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The view from the Pu - September
Thursday, 4th Oct 2018 08:52 by Steve Hardy

Six games in September resulting in two wins, one draw and three defeats and, as with August, our new columnist Steve Hardy doesn’t see much improvement on last season.

The Good

Seven points for the month is not a bad thing and we’re currently outside of the relegation zone so I consider this to be a plus point. We sit on ten points for the season and this equates to 20% of the desired 50 points total which is a good position to be in for a team – which I believe – will be fighting relegation come March. Put it this way, if this were a working week we’ve already got Monday out of the way which is the hardest day isn’t it? So I think what I’m trying to say is that we’ve done the hard work and it should be easier from here – well that’s how it felt walking away from the Loft after the Millwall game, but we seem to have well and truly QPR’d it all since then.

Back at the start of the month when things seemed to be getting a little bit better I travelled up to Birmingham. Now I know this is beyond scraping the barrel, but I just wanted to make a point as to how cheap this day was. Match ticket was £20, train ticket was £8 return and add to that a couple of beers and some cheap food and the day cost around £50. I know clubs can’t dictate how much we pay for public transport but I just wanted to say fair play to Birmingham for the ticket pricing for that game, I thought that’s exactly what we should be looking to spend for a day at the football. Then the game kicked off and the ticket ended up being about seventeen quid overpriced.

On the subject of away games, we won one. An actual away game within the first two months of the season which is probably the most positive thing to come out of the month. Of course this happened when I was holiday so I wasn’t there to witness it.

Also Sean Goss is alive.

So that’s the positives, I hope you’re ready for….

The Bad

Let’s start – again – with the man in charge. When Ian Holloway was sacked at the end of last season the message we were given was that he’d taken us as far as we had gone and we needed a new man to come in to improve us and take us forward. Looking at the situation now is there really any improvement? Form and points wise I would say there’s been no significant improvement but it’s the whole feeling around the place and attitude of the players that has sunk like a stone, and it was best summed up in our league cup exit. Clive has already expertly analysed the importance of that Blackpool game and the consequences of McClaren just coining that game off, but, since then it has transpired that we would have been drawn away to Arsenal. Now by no means would we have had a hope in hell of beating Arsenal, but at least we would have had something exciting to look forward to. Not only would it have given us an opportunity for a decent and sizeable away following and night out but it would have provided a tidy amount of revenue to the club. I would like to think that the people above McClaren will have said something in regards to this but I genuinely feel like no-one – other than the supporters – at QPR actually gives a toss about cup competitions. It’s a long old way to May from here but a game at Arsenal would have given us all a break from the weekly sludge that we have to endure.

So what’s my opinion of McClaren then? To be honest I’ve never really liked him, always thought he was an arrogant arse, probably ever since that stupid Dutch accent. What worries me though is what someone put on the message board that this feels like Redknapp take two and, in truth, it really does. The players attitudes are already questionable, add to that a clear divide in the squad between youth and senior/loan players and it’s not looking good. I’ll be interested to see how quickly these loan signings start giving up, not bothering and picking up Joel Lynch-esque injuries. But the thing that worries me most is McClaren’s apparent reluctance to sign lower league players and give opportunities to the younger players that he was allegedly brought in to coach. He reminds me of the arrogant knobhead you all work with who supports Arsenal or Spurs and claims to be a massive football fan but knows nothing about anything outside of the Premier League. The kind of bloke that says stuff like ‘Oh I thought they were in the conference’ and ‘Oh QPR, who’s your manager again?’ Now I’m not claiming to be some sort of all-knowing football genius but I like to think I have a general overview of what’s going on in the sport that I spend the large majority of my spare time following. The fact that McClaren isn’t interested in signing a player because he comes from the lower leagues smacks to me of arrogance and naivety, it reminds me of Redknapp’s attitude of – never heard of him so he must be shit – and that worked out well for us before.

So if you’ve guessed already I’m not the biggest fan of McClaren. However, saying that I don’t see the point in getting rid of him as we’ll probably only end up appointing somebody like Alan Pardew, which would be even worse. Now you can say what you want about Ian Holloway last season but at least all the players seemed to be working together and we all felt a bit united. The apathy I feel already this season is through the roof and we’ve still got 36 league games plus one FA Cup game to go!

I’ll at least try and finish the negatives on a light hearted point. That pink kit is horrendous. To be honest I’m not even sure that it’s actually pink, it’s like some form of neon Calpol. When the idea of a neon Calpol away kit was floated up did no-one at the club stop to think ‘hold on a minute we already lose every away game, should we really be making them play in a bright pink kit as well?’ Of course they didn’t.

The QPR

I saw a post on the message board earlier today in relation to Geoff Cameron and him being advised to not head the ball so much due to previous concussion injuries. I thought this is one of the most QPR things ever, signing a player to play centre back in the Championship who can’t head the ball, however I couldn’t find anything to back this up so it’s purely just a rumour.

On a similar note though I think I will stick with Geoff Cameron for the most QPR thing this month. Whilst we have loaned 33-year-old Geoff for the season from Stoke, to facilitate this we had to ship young Ryan Manning out on loan to division rivals Rotherham. Since then Manning has been one of Rotherham’s stand out players scoring two so far and starting every game, whilst our new signing started against Millwall but was not fit enough to play another game until ten days later at Swansea. Only at QPR.

September Grade: If we’d kept it up post Millwall then it would all be rosy but we didn’t so C-.

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extratimeR added 16:43 - Oct 4
Yes Steve, very accurate, my view on Holloway before he was sacked was that he should be given at least one more year to integrate all the younger players coming through.

I assumed that was also the priority when they appointed McLaren, I just wonder what will happen when we have one of our "dark months" (usually January), and loan players start disappearing, and we then have to fall back on the youngsters.

I hope we have a Plan B
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nix added 23:01 - Oct 4
Good sunnary Steve. Thanks for that. Can’t really argue with you about much there.

It was me Steve who said about Geoff Cameron. I’d read in the Stoke fans forum that he might not want to head the ball after six weeks out with severe concussion. Details of concussion below.

https://soccer.nbcsports.com/2018/01/09/geoff-cameron-out-injured-for-stoke-city

A quote from the Stoke Sentinel ‘Do I want to throw my head out there in training and heading the ball left and right...no. But if it’s in a game then yes you are going to head it But do I need to be smashing balls with my head? No because statistically concussion takes a year to heal itself.’ This just doesn’t sound like someone that wants to play centre back and regularly head it out and go up against big centre forwards with his head. And I can’t really blame him. But I’m not sure if he’d be great cover for us as a central defender.

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