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From my seat: QPR (H)

By Ken Buckley   ::  13/04/2013 After our disappointment at Spurs, a victory today was paramount; as the afternoon wore on, we were not to be disappointed for a second time...

On reaching our L4 watering hole and entering the room of nonsense, many a subject that has been thrashed out on T/W was debated and, just as on TW, no firm resolvement occurred today. We were united on one thing: that today's game needed to end with 3 points; with QPR unbeaten against us in the last 3 meetings — allied to the fact they were desperate for points — many wondered.

The team was tweeted and unanimity again ruled as all thought that our line-up was the best available. So up to the ground we went, in steady rain. Some of our number needed sustenance from the 'Fat Van'; while I was waiting, a young man gave me a copy of 'Field – the matchday paper'. I haven't read it yet and it may be a good read but the fact that it had 2 full page photo's of Andy Carroll within the opening 4 pages ensured most copies hit the floor. Bad edition to pilot outside Goodison Park!

Inside the ground in time for Z-Cars and the period of silence for the victims of Hillsborough, which was observed 100%, and then the roar in anticipation of the game. Off we went... but, rather than 'up n at em', it was rather a tame opening that saw both sides being careful in defending and non-too-convincing in attacking. Nothing much was happening until Howard had to be quick and smart to get down to a Remy shot that was goal bound and then the Yank Hoilett hammered wide.

In-between, the Blues had a couple of penalty shouts but nothing from today's Ref, Lee Mason, yet, for an identical foul outside the box, he gave us a free kick and booked the QPR man. It wasn't long after that Fellaini was booked for a most innocuous challenge but we have to realise that Ref Mason is no more than a present day robot ref that is denied the chance to use common sense by the watchful eye of the assessor in the stands; sad, yes, but we are all used to it now so best just to get on with it.

The half went on with us on top but corners and set pieces were one way or another fluffed, much to the annoyance of those assembled, but the shift that Big Vic was putting in against the yard dogs that are Samba and Hill was lifting spirits. Both Pienaar and Coleman were fed well in attacking areas but alas neither had the form today to make anything of it. They were trying well enough but poise and touch was not within their compass today.

The half wore on, we were more and more on top but the final ball or finish was missing as the half ticked down, leaving those assembled starting to doubt anything more than a draw: "It looks like it could be one of those days" was mentioned more than once... but, with just 5 mins to the break, another sortie forward broke down but the clearance wasn't good and fell to Gibson who took it on a yard before the crowd as one yelled 'Shoooot!!!' He did, the keeper had it well covered, it struck a defender, hit the net. Cue raucous refrains.

Hey, QPR were poor, but hell, we needed that goal. 1 minute of injury time and we celebrated the goal but had reservations over the display. My view was though – take three points in every game til season end and spend the Summer discussing performance, if you so desire.

Second half had barely started when Howard saved from Remy and started an attack that was kept going. Mirallas did one of his pacy twisting runs down the left and pulled back for Big Vic who controlled well twisted and picked his spot. As we yelled goal after the ball beat keeper and defenders, it died in our throats as the post intervened. In real time it could have been post or defender's boot but a glance at the big screen showed how the post had thwarted us.

We followed this up with a header from a Baines corner by Distin which brought a great save out of the Brazilian keeper. The visitors — rather than go for it due to their precarious league position — seemed to lose discipline bit by bit and Grenaro saw yellow for kicking the ball away. The half was only minutes old and we were certainly going for it; none of this "sitting deep" stuff. We had a series of corners and, after 10 mins of the start of the second half, we struck again when ,from another cross, Distin headed on and Big Vic did a sort of Ballet turn and flicked home with a deft outside-of-the-foot effort. He was well chuffed and so were the faithful.

The 'get up and go for it' attitude after half-time had paid dividends — make a note, boys, for future battles... However, the two-goal cushion led to some sloppy play with Pienaar, Osman and Coleman guilty of sloppy touches and not looking after the ball as they should have done. No harm done today but my advice would be ' don't lapse into that mode against some of our upcoming opponents' or consequences may be paid.

The half wore on and Big Vic had his moment lying on the pitch in seeming agony but a visit by the physio and a slow walk to the touchline whilst wind-milling one arm seemed to do the trick and he resumed almost immediately. It was no time at all til he was having a shot on goal blocked.

From a QPR corner we made a break but the hapless Pienaar over-hit it giving only the opposing goalkeeper the chance of getting the ball. The clock ticked down and Gibson took one for the team by bringing down Taarabt; Howard saved a long shot and Gibson was again implored to Shoooot and he did but this time the deflection was away from goal.

Four minutes of added and with two subs already used — Jelavic for Osman and Naismith for Mirallas — we made another half way through injury time — Heitinga for Anichebe which gave those assembled the chance to show their appreciation of his efforts and they did with gusto. Heitinga made one good clearing header and the whistle went.

MotM — Big Victor Anichebe

Overall, a comfortable win. I was most surprised with the attitude of QPR. Considering their circumstances, they showed little in the way of urgency and I was dumbfounded when they didn't throw caution to the wind in the last 15mins by throwing up the big lads Hill and Samba and peppering our box with high balls. Thanks 'Arry'!

I thought our crowd was quiet today which was in stark contrast to the away trip to Spurs where we saw the Blue flare when we scored the second and the singing of every Everton song there has ever been was belted out. Hell, Forever Everton was sung in full. I wonder if someone printed the words from that Rob Sawyer article??? Whilst on that song, didn't the team used to come out to the instrumental on the 'B' side of that record before Z-Cars was taken up?

ps: The lad with the flare was identified and removed — I hope he is okay...

Right — Arsenal, Tuesday night... are you going? Could be a corker.

I just hope Manager and players are blob on.
Who knows!!

UP THE BLUES!

Reader Comments

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John Ford
555 Posted 14/04/2013 at 00:30:08
Great result, decent show, but I agree we need to manage our ball retention much better onTuesday, Vic lacks subtlety in his passing and missfires, frequently finding empty space or the opposition. Kudos to the lad for sorting the rest of his game though. He is the footballing incarnation of James Brown. When hes injured we need a cloak over his slumped shoulders to go with the sulk and shaky head.
Danny Broderick
556 Posted 14/04/2013 at 00:34:23
Credit where it's due. The manager and players are doing the business at the moment, long may it continue. Here's hoping we can have a right go at Arsenal on Tuesday, they are certainly beatable if we have a go and everyone plays well. Hopefully Big Vic can continue his form, he's finally bullying opponents, and our run of form seems to have coincided with Vic playing well. COYB!
Ajay Gopal
590 Posted 14/04/2013 at 05:15:29
I am for making a summer bid on QPR's keeper - Julio Cesar. Would be a great addition to the team. Maybe part exchange with Jan Mucha.

On Tuesday, Fella, Mirallas, Baines, Osman and Pienaar need to have a stormer - I predict a 2-1 for the blues.

Shane Kelly
595 Posted 14/04/2013 at 06:35:31
Cesar is a decent shout but I think mucha did enough in the few games he was given a run out for us to have retained him. Howard walking right back in is a little unfair. I would take Hoilett. I always thought he had something about him and was disappointed we (apparently) lost out on him last summer.
Graham Lloyd
600 Posted 14/04/2013 at 07:53:32
From my seat, if QPR had come with any ideas of winning the game they could've had all three points as we won the game because we were playing at home and went through the hierarchy motions of a team higher up the league. If we had been playing Arsenal in that form, they would have murdered us.
Christopher Timmins
609 Posted 14/04/2013 at 08:32:49
Tuesday becomes an all important game. Win and all things are possible! I hope we go for the jugular, their back 4 are there for the taking!

Go for it blues!

Kunal Desai
618 Posted 14/04/2013 at 09:56:03
If we are looking at any keeper then surely we should look to Alex McCarthey of Reading. He played a stormer against the Shite and is a future England prospect in the making.
Anto Byrne
655 Posted 14/04/2013 at 12:09:55
It seems that lady luck is looking in our direction after spurning us earlier, so hopefully she can see her way to looking after us for the remaining games.

The Arsenal penalty was a shocking decision, they have a had quite a few awarded in most controversial circumstances. That was a game changer even though the scoreline suggests they were comfortable winners.

The money teams have all had favourable decisions this season it makes me wonder if they are given preferential treatment by the FA and officialdom. No, of course not — what am I thinking. Paranoia.

Tom Tani
662 Posted 14/04/2013 at 12:38:15
Tim Howard is your #1 for years, has had two clean sheets in the past three games since coming back from broken bones in his back. The club SHOULD be looking to fins a consistent goal scorer up top since Jelavic sadly does not appear to the answer.

Big Vic and Mirallas are promisng but have yet to show the consistency needed.

Tony Dove
729 Posted 14/04/2013 at 18:36:08
Ken. Fantastic report as always.For future reference I am reliably informed
that there are no longer referee assessors at every game[if at all].Another
step in the wrong direction!
Bob Parrington
828 Posted 15/04/2013 at 00:36:02
Thanks Ken. Am away in New Zealand for a couple of weeks. Great to be able to read your report.

Onward and upward. Good to see the RS drop a further 2 points behind as well.

COYB

Chris Jones
832 Posted 15/04/2013 at 02:34:18
Kia ora Bob - welcome to paradise!

Not sure where you are, or if you've got access to Sky, but the Arsenal game is on live from 06.35 Wednesday on Sky Sport 2. Most motels/hotels only show SS1 here, but some give you the lot - worth checking?

Ken Buckley
841 Posted 15/04/2013 at 09:07:25
Bob@828 have a nice time. Hope your having good weather.

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