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|Did three players have their best games for us yesterday?|
at 11:36 30 Jan 2022
I don't think I've seen Amos, Dykes and Field play better (admittedly, because Iike most of us I've barely seen him). Willock was outstanding, but he often is – our most influential creative player since Taarabt under Warnock? – and Johansen was on top form. The back three were all fantastic. The wing backs didn't do anything wrong. Keeper had a good un.
Admittedly, Reading were absolutely abject. But that was fantastic, everywhere on the pitch.
at 11:51 27 Oct 2021
Genuine question: what did people think of Amos last night?
I don't know, because there was a bloke a couple of rows behind me – I was in the Upper Loft last night – who just had it in for him. He got worked up into an apoplectic rage. Everything that went wrong was Amos's fault – for not having tracked back, for forcing Chair to drop deep, for not getting into the box, for not making a tackle, for committing to a tackle. It was so, so, so boring. It was like listening to someone who's not been given their meds. And, naturally, it made me root for Amos.
So I am not capable of seeing this rationally. Hence my question: was he any good?
at 10:34 18 Oct 2021
Getting worried watching him now – it's the Austin some of us feared had come back to us in January rather than the one who played the second half of last season. Obviously, he was never fast, but watching him run now is painful – you're willing him to get to his destination before they call last orders and the night buses start running. And that's a problem: he's now so immobile that he can barely pressure defenders, he can't get into positions in open play, and he barely even drags defenders away to create space for others. And when he's on his own upfront, I mean, really, what's the point?
Like everyone else, I have enormous goodwill towards him. But he is not looking like a good signing at the moment and hasn't all season. I hope it picks up, and I don't blame the club for signing him based on the second half of last season. But this will not have been a low-wage piece of business, and I can't help thinking the money might have been used elsewhere.
at 09:15 15 Aug 2021
Whisper it … but have we finally worked out how to do effective set pieces, after years of free kicks to Row Z and corners that don't beat the first man? We seem to be clever and inventive now. IT MAKES NO SENSE.
|BOS subbed after scoring|
at 19:52 6 Oct 2019
I thought that was a great substitution. Once I saw Hugill ready to come on, a good bit before the goal, I assumed it would be BOS coming off, given he was by a distance the least effective of the attacking players. After he scored, I wondered if Warburton might change his mind, since there was less tactical need to and it can look odd taking off a player whose last touch put the ball in the net. But he kept on with his plan – and the result was that BOS got to walk off to a standing ovation, rather than the polite applause he would have got had he not just scored. The way to make a substitution good for his confidence.
|When stats do lie …|
at 15:36 31 Mar 2019
"We had 60% possession, 33 crosses and 21 shots."
Well, yes …
However, the problem was that after Bolton scored, they went tight and narrow (Gary Parkinson was constantly shouting "Squeeze! Squeeze!" at his team when we were in possession). So the shots tended to be from a long way out, towards a crush of bodies. And the crosses were being put into a crowded box. And, of course, most of the shots were headed towards Pluto, and most of the crosses towards either Row Z of the opposite stand or the feet of the first defender. We simply didn't have the intelligence to work our way through a team who were largely happy to guard their box.
Stupidly, there was a time before they scored when I thought we were going to win four or five nil. Before they packed the box, their defence was awful. We had 10 minutes or so of waltzing through them. So it wasn't defensive skill that kept us out, it was the simple fact that we couldn't find a way through a confined space.
at 19:08 3 Mar 2019
This isn't a pop at him, because clearly it's the agreed strategy …
But why oh why oh why does 90% of our distribution from the back consist of him kicking it long to the right touchline for Pav or Furlong to try to win the header? I know they're both pretty decent in the air, but how often does this result in us keeping possession? 50% of the time? And we do it so often that everyone else must know it's what's likely to happen. Drives me mad.
|Timewasting and sh1thousery|
at 20:48 15 Dec 2018
I'm absolutely sick of it. We started wasting time immediately after the first goal today – after five minutes. There was one point where we won a free kick in our own half. Eze dribbled on into the Boro box and left the ball there. Wells retrieved it and kicked it five yards to someone else, who kicked it another five yards back. Before one of the Boro players finally kicked it all the way back.
In the second half, right in front of me, we won a throw. Bidwell decided he was unable to catch the ball lobbed gently to him by the Boro bench, and instead let it bounce of his chest. First he clutched his chest, as if he'd been punched, then when the ball was gently tapped back to him, he let it roll past him. When the linesman suggested he get on with it, he whined – he actually whined, I could hear it – "But he kicked it past me!" Six inches to your left, mate.
I don't care that everyone else does it, too. It's pathetic. It ruins the game. Referees have got to start clamping down on it properly. Just start throwing cards at them, and they'll grow out of it.
[Post edited 15 Dec 2018 20:52]
at 17:55 10 Nov 2018
A very entertaining game would have been much more enjoyable if I sat anywhere in the ground but the paddocks. Christ, it was wet.
Even being behind at half time, I was sure we'd win. We'd looked the better team, even though they created chances. The big difference now is that we no longer look beaten the minute we go behind. We don't resort to booting it long. We carry on playing football. And even when it's not working for him, Eze worries opposition defenders so much it opens up opportunities for others.
Now from the Brentford point of view:
Brentford were the best team to have visited Loftus Road this season, and would have won had QPR not played negatively by scoring three goals.
|Just back …|
at 23:03 19 Sep 2018
1. We deserved to win on the strength of the first half. That was unrecognisable from even the win against Wigan. Incisive football, quick passing, attractive and effective.
2. The second half was a bit horrible. Even though Leistner and Lynch won almost everything, it was always slightly terrifying wondering where the ball might go from their clearances. But at least they made the clearances.
3. Eze really does look like a talent, doesn't he? But I get McLaren's point about him needing work. There were a couple of times in the second half when he'd done the tracking back, and then forgot that having got into position he needed to keep an eye on his man, But I'm not going to complain. He's entertaining.
4. Lumley worries me. I haven't seen him concede a goal, but he does look shaky on crosses. I suspect the clean sheets are as much luck as judgment.
[Post edited 19 Sep 2018 23:13]
|Our fans and our players|
at 18:46 3 Feb 2018
There's a fella sits a few seats along from me in the front row of the West Paddock who won't shut up about Washington. Top of his voice all game, about how everything he does is wrong and he shouldn't be on the pitch. Though he doesn't seem to do it when Washington is within earshot. Funny that. Fella behind me who does the same with Sylla, though he does do it when Sylla's within earshot, perhaps confident the combination of his phlegmy West London voice and Sylla's language skills means he won't actually be understood.
Why? What is the bloody point?
I'm no happy clapper, but does anyone really think constantly undermining your own players has any positive effect on anything? And if they're doing it to amuse the people around them, it's not amusing. It gets really boring, really quickly. Like listening to a bloke in a pub go on about all the women he's pulled, in his imagination.
I'm not going to claim Washington is actually tearing up trees. But even if you can't bring yourself to cheer your own players – I never could with Joey Barton (or "Oh, Barton", as he's known in our house) – maybe it's best just to say nothing, eh?
|I blame Les and Chris Ramsey|
at 18:46 31 Dec 2016
Clearly their fault that we won today. They have to go. I won't tolerate this disgraceful winning away thing. Sack them now.
at 13:18 13 Dec 2015
1. That was a very good first half. JFH appears to have told the team he wanted them to press high, and do everything much more quickly. So the passing was crisp and early, which opened up spaces and allowed the midfield to bring the wide players into the game more frequently, and in better positions. The high press stopped Burnley settling, and allowed us to regain the ball more often than usual. It was a lot less boring to watch than usual.
2. I rolled my eyes at the lack of a striker, again. But the way they played was actually focussed to turn that into a positive, for a change. For one thing, a partly fit Austin could never have played at that first half intensity. And I'm not sure it's in his game even when fully fit - he's a goalscorer rather than a chaser and a presser (not to say he doesn't do that, but it's not his natural game). I think the amount of shooting from distance was about that - shoot early and often and there's a chance you'll get something (under Martinez, Wigan had the highest number of goals from outside the area, because they shot more often, which was a tactical thing owing to the lack of a high quality striker).
3. All the midfield were excellent in the first half. I can't have been the only one marvelling at Karl Henry's transformation into a visionary passer with quick feet and a range of passing.
4. Second half was a different story. I sit too low to know if Dyche had reorganised (though I could see and hear him changing his defensive instructions once Austin came on), but they came out a different team. And so, sadly, did we. I wonder if they are so used to playing so torpidly that they couldn't actually maintain that for 90 minutes (Dyche said he didn't think QPR would be able to press for the whole game), but it was back to the old ways in the second half. Though we still might have snatched it, and wouldn't have been embarrassed by a win on the game as a whole. It'll be interesting to see what they're like a month from now, when what Hasselbaink wants has been thoroughly drummed into them. Dependent, of course, on them being willing to have it drummed into them (I'm sure Ramsey wasn't saying, "Go out there lads, and play slowly, and concede sloppy goals.").
5. Faurlin had a shocker in the second half, with mistake after mistake. It looked like the pace of the first half really told on him. He should have been subbed, really, as a mercy.
6. Both full backs did well, I thought. Best performances from a pair of QPR full backs in a while. OK defensively, and making intelligent supporting runs - it was so nice to see QPR with two players having the option to cross on either wing.
|Today: a bit of perspective|
at 18:41 7 Nov 2015
I'm prepared to be told how wrong I am, because I've been saying this on Twitter and people have been doing so. Though I see Clive has been saying many of exactly the same things.
The first 20 minutes was good. First time I can remember applause for moves in ages. But that was it - after that, in the second half especially, we were no better than we have been for weeks, and we didn't create a single chance all game.
It's not that I expect any manager to effect a miracle in three days, but today really highlighted, for me, double standards among some of our fans. The team didn't have to play badly for Ramsey to get slated; if we won, it was despite him, if we failed to win it was because of him. His team selections, regardless of how players performed, were ripped to shreds. So, if Ramsey had announced a team with Henry at right back, with Luongo, Chery and JET all on the bench, and with Hoilett starting, he'd have had to be prepared for the crowd to turn Loftus Road into Baghdad if we didn't go four up in the first 20 minutes.
And if he'd then overseen a game in which we created no chances against a very poor team, he'd have been slaughtered. If he'd then switched to 4-4-2 for the last 20, but with a player in JET who seemed to have no idea what job he was actually meant to be doing in a 4-4-2, he'd have been slaughtered - remember Brentford?
My point is not that Warnock should be slaughtered, because he shouldn't, but that the problems in the club run a whole lot deeper than Ramsey having been running the team for 10 months.
I've had people telling me it was a distinct improvement, that we had a shape (same shape as the rest of the season, pretty much). That the defence looked sound (as it has for the last four games, by and large - you can't blame Ramsey for Onouha switching off against Brentford). That we passed well (for 20 mins, after which we started hitting the channels. In fact, I could hear Warnock shouting "Hit the long diagonals!" at one point, which doesn't sound like a man craving intricate passing).
Henry and Hoilett did both play well. But that's not the point: the point is that a lot of Rangers fans decided they were an absolute crock of it and should never be near the team. Ramsey was an idiot for even playing Henry. Yet Warnock plays Henry, out of position, and not a whisper …
You can't have it both ways.
[Post edited 7 Nov 2015 18:58]
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