Despite His White Boots

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

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

QPR 2 Burnley 4

A disappointing result but a highly entertaining game in which Andy Cole's predatory instincts were too good for the home defence. As has been the trend recently at home, Rangers turned on the heat in the first half hour and were soon two goals to the good. Patrick Agyemang, who looks better with every game, sent Akos Buzsaky into the box with his deft backheel, and the Hungarian's inviting cross was met by Gavin Mahon at the head of a posse of Rangers players queueing up at the back post. The second goal arrived when Damien Delaney poured forward (in as much as one man can pour forward). There didn't seem to be too much danger with just Delaney and Agyemang up against four defenders, but pass and run were timed to perfection. When Agyemang gets one on one at the moment you'd put your house on him scoring, and he waltzed past Jensen to slide home the second.

Rangers were good value for 2-0 at that point, and Buszaky and Rehman both tested Jensen further (the latter after an unbelievable 60 yard burst). However, the visitors pulled one back out of the blue when Gudjonsson's free kick appeared to be going nowhere until Cole flashed out a boot to send the ball flying past the wrongfooted Lee Camp. After the break Rangers pushed forward again, and both Agyemang and Buszaky were unable to pick out a team-mate from fantastic positions deep in the penalty area. Burnley substitute Ade Akinbiyi showed them how to do it when he picked out Cole, whose top-class movement allowed him to finish easily at the far post.

For 20 minutes it was an even contest, Rangers were weakened somewhat by injuries to Rowlands and Ephraim, but even so Leigertwood and Connolly both tested Jensen from 20 yards. At the other end Lee Camp was probably slightly aggrieved when he touched Elliot's piledriver onto the post only for the referee to give a goal kick. Unfortunately Rangers then conceded the sloppiest goal of the evening ; Damion Stewart met a deep corner but could only head the ball up instead of out, and the home defence unforgivably failed to come out and play the visiting forwards offside, allowing Akinbiyi to score with ease when Caldwell returned the ball into the six yard box.

Home heads dropped at this point and Burnley completed a convincing comeback when, with Rangers possibly expecting a free kick to be played into the corner, it was instead played in to Cole who had the ball in the back of the net in a nanosecond. Sometimes you just have to take your hat off to a team or a player and say they were too good for us. Cole was the difference between the sides and I wasn't the only home fan to give some polite applause when he was substituted. Rangers will learn from this and hopefully playoff talk will be shelved in favour of more work on the training ground and gradual improvement. Meanwhile you could do a lot worse than get on the right side of Burnley for the remainder of the season, and in fact I've just had a nibble at 10 for promotion. They looked a decent side and if I've written this report properly it should have conveyed the impression that Cole is still quite good.


  • At 12:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What did I tell ya?

    "Despite QPR's perilous financial condition, the combined personal wealth of the club's new owners (which included the world's then 5th richest man in Lakshmi Mittal) sparked speculation that QPR would receive significant further investment from their new benefactors drawing parallels to their wealthy West London neighbours Chelsea and Fulham.[9] However, to date no significant further funds are believed to have been made available to the club other than those injected as part of the purchase of its share capital. Indeed it was reported that the investors have not discharged the £10 million loan from ABC Corporation together with its £1 million annual interest burden—despite the club's prospective annual turnover of between £10 million and £15 million a year. Furthermore around £2 million is still owed to a former director and major shareholder, Antonio Caliendo, who waived £4.5 million of loans when Briatore and Ecclestone bought the club. Mittal's investment is thought to be primarily motivated by his son-in-law's interests and that Mittal himself will remain a silent investor while Briatore, Ecclestone and Bhatia work together to the implement the strategy of slowly building the club up ahead of a push for promotion to the Premier League in 2009"

    Mark my words... if we don't get promoted next season Briatore and Ecclestone will fuck off and leave us in just as bad or even worse shape than we were in before they showed their ugly faces at Loftus Road.

  • At 9:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Who said "Anyone who uses wikipedia as a serious source of information is an idiot."

    Was it you :-) ?


  • At 12:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Good point, well made :)

    I didn't like the way Briatore answered the question "what is going to be done about the ABC loan?" then, and on reading this, I am even more worried now.

  • At 1:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Here's a subsequent article in the Times, from a week ago :

    Relevant quote is :

    "One newspaper made much of the fact that, some two months into the new regime, the ABC loan had yet to be discharged. Ecclestone is happy to set the record straight.

    “We will pay the debt when we can – at the end of June this year,” he says. “That’s when the loan matures, so that’s when we can pay it back.” Likewise, debts to Antonio Caliendo, a former director and major shareholder, reportedly owed £2 million after the takeover. “We’re finalising the balance sheet with Mr Caliendo in order that we can clarify what is owed to him,” Ecclestone says. “When this is completed he will be paid immediately.” "

    And I'm betting 10-1 that the "one newspaper" mentioned here is the same source as the Wikipedia quote.


  • At 1:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Arg, try this :


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