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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

John Gorman Optimism....Praising Jay Simpson....Assessing Magilton's Buzsaky Criticism...QPR XI Lose to Watford...Fan Hooliganism Club-by-Club

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- QPR REPORT Available on TWITTER!

- Past Millwall (and West Ham) Fan Violence, including vs QPR

- Italian Serie A Breaking Away

- Italy coach, Marcello Lippi, Wouldn't Pick Openly Gay Couples for his Squad

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Time John Gorman - Slow start can work out in the long run
- QPR assistant manager John Gorman has stressed that a flying start to the season is no guarantee of success come May.
- Rangers have stuttered in their first four Championship fixtures, gleaning a modest return of three points, but the experienced Gorman is confident of picking up pace as the season progresses.
- "If you do start well, you have to maintain that the whole season, which isn't easy," he observed. "Sometimes you can start not so well, build gradually and finish on a real high and get promoted.
- "Of course it's nice to get a good start because the players build up their confidence straight away. If you don't, questions are asked and managers lose their jobs, which is wrong."
- Four years ago, Gorman's Wycombe Wanderers side seemed unstoppable as they marched towards the League Two title until two-thirds of the way through the season, when the manager tragically lost his wife to cancer.
- While Gorman was away on compassionate leave, his team imploded and dropped out of the promotion places, eventually clinging on to a play-off place and losing in the semi-final.
- "We went 21 games unbeaten and you can hardly get a better start than that," Gorman recalled. "But what happened that February, although it was away from football, affected the football.
- "It had looked as if we'd go right through on a high, but it's where you are at the end that counts - and at QPR we're very hopeful of being one of the teams that are up there. Kilburn Times

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - re Jay Simpson
Rangers will be jumping for Jay
- FORMER QPR star Marcus Bignot believes his old club have pulled off a coup by persuading Arsenal to loan them Jay Simpson.
- Rangers will sign the 20-year-old forward on a season-long loan later this week in an effort to reinforce their lacklustre front line.
- And Bignot, who played alongside Simpson during the youngster's spell at Millwall in 2008, told the Times: "I think the QPR fans will be excited by him.
- "Jay's not a big lad but he certainly has a physical presence and he's got a good shot in his locker as well. He'll be a good addition to what's already a strong squad at QPR.

"He's a quiet lad but a very warming character. He came into a struggling team at Millwall, but that didn't faze him at all and he was a very good player for us.
- "I'd put him in the Theo Walcott bracket in that Arsenal might not have decided yet whether he's a wide player or a front man, but I think he'd prefer to be up top."
- Simpson has been on the Gunners' books since he was a schoolboy, but came to prominence during his loan at Millwall, helping the League One club to escape relegation and winning the divisional PFA fans' player of the year award.
- He made his Arsenal debut in the Carling Cup last season, playing three times and scoring two goals in their 3-0 fourth-round win over Wigan.
- The north Londoner spent the second half of the season on loan with West Brom, netting twice in 17 appearances, but has been back in Arsenal's reserves this term. Kilburn Times

Dave McIntyre/BBC 606 - Magilton's high-risk approach
- Jim Magilton’s criticism of Akos Buzsaky immediately reminded me of the night Ian Holloway turned his guns on Richard Langley.
As Magilton was talking last night, I recalled Holloway standing in the same place after Rangers had been humiliated by Vauxhall Motors.
- Magilton’s verdict on Buzsaky was nowhere near as venomous as Holloway’s on Langley that night.
- But there were some similarities - not least the fact that both players were trying to re-establish themselves after serious knee injuries.
- And in both cases, a number of players could have been slated after a woeful team display. Only one - the man widely regarded as the jewel in the Rangers crown - was unexpectedly singled out.
- Referring to Langley, I remember Holloway saying: “I’ll start with him - because he’s the biggest.”
- It seemed a clear attempt to prove his own authority by showing he was prepared to ‘take on’ the club’s most popular player.
- It’s a tactic sometimes employed by managers. The message is obvious: if even the top dog isn’t safe, then no-one is.
- And by prefixing his comments last night with: “I know he’s a crowd favourite, but…” Magilton was subtly making this point too.
- Many of Buzsaky’s admirers will today be wondering if this signals the end of his QPR career and worry he may respond by looking for a way out.
- It’s a justified concern, but no manager worth his salt will ever be held back by it if he feels something needs to be said.
- In the case of Langley, I believe Holloway’s stance, both during that awful November of 2002 and in general, backfired badly.
- I think it knocked the player’s confidence in the short and long term, that his confidence was affected by events both at QPR and then Cardiff and that this was almost as significant as the injuries he suffered.
- More importantly, I’ve always believed it ended up costing Rangers promotion that season.
- During that spell, Langley was banished in much the same way Gino Padula was. Only injuries to others led to their return, after which Rangers went on a brilliant run and narrowly missed out on the top two.
- They of course might have won the play-offs had Langley not got himself sent off and suspended for the final. But were it not for that turgid mid-season spell, those play-offs may not have been necessary.
- Coincidentally, Holloway also managed Buzsaky at Plymouth, where he was cajoled into some great performances but never quite established himself in the way he did after joining QPR.
- That could be taken as proof that Magilton’s approach will not bring the best out of the player, but there reasons to be more optimistic.
- The first is that Langley and Buzsaky are very different players and characters.
- Buzsaky is older and more experienced than Langley was in 2002 and I think is more likely to come back strongly rather than take it to heart.
- But in my view the crucial thing - and the biggest reason to stay optimistic - is what Magilton was actually criticising Buzsaky for.
- Some managers will not warm to a player like Buzsaky purely for ideological reasons.
- Going back to Langley, he was always on a sticky wicket given Holloway’s musings about “piano shifters” as well as “Fancy Dans” and “flitty farty QPR.”
- Buzsaky’s fans would today have serious reason to worry if Magilton had singled him out for not working hard enough, not putting a foot in or for failing to track back.
- He didn’t. He was angry with him for giving the ball away. That's very significant and Buzsaky ought to take something positive from it.
- If Magilton was trying to change him as a player, then alarm bells really would be ringing.
- Another key difference is that while Langley was a lovely player, he was very much an instinctive one. His strength was producing flashes of brilliance in the final third of the pitch.
- Buzsaky has that instinctive side to his game but, unlike Langley, also has the ability to be more deliberate and precise.
- That means he should be - and is - expected to pull strings in midfield in a way someone in the Langley mould cannot.
- Keeping the ball is therefore crucial, and giving it away cheaply really isn’t on.
- Personally, I disagree with Magilton’s comments but think a far more serious issue for Buzsaky and others is the formation currently being used.
- The last three managers angered their bosses by not sticking to 4-4-2, but all three played a certain way for a very good reason.
- Buzsaky misses playing just off the front man – and he isn’t the only key QPR player who needs that shape to be reintroduced.
- Adel Taarabt also needs to play in a withdrawn role. He is not a striker, while playing wide he will always cause as many problems for his own full-back as the opposition’s.
- Rowan Vine is another who isn’t being helped by the emphasis on two out-and-out strikers.
- He’s a quality player but was always going to find the going tough after his injury.
- Playing slightly off the front puts the emphasis on effective movement, which still suits him, whereas a striker is often required to run flat out.
- Angelo Balanta and Martin Rowlands also operate better in that kind of system and so too, I expect, will Lee Cook.
- I think this is a more urgent worry than Magilton’s comments.
- But publicly criticising a star player always raises eyebrows. It’s also a very risky move.
- At Rangers, there is a growing pool of players the regime would gladly offload if the chance arose. Buzsaky isn’t one of them.
- He is popular with the board as well as supporters, so Magilton has stuck his neck out by taking him to task.
- But that’s what management is all about.
- Many have been calling for the manager to be given a free rein and this is sometimes what that involves.
- It’s an important judgement call by Magilton.
- Time – and Buzsaky’s response – will tell whether he’s got it right.
so..... BBC606

- A young QPR Reserve side lost 3-0 to Watford this afternoon in a friendly fixture at the Hornets' training ground, which saw Angelo Balanta make a successful return from injury.
- One goal in the first half and two after the break sealed the fate of Keith Ryan's team, and the Reserve Team Manager told www.qpr.co.uk: "It was disappointing to lose but I was delighted to be able to get this fixture as a fitness exercise, because that was the main purpose of it.
- "The Reserve League starts next week, and the lads have been itching for a game, so this came at a good time, in that respect.
- "In all honesty, we didn't really do ourselves justice today, and our passing was a little disjointed.
- "Having said that, it's the first time that a lot of these lads have actually played together, so that obviously didn't help."
- A definite plus to come from the fixture was the return to action of Balanta, who suffered an ankle injury in training and hasn't featured since the opening day draw against Blackpool.
- "It was good to see Angelo get an hour under his belt," Ryan added. "He came through unscathed and has put himself in contention now for a return to the First Team."
- QPR XI: Putnins, Harriman (Sutherland, 55), Brown, Oastler, Harris, Parmentor, Cox, Alberti (Bewick, 60), German, Balanta (Malloy, 60), Parker.
Subs not used: Ehmer, Weeney, Bailey. QPR

BBC/Ollie Willams - Crowd trouble club-by-club
- Violence at football matches of the kind witnessed outside and inside Upton Park at Tuesday's Carling Cup match between West Ham and Millwall has been thankfully rare in recent years.
- But the Home Office keeps a record of every arrest relating to professional football in England and Wales, as well as banning orders handed out to persistent or serious offenders.
- Each year, it publishes a club-by-club breakdown of arrests made, including the type of offence, ranging from ticket touting or pitch invasion to violent disorder or possession of a weapon.
- So where do each team's supporters rank?
Taking Tuesday's two sets of fans as examples, by November last year, 117 Millwall fans had been given banning orders. Only Leeds United (152) and Cardiff City (136) had more.
- West Ham had 39 supporters with banning orders in the same list, in the middle of the table for Premier League clubs, which was headed by Portsmouth with 91.
- The last set of figures published covers the 2007/08 season, but the Home Office online archive stretches back at least to 2001. You can download PDF files of the data here:
- Statistics on football-related arrests and banning orders 2007-2008
- Statistics on football-related arrests and banning orders 2006-2007
- Statistics on football-related arrests and banning orders 2005-2006
- Statistics on football-related arrests and banning orders 2004-2005
- Statistics on football-related arrests and banning orders 2003-2004
- Statistics on football-related arrests and banning orders 2002-2003
- Statistics on football-related arrests and banning orders 2001-2002
- Using all the links, you can see how arrests and banning orders for each team - and for whole divisions, the Football League and the Premier League - have changed so far this century.
- For some additional context, there's also a helpful page from the University of Leicester listing figures for arrests at football matches from the 1986/87 season through to 1998/99.
- Broadly, the trend shows violence at football matches continues to fall - or at least, arrests do.
- In 1988/89 there were just over 6,000 arrests at games in England and Wales. There were 3,842 arrests in 2007/08.
- The University of Leicester points out that hooliganism has long been more of a problem outside grounds than inside and the Home Office figures suggest around six in every 10 arrests are made outside the stadium.
- But two-thirds of games manage to pass off without a single arrest being made.
- It's difficult to draw many conclusions about individual teams without spending time properly analysing the data, but I've pulled out some more info from these files and added it below - add a comment if you find anything else interesting.
- In terms of arrests at matches, Manchester United fans were the biggest offenders looking at the raw data, with 248 supporters arrested in 07/08.
- That doesn't take into account the club's larger attendances - and dividing by home attendance won't work, since arrest figures include their supporters at away matches (and it's largely away fans causing the trouble), so it's unfair to simply label United fans as the worst-behaved without really crunching the numbers.
- Reading and Fulham can both be proud of largely unblemished records in the top flight that season, though, accounting for just 31 arrests between them.
- Almost a third of Birmingham fans' 99 arrests were for the serious offence of violent disorder, far more than for any other top-flight team.
- Further down the divisions, Cambridge United's figure of 16 arrests stands out in the Conference National, while Chesterfield had the highest number of arrests in League Two.
- Leeds fans recorded more arrests than those of any other professional team, with the exception of Manchester United. (Though again, remember their home attendances and away support will have been higher - not that this entirely accounts for the figure of 156 arrests.)
- It's interesting that the figure for Leeds has increased by 52 since the 2002/03 season, when Leeds were in the Premier League.
- Millwall's figure for arrests has increased from 18 to 78 in that time. One Millwall fan was arrested for a public disorder offence in 2002/03; 40 supporters were arrested for the same offence in 2007/08.
- However, when publishing these figures in 2008, the Home Office said the last four years had seen "the lowest number of football-related arrests since records begun".
- Is violence at football matches on the way down, despite events at Upton Park, and do all these stats reflect your experiences at matches?

- New Book re QPR "Hooped Dreams -Billionaires, QPR and the Premiership Promised Land." By Mick Kelly. (Foreword by Rodney Marsh) - Book Description

- QPR 2 Accrington Stanley 1: Compilation of Match Reports and (harsh) Managerial Comments
- The Carling Cup Third Round Draw will be made on Saturday (12:15pm Skysports)

- Year Flashback: Dowie makes if four wins out of five as with Ledesdma hatrick

- Fans Asked to Vote on Favourite League Cup Memories

- Interesting Ranking of Premiership Clubs for "Fan Stewardship" - How well owners are building for their club's future. Five categories: - putting the club first, 'long-termism', clarity of role and purpose, engagement of fans and passion"
- On This Day: The last time QPR (even temporarily) headed the First Division (Premiership)
- Chelsea PR Offensive Ends in Jeers

- "When Players Fall Out of Love With Football"

- The West Ham-Millwall Fan Violence

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