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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

QPR Report Wednesday: Port Vale Reports..Warnock on Strikers Wants & Weak Reserves..Smith?..Ciprianni..Holloway Threat..Spencer Coach..Twitter


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- Ex-QPR John Spencer Appointed Head Coach (Manager) for Portland Timbers in the US Major League Soccer (MLS)

- Year Flashback: Exeter 0 QPR 5

- Nine Years Ago Today: QPR Win Their First Game Back in Division Three in almost 35 years.

- 42 Years Ago Yesterday: QPR's First-Ever Game in Division One (Video QPR vs Leicester)

- RIP: Exeter's Adam Stansfield\

Warnock on Strikers Hunt
"...I'm still looking at bringing some players in, absolutely. It showed tonight - if we want to be at the top end of the table then we've got to improve the squad.
- "We've done a lot of hard work and brought six or seven in, and that's a big change around in one summer. "But you've only got to look at the bench tonight and see that we're so thin on the ground. We're still looking for a couple of front runners and a utility player." QPR

MIRROR - QPR to sign £1.5m Portsmouth midfielder
- Portsmouth midfielder Tommy Smith is set to join Championship rivals QPR in a £1.5m deal.
- Former Watford star Smith, 30, has been told he can leave Fratton Park to help Pompey raise £7m to repay the first instalment of their creditors agreement.
- Smith was left out of Pompey’s Carling Cup first wound win at Stevenage on Monday after Rangers boss Neil Warnock tabled a bid.
- Smith scored one league goal in 17 games since joining Pompey from Watford for £1.8m last summer. Mirror

Portsmouth News/Jordan Cross - [Glasgow] Rangers chasing striker
- Rangers are in talks to take Tommy Smith north of the border.
The Scottish giants have stepped up their hunt for the striker as transfer activity hots up at Fratton Park in the wake of last week's High Court success.

-...Rangers have already been in touch over Smith this summer, but their £300,000 offer was laughed off by Pompey.They feel a bid of around £800,000 to £1m could persuade the Blues to do business.
There are other sides interested in Smith, including the likes of Championship rivals QPR who are reported to be preparing a bid in excess of £1m.

Administrator Andrew Andronikou revealed talks with Rangers are taking place over the 30-year-old.
He said: 'There has been dialogue and that will continue. We'll see where it goes.'
Portsmouth News

QPR 1 Port Vale 3

Paul Warburton/Ealing Gazette - QPR lack depth says Warnock
- QPR boss Neil Warnock bemoaned the lack of a quality squad as his makeshift side crashed out of the Carling Cup at the first time of asking to League Two Port Vale.
- The Championship side routed Barnsley 4-0 on Saturday, but making five changes from that team ithat ncluded academy graduate Josh Parker and later Antonio German and Joe Oastler - Warnock and Rs paid the price.
- "We're four or five players short of a squad," said the manger, "and this game showed what we have in reserve - which is not a lot actually."
- Even though German pulled one back when the score was 0-3, the other consolation for QPR's boss was not having to scratch his head too hard before naming a team to face Sheffield United on Saturday back in the league.
- He added: "We created enough chances - maybe seven or eight against Vale - and you've got to put some of those away. I can't see anyone from the reserves pushing themselves forward for the first team - other than Martin Rowlands when he's fit." Ealing Gazette

- Neil Warnock admitted that his side's inability to take their chances ultimately cost them in their 3-1 defeat to Port Vale at Loftus Road.
- Justin Richards netted twice for the Valiants, with Sean Rigg also on the scoresheet to the put the away side three goals to the good after just 48 minutes.
- Antonio German added a consolation for the R's on 62 minutes, but Warnock told www.qpr.co.uk: "I just felt that Port Vale took their chances.
- "We had some great chances in the first half. The goalkeeper pulled off two good saves.
- "It shows that we're a little bit thin on the ground, really, in terms of back-up to the first XI. The young lads are going to try, but its goals that win games.
- "We should have been 1-0 up with a great opportunity for Leon, and then we went to sleep for the first two goals.
- "When we look at it from our point of view it's very poor. But it tells you a story that we haven't got a massive squad."
- Warnock added: "I'm still looking at bringing some players in, absolutely. It showed tonight - if we want to be at the top end of the table then we've got to improve the squad.
- "We've done a lot of hard work and brought six or seven in, and that's a big change around in one summer.
- "But you've only got to look at the bench tonight and see that we're so thin on the ground. We're still looking for a couple of front runners and a utility player." QPR

QPR Official Site QPR vs Port Vale
- QPR bowed out of the Carling Cup with a 3-1 defeat against an impressive Port Vale in W12.
- Justin Richards stunned the hosts by putting Vale into a first-half lead, sending the ball home into the bottom right-hand corner following Sean Rigg's exquisite lobbed through pass.

And 1-0 was soon two going into the half-time break, following Rigg's smashed effort that went in off the leg of Fitz Hall.
R's gaffer Neil Warnock looked to freshen things up at the break when he introduced Antonio German for Josh Parker, though Vale put the tie beyond the Hoops' reach on 48 minutes after Richards added his second from close range.

German did have some impact on the tie when he smashed home an effort in off the post on 62 minutes, but his goal was only a consolation for the home team.

The R's lined-up in a changed 4-4-2 formation for the visit of Micky Adams' Port Vale.

Paddy Kenny was in goal for Rangers.

Bradley Orr started at right-back in defence, with Captain Hall and Matt Connolly in the centre and Gary Borrowdale on the left.

In midfield, Hogan Ephraim and Parker were deployed on the flanks, while Shaun Derry was joined by Mikele Leigertwood in the centre of the park.

Jamie Mackie was partnered by Leon Clarke up front, who was making his first competitive start in R's colours since his move from Sheffield Wednesday in the summer.

Just under seven minutes had passed on the clock before the R's fashioned the first shot on target - and it was a chance that they should have taken.

Connolly was the architect, weaving his way past a whole host of challenges, before sliding Clarke through on goal down the right.

In acres of space, Clarke looked up from 10-yards out before lashing an effort in on target, but his shot was too close to Stuart Tomlinson, who beat the effort away before the ball was cleared up field.

Only minutes later, the Valiants raced up the other end - and only the underside of the crossbar prevented them from taking a first-half lead.

Gary Roberts played creator, sending over a sublime, in-swinging corner from the right on to the head of Anthony Griffith, who rose highest before sending in a header that rattled the bar before the ball was cleared away.

In drenched conditions more suitable to April than August, the R's continued to drive forward, and they were almost rewarded for their positive start with a goal.

Ephraim and Mackie combined beautifully on the left-hand side of the penalty area, before the latter smashed an effort just over the bar.

Moments later, the R's went even closer. A ball from deep found Mackie on the right-hand byline, and the R's forward danced his way past two players before drilling a low effort straight at the keeper.

The majority of chances were falling the way of QPR, though they were left stunned on 30 minutes when Vale took a first-half lead.

Rigg picked the ball up midway into the R's half before dinking a pass over the top of the R's defence to send Justin Richards clean through on goal.

Richards took the ball into his stride as he approached the target and kept his cool to tuck the ball home from 18-yards out past Kenny and into the bottom left-hand corner.

Five minutes later, and Vale silenced Loftus Road with a second goal.

Midfielder Rigg received the ball on the left-hand side of the box after patient passing play from the away team, and he looked up before sending home an effort that deflected up off Hall before nestling into the roof of the net.

The R's should have pulled one back just before half-time. Hall's lovely cross-field ball was controlled superbly by Parker out on the left, and the winger - one-on-one with Vale's Tomlinson - could only fire in an effort that the keeper tipped on to the post for a corner kick.

In an attempt to get back into the tie, Warnock decided to freshen things up by introducing German for Clarke at the half-time interval.

Though Rangers' task was made all the harder when Vale added a third with their first shot on target in the second period.

Loft received the ball just outside the area, before letting fly with a low, driven effort that was too hot for Kenny to handle, and when the ball fell to Justin Richards, he made no mistake to add his second and Vale's third goal of the affair.

The R's thought they had pulled a goal backed on 56 minutes when Connolly nodded home Borrowdale's corner from the right, but referee Mr Sutton deemed that the QPR defender had unfairly out-jumped his opposite number.

Six minutes later, however, the R's finally opened their account through German.

Connolly and Mackie combined well down the right before the latter of the two slid the ball into the area for German, whose spin and shot smashed against the foot of the right-hand post before going over the line for Rangers.

QPR almost added a second on 73 minutes. Leigertwood's cross from the right eventually bounced up into the path of Mackie, who could only drag a shot wide with the goal at his mercy from 12 yards.

QPR: Kenny, Orr, Derry (Oastler 63), Hall, Leigertwood, Clarke (German 46), Mackie, Connolly, Ephraim, Borrowdale, Parker (Rose 63).
Subs: Cerny, Faurlin, Brown, Ehmer.
Goals: German (62) Bookings: Hall (33), Mackie (90)

Port Vale: Tomlinson, Yates, Griffith, McCombe, Owen, Loft, M Richards, J Richards (Dodds 83), Collins, Rigg (K Taylor 73), Roberts (Fraser 90).
Subs: Martin, R Taylor, Morsey, Malbon. Goals: J Richards (30 & 48), Rigg (35)
Bookings: Referee: Mr G Sutton
Attendance: 6, 619 QPR

Ealing Gazette/Yann Tear - Tame Rangers humbled and out
- RANGERS made an embarrassing early exit from the Carling Cup against a team two divisions below them to quickly puncture Saturday's euphoria.
- Rangers were a pale shadow of their opening day selves during an abject first half in which Mikele Leigertwood and Shaun Derry were frequently overrun in midfield by livelier opponents.
- They found themselves two down at the break and three down soon after and although they stirred themselves at last with an Antonio German goal, it was not enough to spark a revival.
- Anthony Griffith and Doug Lift were particularly dominant for the visitors, while Sean Rigg was nearly always involved as ambitious Vale flooded forward at every opportunity.
- Rigg it was who set up Justin Richards for the opening goal on 30 minutes after Derry had surrendered possession in the centre circle – Richards racing forward unopposed to calmly slip the ball past Paddy Kenny in goal.
- And Rigg it was who drilled in the second from the left edge of the penalty area six minutes later as the Rs defence backed off and dithered in the face of a side buoyed by the scent of a giant killing.
- Debutant Leon Clarke – who should have scored after 11 minutes when Matt Connolly's surge from half way gave him a clear target.
- Keeper Stuart Tomlinson smothered that effort and Clarke – still not fully fit according to Neil Warnock on Saturday – faded out of the game.
- Antonio German came on for Clarke after the interval. The change made no immediate difference. Three minutes into the second half when the effervescent Loft's low shot from distance was spilled by Kenny and Richards tapped in his second of the night.
- But German did get on the scoresheet after 62 minutes – latching onto a Connolly pass and firing in off both posts – although it needed a linesman's say so to confirm the ball had crossed the line.
- Romone Rose's introduction for a labouring Derry made a difference to Rangers, who were far livelier after pulling a goal back, but apart from a glaring Jamie Mackie miss, clear-cut chances were rare Gazette

Mail/Chris Foy - There's only two Ciprianis: the rugby one...and now the one who is playing left back for Spurs and QPR
- Danny Cipriani has been told he has the potential to be a professional footballer if he decides to turn his back on rugby union.

The 22-year-old former Wasps fly half even played at left back for a Tottenham reserve team in a pre-season practice in Malaga at the end of last month.

He is now training with Queens Park Rangers' first team after turning out in a reserve practice match for them yesterday.

It is understood that manager Neil Warnock intends to watch Cipriani in action this week, with an open mind about whether he could make the grade.

Cipriani, who is due to head Down Under in early October to begin a two-year stint with Melbourne Rebels in the Super 15 tournament, insists he is at the football clubs simply to get fit.
He recently spent two weeks training with Tottenham and former England midfielder Tim Sherwood, the club's technical director responsible for player development, said: 'I don't know how long he is giving to the game, but if Danny has any interest in being a professional footballer, he would have a chance.

'It would be tough for him, but he wouldn't fall short because of a lack of hard work or determination.'

Last night, the mercurial fly half told Sportsmail that his footballing exploits are merely a means to an end as he prepares for his move to Australia.

Asked about what he is doing at QPR, he said: 'I'm just down there training, keeping fit.'

But a source at QPR, who watched him play yesterday, revealed Cipriani possessed a good first touch. It is common knowledge that he has become disillusioned with his rugby career in this country, to the extent that he committed to a stint in the southern hemisphere as a means of rekindling his love of the game.

Yet, towards the end of last season - as the talented No 10 regained some of his best form - there was a sense he was succumbing to doubts about the wisdom of his move to the other side of the world.

When one report claimed that his move to Melbourne was in jeopardy, Cipriani was quick to phone Rebels head coach Rod MacQueen to reassure him that he would be reporting for duty as planned.
But rumours continue to circulate at Wasps of his lingering doubts and of his desire to explore any outside chance of a career in football.

He is not coming to the sport cold, having spent time as a teenager at QPR's academy. At first glance, the notion that a professional rugby player could switch sports at the drop of a hat seems incredibly far-fetched.

However as a stand-off Cipriani, who has seven England caps, has always displayed a healthy dose of footballing craft in his game. He is also fast and is perhaps still young enough to adapt.
He is not coming to the sport cold, having spent time as a teenager at QPR's academy. At first glance, the notion that a professional rugby player could switch sports at the drop of a hat seems incredibly far-fetched.

However as a stand-off Cipriani, who has seven England caps, has always displayed a healthy dose of footballing craft in his game. He is also fast and is perhaps still young enough to adapt.
The great all-rounders REBBECCA ROMERO Won an Olympic silver medal for rowing at the 2004 Athens Games and followed up with a gold four years later in Beijing - this time as a track cyclist.
DENIS COMPTON Averaged more than 50 with the bat for England in 78 Tests between 1937 and 1957 and also made 60 appearances as a winger for Arsenal, scoring 16 goals.
JEFF WILSON Played 60 times for the All Blacks at wing and full back from 1993-2002 and also won six one-day caps for New Zealand's cricket team as, naturally, an all-rounder.

Sherwood was in charge of the Tottenham squad which travelled to Malaga and was impressed by what he saw in Cipriani - his application especially, but his ability, too.
'He's gone now, but he was with us for two weeks, doing a bit of fitness work, and he ended up playing in a match in Malaga,' said Sherwood.

'He's left-footed and he played at left back. He did well. 'He's a good player. When he put the kit on, he didn't look like a rugby player, he looked like a footballer. Perhaps he could make it in the Premier League, in time. I don't see any reason why not.
'He was a credit to himself while he was here. He trained hard and was good around the boys. He really enjoyed it, too. It would be hard for anyone to just jump straight in here with us, with all the quality players we have at Tottenham, but that doesn't mean he couldn't make it somewhere in the Premier League.'

The official line is that Cipriani will train with QPR for fitness purposes and may also have a stint at Fulham before flying to Australia.
There are no plans for any meaningful rugby before training begins with the Rebels in November and so far no clubs in England or Europe have made an approach to take him on a temporary loan.

However, if a summer of fitness training ends up leading to the offer of a football contract, there may yet be a stunning twist in the tale. Mail

THE LONDONIST - Which London Football Teams Are Top Of The Twitter League?
- With most league football already under way and the Premier League starting this weekend, we thought this would be an apposite moment to take a look at which London clubs are most successful. But, being a bunch of nerds, we're not interested in striking prowess, club revenues or number of titles. We decided to take a measure of which teams have the biggest Twitter following.
- (Updated: 4pm, 10 August 2010, to reflect reader additions.)
And here are the results for all London's clubs in the top four leagues:
1.Arsenal: 237,493
2.Chelsea: 91,229
3.Tottenham Hotspur: 18,196
4.West Ham United: 8324
5.Fulham FC: 6714
6.Crystal Palace: 5290
7.Queen's Park Rangers: 4037
8.Charlton Athletic: 2364
9.Millwall: 1077
10.Leyton Orient: 789
11.Brentford FC: 644
12.Dagenham and Redbridge: 467
13.Barnet: 344
- So what do these numbers mean? The figures are based on the total number of followers for the five most-followed Twitter accounts for each team (where we can find that many). So, for example, Arsenal have 181,907 (@ArsenalDotCom) + 28,076 (@arsenal) + 12,887 (@ArsenalMania) + 8,748 (@BBCArsenal) + 5,875 (@ArsenalFans) = 237,493. Obviously, there will be a large overlap between feeds, with many individuals following more than one account for their favourite team. However, this is true for all of the clubs, so while the absolute number may not mean much, the relative positions may be insightful....
...QPR1,234 (@QPRORG) 792 (@VitalQPR) 787 (@BBCQPR) 657 (@QPR_news) 564 (@QPRReport) The Londonist

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