Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Five things from Santa

Queens Park Rangers 1 Millwall 1

Barnsley 2 Queens Park Rangers 3

Dear Santa,

It's been a while since I last wrote to you - just before Christmas 2013. I had just finished watching our home match against Leicester and sent you a framed photo of Niko Kranjcar and a mug with Charlie Austin's image on it for Mrs Claus's Christmas stocking. That match was like the turning point in our season - a sign that against the big clubs we weren't really going to do very well and those performances would spell the reason why we are not currently sitting in an automatic promotion spot.

Santa, do you remember when I first wrote to you in the middle of the 2012-2013 season? Things were so miserable then - I wasn't even asking for wins any more, I was asking for you to organise some entertaining football and to remove some miserable players from within our midst (Bosingwa in particular). In the end you gave us a 1-0 win over Chelsea which I was extremely grateful for. It was an evening at the Swamp I will never forget. I think you reminded us all about why believe in the magic of football and why, despite all the disappointment, anger, confusion and conspiracy theories most of us keep coming back for more.

We're in a different place right now. The season is now over.  And some would describe it as flat. There hasn't been much of an atmosphere at Loftus Road, we've won some games but lost others we shouldn't have. We rid ourselves of the players that had the most extreme cases of apathy towards QPR but still retained a large squad of Premier League failures and loanees who aren't that crazy about QPR. And we have a manager who looks as if he is queueing up expectantly for his P45. Nonetheless we are sitting in a play off position which I believe is the 2nd time we've been in the situation with a very exciting possibility of visiting Wembley if we can beat Wigan over two legs. For just a few weeks I think QPR fans are prepared to forget all their complaints and issues and live in a dream land, and I am very likely to be joining them.

Look, I know I am writing to you completely outside the Christmas season and you are busy with your feet up catching up on all the soaps and TV shows from around the world (I won't tell you what has happened to Lucy Beale btw), but the reason am writing to you is to see if you and your elves could pull a few strings for us that could make QPR fans really happy this May? In return, I promise that all QPR fans will leave extra food this coming Christmas, and that I will procure for Mrs Claus any item of clothing from Niko Kranjcar's dressing room (at risk of being arrested for stalking and burglary).

So, without further delay please could you arrange the following 5 things?
  • Would you mind giving Harry some acting lessons? I think we all know that he's ready to retire and focus on his interest in horses v. football. However, perhaps a one day session at Sylvia Young's would help in chivvying up the team a little bit before the matches (a la Ollie, or Warnock style), and providing for the rest of the country or the opposing teams at the very least the veneer that we are absolutely 100% up for the fight. 
  • Here's a really simple one- would it be possible to arrange it so that any of the players that are selected to play in the next two games (and possible 3rd game) actually want to play. I suspect there won't be many who wouldn't want to play in an exciting competition such as this but I've heard stories of one or two small cancers still about from the Hughes era. Let's leave those people at the door. Could they go wherever you sent Bosingwa last Christmas?
  • I might not be speaking for all QPR fans here, but a personal request from me would be to play all the classic songs we used to play at Loftus Road pre-match in the 1990s - the last time we were a great Premiership/1st Division team. I used to enjoy Tina's 'Simply the Best' as we watched Les Ferdinand trotted on to the pitch...it did sometimes feel like we were the best. 
  • If we do make it to Wembley perhaps you could arrange for the squad to do something that shows their loyalty and commitment to QPR. I know none are childhood supporters of the team, but blue hairspray is easily washable (I have some spares cannisters from last season's final match against Liverpool which I am happy to drop off at reception). At the very least, since many of them appear to be in to fashionable hair (of the head and facial type) perhaps all of them could be persuaded to have a proper shave in the morning and get rid of their awful beards so we can see their faces again?
  • And lastly, being fickle is part and parcel of being a football fan. But what I can't understand is people criticising other QPR fans for not being loyal by setting their own parameters about what they think a fan should be like. Would you mind removing those people from your Christmas list? It doesn't seem fair to me that someone shouldn't be considered a loyal fan if they can't make games because they can't afford it, or they have to work, or don't even live in the UK! And to be honest, in the run up to the play-offs I find this type of attitude pervasively negative. 

As I completed my last request I realised again that I didn't ask for us to win any of the games. As always, it appears to be an innate capability of a QPR fan to hope for the best, and expect the worst. Or perhaps it's just that I don't want to jinx the whole thing. This time last year I couldn't imagine a play off place and was imagining Wolves-like scenarios. It hasn't taught me a thing.

Perhaps as a final request, you could arrange some neuro linguistic programming classes for me and a few friends - we could do with being a bit more positive about stuff? I'll  even throw in a few Panini stickers of Niko for Mrs Claus's collection?

Lots of love,
Emily, Queen of the Park Rangers
encl. nos 3 X no. 61 (Panini World Cup stickers)

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