Monday, 28 December 2015


Reading 0 Queens Park Rangers 1
Queens Park Rangers 0 Burnley 0
Queens Park Rangers 2 Brighton Hove Albion 2
Bristol City 1 Queens Park Rangers 1
Ipswich Town 2 Queens Park Rangers 1
Queens Park Rangers 1 Huddersfield Town 1

2015 has been a tough year for me, and for many friends. It's also been a pretty shoddy year for QPR. We haven't even had a lucky win at Wembley to provide rose tinted spectacles...

I am hoping that 2016 will be bring us better luck and fortune. And for the first time in many years I may even set myself some new year resolutions. Perhaps QPR could learn a thing or two from my 4.

1. Have a bit more belief

There is nothing wrong with respecting others for their own ability and success. But not to the detriment of your own self-belief and confidence. I find as I progress in my own career much of my time is actually spent problem solving: problem solving the most strategic issues that a client has, through to the most mundane day to stay stuff. And although it can feel frustrating at times, actually, days go much more smoothly when I realise that it IS actually is my job and that's exactly what I am good at. And most of the time, when I don't pay too much respect for others getting stuff right I usually find that something was done wrong...and the problem is then easily solved.  That's not to poopoo others and their work but it's much more helpful to keep an open mind and make no assumptions. I've heard JFH say a few times that we must 'respect' other teams. Agree to an extent, but only to an extent. If you can't believe you can be better or that others can fail, your success will only be limited.

2. Don't stand still

It's easy to get stuck in a rut sometimes, or in a boring routine, feeling as if nothing changes or nothing new and exciting is happening. Well, that's okay if you want some peace and not too much action. But nothing changes if you stand still. At QPR we have had a lot of change, and it would certainly be nice to see some stability at the club in terms of the way it's being managed. But I am keen to see more change in how the team is playing, and what we are relying on. It's apparent to all that without Charlie we struggle to score goals. Something has to change in the team and the tactics to truly make us a great team. It can't simply be all about Charlie. Great teams do have great strikers, but they also have  a great 'everyone else' that they do without those strikers sometimes. The sun will always rise tomorrow, and Charlie may or may not play for us again. But what moves are we going to make to get us to being a good team, and not just Charlie's team? I feel today's match against Huddersfield is a great example of us standing still mentally and physically!!

3. Do more for others

2016 is going to be a massive year for me in terms of my involvement in more charity work. More details to follow...but it's been a dream of mine since I was 18 to spend real quality time doing something to help others less fortunate than myself. I think QPR as a club does some great things for the community. It makes me very proud to be a Rangers supporter, to see what everyone at QPR in the Community Trust does, and how fans pull together for their causes. I like how our fans pull together for our ex players too. I think on a 'footballing' level, I'd like to see a bit more work being done to really get some of our players playing up to their full potential. I am talking about the transformation we have seen in Hoilett- he's gone from toilet to a shiny new player. In the programme today he says 'Every professional footballer wants to play every week. But I've got good family and friends who helped me through what was a difficult period for me'. Well, that's okay, but what about the manager and coaches themselves bringing out some of that confidence and potential in the players? There is a worrying situation of decent players sitting on the bench: Luongo, JET and Chery...are we doing enough to bring them through as valuable alternatives. We seem to be continuing to play under-achievers (e.g. Fer, Polter and Phillips) until the manager is just completely fed up with them. How you manage people, other than simply telling them what to do, is critical to the success of the team.

4. Have some fun!

Yeah. Sometimes we can take things waaay to seriously. 2016 is going to be a bit more about fun and laughter. I will force myself to go out more often, and I won't work too hard. I have often met the people I call my best friends when I've been out and about. JFH strikes me as someone who is very earnestly serious. While it's important to be serious about the job in hand at QPR, we need to lighten up a little bit. Admittedly this is not helped by our owners aiming for a play off place. But why why why should we? Does it really help in the long term? Why can't we focus on what we have, and hope for the best? Often the best results happen when you aren't worrying too much and when you are enjoying yourself. There is also something to be said for hearing naughty stories about the lads having a good old piss up together. Nothing like bonding over a beer or ten.

At this point I'd like to thank everyone for continuing to read and support the blog. I do feel an obligation to write even when a handful of you respond!

Here is to a bright, and hopefully more adventurous 2016 for QPR. Oh, and for me too.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Love in all its forms

Derby County 1 Queens Park Rangers 0
Queens Park Rangers 0 Preston North End 0
Middlesbrough 1 Queens Park Rangers 0
Queens Park Rangers 1 Leeds United 0

When I was much younger I fell in love all the time. I don't know if it's a girl thing. Maybe it is. But I was always falling in love whether it was on holiday (Mauritian hotel host, boy at disco in Manila), at school (first kiss, first boyfriend, well..first everything), or during my gap year (love of my life, love at first sight, several dodgy dates).  That slowed down 'big time' in my working years. People always ask why I am still single. I am now at that age where there are big questions why. And I must say I do wonder whether I smell sometimes. I hear from others that people who live alone don't always notice how they look or smell. This can be a worry.

So, is it work? Or is it all the other things happening in my life that have taken up so much time? Tending to  my mother before she died for example being a big thing. Or is it that since then my version of love simply isn't the same as it once was. Out at dinner with a friend this week talking about this very topic he was shocked at my point of view, as if I was missing out on something by not searching for that exciting and almost dangerous feeling. Maybe it just isn't this tumultuous butterfly in tummy inducing event any more I thought... perhaps it is something a little less obvious, but no less special .

But the conversation did make me think.

Supporting QPR has been one of the things that I have wrapped around me as a blanket these past few years. If one wanted to use an analogy this is one messed up love affair where I (and several other partners in the harem) are simply not getting much in return. Sometimes we are unfairly abused despite our best efforts. There have been some moments of extreme excitement. For me that Liverpool win a few years back at home, under the lights, with Mackie scoring the winner and of course that day at Wembley in 2014 stand out for me. But these last few games I have literally questioned just exactly what have I been getting out of this relationship. Apart from no wins...goal level at zero was starting to become extremely boring. Consistent, reliable but boring and not very good. Now...if I think about it, who really wants that? Especially when, to be honest, in all other areas, the club isn't yet ticking all the boxes we have asked of it (e.g. clear strategy for management, youth development, team selection, transfer policy etc). I suppose I might take such performances if those areas were much clearer but at the moment, all that I  hear and see has felt a little nebulous to me and therefore most performances have been so dull I haven't felt the inspiration to write about them.

Yesterday, however, I was given a glimpse of hope. I am hoping that by choice (outside of striker injury!) rather than by default the team selection was impeccable.  Defensively strong, a midfield that could pass the ball - Hoilett, Petrasso (youth!), and Sandro all committing and working for each other.  Simple and basic things being done correctly and so obviously under the influence of Warnock. It was a pleasure once again. And Charlie oh Charlie, once again proving his worth.

It is no secret that my obsession with Niko Kranjcar petered out towards the end of last season. It was always a battle between Charlie and Niko. And the truth is that while Niko was probably the most handsome man I have ever seen (EVER), Charlie was really always the one. Because he can really play football. I mean really. He doesn't just score goals, but he is always there, off the ball as well as on it, defensively and in the midfield too. Does my heart flutter when he walks past me, or when I watch the little video from him saying 'get well soon'? Maybe it does.

And maybe just maybe, I am not so boring about love after all.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Fate or fortune

Queens Park Rangers 2 Blackburn Rovers 2
Hull City 1 Queens Park Rangers 1
Fulham 4 Queens Park Rangers 0
Queens Park Rangers 4 Bolton Wanderers 3
Birmingham City 2 Queens Park Rangers 1
Queens Park Rangers 0 Sheffield Wednesday 0
Queens Park Rangers 3 MK Dons 0
Brentford 1  Queens Park Rangers 0

Firstly, I must make a massive apology for not writing a post for so long. I always knew that travel plans would mean I'd miss some I listened to many of the earlier ones from abroad. Fulham away was listened to for one very exciting minute (the remaining 44 being very depressing) on the wifi of Turkish Airlines during an 11 hour flight from Hong Kong to Istanbul. Needless to say I had the great excuse of being too tired and jet lagged to really be able to concentrate on the 2nd half so at 3-0 down I switched off and slept.

Looking at the results above just as a plain list without any context it's pretty hard to find any real rhyme, reason or pattern there. I guess except to say that perhaps we've stopped leaking too many goals- thanks probably to the inclusion of Clint Hill in the squad and Warnock in his suspicious 'advisory' role. And I guess for me it's emblematic of how I've been feeling about things lately. Sometimes it's easy to be fatalistic about things, often it's romantic notions that make me lean that way. But sometimes things just happen and there isn't a whole lot of decent explanation why.

It's been a crazy few weeks and I've missed most of the above games both home and away which is rare for me. As I said, initially due to travel but more recently after coming back from the Philippines I was hit, unknowingly at first, with Dengue fever. Having been admitted quickly in to hospital after a visit to the GP I was frightened as hell having not spent any time in hospital since I was 8 years old when I had my adenoids taken out. So I've spent the last 2 weeks ill, being prodded, tested and then diagnosed with Dengue, and the last week thankfully recovering at home. Dengue in general isn't dangerous but it can kill and there is no immunisation as yet. And I never in a million years thought I might get it because I've never really been one to get mosquito bites and I've spent several years travelling back and forth from Asia...and was born there. But Dengue can happen to anyone, not just 'travellers'. As they say 's*** happens'.

Having spent, for the first time in many years,  so many games listening from far away or in a sick bed - and not being able to see much action in the flesh, it's been so hard to get a real sense of what has been going on. And again looking at the list of results it's almost as if the only explanation I can give for the rather random set of numbers, is that s** is seriously happening. Scientific I know (and just the rational report you've been waiting for from me!).

Seriously though, I talk about the defensive improvements that have been made. But having been able to watch the Brentford game on telly last night, and from everything I am seeing on twitter and hearing from friends, it looks as if we've made a bit of an assumption that our issue has been defence. But in our over subscribed mid field I am seeing gaping issues and a lack of creativity. Henry, weirdly for me, is a great defensive midfielder for the Premier League, but in a league where we should have a bit more attacking scope why aren't we seeing a bit more of Faurlin? And last night's subs confused me- Chery off for Austin, and Luongo for Hoilett? I'm no tactician but why are we removing our hope for midfield creativity. Henry and Tozser are just not cutting it for me right now. And what is Gladwin doing back at Swindon? Random random random...

Having been a bonkers year for me which I am not sure I could have predicted on New Year's Eve 2014, I can only say that I am unable to provide any predictions for QPR and what is to come. What I can say for sure though is that the last few weeks have helped me to remember all the important things. Family, friends and QPR have all been very sweet and and whilst it was touch and go on how serious my illness at one point, it's not a jot on some of the things some of my dearest friends have been through this year. So I am very grateful and a little embarrassed by the attention.

Our performances of late (regardless of results), have certainly been disappointing, but I am still extremely proud of supporting a club with players that do take the time out for individual fans. I've always known that was the case, but I have now experienced it first hand.

Thanks you to Charlie, Clint and the club and thanks to my wonderful friends. And good luck to the lads over the next few weeks.  Whilst we are unsure of our fate for now, it looks like we're going to need a bit of good fortune (wink).

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Making the best

Queens Park Rangers 1 Carlisle United 2 (Capital One Cup)
Huddersfield 0 Queens Park Rangers 1
Queens Park Rangers 1 Nottingham Forest 2

Yesterday's match was in one word, a disaster! With the game in our control and a moment of weakness it was quickly taken away from us. Oh, think of all the parallels I can draw with life and those moments of panic and loss of control.

I had this blog post all planned out before yesterday's match. It was going to be about Charlie and all the other players that stayed at QPR on transfer deadline day and about how, at that point, all our minds were on making the best of what we thought we were going to have (none of them). Then I was going to talk about how, now with those players (Greeno, Matty, Charlie), our best could be even better than we had first assumed.

It's a funny old world, when events conspire against you, and not for lack of trying. No, I don't think we were great at all yesterday, but I would certainly say we need to give Forest a bit of credit for frustrating our style of play. It was tricky from the start- I could feel the tension and even tweeted that I could see red cards coming our way. Little did I know it was come at such a heavy price. And I am a bloody softy really. I have way too much empathy than I'd like (often to my own detriment), that when I got home and saw Greeno's face on the telly, I actually felt sorry for him. I couldn't really tell what sort of expression he did have - it was somewhere between embarrassment and tearfulness (or maybe it was simply the strong sun in his eyes).

And speaking of expressions, from the moment Charlie got on the pitch I could see this match was going to be an important one for him. After all the press (which is still ongoing and is now about the January transfer window!), and the palaver surrounding a potential departure from Loftus Road, Charlie is a true professional in the sense that he is guided by decent principles that anyone would respect: Those that protect his family, his personal growth and the people that have done good by him in his life. And yesterday he looked pumped up and serious about the game. Perhaps you could say it's because he didn't come through the academy system and that's why he's like that. Or the other well-often scribed view, is that because he was a brickie 6 years ago he knows the value of hard work. But the more I think about it, the more I realise that that is simply who Charlie is and how he was brought up. I think he would have been the same person, academy or not. Having said that, he had a point to prove. After scoring what was, to me, a truly magnificent Charlie special, he ran over to South Africa Road and looked up to our block with a deadly serious face and his finger to his lips. I was in cloud 9, and assumed at first that he was looking at me (remember #slidingmovements) - and then I thought perhaps it was a Sky camera man because maybe he was silencing David Sullivan and anyone else who had doubts about his Premier League ability. Only later I was told some bloke in our block had heckled him about his work rate apparently. He was silencing the critics, but silencing those our very own ground. Who would have thought?

So what of the future now that the dust has almost settled until January at least? I am still seeing a team working hard to play as a team at least on a personal level. With the muted atmosphere yesterday I could hear them talking to each other, encouraging each other, and obviously playing out some formations learned in training. There is plenty to work on tactically and I am not sure everyone is 100% happy or comfortable where they are positioned. But I'm happy with what is being pulled together as it is all being done with the right attitude that we've been begging for for years. Life ain't all roses as we know, and 'clutzy' mistakes will happen. Dear old Smithies now has the mammoth task of winning the hearts and the trust of fans for the next three games. But like us, he's got to make the most of what he's got. It's a challenge which must be seen as a great opportunity - and I wish him all the best.

You RRRs

Sunday, 23 August 2015


Charlton Athletic 2 Queens Park Rangers 0
Yeovil Town 0 Queens Park Rangers 3
Queens Park Rangers 2 Cardiff City 2
Wolves 2 Queens Park Rangers 3
Queens Park Rangers 4  Rotherham Utd 2

For most of my life I have been very conscious of my mixed heritage. My experiences living in the UK, Hong Kong and the Philippines have very much made me who I am affected how I feel about things.  I think there are others who feel the same way.  Back in 2010, a woman who was schooled in Hong Kong released a book called The Eurasian Nation. This book is a collection of thoughts and photographs from people of combined Asian and Western ancestry. Reading through some of the examples, you can see that every experience and every person is unique. It reminds me that we simply can't generalise about human connections, but that in life, connections mean everything.

This is a comfort as I continue to write this blog and share my thoughts on the ups and downs at QPR and all the connections that we make as we support our team. And as I glance at the results so far, it looks like we are, as always, in for a roller-coaster ride. I am not sure that we're going to be challenging for a play off spot (especially with the potential departure of Phillips and Austin), but I don't think many of us expect or want that. Conversely, we're too good to be struggling in the dregs of the bottom of the table (even if they do go). Our roller-coaster this season is going to be something to do with getting to grips with a new ethos and a new team. The kind of team most of us fans have been begging for for 3-4 years! We're in (to use an often used business term), the 'forming' phase of group development (of which there are four). And we're in it when there are pressures and targets that need to be achieved at least once, if not three or four times a week! We haven't even hit the 'storming' or 'norming' phase...we might not get there until the end of the season. Oh, to one day reach the 'performing' stage...

We simply have be realistic and honest about what is to come.

It seems to me, amongst of all of this, that our first problem to solve, is the number of goals we're leaking in. Never one to claim any tactical expertise, I'd be open to hearing what's at the heart of this problem. Is it our overall attacking approach, or it is specific individuals or specific positions? Having not had a single clean sheet in the league is a major concern. I don't remember it being like this at all two seasons ago. It's almost like we've got two different teams within a team, with the defenders totally unconnected to the forwards.

Nonetheless, yesterday was one of those few moments in a season where everything seemed to come together and prove to me that it's still a club worth being involved in. Credit must be given to those at the club who very quickly started to plan Stan Bowles Day after hearing the news about his Alzheimer's diagnosis. And by the looks of it, the club did everything it possibly could that day to drive awareness of the condition, raise money for Alzheimer's Society and for Stan himself. It was great to see him smiling and the atmosphere in the ground was fantastic. Many people there, including myself are simply not old enough or were born early enough to remember Stan Bowles playing. But that was irrelevant on a day which was all about connections: All of the fans with Stan, Stan with the club and with Loftus Road, the younger with the older generation of QPR fans, the players with the history of this club, and all of us together with our friends enjoying the icing on the cake in the form of a 4-2 win.

Please donate to the two causes if you can:

Stan Bowles- personal Go Fund Me  page to help support his care

Alzheimer's Sociery - special Stan Bowles  Fund Raising Page

Saturday, 8 August 2015


Preview- QPR- Season 2015-2016

I need to start getting it out of my head that my life works in three year cycles: three years of good and three years of bad. Especially on this important first day of the football season. But it's been hard. It's been an extremely tough year. The football fizzled out and I didn't even write a final 'report'. In my personal life I had bad news after bad news.Now I am hoping my quota for bad news this year is full and I can now move on and look forward to better things.

I kept up to date a little with the summer goings-on at QPR, but haven't been immersed in it. Not as much as last year. I've made some big changes in my life that have controlled where I am focused. But I did go to the friendly on my own at the Hive against Dundee. It was a bright summer's evening in London that reminded me of why I love this country so very much. And then I smiled a lot watching a game of football, and that included savouring every moment of Charlie playing...thinking perhaps he would disappear before deservedly moving to a bigger and better club than ours.

Today I have my ticket in-hand for Charlton away and I am looking out of my window to what looks like a beautiful warm day ahead. I am thinking of my football friends who I hope I'll see, and I'm trying to remember that every moment counts and to be in the present. And when I think of that, and think of the great little report on  the LFW site, I realise just how apt such a mantra is in relation to how we support this club.

My brother said the other day something like 'Forget the past it's gone, don't worry about the future, it isn't here for the present'. Perhaps this post is full of clichés but I suppose there is a reason why they exist. And for QPR, we've got to stop moaning about what has happened before- with existing and old owners, with our overpaid and under-delivering players, with the ground move - or not a ground move, with our issues on the family stand or the freaking PR policy. And while we can worry about the future (which at this very point is really open to the elements), what is it that most of us hardcore fans remember at the very end of the day when it comes to supporting our team? I remember my friends, the days out and experiences up and down the country, the joy of finding a new crazy item for my 'borrowed' dog at the 'Superstore', or singing a ridiculous song when we are playing really badly. Sometimes, if we are lucky, there are pieces of sublime football that can cap a day off superbly.

Our joy in life, and our joy in QPR is simply in our own hands. So I wish everyone a joyful season and a wonderful result today.

Thursday, 21 May 2015


Manchester City 6 Queens Park Rangers 0

Queens Park Rangers 2 Newcastle 1

Losing 6-0 is painful, but it's not like we haven't seen it before. Making up for it with a slim win over a crap team made things marginally better, but overall it's been a damp squib of an end of a season. So much so that I am planning not to use the three Leicester tickets I bought this Sunday.

QPR events and other things happening in my life have made me more philosophical than usual. I've been having lots of really 'hippy-like' talks with friends in the past couple of months...about fate, the universe and the cosmos. I wonder whether it shows my age that I still think like this sometimes . In some ways it feels like it goes against the grain of the Millennial mindset filled with aggressive ambition. I do believe that sometimes we spend so much time arguing, being negative, making politics out of nothing in supporting our team and in many other walks of life. And my answer right now is simply that maybe it's just time to let go a little.

Why am I saying all of this? It's a short blog post this time around. I've just heard news that a very beloved friend has lost his little girl to a long term illness. I found out via a message from him around 5am this morning, 6000 miles away. In my slightly hungover haze I was once reminded about what is important.

After all, when all said and done, we are left only with our souls, our integrity and the love that we have for each other.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Things to look forward to...

Queens Park Rangers 0 West Ham 0

Liverpool 2 Queens Park Rangers 1

Well it's been a little depressing hasn't it?

And I'm just looking outside at the wind and rain dreaming of warmer spring weather and summer barbecues.

So, while we get used to the thought of life back in the Champ I thought I'd think about all the lovely things we have to look forward to next season .

#1 Saturday games

Honestly, who cares about wall to wall coverage and online streams of all games when one has to contend with games on a Saturday morning or a Sunday evening? (Okay so 12 isn't morning but it sure does feel like it when you have a hangover.) One thing that's great about the Champ is the regular Saturday games at 3pm. This is great because a. you have time to recover from said hangover, and b. you have the next day to recover from the drinking you did the day before whilst dancing at the Springbok disco.

#2 More games

Well, we all know there's one thing harder than staying in the Premier League and that's winning the Championship. It's a tough season with so many games and so many teams. But isn't it just fun to have so many more games- and often two during a week? Call me greedy but I enjoy gobbling them all up.

#3 Yorkshire games

Well, this is of great importance to me personally. My Gran is from Yorkshire and this season has totally SUCKED for her because I've only made one trip to see her when I went to see the Rangers play Hull away. In the Champ she gets to see me 3 or 4 times in a season,  I stay up with her in sunny Doncaster for the weekend and get treated like a champ myself. Fish Bits of Doncaster here I come.

#4 Better beer

I'm a proper beer girl myself (none of that namby pamby lager). And one thing that's great about away games in the lower leagues, especially those 'oop north' is that the beer in many of the grounds is really rather good. AND also very cheap.

#5 No more half n' half scarves

Ahh, these scarves are the bane of any real fan's match experience. We fans of English football love a good moan, so although I'll miss growling about the half n' half scarves, I'll enjoy not seeing them at all next season and look forward to visiting new towns, new grounds and meeting some lovely fans of QPR and of other teams.

And about moaning. It's not good for you. Let's smile a bit more. Studies have shown that smiling lowers heart rate, reduces stress, puts you in a better mood, increases productivity AND encourages trust. Now who wouldn't want that eh?

You RRRss

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Soul searching

West Bromwich Albion 1 Queens Park Rangers 4

Aston Villa 3 Queens Park Rangers 3

Queens Park Rangers 0 Chelsea 1

I've been wondering about what separates the great teams from the good teams. And you could argue that today's result showed us the difference. One mistake on a windswept pitch and Chelsea bullied us in to a last minute goal. Up until that point I had spent 87 minutes believing that it's not always class and skill that wins the game, and sometimes, just sometimes it's belief and hard graft. But that's not football is it?  And if it were, perhaps we wouldn't have won that famous day at Wembley last year.

The last couple of weeks since the Everton match have made me feel differently about how we've been playing. I was away on holiday, and almost felt as if my absence was a catalyst for such fantastic results in the Midlands. After a really crazy-busy winter, I really needed to recharge the batteries and do a bit of soul-searching.  It's so easy to feel caged in when you are in a cycle, but time off to think, and the chance to listen to the Rs winning over the internet helped me to clear my thoughts. It was good to be back to my other home and open my eyes again to the wider world.

Like most QPR fans I felt that the results did bode well for today's derby- a match which we all take so seriously and for which 'new Chelsea fans' have not an ounce of understanding. It's all rather amusing how this team from the swamp came from nothing to something when huge swathes of money were pumped in to it by Abramovich. And their fans laugh at how much we consider it a huge rivalry even though it is absolutely the purest definition of a derby being separated by 3 miles. I think there are many millionaires and billionaires that have come in to the football ' business' and thought that throwing money would fashion a great team in the same way that it happened for Chelsea. We've been guilty of it to an extent, and failed massively (as is well documented). Frankly I don't know enough about Chelsea's set up to know what, other than money, has brought them success but I do think that within this world there truly is a higher tier of investment which simply isn't within the reaches of our little old club, or most others for that matter. And the handful of clubs that can afford it, ultimately succeed.

Outside of money, it's easy to think that the path to success in life is strewn with amazing epiphanies, a clear plan of action and positive thinking. When we look at people, companies and teams that do well, we don't always hear about the long hard slog, the zig zagged road that they've taken, the set backs and the angst. And sometimes they don't tell you about the times when they felt like they simply couldn't go on and considered jumping off a building or just giving it all up completely.

Sometimes when you are on that journey too, you see things you never thought you'd see, or you act like this person you never thought you would. If you don't take care of yourself it is easy to turn in on yourself and be blinded by the inevitable negativity. But most of us make it, survive, and redefine for ourselves and in our own way, what success truly means for us. Ultimately, success isn't the same for everyone.

Perhaps that is where QPR is right now? While losing this way is hard to take, it's continues to be part of that process I wrote about last time. I have a great feeling about Chris Ramsay and his attitude. And a great feeling about what Barton often calls the strong 'nucleus' of the team which no longer feels like its been selected via Tombola. I'd like to think that the club is starting to define success for itself on its own terms, but that's just what I'm feeling and hoping- the evidence will ultimately play out over the coming months. To be honest, if I take a step back from the results, the fight for survival, or the potential to go back down, I'm really okay with the team just taking a few deep breaths and doing a little soul-searching if it means I can continue to feel proud of our team the way I am today.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Part of the process

Crystal Palace 3 Queens Park Rangers 1

Queens Park Rangers 1 Everton 2

I was going to title this post 'Dad is always right'. But I changed my mind and decided to use something he said to me as we walked to the car after today's match against Everton instead. Obviously, we are as distressed and depressed as other QPR fans tonight. Sunday evening blues just got even worse.

I've been wondering about what's wrong with us. I don't think it's the same problem as the season before last. Our biggest problem then was lack of spirit and passion. We were carrying several players who neither cared or liked QPR. It isn't perfect in that department now, but it's probably the best we could hope for, for a small club based in London, with, frankly, not a lot of glamour to offer. So tactically, earlier this year, I thought it was our defence. We had injuries and it was all going rather pear-shaped.  Then I started wondering about our mid field (too slow, lacking creativity), but Fer started to shine...Last week at Palace even the thought of Austin losing his mojo and getting frustrated entered my mind.

But Everton weren't good today. So what went wrong? For the most part we were hoofing the ball, making some sloppy mistakes at the back and midfield... and again we looked like we lacked pace everywhere (even though we had all our fast players on the pitch). I just couldn't break it down in my head. But my ever-intelligent father summed it up on that walk down South Africa Road. The difference in spite of the fact that Everton do not have the strike power that we have, is that they managed to break from midfield a hell of a lot better than we could. Or, to put it more depressingly, they managed to break at all, and when they did they had not only their forwards in the box, but two or three of their mid field. We were too predictable because we are just far to slow and not creative enough to move forward positively on the break. We stop, we look around and pass it to either of the two strikers who are the only ones in or near the box. And by then the opposition are well prepared defensively. So, it wasn't until Vargas and Taarabt came on that the ignition was turned on. And by then, of course, it was too late. It simply has to be like that from the start, and we need to be the first to score. Fat chance of that happening in future matches.

My mood is relatively unforgiving today.

I said to Dad 'I really don't think I can cope with watching the remaining matches this season, I'd rather know now for sure that we're relegated'. Roll on Fish Bits of Doncaster (if they get promoted from League One this season), and the great delights of Wigan pies (if they don't get relegated). But Dad said 'You cannot say that, it's like a wound. It's painful and it hurts because it's healing, you've got to take it because it's part of the process'.

Well, tonight I feel like passing on the process to be honest. But he is probably right. Even though I can't see any healing going on, he did say 2 minutes before Zamora scored on May 24, 2014, that he thought we would nick it. And Dad is (almost) always right.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Losing Hoop

Sunderland 0 Queens Park Rangers 2

Hull City 2 Queens Park Rangers 1

Queens Park Rangers 1 Arsenal 2

Queens Park Rangers 1 Tottenham Hotspur 2

I admit, I've been terribly neglectful of this blog in recent weeks. And I feel bad about it because amidst it all we did have our first win away, and I felt as if the hostage situation I thought we had put ourselves in had somehow been lifted. Going away to Hull soon after I was realistic and didn't necessarily expect back to back wins. But then losing to Arsenal after outplaying them for so long, and then losing to Spurs to the same scoreline and suffering the slings and arrows of another poor ref...I'm feel like I'm now losing my general sense of positivity.

At the last two home games I couldn't help but hope for some of the magic that we experienced 3 years ago when we began that amazing home form beating all the big teams - Arsenal, Spurs, Liverpool...But alas, it really doesn't look like it's to be...and like many others I am losing hope of survival. But is it groundhog day? i.e.. is it as bad as the last time we were relegated or are we in a different place.

I'll be honest, I don't have the energy to analyse this in any great detail and I'm not sure how much value that would truly bring. But I do know that, despite a few dissenting voices about the club and its management, we're in a place where our owners are genuine, if naive and are richer than anyone else we've had before which frankly counts for a lot nowadays. That is the reality of where we are.

And weirdly, although I am down about it all this weekend, I don't feel as depressed as I did two seasons ago. What was so hard then was the attitude that permeated the players. I can't imagine us ever playing with so little passion and pride ever again and I am glad we haven't seen that for a long time. Obviously, we've seen Barton lash out again. That disappointed all of us, and made all Barton-haters feel vindicated. I am not defending him for his actions but I have some empathy. In the little sport that I did play (Hockey, C team, lost every game but one which I think was a draw), I was always extremely passionate and did experience the occasional bit of red mist myself. And in life, there is nothing I hate more than cheats and people who are unfair to those who are less experienced - that's when my temper does come out. So if Barton is telling the truth (and why would he lie about why?), I get it. I do...but it truly does SUCK for us that this is the case and is far too much of a liability for us to carry.

Where to now? One thing I do like, and I think many others do to, is that we've started to see some of our youngsters come through under Ramsay. They've done really really well and I certainly feel proud about that. What I am confused about though is that less than a year ago we were hearing that these guys weren't ready- and it wasn't just Harry saying that but Birch, Gallen what changed? Or would it be fair to say that within that year they did make some real progress. Possible, given their age.

After the match as I waited for my Dad to give me a lift home (thank you Dad!), I was pretty sure I was stood next to Greece Grego-Cox's friend and family. They were all standing outside calling everyone on their phones beaming and telling them about how they couldn't believe when they saw Reece take his bib off in readiness to get on the pitch to replace Sandro. They were so happy and excited, and I remembered why I love QPR so much. If I were a Chelscum fan, or an Arsewipe fan, would I be standing outside the ground hearing the same thing from the same people? I saw from Andy Watkins' tweet yesterday that Reece is a local boy too. That makes it even sweeter.

They were all wearing half n' half scarves and I thought 'Oh no, how awful'. But when I got home and thought about it, I realised just how cool it really was. Of course they would get a half n' half scarf to celebrate the first game that their brother, son or boyfriend had played for QPR in the Premier League. Crikey, I might have bought twenty if I were Reece's mum.

Maybe I'm not losing that much hope after all. And I'll always be a hoop.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Hostage Situation

Stoke City 3 Queens Park Rangers 1

Queens Park Rangers 0 Southampton 1

It's coming up to the tenth anniversary of my mother's death. The exact date will be two days before the trip up north to Hull. Time has flown since then it feels like it was only yesterday when I decided to pack my bags and move my life to the Philippines to take care of her while she was ill. And I remember so well the strange feeling of freedom to be able to make my own decisions at that point -early working life in London made me feel like a hamster in a cage and I was lucky enough to find the opportunity to work in Manila as well. It was a great chance to learn and to challenge myself. But little did I know when I came back to London in 2005 after she died, how much I'd let myself be a hostage in my grief for such a long time. It has only been in recent years that I have finally felt the ability to be able to move on and QPR has been a huge part of that. 

I am reading a book called 'Hostage at the Table' by George Kohlrieser. It's a business/leadership book about overcoming conflict and influencing others to raise performance. At least, that's what the cover says. Kohlrieser, a psychologist by profession, used to help the police in hostage situations. And in the book he uses real-life examples of hostage negotiations to illustrate points around managing general conflict issues in the work place. In a nutshell the theory is that we can make ourselves feel like hostages to our own situations, or sometimes others can take us hostage. There are a number of ways that can take us out of that feeling but ultimately, it is within our power to either survive (i.e. Stokholm syndrome), or take ourselves out of a situation with positive focus using mind's-eye. It's a fascinating read. As you read through the examples the lessons do seem so obvious. For me though, knowing the answers doesn't always make problems easy to overcome. And of course, I can't help but think about this in the context of our club and what is happening right now. 

What a few weeks it has been. We had a strange 2 week break, followed by an inevitable loss event-less transfer deadline day and then the resignation of Harry which, with hindsight, seemed bound to happen. Before that point, it seemed as if the primary thing that was keeping QPR hostage was this awful inability to win away. We were all so annoyed with Harry when he used the 'knee' as an excuse but I have a feeling that we would have found fault in anything that he would have announced. Redknapp, in the end, had to take himself out of the hostage situation he had built himself in everything that he was or wasn't doing to manage the team appropriately, leaving the rest of us still hoping the team wouldn't continue its current poor form. 

Like many I was excited about today. I enjoyed Chris Ramsay's press conference yesterday. It was refreshing to see someone a bit bubbly and humorous. I was hoping that a cloud would have been lifted especially when I saw the team sheet - one with real pace and some creativity. Although, there was one thing sorely lacking and that was another striker to partner Austin who once again looked rudderless and alone and who once again had to sit back and defend along with the 5 other defenders already on the pitch!

I enjoyed a lot of the game and I honestly believed that perhaps we would be the ones to nick that goal in the dying minutes. I have this superstition that if one of the ST holders that sits near me leaves before the end of the match, we have a good chance of scoring a goal. This happened today so I was really hopeful right until the end. I really wanted it for the team, more than for me- if that makes sense. Because now that I'm reading this book, I'm petrified that they have put themselves under this cloud of the fear of losing even at home because of what has been happening away. I suspect it's a little bit like that feeling that you get sometimes when it comes to relationships - where you have this huge fear of failing or losing that person that you simply aren't able to move on and enjoy it for what it already is. I can't imagine how awful it must feel to be trapped in that way, or to not be scoring goals (it's now been quite a few games since Charlie scored...). 

I suppose the truth is that there are no magical answers or solutions. Some say the problem we have is indicative of deeper problems off the pitch in the club and it's operations. But do we honestly believe that a change of owners will make things better just like that? Are we not also guilty of placing blame on one easy target simply because we are unable to articulate clearly what we would do if we were actually in charge? It's true, there are issues in so many levels, and Neville's article on this published a few weeks ago points to some of these. Trevor Sinclair also talked about something being 'fundamentally' wrong with QPR but even he was excited about the match today as we saw from his tweets today. A few weeks back he said: 'When I was at QPR it was a family club with a fantastic tradition of developing lower league players and I'm not seeing that anymore.'. He's right, we have now lost that tradition of developing lower league players...But I'd challenge him on QPR no longer being a family club. 

We do have our problems even within our own fan base, as I mentioned on the QPR Podcast earlier in January it sometimes feels like we're a little disjointed and for such a small club we do have so many supporters groups. But despite the different opinions and some of the petty warring that we see, we're still at the heart, fans who aren't in it for the glory hunting or just for the wins. We're in it for the passion, for the friends and the family that we have made around us. You could argue that we've all made ourselves hostage to a club where we give so much and yet where it sometimes seems we get so little in return. 

Tonight I'm 'unrecording' Match Choice, and I doubt I'll be watching Match of the Day. But I'm still thankful that QPR has been an anchor in my life when sometimes everything else has felt tough. But, as my neighbour Terry sitting next to me said today 'Even if all other 91 clubs decided to make entry to their games free I would still pay to come and watch QPR'. 

Kohlrieser talks about something called a 'secure base'. Something we can hold on to in times of trouble and conflict. For all the problems I think we've got one, and it's time that our players believed that too. 

Sunday, 18 January 2015


Queens Park Rangers 0 Manchester Utd 2

Most of us are fuming after yesterday. No, we didn't play badly. In fact we put up a gutsy performance. A couple of strange tactical decisions - Niko & Taraabt on, and no sign of Zarate. But the ultimate result, which really wasn't a surprise, only gave us more fuel to add to the fire.

But life is full of ironies. So many of us dislike Harry and want him out, and yet he's the one who managed us through promotion last season- albeit under fortuitous circumstances. Many of us absolutely hated Zamora, and yet he will likely remain a QPR legend for his goal at Wembley. We also laugh at Harry Redknapp's comments about a 'mole' and yet we spend countless hours surmising on what's going on at the club with our own conspiracy theories.

Yesterday I was hoping we would win, of course. But at the very least I was also hoping that we might make Loftus Road a scary place to be with lots of songs and chants. We all saw the ticket prices going up on Viagogo for up to £1,000. I stood in a lift at work with a 'southern red' whose friend had traded in his Cirque du Soleil tickets for two seats at the home end. Alas, the atmosphere that I've witnessed before when we play Chelsea was nowhere to be seen mostly because of these things. Poor old Dave who was selling a special edition of A Kick up the Rs struggled to hold his patch as people sold half n' half scarves, more expensive tickets and 'Match Attack' cards. It was all so carnival-like - and not in a nice way. I did feel pretty angry, as did others. It felt as if our very own Loftus Road- the only place QPR fans can truly feel some ownership of something- was taken away from us for a few hours. I got annoyed with the ten or so fans who spent 20 minutes before the match in the front row of C block with their iphones out taking videos of Rooney and Falcao. I felt a little irritated listening to the Japanese fans who were sat behind me in the first half. And even this 'banter' video from Cheeky Sport barely spoke to any QPR fans about the match Cheeky Sport at QPR. So many had walked out after the second goal and were well on their way home.

But today I feel guilty. Selfie sticks are responsible for making me feel that way.

I saw my first selfie stick when I had a weekend away in Berlin last April. My cousins from the Philippines brought them along and we had so much fun playing with it. Before long I had received one with a bluetooth remote control and I brought it to Loftus Road for our first game of the season taking pics on South Africa Road, in the Springbok, at the bar inside and at my seat! Little did I know that months later it would become such a 'controversial' item. Spurs and Manchester Utd have officially banned selfie sticks from the ground and at least once I day I see a fellow QPR fan moaning on twitter about seeing selfie-sticks. The other day someone said something about not seeing them last season when we played Barnsley. I'm just sorry I couldn't reply and say it would have been me if he did...For while United claim that the ban is for safety reasons (a stick = pole or another such dangerous item that us hooligans will use), for many the selfie stick has just become another symbol representing that scary thought of 'foreigners' and 'tourists' taking over our country and taking over football. It has allowed people to be racist without even saying the word.

It is ironic, given that the British are the Lousiest Tourists in the World according to a Vice article written in 2013. When we go abroad we tend to be culturally ignorant, snobby and disrespectful. And according to a study by the British Foreign Office, over 6,000 tourists found themselves behind bars on holiday, and over 3,000 in casualty. When you look at it that way, it's far more embarrassing than a selfie stick, half n' half scarf, or a few innocent iphone videos, isn't it?

I'm not saying it's fun when Loftus Road is that way. But it's hardly going to kill us.You can shout at the club about the viagogo relationship, or the touts outside, or the tourists that buy the seats. But it's only us who are selling our seats. And boy can we moan about it and blame everything and anything except ourselves.

As for yesterday's match. we worked hard but I still maintain two things: we're not good enough at the back (LB in particular) and everyone else (bar Charlie) is still not playing to maximum ability. Trevor Sinclair, retired and 42 years old, pointed out on twitter that he could run around way more than anyone else at QPR that he saw on the pitch yesterday. Harry's excuses and attitude are both hugely irritating but other than some strange tactical moves throughout the game I'm struggling to find other faults or anything that I would have done differently.

But what do I know? I'm only a girl who writes a blog who isn't really from West London, who travels loads and loves QPR.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Media Blackout...

Queens Park Rangers 1 Swansea City 1

Queens Park Rangers 0 Sheffield Utd 3 (FA Cup 3rd round)

Burnley 2 Queens Park Rangers 1

After the poor result at Burnley I virtually lost the will to live and gave myself a 36 hour media blackout. However, I was pleasantly surprised to be invited to the QPR Podcast this week where you can hear most about what I think about QPR shenanigans.

You can download on itunes, or click on the following link: Toronto Connection and listen to us talk to Daniel Dichio and generally moan.

All the best,