REPORT: QPR 2 City 1

If you are prone to bouts of depression then I advise not reading this report.  Instead, look for some images of kittens to while away the time.  If you are into self-flagellation then you might want to know more.

Walking back to Shepherds Bush station, weaving through the blue and white hooped hordes and dodging the many deposits left by nervous police horses I reflected on the match.  Had I seen more crap on the road (the horse dung, not the QPR supporters) or on the pitch?  Probably the latter.

This is my first taste of the 2017/18 vintage Hull City. I don’t think it’s going to be one that goes down in history.

Lining up on a warm summer afternoon and not doing the business for the Tigers were:

Aina Dawson Hector Clark
Grosicki Larsson Meyler Stewart Bowen

The first observation is that Sam Clucas wasn’t on the pitch and nor was he on the bench.  A fairly obvious giveaway that we have seen the last of him in black and amber.  Wherever he ends up, well done young man.  His development over the last couple of years has been great to watch and one in the eye for the naysayers who liked to call him ‘Clueless’.

We kick off with the sun behind the team, and the City supporters who have made the trip.  It’s almost ten seconds before the first anti-Allam chants are raised.  It’s an even game.  QPR are poor and can hardly string a couple of passes together, but we are competing with them to see who can be worse.  Nine minutes into his first start, Kevin Stewart went down with an injury following a routine clearance.  It looks like it could be a recurrence of the ankle problems that suffered last season which is worrying.  He was replaced by Diomande, the latter going up front with Campbell playing a deeper role.

We are well into the half before the first chances arrive.  We have had marginally better of the early exchanges but about twenty minutes in the home team – and their supporters – wake up.  The chances go begging and neither goalkeeper has been troubled at this stage.  A promising break is lead by Grosicki but the end result encapsulates his career to date, promise followed by poor execution.  The first call to action for either keeper results from a Campbell shot after he manages to wiggle free.

After half an hour a trip right on the edge of our area gives the Rs free kick in a dangerous position.  An elaborate manoeuvre with several players running in random directions seems to confuse the home team more than it does us.  The first attempt is aborted as a couple of City players have encroached, the second results in a daisy cutter that is easily repelled by the wall.  We are still under pressure however and smart defending from Hector and Dawson is needed more than once to keep them at bay.

And then we score.  A free kick on the left is played across to the right.  It looks like we have messed around too much and the opportunity will dissipate but finally Meyler gets his cross over.  It evades the players in the middle and reaches Bowen.  He fends off a defender and slots in a low shot.  Bowen was one of the few to rise above the morass of mediocrity in the game.  The goal actually manages to stop the “Allam Out” medley for a few minutes.

There are still ten minutes left in the half but that’s about it until the break.  1-0 up just about reflects the play but it has mostly been meagre fare on offer.

Slutsky makes a change at half time with Mazuch replacing Campbell.  We learn later that the latter had taken a slight knock but it’s a negative move and reduces our attacking threat.  It’s also a reflection of the inexperience on the bench: of the seven selected, only Diomande had played more than three games for City.  There is almost a complete lack of action in the first quarter of an hour.  There are players out there, there is effort, there is no quality and no end product.  On the hour mark we win a corner after an incursion by Aina up the right flank but the resulting header from Mazuch is straight at Smithies in the Rangers’ goal.

Diomande does produce a bit of quality with take down and turn but then negates the good work when the attempted through pass is too heavy and straight to the keeper.  By this time Holloway has brought on Matt Smith for the ineffective Lua Lua (it could have been anyone, they were all just as ineffective).  This does regenerate the home team.  Smith’s physicality is the sonic screwdriver that unlocks the home defence.  First he heads straight at McGregor and then just wide but it looks like an equaliser is on the cards for the home team.  The traffic is now mostly one way, but there is a respite when first Diomande and then Bowen are brought down.  It looks like an opportunity for dead ball specialist Larsson but Grosicki lashes it high, wide and not handsome.

And then the inevitable equaliser arrives.  A corner is partially cleared, Freeman returns the ball into the box and the inevitable Matt Smith nods in a close range header with no discernible challenge from a City defender.  It’s almost immediately doubled as Sylla (another substitute) hits the post and the resulting rebound off the diving McGregor squirms to safety.  QPR are definitely on the ascendency and looking more likely.  McGregor is booked for time wasting which sums up our lack of ambition at this point.  Therefore it’s something of a surprise when City almost snatch a winner.  Grosicki threads a through ball that Larsson latches on to.  His shot lacks power however and Smithies is able to stick out a foot and direct it away.

The fourth official has just announced seven minutes of added time (there were a couple of injuries to add on to McGregor’s shenanigans) when QPR get what proved to be the winner.  I’ll need to see this again to comprehend the comedy defending that lead to Sylla being free to tap in from a couple of feet out from goal.  It hard to say who exactly was culpable at that distance so I’ll blame all of the defence.  Sylla gets a yellow for excessive celebration (i.e., ripping his shirt off to reveal a very fetching sports bra).

There is still time for an equaliser and we nearly get one.  In final flurry, first Hector and then Mazuch have attempts cleared off the line and a couple of of other efforts were sent wide.  Finally, after 90+ minutes there is some effort and intent but it’s way too late to make a difference.  If only we had shown such intent earlier in the game.  QPR were a poor team, there for the taking.  It just so happens we were poorer.

As I write this, I see in the morning papers that departure of Clucas has been confirmed.  With the other transfers and injuries we have a threadbare squad.  Reinforcements are definitely required if we are not to emulate Wolves and pass straight through this league on our downward spiral.

Rob Kaye (via Tiger Chat)

11 replies
  1. Brid Tiger
    Brid Tiger says:

    Spot on match report.
    The fact that QPR could bring on two strikers of decent championship standard and change the momentum of the game; whilst we could only swap and shuffle the tiring pack.
    The only real highlight was Ehab’s foolhardy wave to the away end. He really doesn’t understand does he.

  2. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    Excellent report.
    After watching City since 76 and boy have we seen some low points in that time, I am feeling more depressed about the state of our club now, than ever before.
    The only shining light is our Head Coach.
    Given the state of our squad, had I been Clucas, I would have played, given 100% and gone over and said farewell to the supporters yesterday!

  3. Bosco
    Bosco says:

    I really feel for Slutsky and the players. This supermarket is open 24/7.

    Cluclas should have played, irrespective of where he is next week, though suspect Ehab was worried re an Abel repeat.

    Was Stewart rushed back? Hope he is not made of glass.

    City showed a few moments of quality, but as soon as Campbell came off, you could guess the consequences. Dio may try, but ….

    Enjoyed the barracking of Ehab, he must be a half wit. What the hell is he thinking re City, why bring in Slutsky, lie about signings and communication, then sell our best players and replace them with frees?

    This is going to be a tough season and I expect further fall out.

  4. John from Brid
    John from Brid says:

    When is Ehab going to open his parachute, it will be a hard landing come August 31st.

  5. Blackadder
    Blackadder says:

    Liverpool certainly did some great business by taking Robertson (who was their star man yesterday) for 8 million and flogging City a dead horse in the shape of Stewart for 4 million. Slutsky described his injury as “an old one” and shades of Jimmy Bullard passed before my eyes! I hope I’m wrong but I think City have been well and truly had over that bit of business. We’ll find out in the next few days if Ehaw us going to spend some of the millions he’s pocketed, I’ll be surprised if we sign any one capable of transforming the side into a promotion hopeful or even one capable of avoiding another relegation. He’ll probably sanction a couple of loaners or freebies but I don’t see serious money being spent on quality signings, anyone expecting him to part with a large chunk of the cash from the sales of Snodgrass, Livermore, Maguire, Huddlestone, Robertson, Jakupovic, Davies, Elmohamady and Clucas is dreaming.

  6. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    As for the illiterate QPR fan, hope your crap team gets relegated!
    I’ll never forget the huge overreaction to our fans banter and the subsequent lies about what was really said!
    Set of scumbags!!!

  7. gjhdurham
    gjhdurham says:

    Very depressing weekend, which revived the despair of the home loss to Sunderland last season…and all that would mean. A loss to QPR …which I expected…but the injuries and Clucas sale piled it on! Then we had MotD piling praise on Maguire and Robertson just to rub it in! To top it off MotD2 produces Alex Bruce and another discussion of our ex players plus Silva’s win!! Maguire for England…”How did Hull get relegated?” says Lineker. Aargh!
    Only seen the highlights, but the winning goal looked to be a clear barge in the back of our defender waiting to head the ball. Of course, we have the usual Shearerisms from the alcoholic, couch potato football managers on the web. “Shouldn’t let himself be bullied”… “Should have been stronger”. Bullshit! Like the Rannochia/Crouch episode last season, if someone gives you a push or lumps into your back, then you move forwards…involuntary. For the first goal it was evident that Smith was a danger, but he was allow to get onto our smallest defender…looked like this to me. Dawson did a poor job of organising the defence here IMO.
    We really need to get a number of players signed now! Will the late injury to Vardy mean Leicester keep Musa? Just our luck at the moment…if he was ever going to come…
    Shouldn’t criticise the QPR fan. Coming from London he’s probably not English.

  8. Blackadder
    Blackadder says:

    I felt very depressed and faintly nauseated watching Harry and Robertson last night, with decent owners prepared to provide cash for a good manager and a quality right back and striker we could have avoided relegation and kept most of our squad together last season. But oh no, the Allams had to sabotage the club and any chance of staying in the Premier League out of sheer vindictiveness. Wolves own their ground and were bought by the Chinese for a paltry 45 million pounds while Ehaw torpedoed any chance of selling Hull City for a much greater sum. Our esteemed owners won’t be satisfied until the club is stripped bare of talent and money and consigned to League 2 or worse.

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