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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Today's Game ON....Balanta Frustrated re QPR...Amount of Mittal Investment?... Five "Where Are They Now?"

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UPDATE: Official Site says Game is still ON:
"MATCHDAY UPDATE - In light of the large amount of fixtures that have been postponed throughout the country today, the Club can confirm that is does not foresee any problems with the playing surface at Loftus Road for this afternoon's Championship clash against the Sky Blues"

The Sun/Bob Hayes - Tights Fit For Balanta
-ANGELO BALANTA is proving he is sheer class ... after getting the FA’s permission to wear black tights in games.
Forget the cold snap, the QPR striker — on loan at Wycombe — is living up to his reputation as one of soccer’s red-hot superkids.
The Colombian ace bagged one of the goals in last Saturday’s 2-1 win over Bury that leaves Wycombe eight points clear in League Two.
Now Balanta, 18, is ready to take the ribbing of rival fans.
He said: “I’ve had a hamstring injury and, what with the cold weather, I thought I’d wear tights.
“I needed to get permission from the FA but my team-mates haven’t been giving me stick. In fact, if it’s cold enough, I think a few of them might start wearing them too!”
SunSport columnist Chris Kamara reckons Balanta, along with Southampton forward Adam Lallana, 20, will be soccer smashes.
Kamara said: “They are both lovely footballers and will become big stars in the next generation.”
Balanta, on loan until February 14, has seen QPR bring in winger Wayne Routledge from Aston Villa.
But after three goals in seven starts for Wanderers he believes he can make it at Rangers.
He said: “It is frustrating and makes you doubt things a bit when QPR bring in more players but I’ve got confidence in myself.
“I’ve come to Wycombe to get games and goals and I’ve got both
.” The Sun

Wycombe Gazette/Dave Peters - Meet Blues’ own tights-wearing Superman
ANGELO Balanta may have upset the fashion police on Saturday, but he was way too cool for the Bury defence.
The tights-wearing Colombian scored one and made one as the sixth-placed Shakers were seen off.
The teenager insists his skin-tight black leggings had nothing to do with trend-setting but were just an attempt to keep warm on a day when temperatures plummeted below zero.
He even had to get special permission from the officials before he was able to wear them.
Boss Peter Taylor admitted he never wore tights during his playing career but he says he has got no problems with it as long as the on-loan QPR youngster keeps doing the business on the field.
He said: “I never wore them, but I don’t feel the cold as much as people like Angelo. If it makes him feel better then I’m happy and if he keeps scoring goals like the one on Saturday he can wear what he likes.”
Taylor believes the leggings might even have helped get the youngster through the game by keeping his muscles warm and boosting his circulation.
Taylor said: “He was a doubt on Thursday because he was feeling his hamstrings a little bit.
“We asked what the rule is regarding playing in tights and the rule was that he could play in them.
And while the 19-year-old doesn’t expect his black leg-wear to become a hit in the club shop - he doesn’t care as long as they keep his legs warm through the British winter.
He said: “I wore them because it was so cold. I wanted to keep as warm as I could and they helped.
“I’ve been struggling a bit with a hamstring and because it was so cold I thought I would wear the tights. It is the first time I’ve worn them and I wasn’t trying to set a fashion but I might wear them again.
“Luckily the boys didn’t give me too much stick and maybe if it gets colder a few others might start wearing them but I don’t know if they will start selling tights in the club shop.”
Balanta is on loan until February 14 but he says if there is no sign of Rangers opening the first team door to him by then, he would be happy to extend his stint at Adams Park until the end of the season.
He said: “I feel I’m ready for the Championship now and the experience I’m getting here will only help me.”

l Balanta admits he was lucky not to be sent off following his retaliatory kick at Bury’s Richie Baker.
He said: “I lost my head when he kicked me. I reacted as I shouldn’t have and kicked him on the shin. I was very lucky that the ref didn’t see it because as a professional I shouldn’t be reacting like that.
“I was frustrated when he took the ball off me because I hadn’t seen much of it all afternoon. I am going to have to learn to rise above things like that
.” Wycombe Gazette

And from November - Bucks Free Press - 'Wycombe fans are in for a treat'
WANDERERS legend Steve Brown has told Blues fans they are in for a real treat with the capture of Angelo Balanta from QPR on a two-month loan.
Brown, who is the youth team coach at Loftus Road, worked with the 18-year-old Colombian before he was fast-tracked into the Hoops’ first team squad and says he is a one-off.
Brown said: “As soon as I saw him I could see that he was one of those few players that only comes around once every so often.
“He is one of those kids that breaks the mould and I was excited by him the first time I saw him.
“He has got so much talent. The Wycombe fans are in for a real treat in the two months that he is there.
“I am just glad that the Wycombe fans have got the opportunity to watch someone like him because he will have them on the edge of their seats. He can score goals and he can create goals.”
.....” Bucks Free Press

The Times re Club Owners - Mittal
"...But surely, with all owners of football clubs, the fit-and-proper question is not “how much are they worth?” but “how much of what they are worth are they prepared to spend on football?” Lakshmi Mittal, the joint owner of Queens Park Rangers, who rises to second in the list, above Abramovich but behind Sheikh Mansour, the owner of Manchester City, may be valued at £12.5 billion in FourFourTwo's estimate, but the extent of his investment in the club is a sheepish £200,000 - barely enough to cover peanuts and crisps in the hospitality suites over the 2008-09 season and some way down on the £600 million that Abramovich has spent furnishing Chelsea.: The Times

"Where Are They Now?"

Justin Cochrane
- Joined Rushden and Diamonds; playing fullback - Justin Cochrane

Kieron St Aimee
Joined Lewes on loan from Barnet; scheduled to make his debut today in the FA Trophy. Kieron St Aimee

Paul Murray
- Now at Shrewsbury - Paul Murray

Richard Pacquette
(As noted a couple of days ago on this blog), Pacquette is flourishing at Maidenhead - Richard Pacquette

Marcus Bean
- Bean now staring at Brentford where he is one of the nominated Powerade Player of the Month - Marcus Bean

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