Sunday, 2 November 2014


Queens Park Rangers 2 Aston Villa 0

Chelsea 2 Queens Park Rangers 1

I'm reading a book called Good to Great by Jim Collins. It's a study and guide on why some companies only stay good and how others become truly great. The book is based on years of research and study, so it's compelling and credible. Throughout the book, myths are debunked, particularly on the topic of leadership, for example: great leaders of great companies aren't always charismatic - often they are quiet, unassuming and unglamourous. In addition those who do have charisma need to be very careful with that charisma and how it is used as it can be off-putting. It goes on to explain that all the CEOs of the studied great companies, have something called 'compelling modesty' and humbleness. But what strikes me the most as I read this book is the simplicity of its findings and theories. I always think that it's easier to solve problems if we divide things up in to chunks or buckets - easier to say than to actually do of course!

Having said that, the last three Rangers matches have given us some hope. Whilst we've taken 3 points, it feels as if we've taken more because we're finally seeing a team play with some passion and pride, in addition to having a clear system for delivering results and an objective to work towards. I think it's been easy for us to point fingers at the players and presume that their hearts haven't been in it - especially after the West Ham game. The legacy of the Mark Hughes era has left me paranoid for one. But I think a few simple things have happened that have allowed the team to begin the dogged fight for survival for real...

The first is a framework with clear objectives. Within this, there are tactics, formation and team selection. Whether it be by chance, luck or the fact that Rio simply had to be dropped - there appears to be a framework for the team to work within. If people aren't given a framework to work towards, how can they deliver? If you don't know what is actually being asked of you how do you know if you are doing the right thing? From everything I've read, Harry has always been known as a man-manager than as a coach. I've heard many players say they like working with Harry because he 'let's me express myself' and 'play how I like to play'. That's all well and good but it seems to me that other than the likelihood that Fernandes had a word or two to say to Harry after that match at the Boleyn ground, there were a few others whose socks were pulled up- after all what was the point in hiring Glenn if he wasn't actually going to do his job and coach the team on this framework?

The second is that we've been able to develop what appears to be a clear understanding of what we might actually be very good at...within this I think there's something in there about our doggedness in midfield with players like Henry and Sandro frustrating teams with players of a higher quality. It also includes a better respect for Charlie and an understanding of what he can do. We know he will score goals when he's playing in a double-act up front and Bobby coming back in to the team has helped us to see that. 

Thirdly, passion appears to have been re-ignited. Gemma and I had a great view of the corner flag after Charlie scored the goal yesterday at the swamp and the look on Fer's face among others was wonderful to behold. I am looking forward to witnessing more moments like this. I did also wonder what had happened to the sports mentor Steve Black as he appeared to work wonders at the back-end of last season. And as I watched the Villa game 'tunnel cam' there he was - coming out of the dressing room just before kick off @5.30m!
As I've said before, so long as the players are united in one common goal and in an understanding that being at QPR is about survival and not much more, and if the above three things continue to play a part we will 100% be able to achieve it this year. 

I was horrified like many other QPR fans as I watched MOTD last night. I felt like chucking up when they used words like 'exquisite' and 'almost perfection'. Chelsea, the 'best team' ever to grace the Premier League, pass the sick bag.

But what of Charlie and his story? I can't help but think that while he has scored some spectacular goals for us - what makes him so bloody good is that fact that at its simplest he is a poacher. It ain't always pretty and if you think that back-heel isn't in its own way 'exquisite' that's fine MOTD pundits. I'm not sure that your confidence is required for QPR to survive and frankly I'm not sure I'd like it much anyway. 



For those that don't yet know I have made it as a finalist for the Football Blogging Awards this year. I'd love it if you could vote for me. Details can be found here:

FBA Finalists

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