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QPR v Boro
 

QPR v Boro

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After some of the gloom was lifted with a win over Norwich, we travel to Loftus Road as we reach the “business end” of the season. A few days ago I was thinking that I ought to take our minds off the misery and talk about something other than football. Maybe a sociological treatise on football fandom. The Norwich match reminded me, though, that even when football feels predictable, it is a game of such fine margins that unexpected hope and shattering despair are often just a referee’s whistle from each other.

At the beginning of the season, it was the home defeat to QPR that really set alarm bells ringing. The transfer window had “slammed shut,” Greenwood and O’Brien had turned up late for class and we had just 1 point from our first 4 games in the league. Optimists among us remembered something very similar happening when McClaren took over so despite some odd selection choices by Carrick I was pretty positive about us getting a good result and the “season starting here.” Looking back at Werder’s intro he ended it...

Surely Boro will get their season up and running on Saturday - it's hard to contemplate anything else - however full or empty your glass is looking.

It didn’t really work out that way. As Werder also said back in September. 

The real challenge appears to be keeping out the opposition from scoring at the other end!

The starting team for that match was

Dieng; McNair, Fry, Lenihan, Engel; Hackney, Howson; Silvera, Rogers, Jones; Latte Lath. If Howson isn’t fit enough to start two games in a row, we could possibly see just 3 of that 11 starting on Saturday.

Leading StirCrazy to say for all of us

Don't understand the omission of McGree from the starting line-up at all.  *shakes head*

At halftime KP noted 

As it stands Boro are rock bottom of the league! ☹️😎

Then, as the game sputtered to its depressing end, John Richardson wrote

The only good thing about this desperate performance and desperately managed performance is that it will stop the journalists tipping Mr Carrick as the next manager of whatever Premiership team.

We are leaking goals like Lancias and Alfas used to rust in the late sixties.

The season pretty much continued in the same way bar a 7 game golden patch.

I thought I would take a look at history. Turns out that of the other 23 teams in the Championship, the only one we have a worst record against is Leicester (see table below). On the plus side, Leicester are the one team we have done the double over the season so perhaps we can invoke the “Typical Boro” curse to our advantage this time.

QPR are presently 5th in the form table vs us in 18th. So there’s another typical Boro straw to grasp at. Norwich are 4th and once they agreed to play with just 10 men we won quite handily. So if QPR are willing to do the same, we might have a chance.

Back in September, Clive Hurren said, for all of us I reckon, 

I’m struggling to find any positives at all from yesterday’s defeat.

So, we owe them one for this season and all seasons of being useless against them.

I’m going to inhale deeply of OFB’s foam and look for reasons to be positive. QPR are at home and unbeaten in 4. They’ll be desperate for a win to drag them away from the relegation “trapdoor” - a perfect time for us to free the Boro 3.

What say you all?

QPR v Boro - Saturday 9 March 2024 - 15:00

 

Table 1: Boro's record against Championship teams


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Site Creator
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Thanks Deleriad for a clever and novel angle on the match preview as you captured the Diasboro zeitgeist of the season as it unraveled.

Michael Carrick said after that home defeat against QPR: "Football throws things at you and at times it is not exactly how you want it. You have got to find a way to come out on top and sometimes you have to dig a bit deeper than you'd hoped." - it seems he's still trying to find a way for his team to come out on top.

All I would say this time is surely Boro will get their season up and running on Saturday - though the real challenge appears to be keeping out the opposition from scoring at the other end...


jarkko
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@deleriad Thanks for the starter. As Werder said above, an interesting and different way to start the debate. I liked it.

I think we will revert back to the 4-2-3-1 formation. Especially so if Howson will be able to play two games a week so soon after his knee injury. We are leaking easy goals whether we play 4 or 5 at the back. We need Howson instead of Barlaser. 

I think Barlaser is a good player but his confidence was not good in our recent difficult run. I prefer Howson as he makes the other players around him look and play better. Sometimes Barlaser is excellent but some games really poor and giving the ball away cheaply. He is not a ready made deputy for Howson yet.

But I think Hackney has a good deputy in O'Brien.  Now when the latter is fit, I think we will do nicely with him until Hackney is back towards the end of the month. For Howson, I would even play McNair as a defensive midfielder - he can also pass the ball nicely.

I hope to see Uncle Albert at QPR. I think Adomah is still with his favourite team down there  - maybe coming on from the bench on Saturday. Another winger I would like to make a cameo in London is Isaiah Jones.  I don't expect him to start yet but perhaps coming on for 30 min.

And finally, I hope we finally see McGree performing as well as he did in the World Cup and for Boro last season. I think injuries has prevendted many Boro players to perform CONSISTENTLY this season. So I hope we finally can start an unbeaten run towards the May.

So keeping the positive tone, I will go for a narrow 1-2 win for Boro over the R's on Saturday.  The home team is in a good form but we are a better quality team than them. Let's hope we get a good start and a goal in the beginning.

 

Up the Boro! 


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Thank you Deleriad for a piece which was highly original, informative and a joy to read; a piece of quality which matches those that have gone before.

Not sure what to expect on Saturday.  Will the win against Norwich have reenergised the team and restored confidence or will the pressure of a hostile Loftus Road crowd lead them to wilt and fail under the pressure.

If we do not get at least a point then Wednesday will, to a large degree, have been in vain and we will be back to an inconsistent and underperforming squad; I am still of the view that Wednesday just papered over the cracks and that there is still a lot of work needed if we are eventually to challenge for a top six spot next season.

🤞crossed 1-1 but wouldn’t be surprised if they scored 2/3 passed us🤬 CoB let’s see the team that you can and should be. 😎


Clive Hurren
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I agree with fellow bloggers, deleriad - this was an inventive and clever way to approach the starter. I like the historical perspective. It works really well. Thank you. 

I also agree that QPR away is a difficult game. Over the years I can recall very few wins there for Boro, although miraculously Strachan’s team won 5-1 there one year (his first win as our manager), with Leroy Lita scoring two. 

It’s a very tight little ground, with fans very close to the action. Not much room for wing-backs or Isaiah Jones to exploit, I guess. I think our confidence is probably still fragile, despite Norwich, and may sink further if we concede first. I think we’ll do well to come out with a point. 


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Deleriad,

A wonderful starter, your piece reveals just how consistently 'not very good' Boro have been this season, well apart from a few false dawns that is.

When I first worked in London Loftus Road was a great ground to visit, unlike Chelsea and Millwall, but I don't think I ever saw Boro win there. Strange. There'll be no forecasts from me anything could happen, however I hope Mr Carrick plays people in their best position and doesn't turn the outfield into a symphony of out of position players.

I'll be behind the couch with my jar of Liquorice Allsorts. They should get things moving.

Now for Hinchingbrooke Hospital for the Bosses cataract act operation, so it's me doing the waiting this time. As my mother-in-law said when she turned 104 'getting old isn't for the faint hearted or the wimps!'.

Best wishes everyone,

UTB,

John


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@john-richardson.  “I'll be behind the couch with my jar of Liquorice Allsorts. They should get things moving.” 🤣🤣🤣

Best wishes to Mrs R, hope all goes well with her op. 😎


   
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Martin Bellamy
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Just when you think these starters can’t get any better, up pops this beauty from Deleriad. Chapeau, sir, chapeau. 

We must be due a draw sometime soon, so I’m going for 1-1. Anything other than a loss would be a bonus I think. 


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@deleriad - Thanks very much for the QPR "Opener".  Especial thanks, too, for the linked table of BORO's results against the other Championship teams. I think it is extremely likely some information from the table will reappear in the Opener I have to do for the next game, against Birmingham on 12th March!

I agree the comment that has previously been made, that it's an intersting feature of the way things on this Blog have worked out that the various opening pieces for each game have been prepared in different styles according to each contributor.  Variety is the spice of life.

At the moment I have very little idea how the game against QPR will go.


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Nice one, deleriad. An original approach from a creative mind.

Looking at the Boro XI for the first KPR game I was reminded of how Engel was skinned by that young Rangers winger. It was the beginning of a torrid run for the full back which saw him gift a goal with an awful pass back to the keeper at West Brom, and finally being withdrawn at half-time against bottom club Sheffield Wednesday. Replaced by a 19yo who had never played in that position before.

He was just as bad last Wednesday passing the ball in field to an opponent in a dangerous area, continually mis-passing, and lacking the pace to defend effectively down his flank.

That was in the first half hour.. Then assisting for our first goal and being our most dangerous outlet for the remainder of the game , capping his improvement with a fine goal.

The figure of Engel encapsulated not only our display against Norwich but our entire season in many ways. He can be awful; he lacks pace but he likes a tackle and can be a capable defender and dangerous going forward. But you are never really sure  which Engel you are going to get. 

Some nominated him as our M-o-M last Wednesday. Yet after the first KPR game, he will almost certainly be targeted as a significant weakness by them for tomorrow's game.

Engel also epitomises our recruitment deficiencies. He is one of four signings this season to attempt to solve our left back problem. Coulsen was rejected as not being up to it before the ink on his contract had dried. Engel"s failures prompted the signing of Bandura, injury to whom brought in the lad from Leicester, whose nightmare performances over the previous two games gave Engel another opportunity.

Carrick, God love him, has to smile through all this, take the blame and express as much confidence in the lad as he can, and hope against all of the odds that the recruitment team can provide him with a serviceable left back at the fifth time of asking.

As with our strikers if the left back problem isn't solved in the close season- and I have no faith that either weakness will be solved by ploughing through the tapes and stats of overseas players unproven at Championship level- then the Boro will be no further forward next season and the patience of both our fine coach and our loyal supporters will have finally run out.

I fear another defeat tomorrow, 2-1.

 

 


jarkko
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@john-richardson All the best wishes for Mrs R and her oprations. You seem to do these in turns - I hopeshe has as good an results as you dis.

After reading the above posts, I realised that I have been to Loftus Road, too. I was with my to-be-married wifa on Inter Rail in England - I must have been early 1980's, I think. My younger brother was travelling separately, but we had decided yto meet in London before hand, if it would fit both parties agenda. The mobile phone had not yet been invented in Finland by Nokia back then. 

I and my wife were on Teesside before we went back down to London. Of course I wanted to see Boro play.

So we met in London, and we went to see QPR vs. Arsenal match. Arsenal is the favourite od my brother. All I remember was that the stand was very, very close to the pitch and I felt like I could touch the Arsenal players by streching my arm!

Fantastic ground for the fans. I hope we get a result on Saturday. We must do better or equal than the Strachan Boro did. Up the Boro!


jarkko
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@lenmasterman KPR? You used that twice so I presume it is not a typo. 

It is beyond my level of English. Sorry to ask but what is the meaning. Up the Boro!

This post was modified 1 month ago by jarkko

   
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@jarkko 

Kings Park Rangers.

A silly joke. One reference was probably too many.


   
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@lenmasterman.  And there was I thinking you were talking about me but had just got my initials the wrong way round KRP! 😊😎


   
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@jarkko - Your English is at least the equal of the vast bulk of people who use the internet.  QC means Queen's Counsel nearly of all whom are working Barristers considered to be of sufficent merit/seniority "to be appointed Silk" (though there is a small number of Solicitors or Lawyers in academia who have been appointed QC).  Theoretically in the past they would have been legal advisors (Counsel) to the Monarch. They are the Senior Bar in the UK in the same way that non-QC Barristers are referred to as the Junior Bar. Even if a particular Barrister may be EXTREMELY good or called to the Bar 25 years ago, if not appointed a QC they'd be known as Junior Barristers (or Juniors). QCs normally work in court as a "team" with a Junior, with the QC "in charge", taking the witnesses though their evidence until such a point when the QC delegates to the Junior.  A QC's fees will be much higher than the Junior's fees.  When a QC is working with a Junior, he/she would sometimes say to his Instructing Solicitor "Please pass the outstanding information to my Junior...", for example.  Automatically on the death of Queen Elizabeth II, just as King Charles III succeeded her to the Throne - even before the Coronation - Queen's Counsel are automatically translated to King's Counsel and are therefore referred to as KC after their name instead of QC.  I practised as a Solicitor for 40+ years until retirement and through constant repetition of "QC" I find myself making a slip of the tongue and failing to remember that it's now "KC". Because Queen Elizabeth II was on the Throne for over 70 years, there would be nobody still practising who would previously have used KC in their work, until King Charles' reign began.

Obviously there are Queen's Streets up and down the UK (one in Redcar for example) and plenty of Queen's Parks, Queen's Hotels etc.  Although they will NOT change their name any more than Queens' College in Cambridge will change its name (named in honour of more than ONE Queen), it is amusing to think that QPR might become known as KPR for the same reason QCs become KCs.


jarkko
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Oops, now I see.

Dormo, Queens Park is an area in London in honour of Queen Victoria, I think. So it won't change because of King Charles. Up the Boro!


   
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jarkko
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Just realised that Seny Dieng was signed from QPR last summer.

Seny would win QPR’s Player of the Month twice that season 2020/21, in November and January, and after a total of 42 appearances and 11 clean sheets, he was named Rangers’ Players’ Player of the Year alongside Rob Dickie.

Seny was handed the number 1 jersey at Loftus Road ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.

He would make a total of 121 appearances for QPR, keeping 30 clean sheets.

Perhaps his standout moment of the 2022/23 season was when he nodded in a late equaliser, the second goal of his career, away to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. It was later selected as QPR’s Goal of the Year.

Up the Boro! 


   
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Norwich City FC website confirming that red card against Norwich player has been overturned. 😎

This post was modified 1 month ago by K P in Spain

   
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Deleriad 

A brilliant opener and the bar keeps getting raised higher.

It brings a freshness to the blog each week and makes it a good read.

i too am amazed at the quality and the differing thoughts and format each opener takes and grit my teeth “ I wish I’d thought of that !”

Well done and thank you it’s appreciated.

Forecast?

well I burned the foam hands 🙌 

But that’s ok because we have an old friend returning haven’t we?

Boro3 !

OFB


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@k-p-in-spain 

Also confirmed on the BBC that Sainz dismisal overturned - so I wasn't imagining not seeing him deliberately kick Howson 🤔 - btw there's a quote from Jonny Howson on the same page that interestingly is a bit ambiguous as it starts off by Howson saying Sainz definitely kicked him but ends with almost maybe he didn't...

"He obviously kicked out, you can't do that in today's game. I don't make the rules but you have to play the game as well.

Was there a lot of contact? Maybe not. Some of their lads said they'd have done exactly the same if they were me. We needed the three points just as much as them."

 


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@werdermouth - That about sums up my view of the incident. I could do without team members (from either team) acting as though they were hurt if not hurt, though.  My often expressed comment is that "X wouldn't have gone down that easily in the Bigg Market on a Saturday night if that degree of contact was made there". I particularly dislike seeing a player going down holding his head or face, when there has been a fleeting contact with, for example, his chest.  I've often wondered what would happen when the referee can see a player holding his head as if poleaxed following a minor contact, and the ref insisted the player should go off (if intially so badly hurt) for a head injury assessment.  Then you might see the player insist that the impact wasn't so bad after all, and it didn't REALLY hurt. What goes around comes around. In the next game it could easily be a BORO player shown the red card for an innocuous contact. We'd all be up in arms about it.


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https://www.mfc.co.uk/news/2024/march/08/4-the-boro---season-ticket-flexible-payment-plan-launched/

Another change to the season card renewal 👍.

Come on BORO.


   
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@k-p-in-spain 

Thanks KP, it all went well half an hour in theatre and the job is done. I now have the pleasure of dealing with a difficult patient but I am in charge and can read the instructions on the eye drops which is more than my patient can do...

I have to say yet again well done the NHS, great care and lovely with it.

Jarkko thank you for your good wishes too. My next big decision is which Licquorice all sorts are the ones to eat first so it's one of each and start working through them in no particular order, a bit like Boro's game plan? I'll have all the notes but not necessarily in the right order as a comedian once said.

OFB, I admire your optimism, with or without foam hands!

All the best everyone.

UTB,

John


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@john-richardson - When the NHS works, it's great. Mrs Dormo (Mark II following her 3 operations in 2023) has just received word that her "other eye" is now listed for its cataract operation this coming October.  And if that sounds a bit of a downer (1) she's already had her "weaker" eye done last year and, without having the second eye's cataract sorted, her eyesight is already much better (and with no fuzzy cataract) so that she can drive legally without spectacles, which has not been the case for decades and (2) all the operations she had last year, of which the cataract was the "least important", seem to have been 100% successful. It has been like winning the Lottery.

Apart from the eye drops, which might intially be a bit of a chore, the eye operated on and her vision generally recovered very quickly after the operation.  Cataract operations are amongst the safest and the most successful of all the operations one could have.  I bet your wife will be delighted with the result within a few weeks.  Best wishes to your wife and to her domestic nursing staff of one.

   PS:  I might listen to the QPR v BORO game whilst watching the rugby on TV.  Hobgoblin Gold will accompany the sporting activities.

This post was modified 1 month ago by Forever Dormo

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Topic starter  

Thanks for the kind words. I have really enjoyed reading the diversity of opening previews. To be honest, they have often been more enjoyable than the matches. 

Hard to know how today's match will go. QPR are making a determined attempt to escape the relegation "trapdoor". This season's relegation battle looks like the most exciting for years (unless your club is involved) with probably 8 clubs from Plymouth on down at serious risk of the two remaining spots. I try not to look at Rotherham. 3 wins all season, 2 against us.

 

 


   
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@deleriad.  Rotherham only managed one win against us, we drew the other 1-1; still a poor return against the bottom club, which to a degree sums up the inconsistency of our season. 😎


   
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Powmill-Naemore
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  • Posted by: @k-p-in-spain

@deleriad.  Rotherham only managed one win against us, we drew the other 1-1; still a poor return against the bottom club, which to a degree sums up the inconsistency of our season. 😎

we did manage to beat them in pre season, so it is possible !

 


   
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Powmill-Naemore
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Adding my thanks here to Deleriad, pulling a rabbit from the hat when it looked like Boro's unexpected win on Wednesday had scuppered your initial plans.

That is a very interesting table you have found. I take heart that if we have done the double over the foxes this year, we should be confident about taking on the team next to them in that ranking. Oh. If only this season things were so simple.

To our advantage, today we are away from home and as highlighted by many of us often enough, we have a greatly superior record away from The Riverside Stadium rhis season. QPR, who need the ponts, will have to come on to us, which should suit us playing through and behind them.  It woukd be good if We get Jones back on rhe field today.

Fingers crossed, but I have woken this morning feeling optimistic.

Borrowing OFB's foam hands for a sniff and a Kenny Everett wave I predict a convincing victory for us today 3 goals again, to help that habit get reestablished, and a clean sheet for Dieng against his old team mates.

CoB

P.S. Good shout FD... Hobgoblin Gold is a favourite in this house too. 


   
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@forever-dormo

Thanks for your comment, truly appreciated. the boss has already had a multitude of injections in her eye for Macular Degeneration, a family trait on her side. She's got a real strop on with Shell Energy now so she must be feeling better, God help them when she gets through to them...

As for today Boro, play well and don't lose while I simply hide behind the couch. Hobgoblin Gold, a lovely beer. Tonight mine will be Timothy Taylor from Yorkshire.

Cheers everyone.

UTB,

John


   
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Powmill-Naemore
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@john-richardson how remiss of me. I didn't pass my good wishes for your wife. Glad the procedure went well and like FD said, I am sure she will see [ no pun intended] a big difference.

Just reading this morning in the Grauniad that 10% of all elective surgery is now done in the private sector, reflecting how under investment over many many many years means the NHS really can't keep up with the demand, hence often very long waiting lists.

I have to confess that I am taking advantage of the BUPA cover my employer provides to get new knees this year. I have been in big discomfort for many years now and want to make sure I get the job done while I am still at work and have that cover. I hope that doesn't make me a hypocrite and a bad person.


   
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