Just Back On The Island… Rotherham

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Just Back On The Island… Rotherham

Post by SM » Sun Mar 05, 2023 3:36 pm

L - L
W - D
D - L
D - L
D - L
D - L
L - W
L - D
W - L
W - D
L - D
L - D
D - L
L - D
L - L
D - L
L - L
L - L
L - L

That set of results in the left hand column was what the most toxic dressing room in our history managed in their final 19 fixtures in the top flight of English football.

We started that season by getting tanked 5-0 at home to Swansea, and finished it with Jose Bosingwa chuckling his way down the tunnel at the Madejski as we got relegated.

We ended a whopping 14 points from safety - absolutely stunk the division out - and rightly finished rooted bottom of the league. That deplorable side, containing players that truly couldn’t care any less, managed a paltry 15 points over their final 19 fixtures.

The second column is how the current shower compare. Unlike that expensively assembled 2013 side, this lot have shown that they can more than compete in this league - topping the whole table in October, yet now managing 9 points over their last 19 fixtures.

It’s a really sobering statistic, and no matter how many times I hear Les Ferdinand reassure us that it’s “just a squad low on confidence” I refuse to believe that’s the issue here. It runs far, far deeper. It’s not the manager, it’s never been the manager.

This group of players lay bare our problems and embarrass us week-in-week-out, but you didn’t have to wait until kick-off to know we were in trouble yesterday.

I’ll start by saying that I have huge sympathy with GA and his extremely limited options here. Such was his lack of choice, we had a right-footed Kakay at LB, and recalled Aaron Drewe from his loan spell at National League side Weymouth for his league debut. What a baptism of fire, the poor kid.

Square pegs in round holes? Pah, we should be so lucky.

At this point I’m counting my lucky stars that I didn’t need to sit through another session of Andre Dozzell on the left wing. My counsellor says it’s good to talk about it.

It’s a sad indictment on our transfer policy that it’s come to this. Our second choice left-back (Hamalainen), a player we awarded with a 4yr contract that just never seems to end, is seen as being so far out of his depth, that we’ve bombed him out again - and rather shoehorn our only standing RB into his place. And we’re that thin on the ground, we then have no RB remaining to cover the other side.

Another sad thing, as has been the case since this miserable ran begun, is that we started the game okay. On the balance of play, we more than matched Rotherham in the opening stages. But missing the guile of an Illias Chair, you never felt we were really going to hurt them.

Jordan Hugill, who absolutely smashed and battered our defence all afternoon, hadn’t registered a single goal since joining Rotherham… But you could have bet your house, and your mums house that it would end here. This week we waited 15 mins to dust down the red carpet and welcome the opposition into the game.

Rotherham hadn’t mustered any attempt on goal up till this point, but a long ball down the left channel saw Kakay beaten all ends up. We had both Dickie and Dunne back, Hugill was the only threat… Just follow the man. Dunne covered the front post and there was only one place that ball was going from there. Rob Dickie started doing Rob Dickie things and wondered off elsewhere to allow Jordan Hugill to tap home. His first goal in 7 games.

Rotherham 1 QPR 0.

To our credit, as was the case against Blackburn last week, the response was a more positive one, and some great footwork work by Adomah saw him jink his way past 2 defenders, and hang up a beautiful cross for Johansen, who had just the keeper to beat with a volley from a matter of yards out… True to form, we spurned this opportunity, although it was a good save in all fairness.

We had a little flurry of chances to end the half, but aside from the Johansen effort, we never really tested their keeper and the half ended 1-0.

Backed by a credible away following of 1200 fans, all of which need sectioning for following this dross around the country, we did have a couple of chances to draw level in the second half.

Dunne spurned a glorious spinning shot wide of the post, but the next brain fart followed 25 mins into the second half.

We’ve said for weeks, literally weeks, that the issues with Dickie need addressing, so no prizes for guessing who hauled Hugill down in the box - penalty Rotherham. Houses safe in the bank, never, ever going to miss. 2-0 Rotherham.

And here we go again, rinse and repeat. Heads down, players beaten, fans singing about wanting their Rangers back. Rotherham chanting that we’re going down. Another miserable 70 minutes to add to this sorry season.

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, and we’ve seen A LOT over this period, this group pull something out of the hat to just lower the standards that one bit further… And what followed was something that I’ve never, ever seen on a football pitch.

Step forward Taylor Richards. The irony of that this incident involved him shouldn’t be lost on any of us - up till now I genuinely believed he was nothing more than a myth. But getting him on the pitch wasn’t even the biggest shock. Let’s face it, those splinters penetrating his backside must be cutting pretty deep & uncomfortably at this point, but it was nice to see him grace us with his presence regardless.

So, anyway, back to it, let me set the scene of what’s to follow:

Relegation 6 pointer against one of the few teams left below us.

We’re losing & chasing the game. Again.

Rotherham are now cutting through us like a kni.. samurai sword through butter.

Ainsworth is doing a one man Haka on the touch line, desperate to rally the troops.

A third of our fans are already heading back down the M1, the remaining masochists are stood, begging to see something, anything, to hang onto.

So fresh from exile, Richards trots onto the pitch as play resumes. Finally a chance to make a difference, right?

Rotherham have possession on his side of the pitch around the half way line. What does he do? Press them? Follow his man? Close off the passing lane? Erm… Stand still? Nope, keep guessing…

He nonchalantly takes to his knees, and starts redoing his shoe laces (!!!) as play around him continues. I mean, I just, I can’t…

If I was watching a kid in a playground do this I would laugh. If I was watching Sunday league I would smile. We’re in the second tier of English football here. For goodness sake, sort yourself out man!

The Rotherham player in possession looked as confused as we did, I half expected him to mercifully just kick the ball into touch… but they played on, and his team mates shuffled in around him.

We’re in the thick of a war to fight relegation, and this is the mindset of the cavalry.

The optimist will tell you this is a young player, supposedly a QPR fan, with a burning desire to show what he can do, that try as he might, just can’t catch a break.

The pessimist will tell you it’s another player we’ve done zero due diligence on, with a stinking attitude who’s already thrown the towel in.

I’ll leave you to make your own decision over which side of the fence you sit on.

One brief ray of sunshine through this darkest of clouds has been Sinclair Armstrong. I’ve said this before, but for me, he should be starting - and certainly getting significantly more minutes than he’s had so far.

For a side so lacking in imagination, so bereft of any idea, his pace and power is about all we have going for us. And whilst he lacks composure, he causes teams problems.

His storming run down the left hand side saw the opposition defender make a last ditch challenge that resulted in a penalty in our favour. Lowe made no mistake from the spot to bring the score back to 2-1.

Our brief moment of joy and hope was absolutely flattened a mere 5 minutes later.

Rob Dickie hadn’t quite had his fill for the afternoon, but dinner was well and truly served with his latest one man horror-show. I don’t even have the heart to re-live it, just look at the state of it.

I’ve been saying this for weeks - get this liability out of the starting lineup. I think the only thing that he hasn’t managed is a Jamie Pollock style own goal in front of the loft, but he’s definitely more than capable. I bet Watford can’t wait to get down in W12 and feast on this.

Just like that notorious team of 2013, I love the shirt that those frauds are parading around in, but I absolutely despise everything that they are, and they stand for.

We may not be down to bucket collections outside Loftus Road, but right now feels as bleak as I can ever remember. Worse than 2013. And I’ve not even touched on the accounts released earlier in the week - let’s not rock that hornets nest.

Ian Holloway had to pick the club up from the brink of ruin, and it feels very much like we’re repeating history all over again now. It’s almost poetic that it should be one of IH’s best signings, one of those players that took things by the scruff of the neck and forced us forward, to now be the one anxiously peeping down the barrel of the gun.

I hate to say it, but just like that side of 2013, we deserve relegation.

Most of them will tell you themselves that they’re not “fit” to wear the shirt… And I couldn’t agree more.

Disgraceful.
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Re: Just Back On The Island… Rotherham

Post by Wegerle » Sun Mar 05, 2023 5:04 pm

For me there is a HUGE difference between the 2013 and the 2023 squad.
The 2013 squad was full of reasonable to good players who just didn't put in the effort and were solely there for the pay check. The 2023 is full of players who have put in the effort over the past weeks but just don't possess the skill/speed/strength/football insight needed in the Championship.

That's the reason I don't think this team is a disgrace. I don't believe for one minute they enjoy losing week in, week out. Most still have a whole career in ahead of them (which the 2013 squad didn't have) and they know that this is really hurting their chances to become the successfull footballer they have all dreamt of.
I do believe however that these players and the team are sinking due to lack of ability and mental resilience.
As long as we put in the effort and have a manager trying to install some steel into these players, we might just scrape enough points together to survive.

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Re: Just Back On The Island… Rotherham

Post by pindarus » Sun Mar 05, 2023 6:36 pm

The defence was shocking. No bones about it. It was El Tel who said you start with getting the defence right and move on from there. I can't see that happening.

The only hope is the cushion of 6 points and praying that the 3 below are as bad as their record implies.

Ainsworth can big them up till he's blue in the face but I can't see what he can do.

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Re: Just Back On The Island… Rotherham

Post by SM » Sun Mar 05, 2023 7:52 pm

Wegerle wrote:
Sun Mar 05, 2023 5:04 pm
For me there is a HUGE difference between the 2013 and the 2023 squad.
The 2013 squad was full of reasonable to good players who just didn't put in the effort and were solely there for the pay check.

The 2023 is full of players who have put in the effort over the past weeks but just don't possess the skill/speed/strength/football insight needed in the Championship.
Yesterday we were down to the bare bones, but as a squad, this lot topped the table in October - now they don’t have the ability / strength to play in this division?

I’m sorry, but I completely disagree Wegerle. There have been plenty of games over that 20 game spell where their attitude has been absolutely appalling. Fleetwood & Hull in particular, that wasn’t a team of players genuinely giving 100%. Not even close.

On a separate note, do you believe that all of those first team players are genuinely injured?
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Re: Just Back On The Island… Rotherham

Post by SM » Sun Mar 05, 2023 7:57 pm

pindarus wrote:
Sun Mar 05, 2023 6:36 pm
The defence was shocking. No bones about it. It was El Tel who said you start with getting the defence right and move on from there. I can't see that happening.
They are incapable of keeping a clean sheet and we have nothing going the other way.

You are right though, our only hope is that the other 3 below us are worse. We’re rank bottom over the the best part of half a season now, but we’ll see how far we have fallen next Tuesday night.

If we lose again there… :shock:
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Re: Just Back On The Island… Rotherham

Post by Wegerle » Sun Mar 05, 2023 8:28 pm

SM wrote:
Sun Mar 05, 2023 7:52 pm
Wegerle wrote:
Sun Mar 05, 2023 5:04 pm
For me there is a HUGE difference between the 2013 and the 2023 squad.
The 2013 squad was full of reasonable to good players who just didn't put in the effort and were solely there for the pay check.

The 2023 is full of players who have put in the effort over the past weeks but just don't possess the skill/speed/strength/football insight needed in the Championship.
Yesterday we were down to the bare bones, but as a squad, this lot topped the table in October - now they don’t have the ability / strength to play in this division?

I’m sorry, but I completely disagree Wegerle. There have been plenty of games over that 20 game spell where their attitude has been absolutely appalling. Fleetwood & Hull in particular, that wasn’t a team of players genuinely giving 100%. Not even close.

On a separate note, do you believe that all of those first team players are genuinely injured?
As I've said before every team has the potential to have a winning streak at the start of the season. You have a bit of luck, the bigger teams are still settling in and some teams haven't figured out your style of play yet. The sun was shining, our manager was making the right noises and off we went on a nice little run. We keep on coming back to that period but the smallest of clubs have had their table topping moments at the start of a season. It's not that special.

I agree that the attitude has been really bad in spells during this season but I feel it has improved over the past few games. Even during NC's last game I felt there was an improvement in attitude from most players. Again, I don't believe that young players or players in their prime want to get relegated and lose each week. This has the potential to destroy a career. Surely they are aware of that?

The injury saga is a strange one. When you are in a negative mind set you are more injury prone. Or are some players chickening out? Or is it just really bad luck?

Maybe I'm naive but I just can't believe that a professional athlete would not want to compete in and win every game. Yes, there will be the odd disfunctional player, but a whole team?

If our players don't have that winning mind set then this just confirms my theory that they don't have what it takes to be a succesful Championship player.

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Re: Just Back On The Island… Rotherham

Post by Andy_N19 » Sun Mar 05, 2023 9:09 pm

SM wrote:
Sun Mar 05, 2023 3:36 pm
It’s a really sobering statistic, and no matter how many times I hear Les Ferdinand reassure us that it’s “just a squad low on confidence” I refuse to believe that’s the issue here. It runs far, far deeper. It’s not the manager, it’s never been the manager.
Spot on SM.

For me the recruitment has been scandalous, no decent striker for at least 5 years.
Kakay is OK as a limited player but how on earth did Hamalainen come to the club?
And even players that are doing an OK job wouldn't be my 1st choice if I were scouting.

We've lacked pace for 5 years, most of the players are technically bereft, we essentially have a
League 1 squad, how did that happen?
Who the hell does the scouting at Loftus Road?
I've just remembered Kelman, Masterson, other duds!
And it goes on...

It's now odds on that LF will depart over the summer, I suspect there isn't a plan B on all this, is there?
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Re: Just Back On The Island… Rotherham

Post by 222gers » Sun Mar 05, 2023 9:11 pm

Wegerle wrote:
Sun Mar 05, 2023 8:28 pm
SM wrote:
Sun Mar 05, 2023 7:52 pm
Wegerle wrote:
Sun Mar 05, 2023 5:04 pm
For me there is a HUGE difference between the 2013 and the 2023 squad.
The 2013 squad was full of reasonable to good players who just didn't put in the effort and were solely there for the pay check.

The 2023 is full of players who have put in the effort over the past weeks but just don't possess the skill/speed/strength/football insight needed in the Championship.
Yesterday we were down to the bare bones, but as a squad, this lot topped the table in October - now they don’t have the ability / strength to play in this division?

I’m sorry, but I completely disagree Wegerle. There have been plenty of games over that 20 game spell where their attitude has been absolutely appalling. Fleetwood & Hull in particular, that wasn’t a team of players genuinely giving 100%. Not even close.

On a separate note, do you believe that all of those first team players are genuinely injured?
As I've said before every team has the potential to have a winning streak at the start of the season. You have a bit of luck, the bigger teams are still settling in and some teams haven't figured out your style of play yet. The sun was shining, our manager was making the right noises and off we went on a nice little run. We keep on coming back to that period but the smallest of clubs have had their table topping moments at the start of a season. It's not that special.

I agree that the attitude has been really bad in spells during this season but I feel it has improved over the past few games. Even during NC's last game I felt there was an improvement in attitude from most players. Again, I don't believe that young players or players in their prime want to get relegated and lose each week. This has the potential to destroy a career. Surely they are aware of that?

The injury saga is a strange one. When you are in a negative mind set you are more injury prone. Or are some players chickening out? Or is it just really bad luck?

Maybe I'm naive but I just can't believe that a professional athlete would not want to compete in and win every game. Yes, there will be the odd disfunctional player, but a whole team?

If our players don't have that winning mind set then this just confirms my theory that they don't have what it takes to be a succesful Championship player.
I wonder if the professional athlete work ethic is as strong as you suppose. Apart from Hughes's wasters I've never seen a group run up the white flag like this lot.

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Re: Just Back On The Island… Rotherham

Post by Satch » Sun Mar 05, 2023 10:41 pm

Wasn’t Richards best friend murdered a few weeks ago? I think understandably he’s not in a great place. He’s shown plenty of intent other times he’s played, I find it hard to believe at a critical point in his career he’s decided did this I can’t be arsed.

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Re: Just Back On The Island… Rotherham

Post by pindarus » Sun Mar 05, 2023 11:27 pm

We have always lacked pace in attack. There is just a possibility that Armstrong and Lowe who are both lively could cause some problems. Lowe has done quite well since he came into a failing team at an unsettling time.

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Re: Just Back On The Island… Rotherham

Post by SM » Mon Mar 06, 2023 8:34 am

Wegerle wrote:
Sun Mar 05, 2023 8:28 pm
We keep on coming back to that period but the smallest of clubs have had their table topping moments at the start of a season. It's not that special.

I agree that the attitude has been really bad in spells during this season but I feel it has improved over the past few games.

The injury saga is a strange one. When you are in a negative mind set you are more injury prone. Or are some players chickening out? Or is it just really bad luck?
Just to be clear, I’m not saying it’s a disgrace we’re not topping the table. We can all agree that being top of the league, as nice as it was, was a flash in the pan. We were never going to stay there - and nobody had expectations like that.

But I also don’t accept that we can go to winning away at Sheffield United, Millwall & Watford to going on a ridiculous run like this either. It’s absolutely unheard of.

If we can agree on the attitude being really bad, which I don’t think anyone can say isn’t the case - then there is a big similarity between this side and 2013. With a better attitude we would have more points and be sitting a lot more comfortably. That’s a fact, and it’s not something that should be forgiven… especially if the worst was to happen.

I’ve felt this feeling twice since I’ve followed QPR - back then and now. I’m generally more on the optimistic side, but some of what I’m seeing here it’s indefensible.

The injuries with our goalkeepers last year was genuinely bad luck - this isn’t. They have totally checked out IMO.

Tim is a prime example (one of the few that shows up, at least in body). He pulled out of multiple challenges yesterday. There’s a reason that GA wanted to keep a half-fit Johansen in ahead of him yesterday. He was totally disinterested.
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Re: Just Back On The Island… Rotherham

Post by SM » Mon Mar 06, 2023 8:39 am

Andy_N19 wrote:
Sun Mar 05, 2023 9:09 pm
It's now odds on that LF will depart over the summer, I suspect there isn't a plan B on all this, is there?
I agree 100% Andy.

Next year is going to be all about survival, any aspirations of chasing a playoff place look nothing more than a pipe dream. Players contracts running down - Willock in his final year, a team inflated with loans, we’re going to be short all over the pitch.

Plus, we have absolutely no head-room at all to spend anything.

LF and LH will leave in the summer, I have no doubt about that. Our recruitment is going to have to be spectacular to stave off relegation, and that’s if we limp over the line…

Worrying times ahead.
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Re: Just Back On The Island… Rotherham

Post by SM » Mon Mar 06, 2023 8:42 am

222gers wrote:
Sun Mar 05, 2023 9:11 pm
I wonder if the professional athlete work ethic is as strong as you suppose. Apart from Hughes's wasters I've never seen a group run up the white flag like this lot.
aniclap aniclap aniclap

It amazes me, genuinely, that some people stand and applaud them off the pitch after all this time.

Most other clubs fans would be giving them dogs abuse.
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Re: Just Back On The Island… Rotherham

Post by ZENITH R » Mon Mar 06, 2023 9:09 am

SM wrote:
Mon Mar 06, 2023 8:34 am
Wegerle wrote:
Sun Mar 05, 2023 8:28 pm
We keep on coming back to that period but the smallest of clubs have had their table topping moments at the start of a season. It's not that special.

I agree that the attitude has been really bad in spells during this season but I feel it has improved over the past few games.

The injury saga is a strange one. When you are in a negative mind set you are more injury prone. Or are some players chickening out? Or is it just really bad luck?
Just to be clear, I’m not saying it’s a disgrace we’re not topping the table. We can all agree that being top of the league, as nice as it was, was a flash in the pan. We were never going to stay there - and nobody had expectations like that.

But I also don’t accept that we can go to winning away at Sheffield United, Millwall & Watford to going on a ridiculous run like this either. It’s absolutely unheard of.

If we can agree on the attitude being really bad, which I don’t think anyone can say isn’t the case - then there is a big similarity between this side and 2013. With a better attitude we would have more points and be sitting a lot more comfortably. That’s a fact, and it’s not something that should be forgiven… especially if the worst was to happen.

I’ve felt this feeling twice since I’ve followed QPR - back then and now. I’m generally more on the optimistic side, but some of what I’m seeing here it’s indefensible.

The injuries with our goalkeepers last year was genuinely bad luck - this isn’t. They have totally checked out IMO.

Tim is a prime example (one of the few that shows up, at least in body). He pulled out of multiple challenges yesterday. There’s a reason that GA wanted to keep a half-fit Johansen in ahead of him yesterday. He was totally disinterested.

During the summer we sacked our sports psychologist. I believe this was primarily because of the capitulation in the last third of the 21/22 season under MW. It just happens that he was a friend of my dentist, so I got a little bit of third hand insight into this.

I'm not sure if he has been replaced. If not, maybe he should have been, or maybe not sacked at all. The Offish says we have Dr Imtiaz Ahmad as Head of Medicine and Performance. Maybe Sports Psychology falls under his umbrella?

I find myself wondering about Dr Ahmad's own performance though - we have a lengthy injury list, and as has been mentioned before, the mental attitude of many of our players is suspect.

It seems we have gone down the sports science route, like a lot of clubs, but maybe we just aren't good at that side of things?
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Re: Just Back On The Island… Rotherham

Post by rightback » Mon Mar 06, 2023 2:47 pm

ZENITH R wrote:
Mon Mar 06, 2023 9:09 am
It seems we have gone down the sports science route, like a lot of clubs, but maybe we just aren't good at that side of things?
With regards to the footballing side of the club, other than neatly tied shoe laces, are there any "things" we are currently good at?
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