Date:Sunday August 19 2012
Football has returned and rather predictably Queens Park Rangers start by giving themselves and their supporters a heart attack of vast proportions after a bizarre opening day performance against Swansea City.
The weather was set fair for a fine afternoon, foolishly I had left home without so much as a cap to my name and when I perused the local convenience stores around the ground for sun tan lotion and came up empty-handed, I had the impression it could be a long afternoon indeed.
Tony Fernandes was mobbed purely trying to get from A to B on South Africa Road, and for my sins I requested a photo - my better half kindly obliged and I now have a memory I can carry with me - certainly the best I can recall of an interesting day.
While many would say he cynically purports an image of a 'man of the people' - Mr Fernandes put in the time and even stepped back to acknowledge with a degree of embarrassment as a supporter thanked him for 'saving the club' - from then on it was into the ground to soak up the atmosphere in my normal seat - name still emblazoned, they haven't forgotten about me just yet.
A nice moment prior to kick off to recognise two fallen heroes during the summer - Pat Woods, a player of over 300 appearances during the 1950s and 60s and closer still to supporters' memories, Alan McDonald - the Northern Irish centre half and all round class act who returned for a spell as assistant manager a few short years ago.
Hard not to get a little chocked considering their relative contributions to the club, but what was to follow certainly did not befit their memory. QPR started the better of the two sides in the sun-bathed capital but it was City, with all the spirit and gusto of the Welsh dragon that made up their kit that took the game by storm.
Disciplined and organised City capitalised on a succession of calamities to hammer home an unassailable advantage and leave QPR with the task of thoroughly revising some ambitious overtures in the last few weeks. Michu - a man mountain with such intelligence and grace; Graham, a forward with strength in abundance and effort to match - Rangers never matched them on the day.
The forward from Real Vallecano celebrated opening his account after a special from the Rob Green textbook before a neatly taken second rather served to epitomise the sizeable gulf in class in the second period. Nathan Dyer - the chants go hush as he nips in behind a static rearguard twice to ably net his duo, while want-away forward Sinclair came from the bench to plough home from the due of the area with all the ease afforded to him, celebrations reserved.
What of the summer captures I hear you cry? - Fabio, Park, Hoilett et al, in truth it was not a team performance, certainly not one to match the well-drilled squadron of tactical masterminds that Laudrup seems to have cultivated in a fruitful summer. It was far from that aforementioned 'team display' and an example of individuals attempting to orchestrate rather than instigate.
Park has a well deserved reputation for desire, but that was the extent of his positives while the naivety of Fabio rather aided and abetted the self destruction of Rangers imploding rearguard. Scything open at will in an unavoidable defeat, the drawing board must be addressed once more before Norwich.
A disastrous opening day, with the notable exception of the weather and the drive home - in fact my first from Loftus Road (not typically the driver!) was one of sobriety, tactical dissection and 'picking the weevils out of biscuits' as Edmund Blackadder would say. Still though one game in, I'm sure we'll be sailing calmer waters for the next 37 games, he says in hope.
Date:Sunday August 19 2012
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Football Aid 2015 - Play at Loftus Road! (Monday November 10 2014)
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QPR v Manchester City - Match Preview (Friday November 7 2014)
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Stats: Chelsea v QPR (Saturday November 1 2014)
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