Watford 0 Queens Park Rangers 0
On three occasions this season I've been questioned by the same man who has told me that I don't write my blog often enough. He did it after the Watford game yesterday at the pub when I bumped in to him - flashing his phone in my face to show he had saved my blog as a home page and saying 'You don't write very often do you?'. If that's his sense of humour it isn't very funny and it made me wonder whether that's what it feels like when fans moan and tweet their players about how badly they are playing. It felt very much like some of these strange comments coming out of people's mouths at the matches right now, or on twitter that are in the vein of 'Austin, you're s***' and 'Austin, just can't score goals'. Really? I mean really? When we bought Austin we all beamed at the thought of an average of a goal per two games and with a record so far of 20 games played and 10 scored in the league I am really not sure he isn't delivering on that promise. And when I started this blog, I don't think I ever promised a weekly or a game by game match report...nor did I actually offer a match report at all. This was going to be purely and simply my own view of the game - sometimes commenting on the matches of the week or the day but more often than not, focusing on other things happening in my life that in some way relate to my love and support of QPR.
Twitter has been amusing of late. Sometimes personal messages between friends have been the most amusing. Messages like: 'Is it safe to go back?', or 'Don't look, it's just awful' or 'What a t***'. Seems that this latest spate of poor results for the Rs is making most of us react pretty wildly - some calling for Redknapp's departure, some asking for Adel to come back (really, replace one 'fat boy' for another?). Indeed we are, as @mcrae1000 (also known as Mr Shouty) has called it, undergoing a phase of Collective Psychosis. Because we are so upset about the recent results we're starting to search for answers in areas that are likely to destabilise rather than help our situation. And searching for answers as if we were fighting for survival in this league, never mind promotion to the next.
I was lucky enough to be able to go to the Forest and Watford away games, and neither were pretty nor effective although the latter perhaps a little better than the former even if it it was boring. I tend to agree with most fans that a striker is needed but not because Charlie Austin is rubbish, but because we simply need more than one and right now we've got the leg of one (Zamora) and half of another (Johnson) as a second option. In theory Redknapp's decision to play 6 mid fielders was probably right given the situation but yet again there seems to be a little problem with some of the tinkering he is doing - why was Kranjcar forced to play up front when it is clearly a position he does not enjoy playing it nor is his forte? Could Matty Phillips have played that role instead, with a pace that we've been lacking in that area without Austin? Also, after all these games it still looks as if Simpson is frustrated and we haven't quite figured out what to do on the right side. I also can't quite figure out what is stopping us from playing a more attacking or aggressive game. Is it actually to our detriment that we have so much Premier League experience in a Championship club and is what they are trying to do far to intricate and clever for what we need? Or is it that they really are being casual and lacking effort? I am of the belief that it is the former that is the bigger issue and this is probably a huge learning curve for many players. What seems to have happened is that growing confidence in the results have made them much too delicate in the style of play. If I look back at the first Sheffield Wednesday game for example I was excited by the 'go get 'em' attitude of the players. Now they're passing back to Green and Benny way more than most of us would like. But, could it be confidence even at this level? If they have any respect for the other teams in the league perhaps it is. A conundrum indeed.
At this current point in time, and until I have huge cause for concern (i.e. the threat of relegation), I intend to laugh quite a bit and have some fun. And one thing that has given me a huge amount of mirth is this video I found on Youtube which looks to be some kind of 'Portrait of Niko Kranjcar' as part of a series of portraits of players for the Croatian team. It looks like it's fairly old as he looks slightly slimmer and younger, but it starts off with a visit to what may well be his favourite hairdresser. I am not a speaker of the Croatian language but one can have endless fun guessing what they are saying as she 'brushes' his hair and when he subsequently messes it up on his way out. There is even a one-on-one interview with the hairdresser where I imagine she might be discussing his favourite shampoo and conditioner, or perhaps how it is so easy to cut his hair when he is such a handsome fella... Later on, we see him reading a book (footballers do read after all!). I can't make anything out apart from 'Pillars of the Earth' which is perhaps his favourite novel, and later there is a Q&A - with one question I was able to translate about 'cuticles and callouses'. Nice. What this has to do with football I do not know, but it is fabulous fun and I'm particularly fond of the whistling soundtrack in the background.
(video below viewable on desktop)
But seriously, who are we to question the job of the footballer? It's so easy for us to paint a picture of someone we think we know and respect. It's so easy to expect something from someone without really understanding what they have been asked to do, or what their actual intentions are. However, supporting a football team wouldn't be fun if none of us had an opinion. And so I say to you - Mr blog critic, thanks for reading the blog but if you don't like how often I write, go and find another blog to read. I never put a gun to your head and asked you to read it. But if you'd like to spend some proper time sitting down 'sans alcohol' and reading all 63 posts from the past two years I'd gladly do so with you.
Thanks for reading the irregular blog,