|Hull City 4 v 0 Queens Park Rangers|
Saturday, 7th April 2018 Kick-off 15:00
Hull horror show from Holloway's Rangers - Report
Sunday, 8th Apr 2018 18:55 by Lee McAlpine
From 4-1 victors to 4-0 losers in the space of five days, QPR's away day woes continued in earnest at Hull City on Saturday and Lee McAlpine was unfortunate enough to be there for LFW.
If this match report has a bit of an end-of -season feel about it, that's because it probably is for me. A long weekend in Nuremberg means, rather fortunately, I will avoid the inevitable mouth-watering prices for the Leeds game; which as usual will be as pointless a fixture as it has been in recent years. Wouldn't it be great for a Leeds game to actually have a semblance of importance attached to it? Imagine how nasty the locals would be if that was to occur.
Talking of pretty meaningless fixtures, today's match in Hull looked like being pretty close to one of those, with the home team now almost certainly safe and us actually eyeing up twelfth place, such has been the run of good form we've been on. Yeah right, honestly.
The KCOM Stadium, or any of its previous guises, have not been much fun for QPR fans in recent years. The games have tended to be dour affairs, only livened up by either: Barton testicle punches, Adel sulks or bombing taunts from Hull's knuckle dragging minority. Professor Nigel Adkins is Hull's manage these days leaving me to look forward to whatever over-complicated, nonsensical bollox he would come up with after the game. QPR fans may well grumble about our leadership, well on Twitter anyway, but I would much rather go for a Holloway/Fernandes combo than an Adkins/Allam hierarchy. Yeah right, honestly.
The mis-treatment and complete alienation of the Hull fans has been unbelievable, you will struggle to find anyone amongst these home fans with anything positive to say. Asset-stripping of the team and complete disregard for the fans seems to be the way forward for the Allams out of spite for not being handed the council owned stadium for nothing or being allowed to change the name of the club, so it can be said The Tigers have done reasonably well to avoid holding hands with Sunderland on their way down to the third tier. A well-timed, decent run of results have pulled Hull tidily clear from third-bottom Barnsley, so only their angst against their owners should have given the home fans any negativity, rather than any realistic fear of relegation. A sound pasting by our revitalised outfit would have added to their unhappiness and it would have made a welcome change to previous visits. Yeah right, honestly.
We’ve never won here - it's a pretty dull stadium with a very sleepy atmosphere and the football usually matches that. But with our resurgent form and a pretty confident, young squad, playing without fear, I was more than hopeful of a better than average performance today. The fact that Ian Holloway and his staff must now be feeling relatively secure about their employment prospects for next season, was another reason why I thought we could put on a display this afternoon and give the locals even more to moan about than their shabby owners. Yeah r... Seriously, these were my pre-game thoughts. At no point on my QPR radar was the kind of pathetic, shambolic and unprofessional display that was served up by those in blue and white hoops today.
Firstly, Hull must also be commended for the pre-match applause for Ray Wilkins. It really was generously given and warmly participated in, especially considering if you watched or listened to any main stream media this week, you wouldn't have even known Ray ever played for QPR. Particularly nauseating was the Jim White interview with John Terry on Talkshite (I know, I should know better) White was so far up Terry's backside he could've checked our former Chelsea friend's prostrate out with his tongue.
Pre-match rumours of a sickness bug, along with Holloway's hints of game time for the likes of Chair and Osayi-Samuel, suggested huge changes from Monday's impressive victory over Norwich. As it turned out this wasn't really the case. Rangers lined up with the usual back four plus 16 midfielders. The regular trio of Scowen, Luongo and Freeman in the middle, Wsolek on the left, Manning on the right with Eze up front putting the ‘false’ into ‘false nine’. Sylla was on the bench with no sign of Smith or Washington.
The first half was an ordinary, backwards and forwards boring encounter with only Hull doing anything of note in their opponents’ penalty area. Great challenges from Onuoha and Lynch prevented goal bound efforts before Lynch limped off after landing awkwardly. Abel Hernandez contrived to mis-kick from six yards and Scowen almost scored a comical own goal. While all of our good approach play fell apart the moment we got anywhere near their box. We simply had no pace or thrust where it mattered and the ball was given away countless times by both teams, it really was all very sub-standard stuff.
Bidwell and Bowen were booked for pointless handbags and the home fans tried to get Onuoha sent off for a fair but hard aerial challenge, not that he needed much help later on. The game was drifting to a predictable 0-0 half time score until we contrived to give the ball away in midfield twice and Hull scored twice.
The first had a hint of offside about it, not that the assistant would've spotted any offside as he proved to be the most incompetent official throughout the game. A misplaced pass in the middle by Scowen handed possession cheaply back to Hull. Wilson was feed clean through and he finished neatly past Smithies. Luongo could've equalised but after being found by Furlong, blazed wildly over. The second goal for Hull soon followed, deep into added time. This was an even worse goal to concede and at such a vital time, killing off the game, the completely awful and ineffective Wsolek, miss controlled a simple ball and Hull broke clear. Abel Hernandez twisted and turned and crashed a fierce effort against the woodwork. A fortunate escape for Rangers, until the ball rebounded against Smithies and dribbled into the net.
QPR got exactly what they deserved in the first half- absolutely zilch. We didn't take care of the ball, we were careless and completely one dimensional, in that we were so slow in the final third. Eze may be the next best thing to sliced bread and destined for higher places but he is not, never will be, a lone striker. He has a lovely languid, easy way about him. He controls the ball effortlessly and seems to have so much time on the ball. That's great but utterly worthless when he is isolated with no runners beyond him. Wszolek and Manning, both playing on their wrong sides, did nothing in the first half, Wszolek did even less in the second half. Manning didn't because he was replaced at half time by Sylla, but there was a long list of potential tugs, such was the ineffectiveness of their first half efforts.
If the first half was disappointing, well the second? You've all seen the score and the red card, it was downright embarrassing. Hull scored two more ultra simple goals. The third was routine, but well made, while the fourth was a result of more poor control (this time from Luongo) and very ordinary defending.
Eze took a cringeworthy dive trying to win a penalty and luckily avoided a booking, but he did have our only effort on goal, when he controlled the ball well on the edge of the box. But this effort was well blocked by the moany Dawson. We had countless corners but never, ever looked like scoring. And to be honest I was relieved to keep the score to just four.
The final indignity came in added time when our contract-stalling captain completely lost the plot. Scowen committed a foul near the halfway line and a Hull player retaliated, giving Scowen a gentle shove. Onuoha then charged across the field and rammed into the Hull playing sending him flying. As straight forward case of violent contact as you will ever see and the red card was rightly shown. We were 4-0 down in added for crying out loud. Did Onuoha think he was Joel Lynch on Christmas Eve? Three match ban.
What a shame, if that is our final memory of a player who has worn our colours with distinction over a number of years. The ten men managed to keep the score to four as the final few minutes slipped away.
Rangers had been soundly thrashed, not really by Hull though, but by poor team selection and set-up, rank bad defending and an unusually large number of poor performances. I dread to think what a top performing Championship side would've done to us today. We were simply not at it. It was a very similar performance to Forest away- disgusting and clearly not like we have been seeing recently.
Despite today, I've enjoyed watching Rangers this year. I think we've easily surpassed most people's sensible expectations. At times we played some expansive, entertaining football and have been a match for virtually all of the division, bar Nottingham Forest obviously. And with a better chance-conversion ratio, we would surely have been pushing for a play-off spot. But all in all you'd have to be a pretty miserable (me sometimes I know) not to be happy with how the team has developed this year, especially considering the young makeup of the match day squad. I've also really enjoyed the quiet transfer windows and the gradual disappearance of overpaid wage-thieves. There really is an awful lot more to like about our club these days and I for one will be looking forward to next season far more than I was this time last year. But the away form has not been good enough, this is the second time we’ve been beaten 4-0 and extends the run of only one clean sheet on the road all season.
As it's my final effort of the season, I'd like to finish by thanking everyone for the kind comments (both online and in person) which I've received about my match day ramblings. Norf's writing boots are huge ones to even attempt to fill and I'm just happy for my words to appear on the same site as his.
QPR: Smithies 5; Furlong 5, Lynch 6 (Robinson 15, 5), Onuoha 5, Bidwell 5; Scowen 5, Freeman 6, Luongo 5; Wsolek 3 (Osayi-Samuel 67, 5), Manning 4 (Sylla 45, 5); Eze 5.
Subs not used: Ingram, Cousins, Baptiste, Smyth
Red Card: Onuoha 90+1 (violent conduct)
Bookings: Bidwell 30 (unsporting), Scowen 90+1 (foul)
Hull: McGregor, Aina, Dawson, Hector, Clark, Henriksen, Larrson, Bowen (Grosicki 52), Toral (Irvine 59), Wilson, Hernandez (Campbell 71)
Subs not used: Meyler, Marshall, Tomori, McDonald
Goals: Wilson 42 (assisted Hernandez), Smithies own goal 45 (assisted Hernandez), Grosicki 62 (assisted Wilson), Hernandez 69 (assisted Henriksen)
Bookings: Bowen 30 (unsporting), Irvine 81 (foul), Henriksen 90+1 (unsporting)
QPR Star Man – Joel Lynch 6 One good challenge and clever back header to Smithies. And it was nil nil when he went off. Honourable mention to Freeman who never stops trying even when it's clearly not going be his day.
Referee G.Eltringham 8 No complaints at all. Another solid display from a reliable official. Didn't let home fans and players intimidate him, getting all major calls right. Although a special mention to assistant nearest us, who gave a foul to Hull when Sylla was pushed in the back- a truly remarkable decision.
Attendance – 14,181 (700 QPR approx) All the travelling QPR fans got a free shirt which was a nice touch. Good luck to the Hull fans and their ongoing attempts to oust the Allams.
The Twitter @LeeMcAlpine1
Pictures – Action Images
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