Despite His White Boots

Football, football, football and, if the mood takes me, more football.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

QPR 1 Sunderland 2

Two steps back for Rangers. This defeat was much more comprehensive than the score would suggest, and if Nick Ward's injury-time shot (only the second on target) had found the net it would have been a suckout of runner-runner proportions. Instead of tightening up at the back and pushing on, the reverse has happened ; the attacking threat has disappeared and the defence remains as porous as ever. When Lee Cook failed to reappear in the second half that was basically that, although Ray Jones' well taken goal was the only positive.

The last two visitors to Loftus Road have done their homework. Crowd Cook as much as possible, close Jimmy Smith down on the edge of the box, and give the full-backs as much space as you like because they'll do fuck all. I don't mean to be harsh on Bignot and Mancienne as players, as both are playing out of position, but that's the fact of it. Meanwhile, get tight in midfield and wait for Rangers to give the ball away, often deep in their own half. Lots of work to be done at Rangers, and the transfer window could be interesting, but thanks to the recent spurt we still have some breathing space especially over Hull and Southend who are in freefall.

Sunderland, as I said, had done their homework and looked a decent side. Kavanagh ran the midfield and their centre-halves were very solid. Fair play to them and the play-offs are definitely within their reach. All the same, promotion odds of 5.8 on Betfair are too skinny.

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