being run properly because that isn't the point of this message. While I understand people's serious concerns, 99.9% of us on here haven't got a clue about owning or running a football club, or selecting a team from a large squad we never see in training (although Henry at number 10 was beyond belief), and for all the mayhem around the club and the numerous dud players, 3 of the past 5 seasons were spent in the Premier League. Yes, we stank the place out most of the time but I never imagined we'd get back to that level after so long out of it.
Anyway, the point of this message is that QPR is, basically, a second flight club which, thankfully for us, has often punched well above its weight. Based on ground size, support base, etc. we had no right to expect a second place in the top flight, three fifth place finishes and a UEFA Cup quarter final, just as we wouldn't have expected three years in the third flight and losing to Vauxhall Motors. The average stats for our "great" club are these:
Average league position in the past 50 years: 25th Average league position since formation: 43rd Position on the all time Premier League table: 27th
I'm not putting on rose tinted spectacles or saying that the team is doing well enough right now, but we are where we are right now partly, and possibly mainly, because we are QPR. We are all entitled to feel annoyed by the poor patch/season/era we're going through, but we shouldn't be surprised by our current league position.
Anyone who loses their rag because anything other than promotion to the promised land isn't good enough has either got a short memory or wasn't around when we were, as usual, not very good.
None of us has the faintest idea how we are going to fare this season - it could be great, it could be a disaster - but it is beyond ridiculous to be writing off Chris Ramsey after one game of the season, especially when certain factors (the farcical friendly arrangements and the club's inability to sell some of its assets) have nothing to do with him.
I doubt there is a single fan who doesn't have reservations about CR's ability to become a good manager - I know I do - but we are all getting sucked into the modern curses of expectation and hype, thanks in large part to Sky and their money making machine.
During the Preston v Boro game the commentator wondered out loud whether either team would score "a priceless goal". Priceless? Really?
Saturday's result was a big disappointment but the main reason for it seems to have been lack of match fitness on a hot day. None of us would have picked a massively different team. As much as I rate Faurlin, he absolutely has to be eased back in and if CR hadn't selected Austin, he'd have been berated for it. The team was well on top until Charlton scored (with some assistance from Green) and then the fitness issues and the heat kicked in.
The booing of Charlie Austin only reflects how stupid some fans can be but - and I know it's been said before - we absolutely have to give the new management regime time. With the exception of the usual experts on this board, we have all been pretty optimistic about the coming season. Things are definitely moving in the right direction for a club of our size and we have a good number of young players who really want to be here. Long may that continue.
I suggest we all wait and see how things are going by the end of August before we draw any conclusions, even if that's much easier said than done for many, myself included!