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, February 22, 2015

Late Heartbreak as the Points Go For a Barton..

Hull 2-1 QPR

Ten man QPR suffered late heartbreak as an 89th minute goal from Dame N'Doye secured all three points at the KC Stadium...

On the back of the 2-0 win at Sunderland, as you are all aware, Chris Ramsey was appointed the role of Head Coach until the end of the season and some very positive vibes have been coming out of the club since which has been very refreshing.  With a free weekend last week, Rangers had 2 weeks to prepare for what was a huge game for both clubs and a huge R's following had made the long journey to the KC Stadium.

There was plenty of talk before the game with Isla missing out, who would fill in at right back with Nedum also out injured and it was very much a surprise to see son of Paul, young Darnell Furlong making his debut. With Doughty on the bench and indeed making his debut at Sunderland, it is finally great to see some youngsters coming through and getting their chance. I think it is very safe to say that this would not happen under the previous regime...

Onto the game and it was the home side that made the breakthrough after a good opening. A Huddlestone free kick was I have to say, poorly cleared by Caulker into the path of the unmarked Jelavic who volleyed into the corner giving Green no chance.

Rangers response was positive and it was Furlong who went close with a looping header from the edge of the area as the ball was looped in by Joey Barton. It was Furlong again that was involved in what was probably the moment the game changed. The young right back went in hard but fully committed on Jelavic which resulted in a bit of a melee. As Captain, Joey Barton was trying to get his point over to the referee and help protect the young debuatant, whilst the Hull players were also trying to get into his face. Barton then reacted by first shoving away Alex Bruce. Tom Huddlestone then joined in by shoving Karl Henry into Barton, who reacted by slapping the Hull midfielder right in the vital area - not malicious at all, but nevertheless right in front of the referee who had no choice but to show Barton the red card. Complete stupidity from Barton it has to be said..

Despite the setback, Rangers stayed positive and on 39 minutes, got their reward when yet again, the revitalised Matt Phillips sent in a beauty of a cross from the right which was met by Charlie Austin who headed home his 14th of the season. He followed up with a cheeky celebration simulating the so called knee injury that failed a medical at Hull a year and a half or so ago...

Rangers fought brilliantly in the second half and a precious point was looking likely. But Hull certainly upped the tempo in the dying minutes and Rob Green pulled off a fantastic almost point blank save from N'Doye in the 89th minute. Sadly, the ball wasn't cleared and worked to the left side to Brady, who whipped a vicious ball in for N'Doye who got in front of Caulker to head home.

Rangers rallied in stoppage time and substitute Zarate fired well over when perhaps a cross into a packed penalty area was the better option and Hull held on for a very important win and a heart breaking defeat for the R's.

Queens Park Rangers

  • 01 Green
  • 38 Furlong Booked
  • 05 Ferdinand
  • 04 Caulker
  • 13 Yun Suk-young
  • 07 Phillips Booked
  • 20 Henry
  • 08 Barton Dismissed
  • 19 Kranjcar (Traore - 78' )
  • 09 Austin (Zárate - 75' Booked )
  • 25 Zamora Booked (Doughty - 64' )


  • 03 Traore
  • 06 Hill
  • 11 Wright-Phillips
  • 12 McCarthy
  • 24 Vargas
  • 29 Zárate
  • 36 Doughty
Heart breaking it was but the performance was extremely positive as was the debut of Darnell Furlong. We all know Joey Barton was stupid for his actions so won't dwell on that for too long and who knows what could have been achieved yesterday with 11 men on the park. The sending off also means he will miss the next 3 games and it remains to be seen just how costly this could be, or not be...

We have another free Saturday next weekend but will return on 4th March as Lee will bring you the review of our clash with Arsenal..

Until the Keep the Faith and Come on you R'sssss!!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

At Last... A Win HA'WAY...

Sunderland 0-2 QPR

It's finally happened...

Yes, this is not a misprint, QPR have got their first away win and indeed, their first away points of the season with a thoroughly deserved 2-0 win at the Stadium of Light for Chris Ramsey's side.

Following the late heartbreak at home to Southampton, the doom and gloom followed with the news of injuries to Austin, Onuoha and Dunne and a 12th straight Premier League away defeat was looking very much on the cards.. but maybe it was a bit of a masterstroke from Tony Fernandes by tweeting that he had 'found his dream Manager' a couple of hours prior to kick off.. because the R's put in a superb performance..

The team selection raised a few eyebrows but from the off, it looked a totally different Rangers mentality away from home as we took the game to the Black Cats..

Rangers dominated the opening stages and had chances when Joey Barton fired over and Zamora glanced a header wide. And the good, positive start got it's reward when Phillips put in a delicious cross for Leroy Fer to head home, giving Rangers a deserved lead.

At the other end, Rob Green pulled off a remarkable save from Connor Wickham - pushing his close range header onto the bar and as the ball came down, scooped it away as he was on his way down from the original save. The Sunderland players were shouting for a goal but in truth it was no where near, it was a quite sensational piece of goalkeeping.

Rangers were looking for more goals and Fer nearly got his and Rangers second goal of the game but the his side footed effort from the edge of the box bounced agonisingly off the inside of the post. But the second goal duly came on the stroke of half time when again, another superb ball in found Bobby Zamora who finished brilliantly into the top corner.

So a two nil half time lead, and well deserved too - could this really be Rangers first away win of the season...

As you would have expected, Sunderland were much improved after the break but the R's defence were well marshalled and coped extremely well. When the chances did come, both Defoe and Alvarez found Rob Green, not for the first time this season, in exceptional form and Sunderland could not find a way through. In injury time as the home faithful made for the exits, the ever popular but underused 'win away' is all that could be heard from the R's contingent up near the moon...

Queens Park Rangers

  • 01 Green
  • 14 Isla (Doughty - 85' )
  • 05 Ferdinand Booked
  • 04 Caulker
  • 13 Yun Suk-young
  • 20 Henry
  • 08 Barton Booked
  • 07 Phillips (Wright-Phillips - 52' )
  • 10 Fer (Zárate - 75' )
  • 19 Kranjcar
  • 25 Zamora Booked


  • 03 Traore
  • 06 Hill
  • 11 Wright-Phillips
  • 12 McCarthy
  • 27 Taarabt
  • 29 Zárate
  • 36 Doughty
Man of the Match

Almost full quota of votes through with Lee and Luke picking out a simple but commanding performance from Joey Barton in the Rangers midfield. But myself, Jenson, Sam and Jess picked out the man who is simply in the form of his life in the R's goal - Rob Green.

The defeat sadly came at a cost as the news filtered through the next day that Leroy Fer will spend some time on the side lines with an MCL injury to his knee. Leroy has been exceptional this season, despite being played out of position by the previous manager and will be missed. We wish him well with his recovery..

This important, overdue and very welcome win may well have also led to Rangers to appoint Chris Ramsey as First Team Coach for the remainder of the season..

Good Luck Chris, we are all behind you!!

We shall return next weekend as we travel to Hull for another huge away game and hopefully with the same positive outcome...

Keep the Faith and Come on you R'ssssssss!!!

Sunday, February 08, 2015

One Elia Heartbreaker....

Yesterday the new era began as Chris Ramsey took temporary charge of the R's following the departure of Harry Redknapp the day after transfer deadline day. Arriving at Loftus Road looking to recover from a rare home defeat were Southampton.

Let's start of with Harry Redknapp....
I think the decision for him to go was the right one as he had clearly run out of ideas, kept playing his favorites and left several players hung out to dry and gave them no chance of playing their part for the rest of the season.
Personally I think Fernandes has learnt a massive lesson in opening up his cheque book and after looking at our squad you can see that we have enough quality at the club and were lacking another striker that would help provide the goal in a relegation dogfight.
With the club beginning to invest more and more in the academy and start to produce our own players, were they honestly going to get a chance when they had a wheeler dealer that continuously bought players that he had worked with before at either Spurs or Portsmouth, citing them as a 'triffic lad' and will add something to the squad? Not a chance! We have some promising players in Bruno Andrade(on loan at Stevenage), Michael Harriman(on loan at Luton), Michael Petrasso(on loan at Notts County), Jack Robinson(on loan at Huddersfield) to name a few that could come in and do a good job for us. We also have more promising youngsters on the books and we have been at risk of losing these because of the signings that have been made.
My personal opinion is that TF was not going to be forced into spending money on a squad that Redknapp had assembled and rather than having to spend compensation on sacking Harry, he forced the situation so much so that the only way to not have another expensive sacking was to not give Redknapp any money on deadline day, make him unhappy and wait for him to walk. That plan clearly worked and now we look likely to appoint Tim Sherwood, who will help to nurture these youngsters, give them confidence and we could see many of our own players come through and make an impact. I will happily support this as it will be something for us to build in the long term, get rid of our label of big spenders and not be such a laughing stock when it comes to transfer dealings.

Anyway, onto the game!
Jess and I met up with Lofty, PK and Jenson just before kick off, we were missing Sam and Luke as they were attending my Mum's 50th birthday meal.
The gang were in good spirits and definitely felt more confident following Redknapp's departure and the new approach could see us watching some more attacking football and not the negative shower that we have been subjected to in recent weeks.
Having said that the team news bought more surprises for us -

 Embedded image permalink

The 'unfit' Taarabt returned to the starting line up to show us if he really was as unfit as Redknapp told us! Traore came into a more familiar left wing role as Matty Phillips started, hopefully with the free reign to play his natural game! One surprise was Isla dropping to the bench.

Onto the match.
Well this wasn't the most entertaining of games and I cannot imagine there being too many highlights for me to see once I get around to watching Match of the Day later on.
Rangers' looked nervous in their approach and seemed to be afraid to make any individual errors as we have been heavily punished for mistakes in recent weeks. This is turn saw the midfield try to play small passes to one another and often were too short, giving easy possession back to the visitors. Taarabt looked to be hungry to impress as he continues to lose the three stone that he was overweight before the Christmas period, I'm hearing rumours that a DVD launch could be due ready for next Christmas to assist those of us who may need to lose some excess weight in double quick time like the magical Morrocan!
Southampton's two wide men Mane and Elia looked dangerous throughout, with Mane spending as much time on the floor as he did his feet! Hill never learnt his lesson and continued to get close to Mane before breathing on him and causing him to fall flat on his arse time after time.
Southampton did have a few chances in the first half with Elia and Mane forcing good saves out of Green.
Rangers' enjoyed brief spells in the opening 45 minutes but it was Phillips return the the right wing that provided a much needed threat to our attacking play and potential provider for Austin to get back on the goalscoring trial, Austin however was playing too deep and Phillips' cross did not have our top scorer attacking them as we would need. Fer was looking a lot better in a more familiar centre midfield role and we saw an improved performance, there was still the occasional lapse of laziness but it was much better!

The second half was a little better from an R's perspective with Phillips again looking to penetrate in the wide areas, Taarabt was still looking lively and not as greedy as we can all remember him.
On 60 minutes Taarabt was taken off to a chorus of boos as he looked to be the most likely to unlock the Southampton defence but with Taarabt probably needing to preserve himself for another game on Tuesday and maybe lacking in match fitness, it was probably the right thing to do. Another player dubbed as 'unfit' replaced him, Mauro Zarate.
Within minutes Zarate nearly made an impression as he danced around several players before unleashing a rasping drive that fizzed over the bar.
Zarate did not stop running for the remainder of the game and has shown that he can bring plenty of energy to the team when he is called upon.
With fifteen minutes remaining we thought the deadlock had been opened. Hill picked up the rebound on the edge of the box following a corner and poked the ball towards goal in Austin's direction. Austin then looked to flick the ball beyond an already committed Forster but somehow he flicked his hand up and turned it over the bar. A purely instinctive save, fantastic from a Southampton point of view.
With the game looking to be heading for a draw there was heartbreak just around the corner.
Rangers' cheaply lost possession on the halfway line and Mane was picked out and held off the challenge of Onuoha before finding the far right corner and snatching the points.
There was some late drama as it appeared that Onuoha had equalized but for an offside flag from the linesman. There has been plenty of confusion around why the goal was not given as it clearly was not a foul that was awarded, so I can only assume it was the ball was touched behind Forster, meaning the player was offside? One for me to view on Match of the Day again.

I would have to say the defeat was a harsh one to take from an R's point of view and we were definitely well worthy of a point but that just seems to be the way our luck is going at the moment!
Mane, despite diving around all game, and Elia were a real thorn in our sides throughout the ninety minutes and were the best two players on the field by a long way!
Lastly I'd like to wish Matt Targett of Southampton a speedy recovery on what looked to be a nasty landing following an aerial challenge with Phillips.

Onto our Man of the Match. Lofty voted for Fer as he looked better in a more central role today. Jess, PK and Jenson all voted for Matty Phillips, making him the winner on this occasion.

Lofty and co will return following their trip to Hull in a fortnight.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Beyond a Stoke...

Stoke 3-1 QPR

It was very tempting to say the least to sack this report off completely if I am really honest or just copy and paste notes from the previous 10 away games, 11 if you include the league cup. But it was a case of same old, same old as Rangers continued to break their own dreadful away record. It really does seem like I sit here after every away match, writing exactly the same things..

'Were trying everything' is what we continue to hear from Harry Redknapp and his pre match press conference was as downbeat as any I have seen or heard before this season and again, could well have been just a replay of several ones beforehand. Following a two week break the team took to the lavish facilities of St Georges Park to prepare for this one. But despite these changes, there was no difference to the events on the pitch..

The first half saw Stoke race into a two goal lead - a mistake from Henry gifted Mark Walters his first goal and he smashed home his second on 34 minutes following good work from Ireland. Kranjcar reduced the deficit two minutes later and Rangers were suddenly in the game that should well have been out of sight as the home side missed a succession of chances.

Yet again, in the second half, Rangers started to play once the game was all but lost. The best chances came from free kicks with Barton smashing the underside of the crossbar and a stinging drive from Leroy Fer brought a fine save out of Begovic.  But all the positive work counted for nothing when in the dying minutes, Walters headed home his and Stoke's third to give the scoreline maybe a slightly flattering look but for QPR, the same old outcome.

Queens Park Rangers

  • 01 Green
  • 14 Isla Booked
  • 22 Dunne
  • 15 Onuoha
  • 06 Hill (Yun Suk-young - 75' )
  • 20 Henry (Zamora - 45' )
  • 24 Vargas
  • 08 Barton Booked
  • 10 Fer
  • 19 Kranjcar (Hoilett - 68' )
  • 09 Austin


  • 04 Caulker
  • 07 Phillips
  • 12 McCarthy
  • 13 Yun Suk-young
  • 23 Hoilett
  • 25 Zamora
  • 29 Zárate
Man of the Match - perhaps not surprisingly, not one nomination was received from the gang and that goes for myself also - N/A

So again, along with the start to the game, the set up of the team, the baffling substitutions, the familiarities continued and yet it seemed yet again that we were beaten by bad luck is the impression you get from the Rangers Manager.

'Were trying everything, was followed by - People look and the score is 3-1, and say it was convincing - how we got beaten I don't know.
We started well, and suddenly we lose the ball under no pressure and find ourselves 2-0 down, we certainly didn't deserve to be..

We just battered them in the second half, but just couldn't score.

and swiftly followed by..

All three goals conceded were individual errors. Credit to Walters but he won't get an easier hat-trick.


As we approach another transfer deadline day, we continue to hear we need to get a couple of loans in, need strikers, all about players, it's very difficult. Made even more difficult I guess when you look at one of Rangers unused subs today - Zarate.

Things certainly don't get any easier as next week we welcome high flying Southampton to Loftus Road. Until then..

Keep the Faith and Come on you R'sssssss!!