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

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Oliver Gives Villa More

QPR returned to Super Sunday for the first time since we were promoted back to the top tier.
Today's visitors were Aston Villa.

The gang were in near full attendance this afternoon, only California Hoop missed out but was able to catch the game whilst being at home looking after the family.
Lofty, Jenson and Sophie were already sat outside the Springbok when PK, Jess and myself arrived after our mini shopping spree in the clubshop and PK running down South Africa Road chasing after Joey Barton to sign a birthday card for Sam as she celebrated her birthday today. With the pace and the way he managed to skip between people in the road, I suggest Neil Warnock look into signing him on a short term contract as there are some defenders that wouldn't know how to keep him quiet.

There was only one change to the team that won 3-0 at Wolves last week. Fitz Hall came in for Danny Gabbidon.
Heidar Helguson took the vacant place on the bench.

The R's crowd were in fine voice at the start of the game and really made a great atmosphere inside Loftus Road.
Rangers controlled the first half and created so many shooting opportunities but if it wasn't for some good Villa blocking and being fortuitous that the R's couldn't make the most of the chances.
Taarabt came the closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half. His turn and beautiful curling effort from 25 yards out had beaten Given but just the outside of the post denied the magical Morroccan of his first Premier League goal.
Jay Bothroyd was the culprit of missing the next R's chance. Joey Barton floated in a beautiful free kick from the right hand side and Bothroyd jumped highest but could only glance the header wide instead of powering his effort on target.
R's were flowing and Villa were looking very ordinary and very physical, some may say dirty, I would say very dirty!
On the half hour mark you began to see Villa's negativity begin to come to light as Shay Given began time wasting and continued to do so all the way through until the half time whistle.
Fitz Hall and Anton Ferdinand had Gabby Agbonlahor in their back pockets and it was evident that the little front man was getting frustrated with the lack of service.

At half time the gang gathered around on the concourse in a very positive mood. The way the R's were playing shows how far we've come since the transfer market has closed and the brand of football being played is a joy to watch......... we just need to score that all important goal to get the confidence rolling.

The second half started and Villa seemed to have a different, more attacking approach that actually made the R's work a lot harder than they had to in a very one sided first half.
On 57 minutes controversy hit Loftus Road.
Warnock crossed in from the left hand side and Agbonlahor was stretching at the back post to reach it and tumbled to the floor and the ball went out for a goal kick.
However the referee, Michael Oliver, pointed to the spot! Much to the bemusement to most of the players on the pitch, the entire 16,000 people in attendance and however million watching at home, how was it a penalty?
The texts came flooding in saying how much of a joke the decision it was and even after seeing it at home tonight I'm baffled! Minimal contract and no appeal from any Villa fans or the players, that just shows you how much of a joke it was.
Barry Bannan stepped up and only just managed to slide it past Paddy Kenny to give the visitors an unworthy and very contraversial lead.
It just didn't seem as if Rangers could buy a decision off of a ref that didn't seem to want to give anything to the home team.
There were two handball appeals, one of them a stonewall penalty as Hutton pretty much tipped the ball around the post. The second shout was a hopeful one but they have been given before.
A number of challenges worthy of yellow cards and in some cases a second yellow were continuously overlooked by a ref clearly wanting to have the spotlight whilst being on tv.
As we entered injury time Traore clumsily clattered into Albrighton and received his second yellow. His first yellow was for the Villa penalty awarded earlier in the half so we now have Traore suspended against Fulham next Sunday.
This however did not deter the R's searching for an all important equaliser right at the end.
In one final attempt, a hopeful ball was aimed at DJ Campbell and his flick found Heidar Helguson who in turn drove a cross along the six yard box and deflected off a Villa defender onto Richard Dunne and into the back of the net.

Overall you have to say that scoring a last minute equaliser is pleasing but there is the sense that we really were a lot better than Villa and deserved the three points based on the entire game.
Its just a case of needing to take our chances and if we can have a striker that is always in and around the six yard box then we will score more goals. DJ Campbell needs to start games, he's a little live wire and now he's looking to be back to full fitness you can be sure a starting place is only just around the corner.

We go onto Man of the Match.
There are a few contenders for this. Jenson selected Paddy Kenny for his superb stop from Bannan's free kick in the first half, how he kept that out I really don't know.
PK selected Shaun Wright-Phillips for his effort and work rate getting up and down the by-line. Surely its only a matter of time until he gets his first R's goal.
Jess selected Luke Young for another strong performance in defence. It was also Young that was sliding in at the end that caused the Villa defender to kick the ball onto Dunne for the own goal.
However, the Man of the Match goes to Adel Taarabt. He looks to be getting back to his best and now he seems to be passing the right balls at the right times he's looking to be a class above once again.

We will return next week when we travel to Fulham!

U R'SSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Rangers Hungry for the Wolves...

Wolves 0-3 QPR

On the back of last Monday's excellent performance against Newcastle, QPR followed it up with another superb performance, but this time, we got the goals we deserved and ran out comfortable, 3-0 winners at Molinuex.

Again and unfortunately, it was a depleted gang on route to Molinuex this morning and with Jenson facing late travel problems returning from Cyprus, it was like the old days with just PK and myself heading off and we did so just after 11am, with myself taking the wheel once more. A relatively trouble free journey, with the exception of the usual delay on the M6, we parked up at about 1.30pm, but we had a slight scare on route...

Just as we hit the M42, we were nattering away when Talksport announced there was a Premier League game in doubt and it was, at Wolves. There had been a power cut across the City and the game was definitely, at risk of being postponed. This news was backed up by a text from Smithy, who stated whilst having his breakfast, all the lights went off and he was now in a pub in total darkness!! Thankfully, by the time we reached Wolverhampton, normal service had been resumed and the game was to go ahead as planned... and thank goodness it did!!

After a pint and a pie, we took our seats to see an unchanged R's take the field and Rangers started the game like a train!! After 2 minutes, Gabbidon's cross found Shaun Derry in the box, who's header was top corner bound, but was superbly saved by Hennesey in the Wolves goal and even at this early stage, the worry that it may be 'one of those games' was on our minds. But those worries were shortly erased...

On 8 minutes, Shaun Wright-Phillips was given plenty of room on the right and laid on the ball for Barton, who despite seeming to scuff his shot, got enough on the ball to get it past the Wolves keeper and the R's fans went bananas at the other end! Just 2 minutes later and we were in dreamland when, after some decent build up play, the ball fell to Faurlin who lashed in a 20-yard left-footed shot into the bottom corner - 2-0 to the Superhoops!!

Rangers continued to dominate the half and Wright-Phillips, Joey Barton and Adel Taarabt both had good chances and Anton Ferdinand saw his header cleared off the line. But some of the football the R's were playing was quite superb and the only real disappointment was that we were only two nil up, with Wolves offering very little in return, much to the home fans annoyance.

Onto the second half and Wolves made a couple of changes and most expected an onslaught. But although more competative, Wolves rarely threatened and the games momentum slowed down somewhat. But when Rangers came forward, they always looked dangerous and Wright-Phillips saw his shot rebound off the post and into the arms of the grateful Hennesey and Rangers were now in total control.

The icing on the Rangers cake, came in the 87th minute - Wright-Phillips played in the very impressive Traore, who teed up DJ Campbell to poke the ball home, much to his delight and the travelling R's contingent.

Before the final whistle, there was some fun and games as Joey Barton went down in front of the Wolves fans, who took great delight in giving him a bit of stick. Barton completely lapped it up and responded with a 3 fingered salute, which strangely, didn't go down awful well with the home support, but was extremely entertaining all the same. Barton and Stephen Hunt later exchanged words after the game had ended, before the R's Captain, joined his team mates in celebrating an excellent away win in front of the R's faithful.

QPR: Kenny, Derry, Gabbidon (Hall 84), Taarabt, Bothroyd (Campbell 74), Faurlin, Traore, Barton, Young, Wright-Phillips, Ferdinand. Subs: Murphy, Buzsaky, Connolly, Puncheon.

Man of the Match - again, with such a great team performance, is so difficult to pick out an individual. But both myself and PK both agreed, that todays award should go to Armand Traore. Who, was not only outstanding defensively, but outstanding coming forward also and rounded his day off by assisting the third Rangers goal.

Myself and PK were joined by Smithy on the way home, for what was a very happy and trouble free journey back as we all look forward to reliving an awesome day out on Match of the Day later....

Lee will be returning the favour next weekend as the R's take on the currently, unbeaten Aston Villa at Loftus Road on Sunday.

Come on you R'ssssssssssssss!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Everything But The Goal....

QPR 0-0 Newcastle

Despite dominating proceedings, the new look QPR, had to settle for a point in what was one of the best 0-0's you will see all season, in front of the Sky Cameras at Loftus Road last night.

In what seemed like an eternity since our last outing, R's fans were eagerly awaiting this fixture after being extremely active in the transfer window. Unfortunately, just myself, Lee, Corp, California Hoop and Steve, were in attendance as various reasons kept the remainder away and with the excitement building before kick off, we were all in our seats way before kick off with much anticipation.

Although the news was put out on Twitter, the sight of Jude the Cat returning to the Loftus Road pitch shortly before the teams came out, was great to see. As you probably remember, Jude lost his place as QPR's Mascot during the past ownership regime, when a black cat was deemed to be unlucky for Italians. He was replaced by Spark the Tiger, who was also in attendance last night but it remains to be seen if there is still room for two big cats in the Stadium. A very warm welcome back, Jude!!!

As the teams entered the field shortly after, Rangers had 6 debutants in the squad, 5 of whom were starting - interestingly named Captain, Joey Barton, Armand Traore, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Anton Ferdinand and Luke Young, all lined up in the Blue and White Hoops, with Jason Puncheon having to make do with a place on the bench. There had been a lot of press and such building up to the game with Barton facing his old club of course and many thought the decision to give him the Captaincy was to calm him down a bit, but further rumblings amongst the R's faithful, seem to suggest he is the new, QPR Captain for the season.

Onto the game and despite all the euphoria, Newcastle had started the season extremely well and this was always going to be a tough match. But the R's started brightly with Adel Taarabt forcing a low save out of Tim Krul, while Shaun Wright-Phillips headed over Armand Traore's cross. Minutes later, Newcastle had what was there best chance of the game and Leon Best brought a fine save from Paddy Kenny.

Rangers continued to bombard Newcastle goal and created chance after chance. Jay Bothroyd was a bootlace away from Wright-Phillips low centre and later had a header cleared off the line. Faurlin was then denied by a brave defensive block which deflected his effort over the bar. Wright-Phillips was back amongst the action yet again and thought he had given QPR the lead just before the break when he latched onto Taarabt's ball and delightfully chipped the ball over the advancing Krul, only to be see Taylor clear off the line - it was ALL Rangers and the home stands were rocking!!

Moving down to the concourses ah half time and the main topic amongst everyone, was how on earth were we not winning? I did what I had to do very quickly and was soon to be back in my seat awaiting the second half.

After a 100 mph first half, the match dropped tempo a little and as time ticked on, it seemed more and more that Newcastle were more than happy with a point. But Rangers continued to press hard for that all important goal - Shaun Derry saw two headed chances go wide and Bothroyd was unlucky not to get a better connection on yet another Wright-Phillips teasing cross. Wright-Phillips himself saw a decent effort go just wide late on, but the Magpies held on to gain, what Alan Pardew claimed was a very good point.

QPR: Kenny, Derry, Gabbidon, Taarabt, Bothroyd (Campbell 80), Faurlin, Traore (Connolly 51), Barton, Young, Wright-Phillips (Puncheon 88), Ferdinand. Subs: Murphy, Hall, Buzsaky, Smith, Puncheon.

Man of the Match - so pleasing to have so many contenders with ALL of the debutants having extremely good games. Joey Barton was probably the quietest of the new boys in what, understandably, must have been a very difficult game for him. Adel Taarabt looked back to best and really played for the team and Shaun Derry was once again, immense in the R's midfield. But in the after match debate, Jo came in with her contender, which actually clinched the result. Myself and Lee went for Shaun Wright-Phillips, but Corp, California Hoop and Jo, all went for Alejandro Faurlin who was outstanding!!

In summary, well, the ONLY disappointment was the Rangers didn't win, but on leaving the ground, there were smiling faces aplenty with the R's fans proud of their teams performance and there is genuine excitement building for the season ahead. With all due respect of course, it was amazing to see the R's line up tonight with such extra quality in the squad and there is now true belief that the R's are serious about taking their place in the Premier League.

The R's now look forward to an away trip to Wolves this coming Saturday. Sadly, Lee is unable to make this one so you will have to make do with another ramble from me, possibly late Saturday night or Sunday morning.

Come on You R'sssssssssssssss!!!!

Friday, September 02, 2011

QPR 25 Man Squad Announced!!

Tonight the 25 man squad list was released by the Premier League.

The omissions from the squad include :- Rob Hulse, Danny Shittu and Hogan Ephraim.

The players selected are as follows :-

1 Kenny, Patrick
2 Orr, Bradley
3 Hill, Clinton
4 Derry, Shaun
5 Hall, Fitz
6 Gabbidon, Daniel
7 Taarabt, Adel
8 Dyer, Kieron
9 Campbell, Dudley Junior
10 Bothroyd, Jay
11 Faurlin, Alejandro
12 Mackie, James
13 Traore, Armand
14 Buzsaky, Akos
15 Caldini Perone, Bruno
16 Connolly, Matthew
17 Barton, Joseph
18 Young, Luke
19 Smith, Thomas
20 Helguson, Heidar
21 Cerny, Radek
22 Murphy, Brian
23 Wright-Phillips, Shaun
24 Ferdinand, Anton
25 Puncheon, Jason

The list of players not needed to be listed because they are Under 21 are as follows :-

Adekunle, Oluwatobi Aliu
Andrade, Bruno Miguel Carvalho
Balanta, Angelo Jasiel
Brown, Ben
Buck, Jordan Winston Bryan
Daly, James Christopher
Deane, Gareth Ivan
Doughty, Michael Edward
Downs, Jake Louis
Ehmer, Maximilian Andreas
Fitzpatrick, David Hugh Aborlo
Francis, Adam Royston Lawrence
Gibbons, Jordan Leon Chidubem
Harriman, Michael Grant
Henry-Francis, Marcel Laurel
Hewitt, Troy Roger
Hubble, Conor Stephen James
Koeris, Justin Vernon
Lennox, Aaron Keith
Lumley, Joseph Patrick
McDonnell, Daniel Michael
Nguemkam Monthe, Emmanuel Gaetan
Olley, Luke Stephen
Parmenter, Taylor Louis
Putnins, Elvijs
Sendles-White, Jamie Alexander
Shariff, Abdalla Mohamed
Simmonds, Bradley Michael
Sutherland, Frankie Jay
Trani, Tommaso
Walker, Jordan

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Rangers Add a Bit More 'Punch'

QPR today announced that Southampton forward, Jason Puncheon, has joined on loan until January 2nd 2012. Unfortunately, the deal was done too late for us to announce anything last night, but has been officially confirmed by the Club today.

Puncheon was a close season target for the R's, with a deal that would have seen Kaspars Gorkss go the other way, but for one reason or another, the deal never materialised. But R's Gaffer, Neil Warnock has finally got his man...

Puncheon, 25, joined Southampton from Plymouth in 2010 but spent much of last season on loan at Millwall and the Premier League new boys, Blackpool. Puncheon has also had loan spells at MK Dons and also played for Barnet for two seasons.

On his latest aquisition, Neil Warnock told the Official QPR Website;

"It just made sense to give him an opportunity to come in until January and show us what he can do.

"This all happened very late in the day so I am very pleased we got him in.

"Jason is a good acquisition because he brings pace and plenty of desire.

"To be perfectly honest, he was so keen to come to QPR I think he would have paid us!

"He is desperate to do well, and that really impressed me."

All of us here at Lofty Heights would like to offer a warm welcome to QPR, Jason and wish you all the very best during your time in W12!!

Come on You R'sssssssssssss!!!