Sunday, 19 October 2014

Fired up

Queens Park Rangers 2 Liverpool 3

Today we witnessed a heartbreaking result for the Rs. Playing a lacklustre Liverpool side, and having dominated for most of the game, a few mistakes cost us dearly. I keep thinking, we deserved to win, but I know in my heart that we didn't really- and for exactly the same reason why I think we deserved to beat Derby on that fateful day in May this year. When one is given a chance - you simply must take it with both hands.

I suppose the only difference between Liverpool today, and us in May is that they didn't look like they really wanted it at all. I saw as much character in that side as a plank of wood. If I were a Liverpool fan I'd be furious with Balotelli - he was worse than Taraabt on a bad training day (abuse to come my way soon I'm sure). Conversely, and rather surprisingly QPR came fast out of the blocks and showed real spirit for most of the game. Our players looked like they had fire in their bellies. Part of this is fitness of course- Harry picked players that had a bit of pace: Onuoha, Traore, Yun...And (praise the Lord) dropped Rio for 'a few fags with a drink but I'm still going' Dunne. Was it tombola time again for Harry? I am not sure that anyone could argue with the tactics and changes that were made to the team for today. Harry was, I admit, spot on.

Last week I was really concerned about Harry. It looked and felt as if he'd become disinterested and half asleep. Having said that, I don't for one second believe everything he says, especially on the topic of reading the papers. There is no way some of his frustration isn't stemming, in part, from what he's reading in the press. They say that sometimes it's not great to show emotion when it comes to your work life - it's only work after all right? And one must never take things too personally. But sometimes, just sometimes I think it does help to show people that you have taken it very personally as it shows that a. you care and b. that you are in it with everybody else as much as everybody else when you lead a team. And in Harry's press conference (which you can view below) I saw for the first time in a long time in him, someone who was seriously pissed was so pleasing to see him red-faced and sweating, to hear him get angry about Adel's lack of effort in training, and to hear him swear and hit that irritatingly squeaky screen behind him. Hurrah! (I'd have stood up and kicked the whole wretched thing over!)

So where now for QPR? It's tough when mistakes are made, but they are easily forgiven when everyone is united in a common vision and there is effort behind the performance. It's easy to say we 'woz robbed' but I'm going to go out on a limb and say this performance will be our turning point- because if we can come back from this, and turn this loss in to a positive experience we're going to be absolutely fine at the end of the season.

Delusional? Maybe. Prepared to admit defeat just yet? Absolutely not.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Football Blogging Awards

For all those who aren't active on twitter and facebook, this is just to let you all know that I've made it to the finals of the Football Blogging Awards based on 'fan' votes, which is all very exciting and unexpected as I just entered for the hell of it.

You can vote on the website, on facebook and twitter if you follow the link below. Admittedly it's extremely difficult to work out on the website, but just pop the url of my blog inside the female category bucket (no need to vote in the other categories) and stick your email address in if you don't mind.

Football Blogging Awards

I thank you in advance for your continued support in reading this blog which continues to be such a great pleasure to write.


Sunday, 12 October 2014

Being there

Southampton 2 Queens Park Rangers 1

West Ham 2 Queens Park Rangers 0

Growing up my step father was a fan of a 1979 film starring Peter Sellers called Being There. The story was about a simple gardener (Chance) whose knowledge of the world around him is derived from just the TV that he watches and his gardening, but once his benefactor dies and he discovers the outside world, he is mistaken for 'Chauncey Gardiner' and simple observations are taken as profound and filled with the wisdom of what others around him perceive to be the makings of the future President.

I can't help thinking about this movie as I ponder over our current dilemma of what appears to be a lack of strength in the form of Redknapp's leadership. I admit that for most of last season I was relatively forgiving. I tended to trust Harry's rather erratic judgement despite the 'tombola' strategy because, for the most part, we were winning games. And of course, when we got to the end of May and that day at Wembley, the rest became history.

Part of this was because I had read, heard and observed that Harry's a pretty good man-manager. After what we had been through with the personality-less Mark Hughes, Harry had he ability to make players feel good about themselves and play with freedom. At the very least, he also had slightly better taste in the players: despite all the loans, we had kissed goodbye to the Monobrows of the world.

As many have observed however, the success at Wembley papered over cracks already in existence. It's easy to get a little depressed about this but for anyone who knows QPR well, the cracks should not be a surprise. But, as fans who spend a lot of our hard earned money supporting the club, we deserve a manager who truly embodies the spirit of being a manager, and moreover a leader, through thick and thin. At this stage in the season I am now ready to say I am not sure I have faith in Harry to lead us to safety come the end of the season.

Harry Redknapp is not Chauncey Gardiner. In his post-match interviews he is not particularly profound. Instead of reasons, he only has excuses, and instead of taking ownership he puts blame. Neither of these are leadership behaviours. Don't get me wrong, we're going to lose loads of games this season whether we have Redknapp or not, but it's the leader who is prepared to be as responsible for results as much as everyone else in the club and is prepared to admit to mistakes and ugly things that we don't always want to know, that I will personally appreciate and I believe others would too. He appears for too distant and too disinterested to be a manager of any club, never mind a club like ours that needs lots of sorting out. And frankly, we are facing the greatest challenge of all- survival.

The irony of the movie is that Chauncey Gardiner's perceived intelligence made people truly believe he was truly with them all, even though in reality nothing mattered more to him than gardening alone. Unfortunately for us, It's all too obvious that Harry simply isn't there when it comes to football. To quote Chance: 'As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden.'