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.