Monday, 4 March 2013

The Fickle Finger of Fortune

Southampton 1 Queens Park Rangers 2

As I drank my pint of Doombar at Yates's of Above Bar Street, Southampton, I promised myself that this blog would be a cheerful one - win lose or draw. It was hard not to feel cheerful as I met with a few pals and absorbed the extremely inebriated atmosphere at said bar. There must have been a good thousand of us packed over two floors of the place, and I was impressed by the lack of anger at the press that had come out overnight about QPR players apparently enjoying gin-soaked nights in Dubai. It was almost as if, being deliriously happy and drunken that day, was probably about the only way us fans could face another potential away loss, this time at St Mary's. As far as many of us were concerned, fate was going to deal us another big blow.

I, however...couldn't quite feel the love of the pub, until Remy had scored the first goal. Plonked in the back yet again, in row LL I had a group of fans behind me who decided it would be fun to shout abuse at each other in that 'oh so manly' way for absolutely no reason. Words like 'you wanna take this somewhere else,' 'don't you dare talk to me that way,'  yada yada yada. So boring. I couldn't help it and had to to tell them to shut up and watch the football. I must say, I do believe that part of this 'tension' was brought about by the fact that we were playing pretty badly. Southampton had all the possession, and I just couldn't see how we could nick it. I mean, it was Southampton after all - I could understand 30% possession if it were a team of a larger stature. However, as a friend had pointed out to me, this is the type of football we are going to see whoever we play from now until the end of the season. Ugly, defensive football where we hope to make a break with a couple of decent strikers up-front.

Thoughts on the match - for the most part, I thought we were pretty abysmal. Yes we played with the above-mentioned tactics, but we barely strung a couple of passes together. Players seemed to be falling about and struggling with Southampton's very physical style of player. It was scary - especially for the last 6 minutes. And this is what we have to experience for the next few games no doubt. Mbia was lucky not to get sent off, Park was not great apart from his fabulous run against the odds and subsequent assist later in the game. People are saying that they saw passion for the first time, but I am not sure I did. I thought our forwards were very casual for the most part, and lacked a sense of urgency. Credit to Park though, last twenty minutes he showed some fight which I didn't expect, and perhaps that rubbed off on the others. One big positive though - not relying for once on Taraabt or Mackie. So while our win may have much to do with the hands of fortune - not picking those two was a revelation and perhaps changed our fate as much as anything else that day.

After the match, we heard Redknapp dispute some of the claims somewhat, although it is my understanding that the club has not yet made an official announcement or rebuttal about the article on Dubai shenanigans. I am one of those that was pretty quick to believe it - mainly because there are direct quotes, and let's be honest, it's hardly rocket-science to suggest that footballers = partying, booze and women! So most fans were in a pretty cheerful mood about the news and Redknapp's own rebuttal. As for me, I am still worried about the dressing room split. I suppose most big clubs with players from around the world will have their cliques, just like any office or work place. However, in my heart of hearts I wish that we had a Rangers team that really was just that - a team, that bonded and partied and got drunk together. The fractious dressing room is not new news. And this is supported by a fan who saw and met the team whilst on holiday in Dubai. Click here for more info: WATRB. But it's a shame that it's splayed over the Mirror and it makes all of us fans fight and doubt each other. One minute we're freaking out on twitter about it, the next we've just won and all is forgiven...

Oh no...I'm starting to notice that this blog isn't cheerful. Perhaps it is because it's a Monday and we've still got almost a whole week to go before we are back at Loftus Road. Please don't vilify me for making a few more negative observations about the match and the management of the club. As you know from my piece in Indy Rs last week I still have very strong reservations about the way that the club is marketing itself and managing it's external comms, particularly in the space of social media. And to confirm Adam Hulme contacted me very politely today letting me know that the tweet he put out for bloggers to cover social launches was not related to QPR specifically. Hence he has now set up a new Adam Hulme QPR account to make it clear what his tweets are about. Thanks Adam for the email and I really do appreciate it.

I do still feel sorry for those boys though. Poor little lambs, I really think they need some proper marketing help. I am shocked that Fernandes has not planted one of his marketing managers to help given that in Asia the social strategies for his businesses are highly regarded.

People are going to absolutely kill me for not making this blog a happy one, but I can only write what comes from the heart. And while I am so pleased that the Rangers won over the weekend, I am worried that a win will simply mask the other deeper problems we have.

But hey, read me next week after a potential win at home against Sunderland and I'll probably be back to usual form, such is the fickle life and feelings of a fan. And since Santa has well and truly hibernated, I believe that we owe the Easter Bunny a potential letter?

Ideas on a postcard...

You RRRRSssssss

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