The view from the Pu - October
Monday, 9th Nov 2020 14:05 by Steve Hardy
Steve Hardy reviews an October of many penalty concessions and a worrying slide down the table, rescued slightly by Dom Ball's thunderbolt with almost the last kick of the month to win the Cardiff game.
The endless monotony that is 2020 gallops towards a bleak winter with October completed and not a lot to show for it.
On paper a month that provided a win, three draws and two defeats doesn’t appear to be anything to be too concerned about but it’s never straight forward supporting QPR. So let’s dive in to a month that at times felt like it was plain sailing, at other times felt like the whole thing was on the verge of imploding and luckily, thanks to Dom Balls left foot, ended on a relatively calmer note.
A win. A beautiful win. Our first since September 12 and my word did we need that, no matter how hard we made it for ourselves come the end of the game. The naysayers and the keyboard warriors - as Warburton likes to call them - will jump straight on the ‘we shouldn’t be giving a two goal lead away/worst performance I’ve ever seen/absolute disgrace/they should never be allowed to play the game ever again/this is the worst thing that has ever happened in the history of the world’ bandwagon but for me that’s all irrelevant. I’m sure, like myself, many people before the match would have taken a win secured in any way possible, whether it be with a deflected shot going in off someone’s arse or a worldie and ultimately that is what we got and surprisingly it was the latter.
Let us not forget why we fell in love with this beautiful game, and ultimately our little bi-polar club, in the first place and Dom Ball’s goal is an example of that. All hope gone, season already feeling like it has been blown and then out of nowhere an absolute barnburner from the most unlikely of heroes and for the briefest of moments that feeling (THAT feeling) returns and all is right with the world. But in all seriousness that was a massive goal, you could see what it meant to the players at the end and as stated earlier it was the perfect tonic to calm down a support base that was already on the turn, don’t get me wrong there is still plenty to work on but I just feel when we needed a win the most just to calm everything down a tad we got it and boy did it feel good the way it was got.
The carousel of goalkeepers that we have has turned again and it appears we have a new number one in Seny Dieng. I know it’s early days but I like the look of him. What I like the most, and this will sound very stupid, is that he looks like a goalkeeper, big broad shoulders, a commanding confidence and he looks like he should be there like he was made for it. Clearly we haven’t helped matters by making him face a penalty every eight seconds but he has kept two clean sheets already and for my money it looks like the position is his to lose. I would imagine it spells the end of the line for either Lumley or Kelly and with Lumley now down in Kent buttering Steve Evans’ bacon rolls and apparently not being expected to sign a new contract it seems a bit obvious which one of them will be making way.
I’m not trying to rewrite this month as some form of huge success but there have been some positives shining through and for me one of those is the initial performances of Albert Adomah. Clearly not match fit but I think you can see already that the boy has class and is up for the fight. I know he’s a fan and once he’d negotiated his release from Forest it was inevitable that he’d be ours but I still think this is a very good piece of business and hopefully over the next few weeks as he gets fitter we’ll start to see an even greater impact.
Let me start with an obvious observation, it appears that we now like to give away penalties. Next on Steve’s blatantly obvious revelations – The Tory party do not like poor people. Joking aside, five penalties across four games takes some doing, it seems that whenever one problem gets fixed at QPR that another occurs almost immediately. Shore up a leaky defence, we can’t score. Stop conceding goals from corners, ah we’ll just give them penalties instead. Some of them you can throw your hands up and say it happens – the Preston penalties – but some of the others you need to question what was going on – Masterson and Dickie. The Masterson one for example, what was he thinking? Did he genuinely think Kieffer Moore was going to score a header from that far out and at that angle? It’s a complete lack of concentration and you would hope that the player’s diets now include a daily B12 tablet to stop those minds wandering. Still at least we finally saved a penalty I suppose, just a shame the rebound was scored.
I spoke at length last month about how hard I’m finding it not being allowed to go to games and I’m not going to bang on about it again as we’re all in the same boat, but I will say that I don’t think there is a team suffering as much as we are from not having fans, well Southend but they were struggling even when people were allowed to watch. Clive mentioned in his Birmingham match report that you just felt if we were there it could’ve gone differently, for example games with only 10,000 down in W12 in the past have been able to create incredible atmospheres. In the Preston and Barnsley games you just saw the life get sucked out of the players as soon as we went one down and I feel that with us there that wouldn’t happen. Luckily the month ended on a good note and calmed all the panic down but if the lack of fans is a reason for some of our poorer performances then it needs to be corrected and corrected quick as there’s more chance of this lockdown only being four weeks than fans being back in grounds by the end of the season.
Amongst all the doom and gloom of no supporters and conceding penalties let’s talk about something else, how about Bright’s contract situation. I don’t know about anyone else but I’m starting to get sick of the whole will he sign or won’t he sign fiasco. I think I actually said last month that it’s good that the club are keeping open dialogue in regards to these situations, I regret saying that now, I’m sick of hearing about it. One week it’s progressing well, the next week he’s dropped because he’s not going to sign and then he’s back again and definitely going to sign the week later, it’s doing my head in and feels like something penned by a Hollyoaks scriptwriter. I’d rather Warburton come out now and did a Redknapp and said he’s not involved in these sort of things (without revealing salary amounts of course) and it was left at that. It’s evident that Bright has been our best player so far this season and has a huge role to play and it’s even more evident that he won’t be a QPR player next season whether he signs a new contract or not. Although we are constantly reminded that we would be entitled to compensation for Bright I wouldn’t expect that amount to much greater than a Holiday in 2020, let’s hope that the situation gets resolved in the next few weeks.
October grade – E
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