#23 Not Cutting the Mustard

jenas villaQPR have played four crucial games since my last blog post with twelve valuable points up for grabs in our quest to stave off relegation. Two of those games were six pointers against fellow strugglers at the bottom of the Premier League. Games we went into on the back of our first back to back successes in the premiership and in good form by our recent standards. So how many points did we amass out of the twelve up for grabs…….one.

One solitary point from twelve despite our efforts, that now leaves our beloved QPR staring relegation certainty in the face.

I, like many fellow R’s have been gutted to the core since the Villa game and I have not been able to blog about the R’s until now, simply because I was just too upset. But now on the eve of our home fixture against Stoke, I like many other R’s, am beginning to come to terms the almost certain prospect of QPR playing back in the Championship next season.

Why did we fail so miserably to earn the required points in those games? Well a mixture of bad fortune, failure to execute chances and same terrible mistakes, pretty much like the rest of the season. Villa away should have seen us home and dry by half time, as chance after chance went begging with the woodwork also chipping into to deny the R’s, whilst the Villa keeper was in inspired form. This was compounded on the stroke of half time when the R’s failed to deal with a harmless Villa threat and conceded the equaliser. The second half saw a rejuvenated Villa get another two goals as a lack luster second half performance saw R’s players guilty of unforgivable defensive errors that cost us dearly. Spur’s loanee Townsend was again in inspirational form as he bagged another goal for the R’s along with Jenas. Ultimately the game ended in defeat for QPR as three thousand plus crestfallen travelling R’s made their way home wondering just how we managed to throw three points away. Down but not out, yet, and a two week wait for our next fixture away to Fulham.

True to form the R’s managed to mess this game up in even more spectacular style than the previous game at Villa as the two break appeared to have not been of any benefit to the team. Two calamitous mistakes by R’s record signing Samba saw him concede a penalty after 8 minutes and get caught in possession to gift Fulham’s second goal on 22 minutes. This was further compounded by a Clint Hill own goal on 41 minute to see QPR go 3 nil down echoing memories of our disgraceful drubbing at the Cottage last season. After Zamora had already wasted our best chance in the first half, the look on Harry’s face when the third goal said it all. You just can not plan for individual errors like the ones that littered QPR’s first half performance. However a determined Taarabt pulled one back for the R’s on 45 minutes after a good finish to give us a glimmer of hope.

Undeterred, the magnificent R’s away support remained in fantastic voice throughout, and at half time you would have thought it was the R’s that were winning. A more determined R’s came out in the second half and with nothing to lose the pressure was now on as wave after wave of QPR attack was launched on the hosts resulting in QPR being awarded a penalty. Sadly, Remy failed to convert as Schwarzer parried and one of four encroaching Fulham players cleared away the subsequent rebound. Undeterred, Remy made amends for his missed spot kick by converting another great chance minutes later, to reduce the deficit to one goal. The R’s huffed and puffed for the remainder of the half, easily hammering Fulham in the second half but a combination of great saves from Schwarzer and the R’s failing to finish saw the R’s leave the Cottage with no points again and a second consecutive three two defeat.

The following week QPR played hosts to perennial strugglers Wigan, in a game that simply had to be won. It would have been a sell out had Wigan managed to sell more than three hundred and forty tickets and the atmosphere was anxious. This was further compounded when Zamora was sent off for an inexplicable high footed challenge on Wigan’s Gomez after twenty minutes. With everything for QPR to play for, Wigan failed to take advantage of the extra man and a blood and guts performance from the R’s in the second half saw than take the lead with a fantastic wonder goal form Remy with 5 minutes remaining. This sent the R’s faithful into a frenzy as the atmosphere suddenly ignited to a crescendo of sound. As the clock ticked over for 90 minutes, a further 4 minutes of injury time was to be played. The R’s back four were coping with Wigan assaults with Samba launching the ball to safety a few times in the dieing moments. Than in the last minute of injury time, QPR’s resident clown, Mbia, gave away a needless free kick in a dangerous position. Mbia is a bit like Marmite, in that you like him or you don’t. He is a nice bloke but, as a midfielder in the Premier League he is sadly lacking and naive. He persistently fouls and is always left on the deck whilst being guilty of many shameless dives. I have often said he is not ready to be a midfielder yet and he would be best employed as a right back this season, as we have other players than can do the midfield job. Needless to say the resulting free kick was converted by Maloney to earn Wigan an undeserved point and silent the Loftus Road faithful. This proved to be the last kick of the game and looking around you could see on everyone’s faces, that they know the game is up for QPR and we are all but down. So very, very disappointing and so very, very painful. Not only did we fail to get the results we needed now,we have failed to get the results all season and the mess we are in is a result of the failings since August when the season began.

Harry and his troops headed to Everton the following week, still hurting after the cruel way in which fate conspired to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory the week before. The performance was predictably poor. As QPR rolled over and died after going one down just before half time to a wickedly deflected shot. The remainder of the game saw the R’s offer very little and we ended the game losing 2 nil. The result leaves QPR ten points off safety with five games and fifteen points to play for and the likelihood of QPR’s short Premiership tenure coming to an end soon.

To me, the last two seasons in the Premiership have been the most miserable in over forty years following the R’s. For me it has been a nightmare and I’ve never felt comfortable with our Premiership status, something just didn’t seem right. Yes there have been some good bits but on the whole it has been a horrible time compared to all the other years. This has been more painful than the other relegation’s I’ve supported the R’s through and that is because of the hope that we get from an era when we have been afforded the best resources and financial backing in our history. That hope fuels the agony and things have gone so very badly and wrong.

Most R’s fans seem to have accepted that QPR will be relegated and many are talking of looking forward to next season in the Championship. I myself am reasonably optimistic about our prospects in the Championship, but then again I was optimistic about this season due to signings and the like. We should have done much better this season, but we have not. We should do well next year in the Championship, but will we. This is the QPR roller coaster and who knows who will still be with us next season on the playing and management side. We must wait and see. But we must get it right next time.

In the mean time, although there is a queue of fat lady’s waiting to sing, it ain’t over yet. And while there’s a chance you don’t give up, because you never know.

So,Stoke at home tomorrow and three points to be won. Should we lose, its possible we could be relegated on Monday should results go against us. But, should we win, the fight is still on and Stoke are dragged into even more trouble.

What ever division we are in I’m QPR till I die.

Here we go again. Come on you R’s.

The Bush Ranger

 

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