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

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