Lofty Heights... 'Ohhh Bobby Zamooooora!!!'

A look at Queens Park Rangers F.C. through the eyes of the fans - follow us on twitter @loftyheights70, @LoftyQPR and @qprleeroy

Saturday, January 30, 2010

There's only one Gareth Ainsworth.

Mick Harford took charge of his first home game at Loftus Road today and was in search of his first win as Rangers' boss. Standing in the way of the maiden victory were Scunthorpe, a team that have never won at Loftus Road.

The Lofty Heights crew were split into two groups before the game as Lofty, PK, Corp and Darren went to the Springbok and in the Connie were me, Sam , Justin, Nik and Iceman. We were also joined by Michael Whelan, Shamie and more Irish R's in the Connie. We all joined up before the start of the game as normal service was resumed. Jenson was on holiday duty once again and we had a late arrival.... California Hoop finally arriving 39 minutes into the first half!

Mick Harford made one change from the team that lost 5-0 at Nottingham Forest on Tuesday evening. Damion Stewart dropped out as Rowan Vine replaced him as the R's lined up in a 4-4-2 formation. Leigertwood dropped to right back, Connolly moved into centre back with Gorkss and Hill was at left back. Buzsaky and Taarabt played in the wide positions, with Faurlin and Quashie in the centre of midfield. Vine partnered Jay Simpson up front.


During the first half Rangers' created more chances than the visitors but failed to make their possession and opportunities count.
On two separate occasions the R's had the ball in the back of the net but were denied by two offside decisions, one of which looked extremely tight.
Scunthorpe had a chance to go into the break one up after Ikeme blocked a Woolford shot, he could only parry it to Togwell who was 12 yards out but he blasted way over the bar.

Thankfully half time came along to save us!
News broke out at lunchtime that Gareth Ainsworth would be leaving the club and becoming a free agent. Ainsworth was presented to the crowd at half time and he was given the chance to say thank you to the fans for making his stay at Loftus Road "fantastic and unforgettable". He said that we never got less than 100% from him (I believe we always got 110%) and QPR would hold a special place in his heart.
Ainsworth's favourite memory was the day at Hillsborough when the R's won 3-1 and clinched promotion to the Championship, 12 months after joining the club from Cardiff on a free transfer.


Gareth really has earned himself a legendary status during his seven and a half years at the club and I'm sure everyone will wish him the very best as he looks to prolong his playing career. I sincerely hope that Gareth will one day come back to the club in some capacity.
Its just a shame the C-Club couldn't stay away from their prawn sandwitches long enough to thank him for all his efforts during his time here and being a caretaker manager on two separate occasions for them.

Oh there's a "game" to talk about, here we go with the second half.
The R's continued to enjoy more possession than their opponents but rarely looked like they would threaten Joe Murphy in the Scunthorpe goal. I counted possibly three shots on target during the second half, from Leigertwood, Cook and another shot that has since been forgotten about.
The passing got better as the half got older but that final killer ball was lacking.
Scunthorpe did have the ball in the back of the net at the midway point of the half, but once again the offside flag came to Rangers' rescue.
However just a few minutes later it was 1-0 to the visitors.
A long ball from defence found Hooper out on the right hand side. His through ball into the centre found Thompson completely unmarked and he poked home from close range.
Immediately after the goal a double substitution was made. Antonio German and Lee Cook came on for Rowan Vine and Adel Taarabt.
Some 5 minutes later Angelo Balanta came on for Akos Buzsaky.
During his time on the pitch Lee Cook looked the most likely to create any kind of chance and his crosses from the left hand side looked very dangerous during his 15 minutes on the pitch.
Unfortunately an equalizer wasn't found and Scunthorpe went away with the points for the first time in their history.

After the game a protest was held by 150-200 fans outside the W12 VIP entrance, little to everyone's knowledge that Flavio Briatore had left the ground upon Scunthorpe scoring their goal. Chants of "we want our Rangers' back", "£20 you're having a laugh", "you can stick you're four year plan up you're a@#e" and mimicking the circus music. The songs being sung during the game like "if you hate Briatore clap you're hands" (and a few others I wont mention due to the language). These chants were heard by the Chairman and you now have to wonder if he will look to sell up to someone else, if he hasn't already started courting with prospective investors.

Onto our Man of the Match award. Its hard to look elsewhere than the person that is going to get this award today. Lee Cook looked like he was progressing nicely on his comeback from injury and posed a lot of threat when he came on and today the award definitely has to go to Gareth Ainsworth.


Rock On!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Hall leaves R's on loan as Ikeme loan is extended.

This morning it has been announced that Fitz Hall has left the club on loan until 31st May with his destination being Newcastle United.


Hall joined Rangers in January 2008 and made his debut against Chelsea in the FA Cup tie at Stamford Bridge and has gone on to make 54 appearances and scored 2 goals, both of which came against Barnsley at the beginning of last season.

The 6ft 4ins centre-back started his playing career with non-league Barnet before joining Chesham United.

There he came to the attention of Oldham Athletic manager, and former Magpie coach, Iain Dowie who took the Londoner to Boundary Park in 2002.

A brief stay at Southampton followed before rejoining Dowie at Crystal Palace.

There, alongside Routledge, Hall and The Eagles were relegated from the Premier League during their first season back in the top flight.

In 2006, though, Hall returned to England's top division when he was snapped up by Wigan for a £3m fee. He then Joined Rangers in January 2008.

I'd like to wish Fitz all the best during his time at Newcastle.

Carl Ikeme has extended his loan spell at the R's until the 6th April.


The Wolves custodian has been at Rangers' for the past month and has played in the last two fixtures, conceding 7 goals in the process.
Ikeme played a bit part at the end of last season as Wolves clinched promotion to the Premiership.

Mick Harford told the Official QPR website "Carl has trained ever so well since he's been here. He's a good size and has a great presence, which helps to take the pressure off the back four a little bit. We want players who want to play for this Football Club."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Nott-so funny!

The Mick Harford and Tony Coton partnership started tonight with the unenviable trip to high flyers Nottingham Forest, the Lofty Heights crew were there to witness the events unfold in front of us.

After hearing the news that Wayne Routledge had left the club for Newcastle United, tonight’s gang of Jenson, Sam, Justin, Jack and myself were in slightly less optimistic moods and were left feeling pretty puzzled as to what was going on at our club and begun to wonder who may be next out the door and who the next loan signing will be, disillusionment has definitely started to affect the fans, so who knows what it is doing to the management team and the players.
The news that Crystal Palace had gone into administration broke as we were on the road, this meant that the R’s jumped up a place in the table before a ball was kicked in anger.
Inside the ground we met up with our Welsh friends Richard, Sophie and Dan.

Mick Harford made two changes from the side that drew 2-2 at Blackpool at the weekend. Nigel Quashie and Matt Hill, two new signings this week, came in for the two players that have departed the club in the last 24 hours, Patrick Agyemang and Wayne Routledge.

Nottingham Forest started the game the better of the two sides and if I’m honest they completely controlled the opening 45 minutes.
Forest were freely passing the ball around without feeling too much pressure from the R’s defenders or midfielders. The chances soon came but were not taken as McKenna fired wildly shot hide and wide.
Disaster struck on 19 minutes. Forest were awarded what looked to be a very soft free kick just outside the Rangers’ penalty area. As Rob Earnshaw placed the ball on the floor I turned to Richard and said “U watch this now, 1-0, top right hand corner”. Earnshaw stepped up and placed his shot into the top right hand corner, I wish I never predicted it!! 1-0 Forest and Lee Camp started celebrating in front of the R’s fans that had given him a good reception at the start of the game.
Just two minutes later and it was 2-0!
Quashie was dispossessed in the centre of midfield and Forest swept thru the R’s with some slick passing. The final pass was to Earnshaw and he made no mistake as he netted with a powerful shot into the bottom left corner. Camp this time decided to start celebrating like he had just won the World Cup and annoyed many of the travelling supporters. I think it’s safe to say that he lost a lot of the R’s fans that continued to back him when he left.
Forest were in complete control and Rangers’ didn’t even pose any threat to Camp’s goal until 27 minutes as Adel Taarabt tamely shot at goal.
Unfortunately that was the best moment of the half for the away fans as we started to sing our own songs and try to at least enjoy our time in Nottingham. I will shed some light on them a little later on as I try to end this report on a more positive note.
Carl Ikeme made his first real save of the evening on 30 minutes as Majewski fired a cracking shot on goal and Ikeme parried the ball into the air before gathering up at the second attempt.
32 minutes were on the clock as Forest were given the chance to make it 3-0.
Earnshaw turned in the box and was tripped by Gorkss, referee Ilderton pointed to the spot, although it looked soft from where we were sitting(it would be nice to see the replay of the challenge). Former R’s striker Dexter Blackstock stepped up and buried the penalty and he toned his celebration somewhat, nice to see someone didn’t milk it in the moment.
Luckily no more goals were conceded in the final 10 minutes of the half but what we witnessed really was not pretty at all!


Half time saved us from further humiliation and the main topic of discussion was at what time we were going to leave in the second half. We agreed that we should leave on 4-0 or if there was no improvement in the first 20minutes of the second half.

Harford made two changes at half time. Faurlin and Stewart came off and were replaced by Ephraim and Ramage.
It took a matter of seconds for Rangers’ to have their first telling shot on goal. Taarabt squared the ball to Quashie but his effort went straight at Camp.
Four minutes into the half and goal number four was chalked up.
Cohen, who scored in the same fixture last year, received the ball 35yards from goal and was given acres of space. Cohen let rip from 20yards out, Ikeme got a hand to it but unfortunately he seemed to mis-judge the flight of the ball and he could only palm the ball into the back of the net.
It was at this time that Richard, Sophie and Dan left and let’s face it who could blame them!
At this time the R’s fans were sarcastically cheering every pass we made and even started singing “it’s just like watching Brazil”

I will now list three of the songs that I can remember being sung in the hope it’ll cheer you up after only hearing doom and gloom before I then tell you about how we went 5-0 down.
“If you can’t borrow money Borrowdale, if you can’t borrow money Borrowdale, if you can’t borrow money, can’t borrow money Borrowdale”.
“There’s only one Peter Ramage, one Peter Ramage, walking along, singing a song, living in a Ramage wonderland”.
But the best one of all from the evening has to be :-
“We’ve lost that scoring feeling, wooaahhh that scoring feeling. We’ve lost that scoring feeling and now it’s gone gone gone wooaaaahhhhhhhhhhh”.

Now it’s back to the action, well when I say action I mean the last piece of action we saw, Forest’s fifth goal.
Good work down the Forest left and a neat through ball into the R’s penalty area led to Forest having two efforts cleared off the line but the ball dribbled to Perch who was following up to slide home from an acute angle.

We can view this game from two different perspectives. Forest really did look comfortable and put in a good shift tonight. Their finishing was clinical and really did make Rangers’ look like a struggling mid table team. On the other hand Rangers’ were poor and didn’t pressure or get in the faces of Forest at all. A very bad day at the office and I really hope the players got a real roasting at the end of the game because performances like that cannot be tolerated.
Harford has come out and said that we need a striker after tonight’s game, well hopefully two will come in and the players will put in some effort on the training ground before Saturday’s game against Scunthorpe.

All that remains is for our Man of the Match to be named. As no-one on the field is worthy of the award and us having 693 fantastic travelling fans in attendance, I am going to go with Jenson’s suggestion that the 693 fans should be our Man/Woman/Child of the Match. I wish that our fans were like that for every game!

Nottingham Forest: Camp, Perch, Morgan (Chambers 72), Wilson, Anderson (Tyson 70), Earnshaw, Cohen, Gunter, McKenna, Blackstock (Adebola 80), Majewski.

Subs not used: Smith, McGugan, McGoldrick, Moussi.

Goals: Earnshaw (19 & 21), Blackstock (32), Cohen (49), Perch (78)

QPR: Ikeme, Stewart (Ramage 46), Leigertwood, Buzsaky, Gorkss, Quashie, Connolly, Faurlin (Ephraim 46), Hill, Simpson (Vine 70), Taarabt.

Subs not used: Cerny, Hall, Cook, German.

Bookings: Buzsaky, Taarabt, Quashie

Referee: Mr E Ilderton

Attendance: 23, 293 (Away: 693)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Routledge departs.

Today the club have announced the departure of Wayne Routledge to Championship table toppers Newcastle United for an undisclosed fee.


Routledge joined the club in the January transfer window last year for £600,000 from Aston Villa after a successful two month loan spell at Cardiff City.
He went on to make 47 appearances for the R's and scored 7 goals in the process, including a hat-trick against Exeter in the League Cup.

Routledge was apparently disillusioned with life at Loftus Road after seeing managers come and go during his 12 month stay, and lets be fair, who can blame him!

I would like to wish Wayne all the best for the future and thank him for his efforts over the past 12 months.

Monday, January 25, 2010

One in and one out as the loan deals continue to roll in.

Two deals have been announced today as Matt Hill joins the club on loan from Wolves until the end of the season and Patrick Agyemang leaves the club as he joins Bristol City on loan, also until the end of the season.

Matt Hill started his career at Bristol City as a trainee in 1998 and went on to make 198 appearances for the club before moving to Preston in January 2005 for £100,000, rejecting that chance to join Rangers in the process. During his time at Preston he won the Player of the Year award for the 2006/07 season. In 2008 he went and joined Wolves for an undisclosed fee but has been limited to only 15 appearances during his time there.


The left back is quoted on the Official QPR website saying "I spoke with Mick Harford before I joined, and the chat we had was certainly enough to convince me to come down here.I like to think I am the sort of player who is all-hearted, and always gives it everything when I play".

All of us here at Lofty Heights would like to welcome Matt to club club and hope he has an enjoyable spell at the club.

In the second piece of transfer news of the day, Patrick Agyemang joins Bristol City on loan for the rest of the season.


Agyemang has had limited chances at Rangers this season but has bagged three goals for the R's this term.
Agyemang has been frustrated as of late with not being able to hold down a regular place in the first team and with the R's changing their manager on a frequent basis it has unsettled the player. Hopefully the move will be a good one for the pacey striker and we wish him will during his time at Ashton Gate.

Finally, there is sad news for close followers of the club.
Derek Buxton, the clubs statistician from the early 70's onwards, passed away on Sunday following a brief illness.
I hope I speak for everyone here when I say that our thoughts are with Derek's family and pass on our condolences.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

R's on The Road.......... To Nottingham Forest.

The new management duo of Mick Harford and Tony Coton combine for the first time as the R's travel to the Midlands for their midweek clash against high flying and promotion hopefuls Nottingham Forest.
Here's a little guide of what to expect on your visit to the City Ground.


The Stadium.

Current Capacity - 30,576


The City Ground has been the home of Forest since 1898 and undergone some major redevelopments so that it could be one of the host stadiums for thr Euro 96 tournament. The stadium is the tenth largest outside the top division behind Newcastle United, Middlesbrough, Sheffield United, Leicester City, Leeds United, Southampton, Coventry City, Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday.
Contrary to popular belief the name "Forest" does not originate from Sherwood Forest, but from the Forest Recreation Ground just north of Nottingham City Centre which is where the club first played upon its formation in 1865 (though the name of the Forest Recreation Ground does in turn derive from a time when that ground was part of Sherwood Forest).
The club have announced plans for a brand new 50,000 seater stadium which would possibly be located in Gamston and is part of the FA's World Cup bid for 2018/2022.
Away fans are housed in the lower tier of the Bridgford End. Upto 4,750 fans can be held in the end. The facilities in this end are pretty good and the view of the pitch is unrestricted. A lot of noise can be made here so do make the most of it on your visit.

The History between the teams.

At Forest (27)

Forest 16
Draw 11

Amazingly Rangers' have never won on their travels to the City Ground. That streak was close to being broken last year as the R's drew 2-2 12months ago. An exciting end to the first half saw Forest score a penalty in injury time, only for Matteo Alberti to go up the other end and poke home an equalizer just 90 seconds later and ensured the teams went in level at the break. It was Alberti getting himself on the scoresheet once again early in the second half to set the R's on their way but a Chris Cohen leveller from close range made sure that the two teams shared the points.


How to get there.

By Car:-
The postcode required for the City Ground today is NG2 5FJ
There are two routes you can use to get to the City Ground and I will quickly give you an oversight here now.
The most common route is to go up the M1 and leave at junction 24, heading down the A453 towards Nottingham and then joining the A52 heading towards Grantham and then join the A6011 into Nottingham. The ground is on the A6011 opposite the cricket ground.
The other way is as follows - Leave the M1 at Junction 21a (Leicester East) and follow the A46 dual carriageway towards Newark. After around 20 miles take the A606 towards Nottingham. At the first roundabout that is the junction with the A52, take the 4th exit onto the A52, signposted towards Grantham. At the next roundabout turn left onto the A6011 towards Nottingham. The ground is about a mile down this road.

As for parking, there is a large car pack situated at the ground and there are other car parks in and around the area of the ground to park in so it should be pretty easy to park up.

By Train:- The ground is walkable from Nottingham railway station (20mins). As you come out of the main station entrance, turn left and then left again. Follow the road down to the dual carriageway and then turn right. The ground is about 3/4's of a mile down the dual carriageway on the left, just over Trent Bridge.

Pubs 'n' Grub.

The Meadow Club on Meadow Lane has now become the 'unofficial' pub for away supporters it adjoins Notts County FC. The Trent Bridge Inn and Larwood and Voce do not allow away supporters in. There are a large number of food outlets around the ground including a McDonalds, which is less than 5 minutes walk down Radcliffe Road. If you have time to spend in the city centre there are a vast number of pubs, clubs and eating places. For those of you who like a bit of culture when it comes to a good old fashioned pub with some light hearted entertainment then I would highly recommend Hooters, although it is not suitable for some of our younger viewers.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Quashie makes R's return.

After weeks of speculation today it was finally announced that Nigel Quashie has returned to Rangers', some 11 years after his first spell at the club.

Quashie arrives on a free transfer after being released from his contract at West Ham. The deal will last until the end of the season.


Quashie started his career in the Rangers' youth ranks and broke into the first team in December 1995 when he made his debut for the R's at Old Trafford. At the start of the 98/99 season Quashie made a £2.5million pound move to Nottingham Forest. Permanent spells at Portsmouth, Southampton, West Brom and then West Ham, as well as loan spells at Birmingham, Wolves and more recently MK Dons have accumulated before his return to the club he supported as a child.

Quashie is quoted as saying on the Official QPR website as saying "It's great to be back home, and I am delighted to be at a Club that I love to pieces.
I had a good time when I was here before, and the fans were very good to me. I'm a fan of the Club myself so I know what they demand.
There are some excellent players here and it is nice to come back and be a part of it".

Hopefully Quashies return will add some much needed bite and leadership the R's midfield has lacked since Martin Rowlands and Gavin Mahon have been ruled out due to long term injuries.

I hope you just us here at Lofty Heights in welcoming Nigel a very happy return.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Harford appoints new Assistant Manager.

Today Mick Harford and QPR welcomed a new member to the coaching staff as Tony Coton was named as the man that would be Rangers' number two behind Harford.


Coton is largely remembered for his time at Manchester City in the early 90's. He was bought by Howard Kendall for just under a million pounds and was the most expensive goalkeeper bought by a British club at that time. During his time at City he won the clubs Player of the Year award on two occasions and also won an England B cap in 1992.


Having moved to City's fierce rivals Manchester United in 1996 for £500,000 it was in 1997 that Coton moved on to become a goalkeeping coach and quickly established himself as one of the best in the business in that department. After 11 successful years at Old Trafford it was advised that Coton stepped down from his role due to on-going knee troubles which stopped his participation in training sessions.

Both Harford and Coton are no strangers to each other having played together in the early 80's at Birmingham City. The pair have reamined close friends which each other over the years and share similar views on the game.

Coton is quoted on the Official QPR website "Mick and I are very good friends. We have kept in touch over the years - we normally speak two or three times a week - and we have the same philosophies on how the game should be played.
He called me and said he needed a hand, and wanted someone he can trust who he gets on well with.
This was a big decision for me because I live up in Bolton with my family. But we go back a long way and I am delighted to be here to help."

I hope you join us all at Lofty Heights in welcoming Tony to Loftus Road and wish him an enjoyable stay at the club.

On a side note, it was announced yesterday that the R's home fixture against Plymouth that was scheduled for the 9th January has now been rearranged for Tuesday 9th March, kick off at 8pm.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

'Pool pay the penalty as connolly wonder goal earns point.

Mick Harford's second reign in charge of first team affairs came two days after Paul Hart's departure. In front of him and the R's was a long trip to the North-West where former a Rangers' manager Ian Holloway and his high flying Blackpool side prepared to challenge them.

With no Lofty Heights representation at the game and myself not even close to a radio to write as things happen, I was glad to take up Nik Brumsack's offer to do a match report for me. A massive thanks to Nik for doing this at short notice, I hope you enjoy reading this.

Four changes were made to the side that were knocked out of the FA Cup by Sheffield United on Tuesday night, as Radek Cerny, Peter Ramage, Gary Borrowdale and Jay Simpson were all dropped. Carl Ikeme made his debut behind the sticks whilst Fitz Hall, Matthew Connolly and Adel Taarabt were all recalled to the side.


Rangers couldn’t have got off to a bad start, however, and were soon a goal down as Brett Ormerod got away from Fitz Hall before delivering an excellent ball into the box that was thumped home by an unmarked Charlie Adam at the back post.

The hosts were nearly two goals to the good midway through the first half as Keith Southern saw his shot fly narrowly wide of Ikeme’s goal.

Taarabt’s return to the starting line-up was having the desired effect, and he almost put the hoops level ten minutes before the break. Bamboozling full-back Neal Eardley, the Spurs loanee’s shot was deflected away. Taarabt continued to be a nuisance to the Blackpool backline and after more excellent work from the Moroccan, Wayne Routledge was just unable to get on the end of a ball that drifted across the six-yard box.

Half-time came and went with Rangers bringing on Hogan Ephraim for the somewhat disappointing Akos Buzsaky.


Barely five minutes into the second half and that man was at it again, as Taarabt made some room for himself before firing a shot that beat Rachubka all ends up before agonisingly hitting both posts and deflecting to safety.

Rangers were continuing to grow in confidence, and were finally rewarded after 54 minutes when Ephraim’s shot was harshly adjudged by Trevor Kettle to have hit the hand of Ardley. Taarabt took the penalty, stepping up coolly before cheekily chipping the ball down the middle to bring Rangers level.

Ephraim was becoming more and more involved as the game went on and nearly gave Rangers the lead midway through the second half, shooting just wide from Wayne Routledge’s fine pass.

It was, however, the Seasiders who regained the lead with a quarter of an hour to go as Southern’s long-range shot was flicked skilfully by Gary Taylor-Fletcher past Ikeme in the R’s goal.

Harford quickly sent on Peter Ramage and Antonio German in the hope of salvaging something from the game, and with just five minutes to play, the Superhoops were again level with a goal fit to grace any ground. After German headed the ball into his path, Matt Connolly took two touches to steady himself before sending an unstoppable 25-yard volley past the helpless Rachubka and into the net.

There were to be no more goals as Rangers were forced to settle for a very well-earned point.


Blackpool: Rachubka, Crainey, Southern, Eardley, Evatt, Ormerod, Vaughan (Euell, 89), Taylor-Fletcher (Nardiello, 89), Baptiste, Adam, Bannan (Burgess, 62)

Subs: Martin, Euell, Gilks, Nardiello, Edwards, Butler.

Adam (39)

Goals: Adam (9), Taylor-Fletcher (76)

QPR: Ikeme, Stewart, Hall (Ramage, 77), Leigertwood, Routledge, Buzsaky (Ephraim, 46), Agyemang, Gorkss, Connolly, Faurlin (German 80), Taarabt.

Subs: Cerny, Balanta, Simpson, Borrowdale.

Bookings: Routledge (90)

Goals: Taarabt (pen, 64), Connolly (84)

Referee: Mr T Kettle

Attendance: 7,600 (Away: 459)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Paul's leaving feeling broken Hart-ed

This evening at just before 23.00 the news broke that after only FIVE games in charge, Paul Hart has left the club by mutual consent.


The news has came as a little bit of a shock but relief to some (maybe many) fans after witnessing some pretty clueless performances and also in his first game in charge, against Bristol City, seeing 6 defenders take to the field for the final 10 minutes and seeing the R's cling on for dear life, even tho the game was not in danger of slipping out of Rangers' reach.

Of Hart's five games, three of them were against Sheffield United. Two 1-1 draws and Tuesday night's 3-2 loss, which was described as pathetic and woeful by the few Rangers' fans that went to the game. A 3-0 loss at struggling Ipswich followed Hart's only win as R's gaffer, a 2-1 win against Bristol City.

The news of Hart's departure comes after a rumoured spat with Adel Taarabt. Apparently the Moroccan was less than happy at being left out of the starting eleven by the former Portsmouth manager and was very vocal about his unhappiness. Could player power be the reason for departure, or is it a combination of that and the poor performances on the field? Who knows!

I'm sure we will hear more during the course of tomorrow as to who may take the caretaker reins for the time being whilst the search for yet another manager starts.

R's on The Road.......... To Blackpool.

This Saturday Paul Hart’s struggling Rangers side travel to former R’s boss Ian Holloway’s Tangerine Army Blackpool in a clash between two teams chasing the play off positions. As always here are a few hints and tips for your journey ahead.


The Stadium.

Current Capacity – 10,035

Bloomfield Road has been the home of Blackpool since 1901and has undergone a redevelopment plan over the past 10 years. On completion of the North and West Stands it was decided that the South Stand was to be pulled down, in 2003, ready for redevelopment and the away fans would be housed in a temporary stand situated to the east of the stadium. The temporary structure is still in place and in use by away fans. This has no covering and on cold days in Dec, Jan and Feb the nice breeze that you get from the sea really can rip straight through you, so wrap up warm on your visit!!
You will notice that the new South Stand is as good as completed and has been named the Jimmy Armfield Stand. Word has it that when this does open to the home fans is that the season ticket holders from the North Stand will be transferred over to the Armfield Stand and will enable away fans to take their place in a small part of the North Stand.
There are further plans to redevelop the East Stand and complete the regeneration of the stadium. This would incorporate some office or retail space (rumour) so more land needs to be acquired before building can go ahead there. On completion of the final stand the capacity of the ground would go up to 16,000.


The History between the teams.

At Blackpool (11)

Blackpool 2
Draw 5

Rangers’ recent record at Bloomfield Road holds pretty impressive reading, winning 3 of the last 4 encounters.
That run all started off in March 2002, the last time Rangers’ fans were housed undercover in the old battered and bruised South Stand. A Richard Langley hat-trick was the dose of the day for the play off chasing R’s and the massive Rangers’ travelling support, many of whom stayed in the town to party all night long!


How to get there.

By Car: - Today’s post code for the journey is FY1 6JJ.
The journey to Blackpool is a long one but is really easy to find.
Come off the M6 at junction 32 and follow the M55 all the way into Blackpool. As you enter Blackpool you will see the ground on your right hand side and there are two car parks that you can park in opposite the ground.

By Train:- The closest station to the ground is Blackpool South but there are very few trains that stop here and you will probably arrive at Blackpool North. Blackpool North is roughly two miles from the ground so you may find it easier to jump in a taxi or catch a number 11 bus heading in the direction of Lytham St Annes.

Pubs 'n' Grub.

The closest pub to the away ground that will accept travelling supporters is the No 1 bar, a working men’s club, which is adjacent to the away supporters’ entrance.
I would suspect that many fans will be making a day of it and will be planning on venturing into town before and maybe after the game. If this is so then you will find quite a few places to sit down and eat or drink, including the usual fast food chains such as McDonalds and KFC, there are also various fish and chip shops that I’m sure will be popular which many people that make the trip.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Blades cut Rangers down to size.

With Rangers enjoying an extended run in the FA Cup, albeit via a third round replay, Sheffield United made their second visit to Loftus Road in a month as we searched for a victor and with the winners earning a trip to Bolton as a reward for their efforts in a weeks time.

For the second time this season I decided against making the trip, as I have also decided to do on Saturday so I’ll be reporting from the comfort of my bed again I’m afraid. I’m unsure of who from the Lofty Heights gang made the effort on a cold night in W12, although I do know that Jenson, Sam and Karl did go, the poor things!

Paul Hart selected the same starting eleven that earned the 1-1 draw at Bramall lane 10days ago.

Rangers started the game off the brighter of the two teams and it wasn’t long before the first chance of the game was made by the R’s.
Ramage’s throw in was taken down by Simpson and he poked it to the edge of the box to the advancing Leigertwood, fresh from signing his new contract extension, his effort flew just wide of the post.
Rangers were soon back on the attack with Routledge down the left side and his pass to Faurlin was just outside the area and the Argentine’s curling effort was palmed away by Blades ‘keeper Bunn.
Bunn was again called into action, this time rather unexpectantly. Agyemang burst down the left hand side and drilled his cross into the Sheffield United six yard box, the ball cannoned off Taylor and Bunn was on hand to superbly tip the ball around for a corner.
With Rangers seemingly in complete control it was a shock when United took the lead.
Montgomery floated his cross over to the back post, Williamson was allowed time to pull the ball down and then fired home from close range, poor defending by the Rangers defence.
Buoyed by their goal it was the Blades who started to take control of the game.
Gary Borrowdale was lucky not to concede a penalty for a shove on Ched Evans as the Welshman controlled a cross and was looking to pull the trigger, former R’s striker Bradley Allen in the commentary box couldn’t believe how it wasn’t a penalty and the R’s lived on.
Then Rangers were given another lifeline, this time by the crossbar!
James Harper’s long ball released Ched Evans, who beat the Rangers offside trap, and with only Cerny to beat his effort cannoned off the bar and into safety.
There was one last Rangers effort before the half come to an end.
Borrowdale sent in a cross at the second time of asking, it was met by Kaspers Gorkss and his effort was cleared off the line by Geary.


Well the half time interval involved me concentrating on the snooker that I had on in the background during the first time and proved to be far more entertaining and pleasurable, I was half tempted to turn the commentary off but I stayed loyal to the cause and braved the radio waves.

The second half seemed to start with Rangers being the more lively of the two teams.
Several chances were dragged wide as the R’s looked to claw their way back into the game.
The announcement of the attendance of today’s game was announced 12minutes into the second half. 5,780 in total made the effort to watch this FA Cup tie. The only time that Rangers have had less fans in the stadium this year was in the 2nd round of the League Cup vs Accrington Stanley! Hearing many reasons for not attending being read out, many of them were along the lines of the poor football that was being played by the R’s and some were blaming Paladini, some were blaming the lack of money spent and that they would prefer it if we spent money on players and not compensation packages for the lengthening list of former managers that we have.
During the time I wrote that paragraph, between 50mins and 65mins, absolutely nothing of any note happened in the game.
Sheffield United made the first substitution of the game and what a telling sub it was!!
Within seconds of coming on Jamie Ward was clear through on goal and his shot that was straight at Cerny trickled over the line to make it 2-0 to United.
Paul Hart instantly made his first sub of the game. Faurlin came off and was replaced by Taarabt. The sub was greeted by a chorus of boo’s and chants of “You don’t know what you’re doing!”
Straight from the kick off Sheffield United scored a third!
Gary Borrowdale gave the ball away to Jamie Ward and Richard Cresswell anticipated the early cross and made it 3-0 to the visitors.
The fun didn’t end there!!
Rangers went up the other end and were awarded a very controversial penalty! Taarabt’s volley was blocked and put out for what seemed to be a corner but for some reason a penalty was given, much to the commentators surprise!!
Akos Buzsaky stepped up to the plate and made no mistake from 12 yards out.
So between 46 minutes and 66minutes minutes absolutely nothing happened and then between 67minutes and 71 minutes we get three goals! Crazy! Absolutely crazy!
A second QPR substitution was made on 75 minutes. Antonio German coming on for Jay Simpson.
Well once again the game died down again when you really would’ve hoped that a fighting sprit would be displayed but unfortunately it really didn’t sound like it.
Bradley Allen in the commentary position then started to talk about the stability of the club and how these last few years he feels that we haven’t had the stability that we had which bought the success in the 70’s with Dave Sexton at the helm, Gerry Francis in the 90’s and Ian Holloway in the 00’s.
Just I’ve written that Rangers won a free kick. Buzsaky took the free kick and Damion Stewart met the ball and flicked the ball into the back of the net! 3-2 and only 90 seconds left!!
Unfortunately the fairy tale ending never came around and the score remained 3-2 to the Blades. From listening to the commentary and from texts I received from a few people that went tonight it was a well earned victory.


Again I do state that I wasn’t there tonight so if I’m not accurate with what I say then I am prepared to be shot down for any of my opinions that I put now. We just don’t seem to be a stable club at the moment and it’s now slowly becoming evident on the pitch. The appointment of Paul Hart was very rushed and I think it could soon be the downfall of our season. Time after time tonight I continually heard of a long ball being played from defence to attack and completely bypassing our midfield. You look at the quality of players we possess in the middle of the park and we are choosing to play hoofball when we are more than comfortable playing the ball on the floor and knocking it around. It worked for us earlier in the season, the only thing we lacked then was a plan B. I fear that the trigger will be pulled again shortly on another manager and that it’ll come too late in the transfer market and we’ll be stuck with a load of loan players we don’t want, I hope I’m wrong but I fear for me being right!!

All that is left to do is award a Man of the Match. I haven’t awarded it as I don’t deserve to seeing as I was laying on my bed for the duration of the game so I asked three people I that I knew were at the game. I received four candidates from the three of them, Spark (obviously a joke), Faurlin but the winner with two votes is....... Kaspers Gorkss.

QPR: Cerny, Ramage, Stewart, Leigertwood, Routledge, Buzsaky, Agyemang, Gorkss, Faurlin (Taarabt 69), Simpson (German 80), Borrowdale.

Subs not used: McWeeney, Hall, Connolly, Balanta, Ephraim.

Goals: Buzsaky (71), Stewart (88)

Bookings: Gorkss

Sheffield United: Bunn, Montgomery, Morgan, Evans, Williamson (Ward 67), Harper, Taylor, Cresswell (Henderson 74), Seip, Geary (Walker 81), Quinn.

Subs not used: Bennett, France, Stewart, Little.

Goals: Williamson (19), Ward (68), Cresswell (70)

Bookings: Evans

Referee: Mr K A Woolmer

Attendance: 5, 780

Friday, January 08, 2010

Rangers beaten again, this time by the snow!

Earlier on this afternoon the home fixture was postponed due to the snowfall that the country has witnessed during the course of the week.


Despite the pitch being passed as playable the club released the following statement on the Official QPR website "The safety of the supporters is of paramount importance to the Club and following an inspection of the surrounding areas by the Club, local authorities and police on Friday morning, a decision was taken to postpone the fixture."

All promotional tickets that were bought for the game will remain valid for the re-arranged fixture.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Reebok beckons as Rangers earn replay

The first fixture of 2010 for the Rangers was an FA Cup tie up in South Yorkshire against a Sheffield United team that played out a 1-1 draw only a few weeks ago. Would the R's enjoy any joy in the FA Cup for a change?

Only a handful of the Lofty Heights crew made the trip to Bramall Lane after a late decision was made to make an effort to go. Jenson was once again in the driving seat with me, Sam and Karl, a Wycombe fan proudly wearing a hooped shirt for the first time, took to the road at 11.30 on a fresh Sunday morning. As always the trip on the M1 lasted the minimal amount of time possible as we arrived in Sheffield at 2pm having stopped off once for a quick pitstop and cuppa coffee.

Owing to Tommy Williams and Ben Watson returning to their parent clubs, Peterborough and Wigan respectively, Paul Hart was forced into 2 changes and made an additional change on top of that. Adel Taarabt missed out due to a knock, Gary Borrowdale, Alejandro Faurlin and Patrick Agyemang came into the starting eleven in what looked to be a 4-4-2 formation.


The game started off as a tight affair but it was the hosts that were the better side and created the better chances. Camaraand Morgan both saw efforts flash past the post.
Rangers struggled to really impose themselves on the game but at times they dont look as if they could threat once they managed to get a way through the battling United midfield.
The Blades carved out the best chance of the game on the 20 minute mark (roughly!) Camara turned Ramage inside out as he tricked his way into the box and laid off to Stephen Quinn who had the goal gaping at his mercy from 12 yards out but his effort cannoned off the bar and was eventually cleared to safety.
As the half hour mark cruised by it was evident that the game was going to be a carbon copy of the fixture at Loftus Road a few short weeks ago. It was a scrappy encounter and the quality of the football failed to draw in the sparsely populated Bramall Lane in which the atmosphere can only be described in one word....... dead!!
Just as I thought we were heading to a game that would be a bore draw the R's actually gave us some excitement just before half time.
Faurlin found Routledge out on the right hand sideand his teasing cross some how eluded everyone and Sompson was on hand to pick up the scraps and his low drive found the back of the net!
Just lie in the 1st game trhe QPR lead didnt last long once more, just like the first game and it was the same goalscorer that come back to haunt us! A ball was played in from the Blades right hand side, it really looked to be a ball that Cerny should've come out to claim, however Richard Cresswell rose above Damion Stewart and his looped header went into the top corner. A soft soft goal to concede at the end of stoppage time in the first half!

At half time I popped over to see Gobi for the first time in ages to discuss the goings on of the first half, which took all of two minutes! But on a positive note from what Gobi was saying the half was a hell of a lot better than the collapse at Ipswich last Monday! So it couldn't be that bad!?!


The Blades came out in the second half buoyed by their goal and put Rangers under the cosh from the off. Camara held off Gorkss and got his shot on target but saw Cerny beat the ball away for a corner. United stayed on top for the first 20 minutes of the second half and it seemingly looked as if the R's gameplan, or lack of, was being exploited by the home side and looking increasingly like they would take advantage of it.
Just as those thoughts came into my head it seemed as if Rangers were beginning to grab a slight strangle hold on the game and started to knock the ball around a lot better.
Hogan Ephraim came off the bench to replace Buzsaky on the left side of midfield and he made a telling impact on Rangers play
The R's then had their best two chances of the half. Faurlin's shot from outside the box was blocked away for a corner on the left hand side. The resulting corner was aimed in at the near post and Damion Stewart met it but his contact took the ball just wide of the target.
Hogan's introduction did help Rangers produce a good 10-15 minute spell and we looked more threatening as an attacking unit. He looked hungry and ready to fight for the cause, having Hogan back will feel like having a new signing on board.
In the 81st minute the closest we came to a winning goal flew by. Ched Evans let rip with a 35yard free kick and with Cerny stranded he saw the ball cannon off the underside of the bar but the ball didnt cross the line and once again the lines were cleared and we could all breathe a sigh of relief for the second time in the afternoon.


A 1-1 draw the final score for the second time this season between the two teams is a fair result on reflection, although I must say that if luck and a few refereeing decisions were on the Blades side a little more then I would probably be writing about us crashing out at the first hurdle once again.

Todays Man of the Match is a tough one to call as no-one really stood out from the rest but after some consideration we have managed to narrow it down to three contenders. Kaspers Gorkss and Damion Stewart played well at the heart of the defence and Mikele Leigertwood once again put in a decent performance in the centre of midfield but there can only one winner and for me I think Kaspers Gorkss is a worthy winner for his efforts today.

Sheffield United: Bunn, Montgomery, Morgan, Kilgallon (Seip 46), Evans, Taylor, Cresswell, Ward (Little 87), Geary, Quinn (Williamson 78), Camara.

Subs not used: Bennett, France, Reid, Harper.

Scorers: Cresswell (45+2)

Bookings: Cresswell (35), Taylor (37), Geary (85)

QPR: Cerny, Ramage, Stewart, Leigertwood, Routledge, Buzsaky (Ephraim 71), Agyemang (Helguson 85), Gorkss, Faurlin, Simpson, Borrowdale.

Subs not used: Taylor, Hall, Connolly, Balanta, Parker.

Scorers: Simpson (39)

Bookings: Faurlin (90)

Attendance: 11, 461

Following the conclusion of the game the 4th round draw was made and the winner of the replay of this game will play Bolton at the Reebok Stadium.

The 3rd round replay will be played on 12th January at Loftus Road, kick off 7.45.

If Rangers manage to win the replay then the 4th round tie will take place on either Saturday 23rd January or Sunday 24th January at the Reebok Stadium.