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Friday, March 16, 2012

QPR Report Friday: 35 Years Ago: QPR Exit Europe Losing to AEK ATHENS and Stan Bowles Run Ends...Vine's Fitness Query...Langley on QPR



- QPR REPORT MESSAGEBOARD - Visit the cutting-edge, football-only, QPR Report messageboard (and see items you won't usually read elsewhere
Visit the truly-fascinating Bushman QPR Photo Archives for additional QPR History

- Almost FIVE Years Since QPR Held a Fan Forum!

- Reminder: May 20 at Loftus Road 'former greats from Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and QPR take part in a four-team tournament"

- QPR CEO Philip Beard Speaks at the Soccerex European Forum, in Manchester at the end of the Month on "The Financial Management of Clubs"

- Annual QPR Player of the Year Dinner? No Date Announced as of Yet?

Eurosport - Vine fitness concerns Sturrock

Thu, 15 Mar2012

Southend boss Paul Sturrock is yet to reach a decision over a possible loan move for Rowan Vine.

The QPR striker bagged a late winner in a trial game on Tuesday afternoon to give the Shrimpers' reserves a 1-0 win over Oxford, although Sturrock was left with concerns over the fitness of Vine, who has not played first-team football since September.

"With our injuries and everything else it's been very difficult for me to really consider what's best," Sturrock said. "He didn't look fit to me and that's a worrying aspect - how long it would take. That's something I've been talking to the fitness coaches about...." Eurosport

Paul Warburton/Gazette - QPR boss issues Taarabt advice

MARK Hughes has told Adel Taarabt his Premier League future may live or die if he continues to dribble in his own half.

The talented QPR midfielder is battling to shake off a hamstring injury for the visit of Liverpool, but it was his gaffe in the last home game that gifted two precious points to Merseyside neighbours Everton.
Boss Hughes said: “I have no problem with players having confidence trying to affect the game in their own way – either in their own half or the other half.

“But if you make wrong decisions the consequences can be great. Adel will learn from his mistakes, and what he could get away with in the Championship, you sometimes come a cropper in the Premier League.” Ealing Gazette


Thirty Years Since QPR's UEFA Cup Run Ended at AEK Athens
- Dave's Sexton's (virtual) League Champions side tragically got knocked out of the UEFA Cup on penalties. In the UEFA Cup, Stan Bowles scored 11 goals in that run

March 16, 1977: QPR lost 7-6 on penalties to AEK Athens (Webb missing the penalty. QPR had won the home leg 3-0...and then lost the game in Athens 0-3...

QPR's team that night was missing three of QPR's England players: Clement, Francis and Thomas and also QPR stalwart, Mick Leach. Shanks, Kelly and Eastoe deputized.
QPR's Team for that night:
Parkes Shanks Webb McClintock Gillard, Hollins, Masson, Leach, Eastoe, Bowles and Givens

QPR's 1976-77 UEFA Cup Run

(Bowles 3, Masson)

BRANN BERGEN (NOR) A 7-0 (Agg 11-0)
(Bowles 3, Givens 2, Thomas, Webb)

(Bowles 2, Givens)

(Givens 3 (1 pen) Bowles, Clement

3 1 F C KÖLN (GER) H 3-0
(Givens, Webb Bowles)

1 F C KÖLN (GER) A 1-4 (Agg 4-4)
Queens Park Rangers won on away goals

(Francis 2 (2 pens) Bowles

A E K ATHENS (GRE) A 0-3 (Agg 3-3)
Queens Park Rangers lost 7-6 on penalties

- Video: Home Game
- Video: Away Game


Thursday, 15 March 2012

Keeping Players Onside

Over the last couple of weeks I have thought about what it takes to be a successful team. The obvious things spring to mind; talented players, tactics, keeping the squad fit, back up in all positions, experienced coaching staff, strong leaders and a manager with a vision and goal that the players buy into and so on.

All of these are vital but the biggest factor that I believe that is missing in a lot of teams is making sure all the players in the squad are happy. Although many people will think that the eleven players out on the pitch are the most important people in the club, you cannot overlook the fringe players, or, as they would be known or called within the clubs I have played at, "The Bomb Squad". Keeping this set of players happy is key for any manager. Not recognising this can and will result in cracks in your team spirit, and when these appear it is hard to cover up or repair the damage caused. Making them feel significant even when they are not featuring is paramount. They are the glue that will hold your squad together.

The QPR bench will be needed.

For me the best manager with this attribute was Ian Holloway. The year we got to the play offs at Cardiff he made everyone feel great. There was a togetherness that I haven't experienced in football before. If you played well you were in and if not you were out. There were the players that were not getting a game but they never had a bad word to say about the manager. He was honest and told you what you needed to do to get in the team and also why he had taken you out. Players were unhappy at not playing but the the team was the most important thing.

Ian Holloway created this sense of togetherness. We knew he would do anything for us and we wanted to repay him each time we trained or went out to play. He was more like a father figure but he still kept the authority of a manager. He had a way of treating us and he expected us to treat each other in the same way. It was all about respect.

As a former player he was wise to know what goes on in changing rooms. The bitching about not being in the team. He knew it could be Cancerous within the camp if it set in. He demanded we respected each player for who they were and not their skill level. He would judge us on how much effort we put in always knowing that some players are better at certain things than others. This set us up perfectly to do well as a team. We played far from attractive football but we all believed in each other. We won as a team and lost as a team.

After two years away from Loftus road I came back and I realised that with the addition of some new faces the attitude had changed completely. The respect amongst the players had gone. The bitching was back; 'This player is earning this money', 'how did we sign that player?' 'Why is he playing in front of me?' 'This training is shit'. It was like this every day.

All of a sudden Olly had his favourites. Players that couldn't be dropped no matter how bad they played. Having lunch with these players and talking tactics out on the pitch with them. This behavior fueled the rapid divide in our squad.

Olly admitted he had made mistakes in the way he had relaxed his views from the previous 2 years which gave him joy and success at keeping a team united. He tried to revert to his old ways but the damage was done. Not even his admission to us that he had messed up could stop the relationship between the players from deteriorating.

Arguments and scuffles were commonplace at the training ground. You knew that if you were playing bad on a Saturday, you no longer had the support of your team mates. You could feel they wanted you to fail so that they would have a chance of taking your place. The team spirit was destroyed, and halted all progress that the club had seen up to this point.

Going up to Blackpool a couple of years ago, I could see that Olly had got the changing room buzzing and they believed in him. Back to his old ways. They trusted him and I could see an amazing chemistry being developed between him and his players. Seeing them get promoted that year was no surprise.

Team Spirit equals success.

Unfortunately I see the aforementioned problem at a few clubs today, Stoke City, Chelsea, but most importantly for me QPR. There are a lot of players who are still contracted to the club but they have no input at all. Overlooked and not part of the future. If they train well or bad it is of no importance to the manager. There is a huge squad now and the majority outside the starting XI are not happy. It is compulsory for Mark Hughes to hold the team together. From speaking to some of the players I know they have been ignored and feel disrespected.

There are big personalities in the changing room at the moment and this is fine, but there needs to be equality in the way players are selected and treated. Your name alone can't dictate if you are playing or not. If this has not been addressed already I fear the worst for QPR. Looking at the position we are in at the moment we are going to need a final push from the whole squad, not just from the regulars. There is no room or time for negativity. We have the toughest run in out of all the teams down at the bottom and I am sure we will have to call upon the players outside of the starting XI to come in and do a job. It is Mark Hughes' responsibility right now to make sure that he focuses on these guys as much as the ones who will take centre stage over the last ten games.

Tough task ahead for Hughes
Posted by Langers at 12:58 1 comments

Sunday, 4 March 2012
We are QPR
I made my way to Loftus Road yesterday to watch QPR take on Everton.

On the way there I spoke to some fans and the main talking point was the disappointment with the recent performances of our top players, and whether Mark Hughes is the one for the future. This was my first opportunity to watch a live game since last season. With the recent acquisitions of Zamora, Cisse and Onuoha under the new manager Mark Hughes I was looking forward to seeing the new look QPR.

I collected my tickets and made my way to South Africa Road block C. When I sat down it was fantastic to see that there wasn't a spare seat in the ground. The sun was shining and the scene was set for a great afternoon of football.
Unfortunately what transpired didn't match up to what I had in mind.

The game was littered with mistakes and it wasn't keeping my interest. Frustrations were growing with every mistake and you could sense that the players were feeling the pressure of under performing in front of their home supporters.

I thought the appointment of Hughes would have encouraged a different style of play, but it was much of the same as the games played under Warnock. Was it necessary to appoint another manager with the same tactics as the previous one?


Rangers played too direct for my liking, launching 40-50 yard balls in the direction of Zamora. More often than not his flick on or chest down was into a melee of advancing midfielders resulting in battles for the second ball. Apart from that and set pieces it was hard to see what our game plan was.

The other area of discontent for me was the largely anonymous Shaun Derry. I know Derry is there to be the protective cover for the defence but when we are in possession he doesn't join in and we are in effect a man down. He needs to influence the game when we have the ball by dictating play. I know he can do this but he is not playing to his full potential right now.

SWP played wide and constantly gave the ball away and didn't produce any magical moments that we saw so often in his days at MCFC. Bereft of ideas for large parts of the game and looking a shadow of his former self he failed to make any impact on this game.

His former team mate Onuoha looked scared in possession of the ball and not like a player that has made over 100 appearances in the Premier League.

Joey Barton although full of endeavor and hard running, had no direction or guile to his game. Many people will believe the hype that surrounds him. He shows commitment to the team but for me he needs to contribute more to the game. He is not a technical ball player and is not a great ball winner I failed to see what he can offer the team.


The only positive I came away with was the wonderfully gifted Adel Taarabt. He gave the ball away for the Everton goal but he didn't let this get him down. This 'route one' game really doesn't allow our best player to be as effective or to shine in the way we all know he can. On the few occasions he found the ball at his feet he had us all in awe at his natural ability to create something from nothing.


Unless we show more composure in possession and utilise the players that we have who can win us games then getting relegated will be a coin toss between us and the other teams around us.
It is frustrating because we have a lot more quality than our league position suggests. It will take courage from Hughes to make his players go out and play a more open game in order to get results.
We have so much talent in the squad but we are not making the most of it.

At the moment we look like we are playing not to lose as opposed to going for the win. This causes negativity and is doing nothing for the belief or confidence in the team. If a balance is struck between the two we will have the edge over the teams at the bottom.

After the game, I heard Mark Hughes saying that we were "excellent". Now I for one won't be fooled by what he says. I saw with my own eyes that we have a long way to go before we are indeed "excellent"!
I know Hughes has to keep the camp confident to make sure they support him until the end of the season, but with games like this we have to be honest about the team's performance and not let anyone pull the wool over our eyes.

Leaving the stadium, the reaction of the fans was that of relief. I was amazed to be told by more a number of supporters that the performance was better than what they had seen in recent weeks. This is what disappoints me the most. We are a premiership team, paying premiership wages, with an established premiership manager. Lets not lower our expectations. We deserve to see better than this. We know QPR are better than this.

As a supporter of QPR I wish more than anything that we can survive this season.

I'll be back to watch the next game and hope to be speaking about the improved performance.

Come on U R'S Kicking it My Way

- QPR's Amit Bhatia Refutes Report of Buying-Millwall

- Rodney Marsh was the Guest on QPR's Official Site "London Calling" on Thursday

- Flashback: Forty Years Since the Rodney Marsh Era at QPR Came to an End

- Managers' Choices: The Best Ten Players in the Championship, League One and League Two

- Football League Awards Given Out: Best Player...Best Manager...Best Young Player...Etc (And look back at 2011 and 2010)

- QPR's LatestAccounts:

- FA Surrenders to Premiership?

- Various QPR Managerial Stats

- On This Day...13 Years Ago: Vinnie Jones Exits QPR

- QPR's Official Supporters Club (OSC) - Minutes of (Relatively) Recent Meeting

- QPR of 1922-23; See Additional Photos of QPR 1922-23 from the Bushman Photo Archives

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