Just Back On The Island… Watford

All topics allowed. Board rules apply.

Moderators: ZENITH R, qprdotorgadmin, nige101uk, willesdenr, Virginia_R

Post Reply
User avatar
SM
dot.org legend
dot.org legend
Posts: 16251
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 5:35 pm
Location: Isle of Wight
Contact:

Just Back On The Island… Watford

Post by SM » Mon Aug 29, 2022 10:14 am

“Wouldn’t it just be typical QPR to go and beat Watford away on Saturday”

You thought it. I thought it. We all thought it.

Following our indifferent form, quite how many actually believed it is another matter… Sure, we rode our luck on occasion - and we certainly had a large slice of it for the opening goal, but make no mistake here, we were absolutely outstanding in what was a pulsating game at Vicarage Road.

Backed by a raucous away following, we put in our best, most fluid team performance of the season so far… And that by a country mile.

The defensive lapses and frailties still remain, but there was SO much to be positive about. From back to front, there were some serious performances in there.

The balanced width provided by Paal and Laird was as good as I’ve seen for a long time, and the midfield that Beale had openly questioned in the week absolutely worked their socks off. Johansen played more advanced, and looked every bit the player we thought we signed months ago - and that’s the best performance that Dozzell has had in a QPR shirt, bar none.

As for the front 3… goodness me. I’m still smiling.

As we know, Chair is a different animal when he has his pal Willock alongside him, and together they absolutely ran riot (I’ll come back to them later on). But they were just marvellous.

Spearheading the whole thing, the much maligned Lyndon Dykes… Credit to him, he played like a man possessed and gave both their CB’s a torrid time all afternoon.

The opening few minutes were played at a pretty frantic pace, and it was clear we were in for a pretty expansive, open game of football…. We were here to play, so were they.

Game on.

Johansen had came close to breaking the deadlock on the volley after great work from Chair - who literally twisted their RB like a pretzel in the build up. The early signs were there that our no.10 meant business - but quite who he thought he was a few minutes later is anyone’s guess.

The same combination of Johansen and Chair exchanged a neat couple of passes between them, and the latter attempted a shot from an absolutely outrageous distance… Thankfully, the ball cannoned off the Watford defender, taking the majority of the sting out of it, but it had just, just enough to see it spin and creep inside the bottom corner.

1-0 QPR… Here we go, could it be our day?!

We weren’t to have it all our way though, and Dieng made a stunning stop when faced one on one with their striker who ferociously struck high at goal… Dieng did well to make contact, but after smashing his palms, the ball flew up into the air which teed up the mother of goal line scrambles - bodies on the line, blind panic - Dunne eventually booting clear.

1-0 lead intact. Just.

However, our joy didn’t last too long. Another long, hopeful diagonal ball, bundled on by Sema (hint of handball?), but he was alert as our defence froze, and bought the time and space to calmly slide under Dieng to draw us back level.

1-1.

It’s no secret that our full-backs have really struggled this season, and the irony won’t be lost on anyone considering their impact here - but in Ethan Laird we’ve signed an absolute live-wire… And his ability & raw pace was on full display a few minutes later…

After shielding the ball under pressure, Dozzell picked out a lovely pass that set Willick away on the half way line, completely breaking their midfield in the process… The ball was immediately sent wide to Chair who already had his skates on… Their left-back already in serious trouble, as Laird set off on another barnstorming run behind (good luck with that, you’ll need it)… Chair deftly executed a perfectly weighted ball into Laird’s path, from a tight angle, he calmly cut the ball back to the advancing Willock who made no mistake in slamming home. 2-1 QPR!

A beautiful goal. Perhaps the first real glimmer of what we can expect from a Beale team?

In typical Rangers fashion, there was just enough time for another mini heart-scare before HT.

After flying from his area to latch onto another long pass, Dieng’s header (he can’t get enough can he) eventually fell to the skilful Pedro, who expertly bought the ball down, and saw his flighted shot sail over Dieng’s head into the empty goal… There was one almighty bounce, before mercifully clipping the crossbar and going out of play for a goal kick, with Dieng completely beaten.

Maybe it will be our day after all!?

Half time. 2-1.

Few teams have the tendency to shoot themselves in foot quite like we do, and a defensive mix-up saw Watford draw level a mere 5 mins into the second half. We all screamed blue murder in the away end, but on second viewing I think Dickie has to do better there… 2-2.

Keith Stroud in charge. What happens next? Anyone’s guess…

As was the case for the second goal, the 3rd was incredibly easy on the eye.

Dunne’s hurried pass down the line was helped on by Paal, which set Chair away down the left… Whilst he advanced to the edge of the box, just as Laird had done earlier, Paal gave him an option on the overlap… Where the ball was eventually cut back across the goal mouth… Johansen slid in and missed whilst taking the final Watford defender with him… Which saw the ball fall to Adomah… it seemed to take an age for him to sort his feet out, but after setting himself, he rifled the ball in off the underside of the bar…3-2! Albert Adomah!

Of course it had to be him, some weird poetic justice for the last time he scored here in-front of an empty away end.

Through the ensuing carnage - one poor soul literally had to be untangled after being mangled in amongst his mates falling down the stairs - Adomah throwing dance shapes in front of the away end as lives were on the line. Hidden QPR fans in the home stand, unable to hold back their emotion any longer - at equal risk as they individually let themselves go amongst the sea of yellow they were sat within. Joy unconfined, the moments you’re here for. Indescribable.

Whilst most didn’t know what to do with themselves, I composed myself enough to turn to my side and see that my wife had gone… Little did I know she had decided now was a good time to climb into the very back row, and thump her fists against the back metal wall to generate some additional noise - good job, that’ll make all the difference !!

Rangers in fine voice. Season starts here.

This is our day, is has to be now!

And just like that, as you thought, as I thought, as we all thought… 3-3.

Typical, typical QPR!

Their keeper, right in our faces, giving his best ‘Marco Tardelli’ impersonation as a reply to the abuse he had received throughout the second half. Day ruined. Time to rewrite the script.

And just like that, there he is - our knight in shining armour - rising like a Phoenix from the brightest of flames… All 4.5ft of him… Head shaking frantically left to right… no, no, no, no - no goal. Not on my watch. Well done Keith.

Did you not get the memo?
This is our day.

“Sit Down, Shut Up”
“Shhhhhhhhh”

The additional QPR fans dotted around the ground, becoming more and more prominent amongst the exodus in the home end… one bloke even starting proudly waving a flag at us!

The most QPR-like result, in the most QPR way… typical Rangers indeed.

Player Ratings

Dieng - Made an excellent save in the first half after Watford got in behind us, but perhaps could have done a bit more for their opener and eventual goal that was (correctly) given offside. Fortunate not to concede another after straying from his area and being saved by the crossbar. Not his finest display.

Laird - He’s some player this kid. After putting in so much service, he was due an assist, and provided it at the end of another one of those lung-busting runs from deep. The link up play between him, Chair and Willock was exceptional. A fair shout as man of the match amongst plenty of others.

Dunne - Don’t think he was really at fault for any of the goals, and stood up well when called upon. Typified the attitude you need in games like this.

Dickie - Really, really disappointed with the goal that eventually made it 2-2, and perhaps could have been quicker to close them down for their opener too. On another day, that costs us 2 or even 3 points.

Paal - Thought he played really well, and like Laird, will be glad to finally have an assist to his name. Playing man-for-man against one of the most highly rated players in the division in Sarr, and he kept him pretty quiet. An excellent bone-crunching tackle in the second half met with celebrations like a goal. A real performance to build on from here.

Dozzell - I commented in a previous report that you can see Beale trying to put him on the front foot, and that culminated in this performance. I thought he had a fantastic game. He has a tendency to always look back rather and then very occasionally hit a forward ball when in possession, but I felt his first thought was always to play forwards on Saturday, and it saw him have a significantly bigger impact on the game. Also chased down and gave some added legs in midfield. Very good.

Johansen - There he is! I’m not quite sure where this player has been over the last few months, but maybe the rocket that Beale put up them in the week did the trick. This was his best performance since signing permanently. Taking the ball forwards, picking out passes, building play. He was excellent. Definitely better in this position than the deep-lying role we’ve seen him in.

Field - A typically gritty performance, you know exactly what you’re getting every week from him. Such a good shield for our CB’s, he just always seemed to be there. Sniffing out danger all over the shop. Another solid 7.5 out of 10.

Chair - Unquestionably the best player on the pitch, Watford just couldn’t handle him. An absolute joy to watch, he carved them to pieces every time he got the ball. Was subbed off and had to walk in front of the away end, received a huge, well deserved ovation from the travelling QPR fans and responded in kind. What a performance.

Willock - At a time when Watford can command fees approaching £30m each for their front line, you do wonder how scouts are missing a player that, for my money, is as good as anything that this league has to offer. Like Chair, Watford didn’t really have any answer but to try and get into his face and intimate him - and he continued to torment them regardless. We all worry about where the goals will come from, but you do need to balance it with the fact we have this genius on our side too. Exceptional.

Dykes - A proper bullying, centre-forwards performance there. I couldn’t care less about his goal contribution when he plays like this. He pinned everything together and set the tone from the first minute. Never really looked like scoring or having an impact at the front end of the pitch, but provided the foil for Chair & co to tear them apart, again and again.

Substitutes

Armstrong - The game called for some energy upfront, and boy did he provide it. Hassling, jumping for balls he had no right (or chance) of getting to. He got in their faces, won free kicks, and throw-ins. Did everything we needed him to do.

Masterton - Didn’t have any time to make a significant impact on the game after being deployed in CM.

Kakay - See above.

Adomah - He’s not had the best start to his season, but made the all important difference here. An excellent finish, and helped run the clock down well to see the game out. Revelled in the moment at the end.

COYR’ssss !!!
Isle Of Wight R'ssssssssss

User avatar
Lee Gib
dot.org player kit 2007
dot.org player kit 2007
Posts: 2249
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 4:25 pm
Location: Gibraltar

Re: Just Back On The Island… Watford

Post by Lee Gib » Mon Aug 29, 2022 4:19 pm

Excellent as always SM.

Chair was indeed the pick of the bunch. Lucky with his goal but still had two, I guess you'd call them... assist/assists :lol:

He said post match that he is working on his decision making and judging by this it's improving massively. I think that Beale is going to turn him into a world beater.

User avatar
SM
dot.org legend
dot.org legend
Posts: 16251
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 5:35 pm
Location: Isle of Wight
Contact:

Re: Just Back On The Island… Watford

Post by SM » Mon Aug 29, 2022 4:30 pm

Lee Gib wrote:
Mon Aug 29, 2022 4:19 pm
He said post match that he is working on his decision making and judging by this it's improving massively. I think that Beale is going to turn him into a world beater.
Thanks Lee. I saw that interview, and agree completely.

For his faults, I loved MW as a coach, the players clearly improved under his leadership - and we’re starting to see early signs of that under MB too.

Long may it continue :D
Isle Of Wight R'ssssssssss

patrickqpr
Level 2 dot.orger
Level 2 dot.orger
Posts: 520
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:58 pm
Location: Johannesburg

Re: Just Back On The Island… Watford

Post by patrickqpr » Mon Aug 29, 2022 6:42 pm

Thanks for the excellent report SM. Next best thing to being there.

User avatar
SM
dot.org legend
dot.org legend
Posts: 16251
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 5:35 pm
Location: Isle of Wight
Contact:

Re: Just Back On The Island… Watford

Post by SM » Mon Aug 29, 2022 9:06 pm

patrickqpr wrote:
Mon Aug 29, 2022 6:42 pm
Thanks for the excellent report SM. Next best thing to being there.
Thank you so much Patrick! :D
Isle Of Wight R'ssssssssss

User avatar
ZENITH R
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9785
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:40 pm
Location: North Derbyshire

Re: Just Back On The Island… Watford

Post by ZENITH R » Tue Aug 30, 2022 9:02 am

A real joy to read. Thanks SM.

See you in Swansea?
Saturday 9th November 1968: QPR V Burnley in the First Division - I saw the Hoops for the first time and my obsession began!

Remember:
Growing old is inevitable.
Growing up is optional.

User avatar
SM
dot.org legend
dot.org legend
Posts: 16251
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 5:35 pm
Location: Isle of Wight
Contact:

Re: Just Back On The Island… Watford

Post by SM » Tue Aug 30, 2022 9:58 am

ZENITH R wrote:
Tue Aug 30, 2022 9:02 am
A real joy to read. Thanks SM.

See you in Swansea?
Thanks so much ZENITH, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Absolutely, here's to another 3 points on the road epray
Isle Of Wight R'ssssssssss

User avatar
UxbridgeR
dot.org legend
dot.org legend
Posts: 10822
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 12:45 pm

Re: Just Back On The Island… Watford

Post by UxbridgeR » Tue Aug 30, 2022 10:13 am

A good day out indeed. As you rightly observe, luck was on our side, and the defence was far too easily cut through at times, but a London derby away win in the sunshine is a rare pleasure.
Are headphones getting bigger, or are idiots getting smaller ?

User avatar
ZENITH R
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9785
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:40 pm
Location: North Derbyshire

Re: Just Back On The Island… Watford

Post by ZENITH R » Tue Aug 30, 2022 10:35 am

SM wrote:
Tue Aug 30, 2022 9:58 am
ZENITH R wrote:
Tue Aug 30, 2022 9:02 am
A real joy to read. Thanks SM.

See you in Swansea?
Thanks so much ZENITH, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Absolutely, here's to another 3 points on the road epray
Will see you there.
Saturday 9th November 1968: QPR V Burnley in the First Division - I saw the Hoops for the first time and my obsession began!

Remember:
Growing old is inevitable.
Growing up is optional.

Post Reply