Sunday, 16 March 2014


Birmingham 0 Queens Park Rangers 2

Brighton 2 Queens Park Rangers 0

Queens Park Rangers 3 Yeovil Town 0

If you are a QPR fan, chances are you'll be scratching your head about the team injuries and ruing our luck...But, yesterday was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, the mercury was rising, and QPR won 3-0 playing some nice football along the way. With Yeovil's first 'goal' disallowed, it felt like luck (and the referee) were on our side this time. 

However, chances are, that when you saw Zamora lined up on the bench at 2:01pm, you thought 'Christ on a bike, we're now scraping the barrel for options'. I believe I tweeted 'Don't panic everyone Zamora is on the bench hahahahaha'. 4 people favourited that tweet, and one person replied 'Time for some comedy gold'. 

And, chances are that some QPR fans were hoping that 'fat fingered' Kranjcar would not come off the bench (whilst they downed their 5th pint and rubbed their over sized bellies). But that other QPR fans were hoping they would see the Loftus Road dreamboat in action. Neither hoping (of course) for a Traore injury that would mean he would actually play - but all cheering like maniacs after a sublime set-up of Morrison's second goal. 

However, chances are you will be very worried about the additional three injuries picked up - Green, Traore and Jenas all out for Tuesday's match against Sheffield Wednesday. And you'll be wondering just what is going on and what is causing our players to snatch these little niggles. I must say I'm  tempted to get a physio qualification and apply for a job at QPR to help the dire situation. Chances are, if Niko is still there when I do qualify, I'll probably do it for free. 

You'll be thinking just how lucky we are to have found such a nifty mid-fielder like him who is arguably better than Adel Taarabt and for me a lot more interesting as a person. But, chances are, he's way too good for West Ham to sell and we will wave goodbye to him at the end of the season and watch him play for other clubs with a little bitterness (like we do when we see Routledge when he plays for Swansea). 

Chances are, Keane isn't going to cut it, and neither is Maiga (especially if Zamora's picked ahead of him). Both players will likely be lost in the world of a loanee lifestyle and forgotten by most. 

And chances are that earlier this week when you heard about Danny Ings getting injured you knew that it probably wouldn't make a lot of difference to our position in the table, and you tried not to be happy about it (it isn't very nice to wish ill on anyone) but you did pull a little wry smile to yourself as you read the news. 

To be honest, Burnley and Leicester have run away with it, and we will probably make it to the play offs and that the road will be bumpy. But, chances are, we will draw Forest away in the first leg and lose. Or we do make it to Wembley and, again, lose. 

So, chances are, there will be a few QPR fans hoping we try to consolidate in the Champ and finish 7th - therefore avoiding the heartache of this kind of a play off competition (winning competitions not being our forte obviously). Although there will be a few who will wonder what's the point in playing if you aren't going to want to win something. 

Speaking of winning, chances are you've noticed just how committed Barton is to playing football for QPR at the moment and how passionate he is when we score a goal and when we win. Look around at all the other players, and chances are they aren't quite as enthusiastic as he is. He's grown up since the day he set foot in our club the first time, and he's also playing well - he is leaner, faster and fitter than I've ever seen. Or maybe, he's simply found his level. I suspect he won't be far off the top when it comes to voting for the Player of the Year. Looking back at what he did two years ago, and just how angry we all were - perhaps it's about time some of us realised what giving people a chance can do for us as well. 

And that's exactly what happened with when Zamora came off the bench and scored that crucial second goal (and what a blinding header it was). Chances are that you cheered through laughter almost in the same way Zamora and Barton did when they celebrated. You laughed at yourself for being the fickle football fans that you are. But you realised that anyone who pulls on a QPR shirt deserves our support and that was really the most important lesson of all. 

Although we lost more to injury (I believe we now have a full first team in the treatment room) it was, indeed, a wonderful day yesterday. And if you are a QPR fan, it was not by chance that you enjoyed watching Villa beat Chelsea 1-0. You definitely enjoyed watching Mourinho's very unhappy post-match interview and enjoyed the hashtag 'tearsforjose'. 

Mourinho's the type of manager who would say that you make your own luck in life and generally I quite agree. I also believe that good things come to those that earn it, not those that wait. But sometimes in life, you have to make sure you allow some flex for stuff you cannot account or plan for. And laugh at yourself. Chances are, you won't always be at the top of your game, so it pays to never say never. 

Sunday, 2 March 2014

What it takes

Charlton Athletic 1 Queens Park Rangers 0

Queens Park Rangers 1 Leeds Utd 1

Tiger Cubs current running total: £15,206.66

As we enter the final stretch of the season, and QPR's run of poor results continues, my feelings are a paradoxical mixture of relief and fear. Relief because our shot at automatic promotion is likely gone and in theory it's now time to enjoy the football. Fear because if we do actually make the playoffs I am foreseeing a stressful period and heartbreak whether it's away to Forest in the first round, or a final at Wembley. I have a feeling that this is typical of most QPR fans, but I am not sure.

I am still bitter about our spate of injuries from some of our best players. And even those who might not be our best but provide some creativity: BAE, and Kranjcar for example are allegedly out due to aggravated injuries through training...It feels like all the luck is against us sometimes and at lunch post-match yesterday a friend and I had evil thoughts about breaking Burnley players' legs. How can I have stooped so low?

The manager and coaches must have moments where they feel just this. And while they cannot say it outwardly, perhaps Harry's recent short and rather depressing press conferences confirm it. A good manager, however, gets on with it. There is a job to be done, and 'you gotta do what you gotta do' with what you've been given. And if that means starting again with a set of players many of which fans barely recognise or know I guess - so be it.

Last week about forty people (including myself) took a 15 mile walk straight across London from West to East; from Loftus Road to the Valley to raise money for the QPR Tiger Cubs (QPR's team for children with Down Syndrome).  I was made aware of the QPR Community Trust project last year when I saw some of the tweets about the walk to Arsenal and I was surprised at how little was raised (looking at last year's fundraising page it reads at £2567.50) knowing that many QPR fans would love to donate if they had only known.

When I saw the announcement go up looking for walkers I felt it was right to try to help raise more money if I could, and there were many other newbies like me who joined in the challenge. I nagged friends and family, colleagues at work and baked biscuits (thanks Betty Crocker), as did many others. It felt as if our media team made a much bigger effort this year to seed out details of the walk and the fundraising for some weeks in the run up - getting players to talk about it on TV and ex players like Les Ferdinand donating. On the day itself I must say I was not prepared for just how tough the walk would be. I may have done a couple of triathlons and a few 10ks but walking almost solidly for 6 hours was one of my toughest challenges to date. The last two miles were painful to say the least, but with the kids having joined us at the Cutty Sark and football at the other end I had to focus my mind on making it to the end! 15 miles is a 'helluva' long way!

Would it also be fair to say that a season is a 'helluva' long time? Don't they always say life in the Champ is a marathon and not a sprint, and anything can happen in between the beginning and the end? Ever since we lost Charlie Austin I've been seeing balls miss the net where once he would have popped them in. And there is that little bit of sorrow in my heart. But as of the end of yesterday's match we are hearing that Simpson could be back within a week and Charlie in 4-6. Barton will also return from suspension of course -which will make a difference at Birmingham. But it's less about clutching at promotion straws now and more about having some of our first choice people back and enjoying watching them play. Right now it feels a little like those last two miles of Tiger Feet 5 where I'm not sure I can make it with the leading pack, but frankly I'll be glad to finish in one piece.

Promotion, playoffs, up or down, for me these last few weeks have been about discovering more of the positive things that QPR does in the community which I think we sometimes forget about. In our world raising money for charity is a full time business and you have to have a thick skin and still remain positive. You simply have to do what it takes to raise what you can.

A big thank you goes to Andy Watkins and Fiona Hodgson as well as Ian (the lead walker) for all their hard work, and to all the Tiger Feet walkers who made me feel welcome.

Please watch the video below to find out more, and donate here if you haven't already Tiger Cubs

Video by Nick Reinis