Sunday, 5 January 2014

Greedy Guts

Queens Park Rangers 2 Doncaster Rovers 1

Everton 4 Queens Park Rangers 0 (FA Cup 3rd Round)

I'm spending the last day before going back to work in bed with severe stomach pains after eating way more than I should have for dinner last night. I'm actually on a diet, but give myself a 24 hours per week reprieve when, for some reason, I think it's ok to pig out even though I'm actually not really hungry. I think I've learned my lesson. It is, however, extremely annoying given that this past holiday season has actually not been hugely excessive so to end on a low is disappointing. Well, with eyes bigger than my stomach what did I expect?

Last Wednesday's win against Doncaster was a huge relief. I'll admit for the most part I was miserable, scared, worried, angry. For a team that had one of the best defences in the league I couldn't understand why we were being caught on the break so much. It was awful awful weather too- rain pouring, wind swirling. Cold. It was one of those games where you wondered just what the hell you were doing supporting QPR. However, as soon as we had scored that first goal the change it had made in our tempo and attitude was huge. I'm not saying we played to a high standard, but we were better. Which just goes to show just how much this is all about confidence and belief. It's hard for me to believe that such an experienced set of players could lose confidence but I was having a discussion with a friend about it and he was saying he felt that that was the single biggest difference between the good teams and the not-so-good teams: The clinical belief that one would create a victory out of nothing or out of a negative situation. Of course, Manchester Utd is a case in point where we will often see them concede early on. But more often than not, they clinically turn the game around and finish it off with a victory. That, I'm afraid is not a typical QPR way. But nor, for that matter, is it the way of several other clubs in the country.

What I am saying is, let's not have eyes bigger than our stomachs. You guessed it - I'm referring to the post-match 'meltdown' which I also referred to in my last blog Collective Psychosis.Yes, it is annoying that we aren't really that good, and that we've got some expensive players that don't consistently perform as we'd like. But we're a good championship club with most players actually delivering on par.  With all the negative vibes - calls for Redknapp's departure and shouts of Austin being rubbish (oh, by the way he scored again this week), I'm surprised we haven't seen any QPR shirts floating on the shores off Beachy Head recently.

It seems as if, since we have come in to money as a club our expectations are much bigger than they should be. Fernandes certainly does not help at times - naturally his ultimate goal is to deliver us back in to the Premier League and he does love social media, so we all get totally brainwashed in to thinking a bad result is the end of the world and the end of this quest. But I don't remember us feeling quite so suicidal when we lost games last time we went up. Surely Fernandes has a plan B or C, as any good business man would? And frankly, on yesterday's performance against Everton this is hopefully the reality check he needs to remember just how far there is to go before we're even ready.

Please, do not mistake me for being negative at all. In fact, this year has been fantastic. We've been winning games more, away games are so much cheaper, plus I haven't had to sit next to someone who isn't a QPR supporter yet. But remember what happened when we got greedy last time, brought in loads of wonderful players like Bosingwa and Zamora? Brought in Mark Hughes and his dodgy agents? No thanks. I'd rather have the stability we have now than a bloated team of players and staff who simply don't care.

And speaking of players, as you know Charlie Austin is someone I've admired from the moment he started playing for us. He is hard working, positive and skillful. My face was beaming not only when he scored the winning goal against Doncaster but when, soon after, he tracked all the way back to defend the ball as well. For me, this is so much more valuable than anything we could ever say about our poor tactical strategy, individual errors or formation. We haven't had such an individual for a long time and I'd swap 10 Taarabts for 1 Austin.

Or is that just being greedy now?

Happy New Year everyone!

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