Just Back On The Island... Millwall

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... Millwall

Post by SM » Thu Sep 15, 2022 10:37 pm

As away performances go - especially at places like The Den - that’s about as good as it gets.

We showed real quality for both goals, the individual class of Willock again (ctrl c + ctrl v) coupled with the simplistic beauty of Johansen’s quick thinking… Delightful on both counts.

But there was so much more to write home about… A long awaited clean sheet for starters.

We’ve eulogised about our attacking play over the last few weeks - we’re as entertaining as we’ve been for quite some time, but defensively we were so, so much better yesterday.

Even when soaking up the quite joyous experience of watching Chair & Willock terrorise whatever poor soul has been given the task of stopping them, I’ve been concerned at the defensive lapses and frail defending that has haunted us this season (see Watford, Hull, Sheffield United to name a few) but there was no such issues here, and that against a Millwall side that are very decent at home - 9 points from 12 before last night.

Of course, we rode our luck in certain instances, but we were fully deserving of the win and eventual clean sheet despite a whopping, and totally mystifying 8 minutes of injury time… The deplorable levels of inconsistency on full display again... 4 minutes at Swansea and 8 awarded here? The mind boggles.

Beale finally opted for a switch up top, with the out of sorts Dykes replaced with the fresh faced Roberts in attack. Sadly, one constant this season has been our strikers missing absolute sitters - and it took Tyler Roberts a mere 3 minutes to register one on his tally here.

And it was another phenomenal piece of trickery that opened the passage of play up… After dragging two Millwall players inside, Willock shifted the ball left and hung a cross up deep at the far post… Laid collected, but saw his tame effort on his weaker foot rebound off the keeper and straight into Roberts path with the goal gaping, sadly he put the resulting header agonisingly wide when in truth it looked harder to miss.

There’s been such emphasis and praise lavished upon our full-backs, and it was again that man Laird that made the next opening. As is his trademark, he got down by the by-line and drilled the ball hard and low for Roberts, who connected full throttle with the ball, but his effort was more threat to the Isle of Dogs on the other side of the Thames than it was to the Millwall goal as it flew miles wide of the target.

The rest of the half was fairly nip and tuck, Chair saw a half chance comfortably saved, and Dieng did the same for similar openings on their part.

HT. 0-0.

The first chance of note in the second half went to the home side.

Millwall had got very little change out of Paal - and on one of only two occasions they got the ball beyond him, a cross came in which their striker angled over the bar with a powerful drive.

And then the moment of quality to break the deadlock - and another typically well crafted, fluid move from back to front, all starting with the ball at Dieng’s feet, who went short to Dunne, to Chair, to Paal, and then onto Roberts who advanced with the full Millwall defence in front of him… With Paal occupying two defenders on the overlap, it’s played central to Chair, who has eyes only for his pal Willock who is occupying the edge of the area… Millwall remain in good shape… Willock tee’s himself up with his first touch on the left foot, opens up the space and then rifles the ball, sending it skimming into the bottom corner leaving Bialkowski absolutely no chance.

1 Nillllllllllllllllllllllll QPR.

The Millwall fans to our left, increasingly agitated as surge of taunting began:

“No Noise From The Pikey Boys!”

There was an increasing amount of attention given to the fans to the left hand side of the home end, most of which fit the stereotypical knuckle-dragging reputation they hold, with a pocket of them yet to even hit puberty.

“School in the morning, you’ve got school in the morning” met with an acceptance that they did indeed, have school in the morning.

Ironically, it was down in that corner that the game was effectively won. After winning a corner, some quick thinking from Chair & Johansen saw the latter shift inside directly from the corner, and bend the ball into the bottom right hand side of the goal to give us a 2 Nilllllllllllllllllll lead.

Boom - further pandemonium in the away end… Our unceasing elation all too much for one bloke in the home end who decided to march down the front to have it out with the police officer whilst furiously and erratically flailing his arms around at the 2,000 fans daring to celebrate on his patch … My daft attempt at a “just because you’re losing” chant completely drowned out by something about a Norwegian fella signing for us.

For what have been a pretty comfortable game on the whole, we had one scare prior to full time.

Millwall had thrown caution to the wind and introduced Afobe as they committed bodies forward… After rolling Paal, he squared where a host of Millwall players were waiting for the tap in to resurrect the game… One of them managed to get a good connection on it, but Laird’s outstretched boot stopped it in the goalmouth, where complete blind panic followed… Bodies left right & centre… Total chaos… Field could get nothing but a gentle toe on the ball, and the ball sat perfectly for Flemming who sent a rasping drive crashing off the crossbar with Dieng beaten all ends up. Mercifully, the ball was eventually hooked clear and the resulting cross smothered by Dieng who clutched at it like he was nursing a newborn child.

2-0 lead in tact.

Quite how that passage of play didn’t find the back of the net I don’t know, but it was the final straw for one young reprobate, presumably on day release to our left... He had been serenaded throughout the game to chants of “tracksuit from Matalan” but was lacking the emotional intelligence to comprehend it was all about him, as he proudly donned his £10.99 *RRP* all-in-one special & stone island beanie cap. A final stamp at the remains of his seat, before throwing his hands up in despair and heading for the stairs… So long sweet prince.

I thought we had a great shout for a penalty as the clock ticked down, but the referee eventually blew time on what was another very pleasing day on the road.

The ferry crossing home never felt so good - and the Mrs earlier prediction of a 2-0 win proved to be spot on - as she continually reminded me until we collapsed through the door at 04:30am.

What a night.

Player Ratings

Dieng - Calm and collected. Didn’t flap at crosses, and was dominant in front of a back line that gave him great protection. One (small) criticism would be his distribution, I felt he encouraged them onto us a bit too much, but a thoroughly deserved, and long overdue clean sheet. Hopefully the first of many more to come this season.

Paal - For me, he was MOTM. Absolutely faultless. Rowatt had clearly targeted him as a weakness aerially, and he was put in some incredibly difficult situations which he handled expertly. One stand out moment in the 2nd half where he threw himself into one hell of a sliding tackle that he had absolutely no right to win, and did. A couple of weeks back we said he might need a little time to adjust to English football, yet here he is, standing head and shoulders above all else away at Millwall, midweek. He’s already put in some very good performances for us, but he was on another level yesterday. Outstanding.

Dunne - Far more suited to a defence that appeared to sit deeper, and this was very much his kind of game. Resolute, solid, and signs of a great partnership alongside Balogun.

Balogun - A great debut from him. Comfortable playing the ball out from the back, and looks an absolute beast. There was one moment that Laird went down injured, and Millwall fans started throwing something at him down the other end, I genuinely believe if it had been in the vicinity of him or Dunne they probably would have argued over who was heading it back. Every bit what you need for a game like this. A promising start, coinciding with our first clean sheet of the season.

Laird - I keep telling myself not to fall in love with loan players, but he’s making it increasingly difficult for me. A few weeks back I agonised over watching Niko get ripped to shreds away at Charlton, now we get treated to this on one side and Paal on the other. Unquestionably, best attacking RB since Kyle Walker.

Johansen - Another outstanding performance, capped with a wonderful goal. I mentioned in my Swansea report that I didn’t believe he had the legs to play 3 times in a week, and this was what a fully firing Johansen is capable of. Looked sharp, invigorated, and a class above anything that Millwall had to offer. A solid 8/10.

Field - I’ve been slightly critical of him recently, but he put in a good shift here and helped us hold our shape without ever letting Millwall get a handle on the game. Good performance.

Tim - I think we’ve got another real talent on our hands here. Definitely took a bit of time to adapt to the tempo of the game, and was caught out once or twice, but also showed some really nice flashes of quality. Capable of taking the ball and unlocking the opposition with Johansen and Field screening in behind him, and gives us something completely different to the combination we’ve been using so far this season. You can see he’ll go up another gear.

Willock - What a player. I don’t think defenders or opposition managers know what do to with him. Try fouling him, he’ll shake you off… Commit and he’ll destroy you… Stand off and he’ll punish you. I don’t think I’ve seen a player single-handedly take opposition apart like this since Taarabt. Eze was a generational talent - but Willock has been just deadly this season. Turning games every weekend, and another stunning goal to add to the collection.

Chair - Another game, and another 2 assists. His talent is unquestionable, but my biggest criticism of Chair has always been his output in terms of goals and assists. But he’s in the form of his life at the moment, and long may it continue.

Roberts - I’ve wanted Dykes out of the firing line for some time, but Roberts had a pretty poor game. It wasn’t for the want of trying, and he was notably more mobile than the man he was replacing, but he really needs to be tucking away that chance in the opening couple of minutes. Needs to improve.

Substitues

Kakay - Given a matter of seconds at the end.

Adomah - Lovely cross and link up with Bonne for what would have really put the icing on the cake.

Dozzell - Added legs at the end, and helped maintain possession whilst running the clock down.

Dykes - Came on and did a perfectly acceptable job. Won most headers he attempted, chased and hassled. Again, received a great ovation from the QPR fans.

Bonne - I thought he should have got a penalty after steering his header goal wards, but I thought he looked sharp and hungry after being introduced.
Isle Of Wight R'ssssssssss

User avatar
dm
dot.org player kit 2007
dot.org player kit 2007
Posts: 14007
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 5:21 pm
Location: Just over the border...

Re: Just Back On The Island... Millwall

Post by dm » Fri Sep 16, 2022 8:11 am

Great report, Saf. Not surprised you didn't get back until 4.30am given the police decided to hold us all back in the ally outside South Bermondsey station.

Oh and it's spelled I r o e g b u n a m 8)

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... Millwall

Post by SM » Fri Sep 16, 2022 6:03 pm

dm wrote:
Fri Sep 16, 2022 8:11 am
Great report, Saf. Not surprised you didn't get back until 4.30am given the police decided to hold us all back in the ally outside South Bermondsey station.

Oh and it's spelled I r o e g b u n a m 8)
Thanks mate, appreciated.

I look forward to hearing Paul Morrisey read that one out tomorrow… :lol:
Isle Of Wight R'ssssssssss

User avatar
WA Hoop
Level 5 dot.orger
Level 5 dot.orger
Posts: 6049
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2008 4:04 pm
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: Just Back On The Island... Millwall

Post by WA Hoop » Sat Sep 17, 2022 5:14 am

Excellent report SM...keep 'em coming! 8)
Question everything.

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... Millwall

Post by patrickqpr » Sat Sep 17, 2022 2:45 pm

Thanks for the report SM

Post Reply