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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

QPR Report Wednesday: Ipswich Match Reports and Comments

A Metaphor: Loftus Road One Year Ago!
For QPR and Football Updates throughout the day, visit the ever-growing (and hopefully always-improving!) QPR Report Messageboard/quasi-blog. Either offer your own perspectives on any of the topics (QPR and football only). Or of course, feel free to simply read the various QPR and football-only discussions. -- The QPR Report Messageboard

- See Compilation of Match Reports and Comments re Ipswich 0 QPR 3

- The Championship a year ago:
Today: - QPR Top with 16 points from 6 games
One Year Ago - QPR 14th with 7 points from 6 games
- Complete Comparative Tables

- On This Day: Thirty-Four Years ago - QPR's First Game in Europe

- Listen to the recent three-hour JNet Interview with Ex-QPR CEO Mark Devlin (and two QPR fans). The three hour broadcast now available online

- Five Year Flashback: Comprehensive Report of QPR1st Meeting With Incoming Chairman, Gianni Paladini

- David Conn Looks at What The Glazers Did in Tampa and Likely for Manchester United

- Nobby Stiles Selling His World Cup Medal

- West Ham's Ben Haim Won't Play on Yom Kippur

- "English Soccer Hooligans at Ground Zero"

Crewe's Dario Gradi on Selling Youngsters Today and Past (Including to QPR)
"...Gradi bitterly regrets letting another of his proteges, Maurice Doyle, slip away prematurely to QPR back in 1989. Doyle, then 19, went on to make only six appearances for the Londoners, although he did resurrect his career at Millwall..."

David McIntyre Blog - Warnock and the 4-4-2 rejects

I’ve always believed that good managers tend to find a system for their players, not players for their system. But Neil Warnock has taken a hammer to that theory.

A major reason for QPR’s success so far is that Warnock has been able - through good judgement and, more importantly, having money to spend - to get the right players for his preferred system.

Shaun Derry, Matt Connolly, Adel Taarabt, Heidar Helguson, Hogan Ephraim and Jamie Mackie all have something in common, and it isn’t just that they’ve been playing really well. It’s also that they wouldn’t be nearly as effective, and in some cases would be a total liability, in a 4-4-2.

The same can be said of Akos Buzsaky, as his past performances for Rangers have proved, and Tommy Smith is yet another player who fits into this bracket.

Taarabt: Not the striker he believed he was a year ago, and playing out wide is as much of a worry to his own full-back as the opposition’s. But with two sitting midfielders behind him and a line-leading striker in front, his strengths are highlighted much more than his weaknesses.

Ephraim: Has, at best, been moderately effective playing on either flank in a 4-4-2. Looks much better as a wide forward in Rangers’ current system.

Connolly: Has looked good for Rangers at full-back and as a central defender in a 4-4-2, but is still learning the game and his development as a centre-back had stalled a bit. Operating with two sitting players in front is a great chance for him to play to his strengths while learning the game and developing physically.

Helguson: Signed when not fully fit, there have been few better forwards of his type at Championship level in the last decade. But his role this season depends on smart running rather than the amount of running. That makes all the difference.

Derry: Possibly the biggest surprise of the season so far. This guy is a much better footballer than he’s given credit for and his importance to a squad with the likes of Taarabt, Ephraim, Faurlin and Buzsaky is immeasurable. Again though, the system is everything. Derry simply could not play in a 4-4-2. But in the current Rangers formation he does a great job and could do it with his eyes closed.

Mackie: I always felt Mackie would be a sensation to begin with, quickly become a fans’ favourite, and then perhaps fade. But six goals and the type of quality and finishing he’s produced was not what I expected.

And again the system is the key. Mackie’s the man of the moment but would be nowhere near as effective, or popular, in a 4-4-2. He’d give it a real go either in a two-man strikeforce or on the wing, but isn’t really cut out for either role. That wide forward position is made for him though.

Mackie tends to do the same things again and again, which in a 4-4-2 would be a weakness and make him look limited, but in Warnock’s system is a strength, because he constantly annoys and asks questions of defenders who often have one eye on Taarabt.

So that’s six of Warnock’s regular outfield 10 whose performances can be put down to his system.

This hasn’t happened by chance. Warnock did exactly the same at Crystal Palace with Ben Watson and to a lesser extent Tom Soares. Neither player has kicked on since he sold them.

I despaired of QPR’s attempts to sign Watson before he eventually arrived on loan, because it was the mark of a club that didn’t have a clue what they were doing. They wanted him because of his reputation at Palace, who played a specific way that suited him.

Watson was never going to as effective at QPR because he is another player that cannot play in a 4-4-2. Warnock knew this, which is how he got the best out of him and why he was happy enough to sell him.

And after Watson and Soares, there was Darren Ambrose; a player who flattered to deceive before a brilliant season for Palace. His problem had been establishing his best position, but in a right-of-centre role under Warnock he also flourished.

Too many players can’t play outside a 4-4-2, whereas Warnock’s success is based on players who can’t play in it.

It's ironic that someone portrayed as the stereotypical old-school English manager consistently gets the best out of players who struggle in the old-school English formation. Dave McIntyre Blog


Two-goal hero Jamie Mackie was keen to deflect the attention on to his team-mates following the R's 3-0 victory against Ipswich Town on Tuesday night.

Mackie bagged a first half brace to storm to the top of the Championship goalscoring charts with six goals to his name, but the former Plymouth Argyle ace was keen to play down his own fantastic start to the season.

"The one thing I do know is that it's not about me, it's about the squad," he told www.qpr.co.uk.

"We've got great characters in the squad and we won't get carried away.

"As long as we stay really strong together - through the good times and the bad - we've got a great chance this season.

"It's very early days, but we can't complain about the start we've made."

Mackie has now scored six goals in as many games in the Championship, and he's clearly relishing life in W12.

"I'm loving it here," he said.

"I don't take anything for granted. I live my life right, in preparation to play football matches for this Club, and finally I'm in a squad where my hard work is being merited.

"We've got some unbelievable ability in the squad and I'm just loving my time here at the moment. Things couldn't be any better.

"I won't ever take it for granted though and I'll approach each game as I always do, with 100 per-cent commitment."

The 24 year-old opened the scoring on the half hour at Portman Road, holding off two defenders before creating a yard of space to smash the ball home.

"There was an element of luck with the first goal, but that's me all over really - I don't give up on anything and thankfully I got my rewards," he said.

"If you keep battling, you'll always get a chance and it was just nice to be in the right place at the right time to put it away."

The second was Rangers at their very best, as Adel Taarabt broke from deep inside his own half before teeing up Mackie, who strode the length of the Ipswich half before drilling a low drive past Marton Fulop.

"The second goal was one of the better goals I've scored," he said.

"When defenders back off its brilliant for you as an attacking player.

"I don't think Fulop would have been too happy with his defenders but it gave me the invitation to get a yard or two of space and fire past the keeper."

Mackie even played a role in the R's third goal, nipping in ahead of Tommy Smith and going to ground, giving the referee little option but to point to the spot.

On a hat-trick, Mackie was keen to take the resultant penalty himself, but with Heidar Helguson's record from 12-yards this season exemplary, the former Watford man stepped up and tucked away the R's crucial third goal.

"In a way I was gutted not to walk off with the matchball, because I fancied the penalty, but one thing I do know is that it's not about me, it's about the squad," he said.

"Heidar has earned the right to take the penalties this season, because his record is fantastic and he did the business again.

"I'd have fancied my chances too, but he slotted it away and we won 3-0, so I couldn't be more delighted."

The R's unbeaten run will be on the line once again at Leicester City on Saturday and Mackie is fully aware of the threat posed by Paulo Sousa's men.

"Obviously Leicester will provide a tough test," he told www.qpr.co.uk.

"They've beaten Cardiff and they're a massive Football Club in this division.

"You know when you go to the Walkers Stadium that you'll get a tough game and we're under no illusions.

"The Manager has told us it will be our hardest game of the season and we're fully aware of that.

"We'll go in to it with a good attitude, like we always do, and if we apply ourselves correctly, we'll have a good chance of getting another positive result." QPR

Gazette/Paul Warburton - QPR star Alejandro Faurlin sidelined until October

ALEJANDRO Faurlin has been ruled out until the beginning of October after getting crocked in last night's win at Ipswich.

The QPR star pulled up with a groin problem just 36 minutes into the 3-0 win over the Tractor Boys, and will be sidelined until the trip to Crystal Palace on October 2 at the earliest.

Boss Neil Warnock said: "We're not going to take any risks at this stage of the season because we've got so many games coming up."

Right-back Peter Ramage has already been ruled out for the rest of the season, while Bradley Orr will miss Saturday's visit to Leicester. Fulham Chronicle


Neil Warnock has revealed R's midfield lynchpin Ali Faurlin was substituted as a 'precaution' against Ipswich Town on Tuesday night.

The Argentine limped out of the action late on in the first half at Portman Road, as the R's eventually coasted to a 3-0 win.

Warnock told www.qpr.co.uk: "Ali's groin was tight.

"We're not going to take any risks at this stage of the season, because we've got so many games coming up."

The R's gaffer also revealed that Bradley Orr is set to miss Saturday's trip to Leicester City with a calf injury, commenting: "Bradley damaged his calf against Boro' on Saturday.

He'll probably be touch-and-go for Doncaster, but then he should be okay."

Despite Orr's injury, Warnock was full of praise for loan debutant Kyle Walker, following his move from Spurs.

"I made a decision to ask Harry (Redknapp) for a favour over the weekend and he came up trumps with Kyle," he said.

"Kyle only came in on Monday morning, but Sheffield lads settle in quickly and he did very well." QPR

- Neil Warnock once again cut a thrilled figure after seeing his top of the table Hoops stretch their unbeaten run in the league to six matches.
- Jamie Mackie's deadly double in the first half was added to in the closing period by a Heidar Helguson penalty to complete the rout.
- And Warnock told www.qpr.co.uk: "I knew we had to start well today.
- "I was delighted when the first goal came, it calmed us down.
- "I think that expectations are expectations.
- "The fans hadn't had stability at the Club for a long while.
- "Amit Bhatia and the directors have been fantastic, they've supported me by letting me bring my own players in and having a bigger squad."
- He added: "We had a lot of flair players and a lot of skill last season, but we didn't have the bread and butter players.
- "Whilst Jamie Mackie, Adel Taarabt and a few others will get the praise, I look at players like Kaspars Gorkss and Shaun Derry as the bread and butter players.
- "I thought Matt Connolly was ten out of ten, I don't reckon they'll be a better performance than his tonight.
- "We played very well. I don't think anybody could have coped with the way we played tonight." QPR

Evening Standard - Neil Warnock: No-one can cope with us on this form
- QPR manager Neil Warnock believed his side were unstoppable last night as their 3-0 victory saw the west London side go three points clear at the top of the npower Championship.
- Jamie Mackie's double and Heidar Helguson's second-half strike extended the Hoops' unbeaten start to the season.
- Warnock said: "I knew we had to start well because Ipswich have had a great start to the season and there's nothing better football-wise than an evening match at Portman Road.
- "We took the game to them and I was delighted when the first goal went in because it calmed us down and gave us belief.
- "We played very well and I don't think anyone could have coped with how we played."
- Opposite number Roy Keane had no complaints about his side's first defeat of the season.
- Keane said: "It was a fair result. We didn't turn up and never got going. The second goal killed the game for us."
- There was more good news for QPR when Cardiff squandered a 1-0 lead to go down to a 2-1 defeat against struggling Leicester. Standard

- Peter Ramage faces a prolonged spell on the sidelines, after results of a scan revealed the defender has suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
- The former Newcastle United defender fell awkwardly whilst crossing the ball against Middlesbrough on Saturday and is due to undergo surgery in the coming weeks.
- R's gaffer Neil Warnock confirmed the news to www.qpr.co.uk this evening, commenting: "Peter will have to have an operation on his cruciate ligament and unfortunately it looks as though that's him for the season.
- "I feel so sorry for him - he's an important part of the squad.
- "It's disappointing for the lad, he's distraught but he'll bounce back." QPR

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