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BBC Preston report (Bialkowsky is an R . . . apparently)
at 19:47 9 Apr 2022

Like you perhaps, I was a little surprised to learn Millwall's Polish goalkeeper was playing for us at Deepdale this afternoon and, on top of that, 'burst through from midfield' to test his counterpart in Preston's goal (not least because our midfielders, real or fictional. thrusting forward and shooting from anywhere doesn't tend to be what they do).

The BBC may/may not hate us but seem to have the same relationship to hiring sports editors as we do to employing decent strikers!

As for our now surely demonically-driven keeper injury farce, perhaps that's the answer: borrow someone else's, hope no one (apart from the BBC) notices, and play him as an attacking midfielder! Simples!
[Post edited 9 Apr 20:07]
Warburton post-match
at 18:33 2 Apr 2022

Predictably spends a lot of bemoaniing the penalty decision, obviously with some justification, as well as defending Eustace (who apprently 'didn't know it was the 4th official'), more questionably. But he'd have done better to have addressed London's question more thoroughly as to why we managed 2 shots on target all game, rather than using resentment (however well-warranted) as a smokescreen.

I think we've been on the receiving end of some shocking officialdom this season, but Warburton needs to get his head out of his arse and start addressing the real problems in the team rather than trying to pull the wool after fans' eyes - a dysfunctional forward line, lack of midfield creativity, and deficit of pace at the back.

Meanwhile, we've now found a range of ways lose to the top team(s) and lose to the bottom team(s), so let's hope we don't lose to all the mediocre teams between now and the season's end to complete the hat trick. Sadly, I wouldn't bet against it.
[Post edited 2 Apr 18:34]
Warburton post-match
at 18:37 5 Mar 2022

Rambling, strange - at one point he segues into some kind of quasi-sociological reference to 'society' - and worrying. He looks and sounds tired, out of ideas, and disspirited. These things do matter, despite those posters who insist they don't. Says that the H/T talk was all about maintaining our front-foot intensity, which raises the obvious question (assuming he's not telling porkies) - albeit one Nick London failed to ask - as to why the players are either not listening or, if they are, responding to instructions.

From where I'm looking, the players have either lost confidence, bottle, team spirit, or all three. The fans deserve better than unaccountable beatings by the likes of Barnsley, Millwall, Peterborough and now Cardiff without passion or real purposeful resistance. That said, a forward line that was fit for purpose would make a world of difference.

Painful, perplexing and hard to stomach, to say the least! I'm fearing for the rest of our season tonight, and how much further we can fall.
[Post edited 5 Mar 18:38]
Warburton post-Blackburn
at 15:54 26 Feb 2022

A tired interviews after a tired performance. How many weeks now has he been saying we've looked laboured and leggy? Really tops off a crap weekend. Meanwhile, Banfield looks like he's eaten a lorryload of Bonne's Jaffa Cakes just to set the tone.
Freeman hits the Wall
at 13:56 3 Feb 2022

Wonder if we were back in for him? Good Champ player who would have got a rousing reception.
Fakes fans not happy with us
at 18:23 14 Jan 2022

Though we also weren't happy with them when the away end boot was on the other foot, as I recall. 34 squid is a bloody liberty, though. Everyone out!
[Post edited 14 Jan 18:23]
Pat Nevin biog: a reality check on modern football schedules
at 10:29 5 Dec 2021

Just finished reading Pat Nevin's charming, counter-cultural and altogether inspiring autobiography (Pat Nevin: The Accidental Footballer, Monoray, 2021). A gem of a winger, a thinker, and a real beating heart to complement a lovely footballing (and non-footballing) brain. Also, he was friends with the greatest British band since, ooh, anyone, viz. Cocteau Twins. Highly recommended.

A propos one of my hobby horses, my eye was caught by this passage on p.190 - Warbs Warbler Warburton and his apologists take note!

'[After a 1-0 away win at Southampton in March 1986] [t]he next day we won the Full Members' Cup Final at Wembley, beating Manchester City 5-4.*

*Yes, it really was the next day. Two games in two days was something the modern footballer wouldn't accept, but it happened on a number of occasions back then. It never seemed to bother me too much. These days on the radio when I am asked about the stress of too many games close together for the current players, I try very hard not to go all Monty Python, with a Yorkshire accent: "Luxury! We played two games in two days, usually on mud heaps or potato fields. At that time I played seven games in fifteen days, GBH wasn't even a yellow card, I played nearly 850 games in my career when the average for a modern player is well under half that and they get paid not far short of Bill Gates's wages, while I had to sofa-surf at the end of every season. And you try telling that to the kids to day and they won't believe you."'

As far as I know, Pat is still walking around normally, so presumably he hasn't suffered any lasting damage from doing his job to such, by contemporary industry standards, extraordinary performance levels. By contrast, the lack of authoritative science, as far as I'm aware, behind what MW has recently been claiming about modern football schedules causing footballers to fall like flies really needs dragging out into the light of day, rather than our perpetuating the modern disease of mistaking assertion for argument.
[Post edited 5 Dec 2021 10:35]
Post-Stroud: it could be worse . . .
at 09:52 5 Dec 2021

We could be playing in the Bundesliga, where apparently even officially bent refs. are routinely recycled.
[Post edited 5 Dec 2021 9:53]
Warburton pre-Forest interview
at 18:36 28 Oct 2021

Pretty much as you'd expect - everyone sombre after Tuesday, great opportunity to exorcise some ghosts vs Forest 'under the lights' (what there are of them), then about half the 7' interview on '7 games in 21', 'all you can do is a maintenance programme' and an even-by-his standards full-on diatribe about fixture congestion when he seems to speak for about two minutes without stopping. Even when Paul Morrissey, 'to play devil's advocate', breaks rank by gently suggesting that constantly carping about it might be an excuse for the players, Warburton just bats off as if it wasn't even a potential question, worryingly. (Can we not book him in for a session with a sports psychologist?)

Gaffer - We. Get. It - just give over, for the love of Jesus. You're managing a squad, just as football managers have since pro football began (when squads were much smaller, and there was only one sub allowed). Even if some would probably say games are tougher than they were, physically - perhaps they are, perhaps they aren't - we're also led to believe that most players are fitter than they were thanks to the paradigm-shifting glories of sports science, dieticians and all the rest (though you wouldn't think so, watching Charlie blowing out of his arse even after a 20 minute cameo). On the other hand, when you think about the conditions that the likes of Stan and Gerry had to deal with (terrible pitches, minimal protection), you'd be insane to suggest it's not much easier being a player now than then. Yet I don't remember all the moaning about, essentially, footballers and managers just going about their business back in the day when everyone just got on with it, even though, to again state the obvious for the benefit of the woke crowd, we played just as many if not more games in the past. There's plenty of times in my teaching career I've been 'thrown in at the deep end' and/or had little or no preparation time, but I do my best and get with the programme, like all my other colleagues have to.

Rather than using the club platform to vent yet again his issues with the above, Warburton would do better to question his own refusal to think about the abdication of professionalism that confirmed our cup exit - it's hard to recall two suicidally crappier pens than those by Chair and Barbet in the history of pro football, and I only hope words have been had with both of them at Harlington, though I fear they won't have been. Mind you, we now know who our back-up pen takers definitely aren't, and well done Lyndon for bucking the trend and having the concentration and technique to show up the failings of his team-mates. (If I were him, I'd have given Ilias, Charlie and Yoann a big f*ckign mouthful in the dressing room afterwards.)

I hope we're all feeling a bit better on Friday night even though I'll be thinking where recent events leave me as a follower of pro football now, but I'm not optimistic - Forest are in great form, we're still waiting for that 'response' to Peterborough, and it's on a day with a 'F' in it live on Sky. What could possibly go wrong?

You Rs, whatever. It's my birthday, and I'm still feeling like banging my head against a wall.
[Post edited 28 Oct 2021 19:02]
Post-Sunderland: complaining to the club and EFL.
at 02:46 27 Oct 2021

I would urge all of us not to take this lying down. The following mail has gone in from me tonight to the Club/Lee Hoos, and the EFL. I feel there needs to be an official protest from the top of the Club, and fans like me need to see it.

Dear Mr Hoos and the EFL,

As an aggrieved QPR supporter and active contributor to the QPR messageboard Loft for Words, which has been unified in its livid disgust this evening, I am writing to you now in conjunction with the above incident this evening. This is the first time I have felt driven to do so in 45 years of following the club re a footballing matter, but it cannot be allowed to pass.

As the QPR manager Mark Warburton made clear in his post-match interview, the decision not to award a legitimate goal to QPR, scored by Charlie Austin, was scandalously wrong in a scenario that was not even remotely close, contributing directly to the club's exit from the competition this evening and ultimately making a mockery of the spectacle. It is likely this goal would have won the game, as it was scored a few minutes before the end of the 90 minutes. Given the magnitude of the error and attached photographic evidence that clearly shows Austin very comfortably onside when the ball was played, the decision to disallow the goal can therefore only be explained by a conspiracy of craven incompetence or else corruption.

It has also been pointed out that, to add insult to injury, a flagrant handball by a Sunderland defender in the build-up to the goal occurred, which could and should also have led to a penalty and a red card, so the laws of the game were also not applied twice over for reasons best known to the incompetent officials.

Please review the attached evidence carefully. I wish to know (i) what action will be taken against the referee Keith Stroud and his offending linesmen Paul Hodskinson and Mark Dwyer, as well as the 4th official John Busby, who, despite having a monitor, apparently also enforced this miscarriage of justice, for effectively bringing the game into disrepute; (ii) what reparation will be made to QPR FC for the loss of gate receipts, sponsorship and associated benefits attached to their failure to progress, and (iii) where and when an official apology will be issued for this injustice that is visible to fans.

Finally, I think it would be very wise that Mr Stroud and his officials are not allocated any game at QPR FC for the foreseeable future, as I think it would be difficult for the Club to guarantee their safety were this to happen.

I look forward to your replies.

Yours sincerely,
Under-valued, self-sabotaging and/or prematurely released Rs
at 16:30 9 Oct 2021

Leon Jeanne
Abdenesser El Khayati
Paul Smyth
Chair first goal for Morocco
at 16:10 9 Oct 2021

Lovely first Chair goal for his country (or Chai-ear as the commentator called him) at 1.07, albeit it all looked very easy against an apparently food-poisoned Guinea Bissau.

(Adel nowhere to be seen - was he injured?)
[Post edited 9 Oct 2021 16:35]
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