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Sunday, December 11, 2011

QPR Report Sunday Update: Strange Critique re Tony Fernandes/QPR...Liverpool Reports & Comments...

- On This Day in 1989: Roy Wegerle Joins QPR in a club-record signing
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Strange story about a months-old "issue" (which really wasn't a big issue even)

MAIL/Joe Bernstein

QPR owner Fernandes accused of short-changing fans after season ticket promises

QPR owner Tony Fernandes has backed down on plans to give 'significant refunds' to season-ticket holders and handed them vouchers for the club shop instead.

Fernandes earned plenty of good publicity when it was reported he would refund season ticket holders shortly after he bought the club from unpopular owners Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore in August.
QPR fans were up in arms at the time about 40 per cent increases imposed by the Ecclestone regime that pushed up some season tickets to £999 and viewed Fernandes, owner of Asia's first cut-price budget airline, as an incoming hero.

Hero or villain?: Tony Fernandes was welcomed with open arms by QPR fans

But four months later, it appears Fernandes has watered down his original 'promises'. Instead, season ticket holders have been sent £50 vouchers that have to be spent by the end of the year.

[b]John Reid, secretary of the QPR Loyal Supporters' Association (LSA), said: 'We have asked the club for a meeting to discuss pricing and other matters and we are still awaiting a reply.[/b]

'At the moment our club is going forward and the atmosphere has never been better. But euphoria is often shortlived.'
While Fernandes is viewed in a positive light, fans are keen to see the new owner live up to his promises.

Brian Beard, the club's chief executive, said in August: 'These changes show how serious we are about taking the fans' views on board.' Mail


- Photos from Liverpool vs QPR

Guardian/Andy Hunter

Luis Suárez does the conventional business for Liverpool against QPR

No controversy, no DVD defence and no work for the Football Association courtesy of Luis Suárez this weekend; just a decisive goal from him that brought an overdue home win for Liverpool and spared them from another interrogation into their forgotten art of finishing. It was timely of the Uruguay international to issue a reminder of why £22.8m had been spent on him in January.

Suárez's reputation may owe more to notoriety than his undoubted brilliance but both sides to his character keep him central to every performance and Liverpool's prospects. They moved above Newcastle United in the table after a first home win in five attempts against a Queens Park Rangers team that, aside from a late rally which ensured Anfield remained on edge, could find solace only in the slender margin of their defeat.

"The headlines don't matter but at least they'll be nice headlines tomorrow," said Kenny Dalglish, who saw one of his successors in the red No7 shirt land an FA charge for allegedly giving the finger to Fulham supporters at Craven Cottage on Monday. "Luis scored with a header, which doesn't happen too often," Dalglish said. "And I thought he played really well. Some of the football we played was brilliant." Brilliant until sight of the opposition goal, that was.

Apart from showing a DVD of Fulham's misdemeanours against the former Ajax striker, Dalglish had also used his pre-match press conference to call for an end to the profligacy that has cost Liverpool repeatedly at home. It appeared the appeal would go unheeded until Suárez finally rediscovered his scoring touch moments after the restart.

From the opening whistle Liverpool swarmed forward relentlessly, found space behind the QPR defenders and engineered chances repeatedly. For 45 minutes they squandered them all, with the Uruguay international the chief culprit. The home side won three corners in the opening three minutes and their dominance was unrelenting. Suárez's wasteful first half commenced when he placed a free header straight into the grasp of goalkeeper Radek Cerny after being found unmarked by Stewart Downing. He was then unfortunate with an attempt to beat Cerny inside his near post, before slicing horribly wide with his right foot when he should have taken Maxi Rodríguez's pass with the left. Soon afterwards he was foiled at close range by the visiting keeper and sent the rebound out for a throw-in on the opposite side of the pitch.

But he was not alone in his profligacy. Rodríguez benefited from Dirk Kuyt's industry and vision to race clean through on goal, only for Cerny to produce a fine save. It would not be the only time the outstanding Czech, playing because of injury to Paddy Kenny, thwarted the Argentinian. Daniel Agger allowed another Downing centre to roll under his boot in front of the Rangers goal on the stroke of half-time yet, with Anfield rueing a familiar script, Liverpool produced. Charlie Adam, who prospered in the space he was afforded all game, delivered a delightful cross from the left that sailed over the heads of three visiting defenders. Suárez was left scandalously unmarked in the centre and duly headed beyond Cerny for his first goal in the Premier League since 1 October.

"I'm disappointed with the goal but they were the better side," admitted Neil Warnock, the QPR manager. "Luke [Young] has held his hands up in the dressing room. He had Suárez at the corner but then lost him. But Suárez was amazing today."

The breakthrough should have been the cue for Liverpool to ease to victory but that is not how Dalglish's team operate on home soil at present. Cerny produced a stunning save from Rodríguez, changing direction and dropping low to his left to tip the midfielder's volley on to the post from a Suárez cross, then denied the former Atlético Madrid captain once more after he exchanged a series of passes with Suárez on the edge of the area. Reprieved, as they were again when Shaun Wright-Phillips struck his own bar, the visitors besieged José Reina's goal in the dying moments but there was no way through, only an argument between Joey Barton and Craig Bellamy that continued long after a valuable victory was secured.

QPR Official Site

Posted on: Sat 10 Dec 2011

Neil Warnock refused to be downbeat after seeing his side go down to a single-goal defeat against Liverpool at Anfield.

Luis Suarez's 47th-minute header proved decisive for the hosts, who controlled for the majority of the Barclays Premier League contest.

Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk, Warnock told us: "I think that Liverpool were the better side - but I'm proud of the lads.

"A lot of teams will come here and get turned over.

"Their first goal revitalised us - that was probably our best spell of the match.

"A few might have thought that we'd be beaten by four or five after they scored early in the second half, but we showed a lot of resolve.

"I thought that Radek Cerny was fantastic. I'm really pleased for him.
"At 37, he thought he'd never play in the Premier League again - and here he is playing three times.

"I was disappointed with the goal. Luke (Young) put his hand up in the dressing room. He was marking Suarez from the corner and lost him - but that's the quality of people like him.

"They find half a yard. I thought Suarez looked amazing today."

Anton Ferdinand picked up a hamstring injury in the second half - going down unchallenged following a smart interception in the middle of the park - and was replaced by Bradley Orr on 50 minutes.

Warnock said: "It's not as bad as we first thought. Anton won't have a scan until Monday.

"He'll probably be out for a couple of weeks, but he's already feeling a lot better."

Meanwhile, Heidar Helguson was forced sit out of today's clash on Merseyside with a minor injury.

On the subject of his in-form striker, Warnock added: "If he'd have played today, he'd have risked missing two or three weeks.

"It's only a minor problem. If it'd been the last game of the season, he would have played.

"I had to make a decision on whether to play him at Anfield - where you'll be running your socks off - or save him for Manchester United next week.

"It should be a fantastic game - one that we're all looking forward to."

GOAL.com/Ross Jackson

QPR manager Neil Warnock bemoans lack of options at Loftus Road as injuries mount

The R's boss has lamented his thin squad after confessing substitute DJ Campbell wasn't ready for a return at Anfield, while commending Joey Barton's discipline in the defeat

QPR boss Neil Warnock has bemoaned his lack of options following his side’s narrow 1-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday.

Liverpool 1-0 QPR: Suarez heads homeMackie: Leg break was 'poor timing'
QPR's Faurlin tracked by PL clubs - agentWarnock warns Taarabt's 'advisers'
DJ Campbell played nearly half an hour of the game, and Warnock has revealed the striker wasn’t ready for a return to first-team action, but he had no other options available.

The 63-year-old told reporters: “You look at our bench today and I felt sorry for DJ Campbell who’s had nine weeks out, two weeks running and hasn’t kicked a ball yet but I haven’t got another forward.

“I asked him if he’d do 20 minutes and he’s tried his hardest but you look at their [Liverpool’s] bench and that’s what we’ve got to aim for.”

Icelandic striker Heidar Helguson was missing from the starting XI for the clash, with Warnock unwilling to risk his in-form striker's fitness.

He continued: “If he’d have played today there was a risk of him missing two or three weeks.

“It was only a minor thing but do you want him to do it at Anfield where you’re going to be running your socks off or do you want to save him for Manchester United next week.”

Another injury concern for Warnock is Anton Ferdinand, with the former Sunderland man substituted following a collision with Liverpool’s Charlie Adam, though Warnock is remaining upbeat about the situation.

“It’s not as bad as we first thought, he’s not going to have a scan until Monday but he’s already feeling a lot better and it’ll probably be a couple of weeks.

“It opens the door, I thought Gabbidon had his best game today. It gives Connolly or Fitz Hall, who should be fit next week.”

Towards the end of the defeat to Liverpool, QPR captain Joey Barton was involved in a confrontation with Craig Bellamy, yet Warnock was delighted with the former Newcastle man's conduct during the incident.

Whilst the Welshman was subsequently booked for his part in the quarrel, Barton escaped without a caution, with referee Lee Mason also commending the 29-year-old for his self-restraint.

“There’s usually aggro’ with Bellamy”, he added.

“The referee told me he thought Joey Barton’s conduct was fantastic on the field in the last 10 minutes and he told me to tell Joey that which I was pleased about.

“A lot of people try to wind him but he was excellent today in that respect.” Goal.com

Dave McIntyre/West London Sport

by David McIntyre
Liverpool 1 QPR 0

A one-sided match at Anfield was settled by Luis Suarez’s goal 68 seconds into the second half.

The unmarked Suarez headed Charlie Adam’s left-wing cross beyond Radek Cerny, who spared QPR a thrashing by producing several excellent saves.

Rangers manager Neil Warnock had vowed to relish his club’s first visit to Anfield since 1995 and promised they would take the game to the Reds.

But the home side were on top from the start, with Suarez heading Stewart Downing’s cross straight at Cerny and then failing to hit the target after being put through by Maxi Rodriguez.

Warnock’s plans were undone by the loss of in-form forward Heidar Helguson, so Tommy Smith was brought in on the left to support lone striker Jay Bothroyd.

While Bothroyd was a spectator for much of the match, stand-in keeper Cerny was kept busy – and twice came to Rangers’ rescue before half-time.

First, Maxi ran in behind Anton Ferdinand to collect Dirk Kuyt’s clever pass but Cerny dived to his left to superbly deny the Argentine.

Then Downing left Armand Traore trailing and picked out Suarez, who blazed high and wide after his first effort had been well saved.

Rangers were fortunate to be level at the break but within four minutes of the restart they were a goal down and had lost Ferdinand to injury.

Suarez’s goal was a sweet moment for the Uruguay striker, who was hit with an FA charge of improper conduct after an alleged obscene gesture towards Fulham fans on Monday night.

R’s defender Bradley Orr, a lifelong Liverpool fanatic who was at that game at Craven Cottage, found himself coming on to replace Ferdinand, who limped off after crumpling to the ground in pain following a challenge from Adam.

Ferdinand appeared to injure his hamstring or knee, and a spell on the sidelines for the centre-back could further test Rangers’ resources ahead of the January transfer window.

Sloppy defending even with their first-choice pairing at the back has angered Warnock in recent weeks and was evident again when Suarez scored while totally unchallenged.

The visitors rarely looked like staging a comeback, and two more saves from Cerny – both to thwart Maxi after he had been teed up by Suarez – kept Liverpool at bay before their win was almost capped by an own goal from Shaun Wright-Phillips, whose attempted clearance from Craig Bellamy’s cross struck the bar. West London Sport

QPR Official Site - Luis Suarez's 47th-minute header proved to be the difference between Liverpool and QPR at Anfield.

It was, in truth, no more than Kenny Dalglish's men deserved for a simply dominant performance, with Rangers having Radek Cerny to thank for keeping the margin to just a single goal.

The Reds took charge of the first half but it was shortly into the second when the hosts found the decider.

Charlie Adam's pinpoint cross found the head of Suarez in the box and the striker - a constant thorn in the R's side for the duration of the afternoon - gave Cerny no chance from ten-yards out.

Hoops boss Neil Warnock made one change to his side for the visit to Merseyside, with Tommy Smith brought in to replace Heidar Helguson.

But while the Icelandic front-man was missing from QPR's entire 18-man squad, there was positive news from the bench, with long-term injury victims Matt Connolly and DJ Campbell both named amongst the substitutes.

Cerny was in goal for the R's, in a 4-4-2 formation.

Luke Young, Anton Ferdinand, Danny Gabbidon and Armand Traore lined up in defence.

Shaun Wright-Phillips began from the right-hand side of midfield, with skipper Joey Barton and Ale Faurlin in the centre and Smith on the left.

Jay Bothroyd was joined by Jamie Mackie in attack.

Anfield's rendition of 'You'll Never Walk Alone' just before kick-off was - true to form - quite something to behold.

And it was the home crowd who would see their team dominate for much of the first half.

Liverpool's pressure in the opening period was relentless, starting from only the second minute.

Dirk Kuyt, on that occasion, saw his effort deflected over by Ferdinand.

Two minutes later, QPR's backline had to be at their best once again.

Young, this time, was the man who came to Rangers' rescue, with his superb intervention sending Maxi Rodriguez's effort away for a corner, after excellent build-up play from the Reds.

Liverpool then missed a guilt-edged opportunity to take the lead on ten minutes.

Stewart Downing's cross from the right was to a tee for Suarez, but the unmarked Uruguayan could only head straight at Cerny.

A minute later Suarez was in on the act again, executing a lovely give-and-go with Kuyt before seeing his effort - albeit at an acute angle - flash agonisingly across the goal-line.

Soon after, the Reds siege net continued. Maxi broke clear before freeing Suarez in the box, who got his effort horribly wrong.

Suarez really had adopted the role of the Liverpool's tormentor-in-chief.

In the 21st minute, the livewire forward turned Traore down the right, but his cutting low centre was just out of the reach of an unmarked Maxi at the back post.

Maxi was, however, gifted another opportunity just ten mintues later.

The Reds midfield man beat the offside trap before forcing a stunning save from Cerny, who tipped the ball wide before the danger was eventually cleared.

Rangers' only notable chance came in the 41st minute - a Wright-Phillips blast from distance that did little to trouble Pepe Reina.

Not long before the break, Cerny was again on hand to spare the R's blushes.

Suarez was at the heart of the action once more, racing in behind QPR's defence before trying to dink Cerny.

But the R's custodian made a superb block at point-blank range, before Suarez fired the loose ball handsomely over the bar.

Liverpool maintained their high level of pressure from the start of the second period.

And just two minutes after the half-time interval, they were ahead.

It was Suarez -guilty of missing a whole host of chances in the first half - who put the home side into the lead.

Adam's in-swinging ball from the left was of perfection - and so was the unmarked Suarez's finish, with the Liverpool striker making no mistake when he planted an expert header into the top left-hand corner of the net.

Following Liverpool's opening goal, Rangers enjoyed probably their best spell of the contest to date.

That being said, Dalglish's men still continued to create chances and, were in not for performance of an outstanding Cerny, would have been further in front.

Suarez wriggled his way past Gabbidon on the right-hand edge of the box and, when he looked up to pick out an onrushing Maxi in the box, the Reds wide-man seemed certain to slide home a Liverpool second.

Cerny, on the other hand, had different ideas, pulling off a magnificent fingertip save at his left-hand post.

This had been a performance to savour from QPR's Czech stopper - who denied Liverpool once more with a fine close-range block from Maxi on 67 minutes, who combined to effect with Suarez.

But the closer Rangers got to full-time only a goal down, the more Warnock's troops seemed to believe that an unlikely point could be in the offing.

The R's went close in the 73rd minute. Barton's free-kick from the left saw Gabbidon stick out a leg on the penalty spot - but his effort went just over the bar.

Rangers did, to their credit, ask questions of the Liverpool rear-guard in the closing minutes, while Wright-Phillips struck his own bar in injury time.

But there was to be no late drama, as Dalglish's men held on to collect all three Barclays Premier League points.

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Agger, Skrtel, Enrique, Downing, Adam, Henderson, Maxi (Bellamy 78), Kuyt, Suarez.

Subs: Doni, Carroll, Coates, Carragher, Kelly.

Goals: Suarez (47)

Bookings: Bellamy (85)

QPR: Cerny, Gabbidon, Bothroyd, Faurlin, Mackie (Hill 78), Traore, Barton, Young, Smith (Campbell 66), Wright-Phillips, Ferdinand (Orr 50).

Subs: Putnins, Derry, Buzsaky, Connolly.

Referee: Mr L Mason

Attendance: 45,016


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