Goals from Steven Gerrard (47), John Terry (51) and Peter Crouch (84) gave England a comfortable victory at Old Trafford.
In a dull first half, England also missed a penalty - Kiraly saving Frank Lampard's effort just before the break. The goal of the game, as per the Uruguay friendly, went to the visitors - Dardai (55) firing into the top corner from 25 yards.
The line up tonight could well be the one that takes the field against Paraguay on June 10th, so it was interesting to see how the side would settle. Steve Gerrard played in the Rooney role, just behind Owen, and did well. Joe Cole had an outstanding game on the left side of midfield, as did Beckham on the right, showing an almost complete range of his passing abilities.
On the negative side... yet again, Owen Hargreaves. He looked an absolute shambles when he replaced Carrick. I can only agree with the post match comments from 'Ian Wright' about him -
"He must know something about Sven's past!!"
The only other negative was the goal celebration from 'Peter Crouch'.
The robotic dance was reminiscent of a street artist you would see painted all silver or gold, and definitely needs some work before Germany!!
A concern maybe, is the fitness of Michael Owen. With Rooney injured for at least the Group stages, Owen looks like he needs a few more matches to get his match sharpness back. With only one more warm up game left, will it be enough time?
England: Robinson, Gary Neville (Hargreaves 45), Ferdinand, Terry (Campbell 76), Ashley Cole, Carragher, Beckham, Lampard, Gerrard (Crouch 65), Joe Cole, Owen (Walcott 65).
I have never been a fan of the 'Penalty Shoot Out'. It is no way to decide a game of football, especially if you are an England fan!! ;) But I also appreciate that at present, there probably isn't a better way.
One of the QPR's brightest youth team prospects, Kiyan Prince, was killed outside a school in North London yesterday. My sincere condolences are with Kiyan's family and friends.
Kiyan Prince, 15, was stabbed outside the London Academy in Edgware yesterday afternoon following an altercation with another boy.
Youth team manager Joe Gallen and Chairman Gianni Paladini have led the tributes on the official website this morning describing him as a "bright young talent" and "a credit to himself and his family."
There has been much debate about England's midfield for the forthcoming World Cup, and whether there is room for both Steve Gerrard and Frank Lampard in the same side?
Both great players without a shadow of a doubt, and both goalscoring midfielders. If the choice was mine, and after seeing him almost single handedly win the FA Cup for Liverpool this afternoon, it would be Steve Gerrard. But if Sven decides there is room for two, the how about Gerrard playing just behind the front two... whoever they maybe??
Runner Up - this was a tough decision - Simon Royce
Young Player of the Year - Scott Donnelly
Goal of the Season - Lee Cook versus Norwich away. Rowlands away at Crewe a close second!
Best Ground Visited - Sheffield United, the result clinched it!
Worst Ground Visited - Cardiff City
Best Home Game - Norwich 3-0
Best Away Game - Sheffield United 2-3. Although Derby was a close second.
Comedy Classic Moment of the Season - well this was the toughest award of all with so many to choose from...
The X Factor moment at Swindon Services The Big Squeeze - in PK's car coming home from Derby The Classic Contest between Lofty and DJ on the way home from Plymouth As soon ago as March, we were still talking about making the play offs!!
The Winner - a recent fans survey asked who would you like to go out for a date with?
Kylie Minogue or a star from your football team?
Now I will say first that DJ won this competition amongst the gang. We thought maybe it was that he was the only one of us (at the time) to have a QPR tattoo. But the secret was revealed, quite publically, on the old Lofty Heights. DJ not only would prefer a date with one of the players than Kylie - he also named the player - Gareth Ainsworth.
KEVIN GALLEN TESTIMONIAL - QUEEN CHARLOTTES HOSPITAL BENEFIT CONCERT
DOG CHEWED THE HANDLE
After the Reading game, the gang descended on O'Donoghues pub in Shepherds Bush for what turned into a great end of season bash!
Most of the QPR staff and players were in attendance and were more than happy to chat and have photos taken. It was fitting really, that Gareth Ainsworth's band were the main event of the evening.
We have seen a few of their gigs now and they just keep getting better and better. The usual format is a warm up track, then two sets of classic rock, indie and punk anthems. The boys can definitely put on a show and the first set kicked off with tracks from the Stereophonics, Oasis and Blur to name a few. This got the crowd warmed up very nicely for the second set which simply rocked!
The second set... and the crowd are then completely and utterly hooked, as they belted out classics from The Who, The Sex Pistols and The Clash amongst many others. By the time they performed the Kaiser Chiefs 'I predict a riot', the place was absolutely jumping! They ended with an Oasis track, which lyrics describe the footballing frontman superbly... 'TONIGHT... I'M A ROCK and ROLL STAR!!'
To sum up, this was yet another great occasion. If you ever get the chance to see Dog Chewed The Handle, I can assure you that you are GUARANTEED a fantastic time!!
For more info about the band and forthcoming gigs, please visit:
Well, thanks to Corporate, we were given an exclusive that Rangers would sign 4 players today... we signed 2.
But with at least another being hotly tipped to join, this was a superb piece of reporting from Corporate, thanks mate!!
Now to welcome our new signings...
Damion Stewart - is a Jamaican International. The 25 year old defender spent last season on loan with Bradford and received rave reviews. Damion has signed a 3 year contract from Carribean Champions, Harbour View. Do keep your eye out for Damion when England play Jamaica in a friendly on June 3rd.
Armel Tchakounte - is a Cameroon International who had signed a one year deal. Armel has caught the eye of Gary Waddock during his time training with the squad last season. The defensive midfielder, 27, has previously played for Hong Kong side, Kitchee FC
I hope you all like the new page and I would like to thank you all in advance for your continued support!!
It will basically be the same sort of blog as before, and you can still leave comments which are ALWAYS appreciated. It is actually easier to do, so you never know, we may see a comment from PK one of these days ;)
There will also be a new feature to replace the very successful Pie Rating (thanks Corp) and I am open to suggestion! I haven't really pushed the idea yet, but I hope that some of the gang will do some guest reporting for me, to help me with my very busy schedule :) ... what do you think lads?
And of course, I will be reporting on the World Cup, hopefully Rooney will be there too!!
If your feeling nostalgic for the old page, then it will still be available at http://loftyheights34.livejournal.com if you want to read back at all.
CONGRATULATIONS must go to NORWICH CITY who receive the coveted award of The Best Pies in The Championship!! Sheffield United came a close second but there again, they do not have Delia Smith on their staff do they??
Coming very soon, will be a review of the latest DOG CHEWED THE HANDLE gig at O'Donoghues pub in Shepherds Bush, and of course, the LOFTY HEIGHTS AWARDS 2005/2006.
But I will leave you for now with a piccy of the Rangers fans at Reading. Myself, DJ, PK, Corporate and Gobi all feature, but I will leave it up to you to find them. (DJ, you are well behaved in this one!!)
So here it is, the last game of a 'different' and disappointing season, and what a game to finish with. We were kindly invited to Reading's promotion party and yet again, our last game is away. We haven't had the very last game at home since 1999 and it's wearing a bit thin now. Five of the gang made the short trip up the M4 for this one and it was great to see, and welcome back Alan from America. We also all made sure we were all suitably dressed in 'proper' Hoops!!
The Gang: Lofty, PK, DJ, Corporate and Al
Onto the game and Rangers were in the mood to spoil the party. Reading looked dangerous everytime they came forward, but it was Rangers who should have had the lead. On 33 minutes, Richard Langley, one of many playing his last game for the R's, headed a rebound over the bar from 10 yards out. Reading then went on to make Rangers pay with Paul Kitson tapping home on 40 minutes.
Rangers continued to hold their own and when Ray Jones was introduced on 68 minutes, the game changed. Jones caused Reading all sorts of problems and on 72 minutes, nodded down superbly for Furlong to level the scores.
It was no more than Rangers deserved on the day. But in typical fashion of how this season has gone, Reading were awarded the most dubious of penalties. Langley was cruelly adjudged to have handled in the box and Murty fired home the resulting spot kick.
Final Score Reading 2-1 QPR
QPR: P Jones (Cole 46), Bignot, Milanese, Shittu, Ainsworth, Santos, Cook, Bailey (R Jones 69), Donnelly, Furlong, Langley. Subs Not Used: Evatt, Munday, Howell.
So the whistle finally blew on our season but Rangers deserved much more today. It was sad to see George Santos and Richard Langley play their last games for the club. But was encouraging to see the up and coming stars like Donnelly, Bailey and Jones play so well and look so comfortable, against what is now, Premiership opposition.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Reading and Sheffield United on the promotions.
Pie Rating - good, but not quite good enough. Corporate(steak and kidney) 8.25, PK(balti)8 and Lofty(balti) 8.5 - giving the Reading pies a rating of8.25/10