Following our first defeat of the season at Burnley, the R's averted a negative run by securing a goalless draw a few days later at Wigan, in what was a drab and boring affair not befitting of the excellent R's support after a run of three consecutive away games. That run of away games was Rangers first test of the season. in which we didn't do well as we only picked up two points from the nine available. This was subsequently overturned when the R's reliable home form quickly dispatched Derby to secure three points, albeit not as convincingly as our previous home outing, with plenty of huffing and puffing but no real punch.
The next game was at the home of the fake Hoops in Reading (aka Chelsea Town) and was the early kick off on the Saturday, courtesy of football's masters at Sky. QPR started brightly and could have, and should have been three nil up after ten minutes. But a combination of another opposition keeper having a stormer against us and the usual missed sitters put paid to that, as we faded away and let Reading back into a game that should have been dead and buried. Sure enough the R's found themselves a goal down early in the second half following a Reading throw that should have been QPR's. Barton put away a nice free kick to salvage a point for the R's late on but it was the R's celebration that was all the more pleasing. As the ball nestled into the net Barton raced to the dug out, closely followed by his team mates as they held aloft the hooped shirt of their stricken team mate Ali Faurlin.
Ali, as you all know, was cruelly stricken with another ACL injury against Derby just as he was approaching his best from again, having been one of the very few highlights at Wigan. Injuries have plagued the R's this season and it is fortunate that we do have an abundance of midfielders having once thought we had too many. What is alarming is the number of players we have that have fallen to hamstring strains and niggles and some work needs to be done to reduce these occurrences. In fact the welfare of QPR players past and present should always be considered by the club and I hope they do right by Ali and offer him an extension on his contract. Good luck in your recovery Ali, you will never be alone.
|FAURLIN NOT FORGOTTEN|
Doncaster away was a truly dire display and easily in the top ten of the worst games I've seen in over forty years. The R's travelling support numbered at over 1600 that day and they deserved much better than the tripe served up that was disguised as a football match. An enthusiastic, buoyant and vociferous support that was singing away under the stand before the game was slowly worn down and subdued by what they witnessed as the match progressed, a very bad day at the office that is best forgotten. Fortunately, as with our previous defeat, we only had to wait a few days to put things right as the R's recorded their biggest win to date scoring three for the first time this season. Harry finally started with two strikers with the Andy Johnson tenacious and refreshingly effective. To their credit, Bournemouth played some nice football and were one of the few teams to have the majority of the possession against QPR. They passed the ball well and moved it about in areas that caused the R's concern but are a little naive and are lacking the quality they need to convert their possession football into something that will establish themselves in this league. Could it be that not having so much of the ball forced the R's hand and produced a more effective attacking performance? It would seem that way as we next played host prominent bus parkers Blackburn, who have not lost at QPR since 1993. They conceded an obscene amount of possession to the R's as we served up sterile and uninventive goalless draw. Despite playing with two wide men for most of the game, the R's didn't make many clear cut chances and rarely excited an R's crowd that have been starved of watching any real excitement this season, which in turn has had an adverse effect on the atmosphere at Loftus Road of late.
|PHILLIPS OFF THE MARK|
Yossi Benayon has just joined the R's on a short term deal and although he's 33 I think he could be an effective solution to our attacking issues along with a fully fit Nico Kranjcar. I would play him wide with Phillips on the other flank and seriously consider selling Hoilett to Stoke in January if that fool that used to manage us wants him. I would imagine Harry's transfer activity will be influenced on what he sees in these next four games.
And so to the FA Cup draw and QPR's annual half hearted appearance in this classic but sadly devalued cup completion. This is a major domestic trophy and only one of three trophy's that is possible for us and many others to win. Why do teams treat this wonderful competition with such disdain? (And the League Cup come to think of it?) We have been paired with Everton and a trip to Goodison Park and Harry has declared that we are taking the FA Cup seriously this year. All I can say is remember when he said we'll be making mind blowing signings, nuff said! Either way serious or not serious, this will be a tough one for QPR but you never know. I'd love us to win this cup.
So, four big games coming up, two of which will be live on Sky, Leicester home and Forest away and thank you for the free coach travel to Forest Tony Fernandes. Here hoping the R's can up it a gear or two. Next blog in the new year.
Merry Christmas to you all.
Come on you R's.
The Bush Ranger.