Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Paying it forward

Reading 1 Queens Park Rangers 1

Queens Park Rangers 1 Charlton Athletic 0

It's a little late on a 'school night' to be writing but I'll try to make this one short and sweet. I couldn't help but feel required to pay it forward today after the events of the last few weeks.

I was back at Loftus Road last Saturday having been away on holiday to the Philippines. Yes, the Philippines. For those that don't know it's also my home - I am half Filipino and have family and friends there. But luckily for us we are mostly based in Manila which was largely untouched by the typhoon. I received several messages from friends in the QPR community making sure we were all ok, and was amazed to see just how generous not only the QPR community has been but the whole of the UK with their donations to the DEC appeal. Everyone has already seen plenty of new coverage so there isn't a lot more to say except thank you.

On to football matters, having missed most of the Reading game having watched a juddering stream on my iphone from a Philippine island I was very much looking forward to watching the Charlton game. It was not the most thrilling of matches, and while there was nifty passing taking place it all felt a little bit like we were (as we had been a few times in the last couple of seasons) being a bit too clever - one too many passes and some of those passes going backwards rather than forwards. Is it me, or are we lacking confidence and a bit of aggression going forward?

I was praying for a long-awaited goal from 'my Charlie' and was so pleased to see that he scored a screamer from 30 yards out. Alas, no #slidingmovement for me, but according to Mr Barton a change of boots and laces to Rainbow ones appeared to have done the trick once again for him. Interestingly, the commentator on the Football League Show announced that Charlie had scored with his right foot, but had pointed to his left - perhaps he didn't know the real story about the laces and the fact in in some way Charlie was paying it forward by wearing the laces again.

One of the things you may not know about what is happening in the Philippines is that one of the biggest problems we have with the huge amount of natural disasters that take place there (we had an earthquake not long ago in the same region that took over 2,000 lives, and two years ago typhoon Ondoy killed over 400, we also have several active volcanoes one -Mount Pinutubo- erupted in 1991 killed several hundred), is the displacement of tens of thousands of people from their homes and livelihoods. And because we are such a complicated array of thousands of islands it's extremely difficult to get aid to those that need it. So it was with much appreciation that I watched the video at half time of the work that Air Asia are doing partnering with the Philippine Red Cross as well as using their own planes to help with the cause.

Of course I feel very proud to see QPR players doing their bit to galvanise individuals and to listen to the near silence at Loftus Road while the video played. But I am not surprised. It is, after all, what our community is about. People are paying it forward everywhere, even when perhaps they don't receive too much themselves.

Let's just hope positive attitudes permeate all aspects of the game on and off the pitch. Perhaps we'll see less playing it backward at Doncaster this weekend as I pay it forward and visit my Grandma.

Sweet dreams and thank you again.

Sunday, 3 November 2013


Wigan 0 Queens Park Rangers 0
Queens Park Rangers 2 Derby County 1

This week's blog post comes courtesy of the man responsible for my QPR affliction (oops I mean addiction), Tony Foster. 

We aren't able to cover the Wigan game but hope you enjoy his view of yesterday's match. 

Wishing all the hoops fans a happy weekend from beautiful Asia. 



Funny things, reunions: whether it’s the class of 88 meeting for their 25th, or the annual get-together of a company’s ex-employees, with or without alcohol, they seem always to yield mixed results, mixed feelings. There are always some people you are looking forward to seeing: even if only to know how they are ageing (and hoping it’s worse than you), and others you are not.

In football, reunions are almost a constant feature of matches. Peripatetic footballers, and managers very often come up against their former clubs, or former team-mates from other way stations along their football journeys. Today was  one such occasion, and therefore perhaps not so unusual, as Steve McLaren,  a very short while ago part of the coaching staff at QPR, and allegedly sorely missed, brought  improving Derby County to Loftus Road. McLaren,  who will unfortunately always be remembered  as the Wally with the Brolly, at least once had the England job which Harry had apparently coveted. In another of those coincidences, El Tel, a famous QPR alumnus and more fondly remembered as England manager, watched from the directors’ box.  Would McLaren come with so much inside information on QPR’s players, style and orientation as to deny the Rangers of a much needed 3 points? With all this top level coaching quality on parade, were we in for a treat?

McLaren probably would not have expected Harry to set up with what looked for all the world like 4 front men, with MattPhillips  and Junior Hoilett both attacking on the flanks with Charlie Austin and Jermaine Jenas through the middle. With Joey Barton energetically supporting from midfield, Rangers not surprisingly had a great deal of the play and were rewarded with a goal by Jenas after only 10 minutes. Instead of going on to increase their lead,  Rangers allowed Derby to break and the apparently blind officials did not see the Derby attacker climb all over a Rangers defender to head across goal for Dawkins to equalise. How could these three men not see what 18000 others clearly saw? Was it guilt that made the referee then book 4 Derby players in the rest of the first half?

Rangers were all attack again after the break, but the game looked more scrappy in the strong,swirling wind. Clint Hill put Rangers ahead with a far post header, but it was one of those games that never quite looked safe. Control was at a premium and there was only one player on the field for my money who could clearly control his play and his passingthroughout : take a bow Saint Joseph. There are still Rangers fans who doubt, or even don’t like Joey Barton but it’s about time they were won over. Once again, and we’ve seen it several times this season, he was the most skilful player on the pitch by a country mile, and enhanced that natural talent with energy and whole-hearted passion. Just remember, Joey, sometimes you have to keep that passion in check. If you are serious about your philosophy studies, perhaps focus on Zen Buddhism rather than Sun Tzu.  Keep that red mist at bay and you might just see us back into the Premiership. On today’s performance, I wouldn’t be backing us at 5/4 to win the Championship: these are far too skinny odds, but let’s face it, winning games is fun.