Sunday, 18 August 2013


Exeter City 0 Queens Park Rangers 2

Huddersfield 1 Queens Park Rangers 1

Queens Park Rangers 1 Ipswich Town 0

It is rare that a QPR fan can write something in a calm and positive environment. There is plenty of time yet for controversy and angst, especially as we edge closer to transfer deadline day, but I really am very happy right now.

It was a great pleasure to welcome back my best QPR buddy Gem to the fold after her summer holidays, and to spend time with others at the Shepherd & Flock post-match. Much of the discussion over the past week or so has centred around how good it feels to be winning again. As I mentioned last week, I miss the extended coverage a little, but overall life really is better. It has been a little like spending the last two years with a partner who really wasn't any good for you. You knew it was traumatic, but you kept at it anyway 'for love' and it is only when you finally leave him you realise just how lovely and different life can be. I'm not going to lie, I think it was a major feat for me to be able to write a blog nearly every week last season given just how miserable it was- result after result after result. And there we were again and again in our thousands, travelling away from home in the full knowledge that, even if we managed to get a result, we were watching a team that we no longer really recognised as truly our own Rangers.

While Gary Linekar claimed that yesterday was the start of the football season (have now un-followed), the rest of the real footballing community looked forward to the third league match of the season. As early as it is, this season so far has been as good as I had hoped it would be. I am in no rush to get back to the PL and it will be a mammoth challenge to do so. While we haven't lost yet, it is early days and it is probably fair to say there is still plenty to be done to improve the team. Perhaps it's a positive that we don't look like we're firing on all cylinders yet?

Charlie Austin has made a fine start having scored within 90 seconds at Exeter. Although it feels as if he's missing a lot of chances - hitting the bar, post, keeper etc...we appear to be better at simply keeping up the pressure and not giving up. It has probably helped that several 'passengers' have now left the club and we're left (for the most part) with people who actually want to play a decent game of football.

Speaking of wanting to play, if we can we must do something about Zamora (the man who doesn't really like football). Yesterday, in comparison to others, he lacked pace, accuracy and was generally not connecting with anyone else on the pitch. Half the time he was looking down at his feet and it was frustrating to watch. On the other hand, if he hadn't been so bad, we might not have had to chance to see Tom Hitchcock get on the pitch and score the winning goal. As hard as us football fans like to think we are, we're probably more soft than anyone else, and we like to see people succeed where they have worked hard to reach their place. While it was great to win a the last minute, this for me was the biggest cause for celebration yesterday. Having Hitchcock on the bench with two others from the youth team is just the thing QPR fans want to see - wouldn't most other football fans want to see those who have grown up through the club youth system play first team football? These are the players most likely to have their own soft spot for the club - and this must certainly help morale and team spirit. Admittedly, Hitchcock came from the Blackburn youth team to QPR, but nonetheless it is nice to see a family connection with his father also at the club. He tweeted last night 'Probably the best feeling I've ever had.' That just sums it all up.

Witnessing such joy is great, especially if it is from a team you support. I admit I felt almost as pleased when Rickie Lambert scored for England earlier this week. With his first touch, to score the winning goal was a 'dream come true' for him. And English fans up and down the country saluted him because you could see it meant so much more to him (in spite of it being a friendly), than it would have to anyone else on that pitch. That's because he represents hard graft and someone who has worked hard to get where he is. We are a nation obsessed by football, but we are also fed up with people who just don't
act or work like they deserve to be where they are. I am so thrilled for Lambert, as I am for Hitchcock. And I am quietly confident too that former bricklayer Charlie Austin will also be a great footballer for us, as well as a decent, hard working person.

I haven't yet mentioned my man of the match Joey Barton. I do not excuse what I still believe to be pretty arrogant and poor general public behaviour, but on the pitch he is delivering. He was everywhere he needed to be, and had made some damn fine crosses yesterday (and how nice is it not to have Taraabt around to strop about who's going to take free kicks and corners?). We will miss Barton big time if he goes.

I am also convinced that I actually enjoy Championship football more.  I mentioned this last week, but it's physical, it's still bloody fast, there is a lot more ebb and flow to it and we aren't playing a load of prima-donnas every week. Speaking of prima-donnas, where is Mbia?

It felt so good to score that goal yesterday. Admittedly the importance of the event was not as big as the 3-2 win against Liverpool, or our Taraabt's winner against Arsenal last season where it was hugs all-round and severe knee bruising. Regardless I hugged Terry who sits next to me every week, and a bloke to my left who I've never met before. That's because it meant just as much to me as those 'big' games in the PL.

Past Life? Who needs it?

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