The festive fixtures have arrived, QPR have taken two points from the last six games, and COVID is still a thing. Merry Christmas one and all. To bring some festive cheer to the situation, the ‘R’ Generation crew have put together a bumper Christmas Special like the Beano and Dandy ones of old. A trove of entertainment awaits you below: Micah Chudleigh writes a Christmas card from the Rangers family, Ben Summer cooks up a comedy catalogue for the club shop, Lukas Ross recounts the joy of attending a game before Tier 3 descended, Dan Lambert goes through QPR’s Naughty and Nice Lists and.
We hope you’re happy and safe wherever you are – Merry Christmas! Now for the good stuff…
In America, families have a tradition of sending an overly-friendly Christmas card to everyone they know, going into detail on everything that’s happened to them in the year gone by. Micah Chudleigh has adopted this format to review the Rangers family’s year…
Merry Christmas! It’s been quite a year hasn’t it? In an ever-changing world, I’m sure you’ll find comfort in knowing that nothing much has changed at Loftus Road. Most of the problems we finished the last year with, still exist today, and we’ve even managed to add a couple more to put under the tree!
The house is in decent enough shape but the bills are getting a bit much – around a million pounds a month now. The pitch is starting to show a bit of wear and tear too, not really helped by the fact we’ve had AFC Wimbledon staying with us. We’re still in the process of trying to move out but, as the months go on, it seems more and more as though we might have to leave the borough completely.
We started the year putting 6 past Cardiff and 5 past Swansea, comfortably ensuring that we will continue to be an unpopular club in South Wales. Sadly, this would be the high point of the year, as Nakhi would be forced out the door – taking any hopes of a play-off push with him. We really did love having Nakhi stay with us and I think he wanted to stay too but impulse buying has its consequences and now our wallets are tighter.
Goals were not hard to come by, but it seemed clean sheets were. Joe had a go in goal, then Liam, then Joe and vice versa. Fortunately, we were eventually able to stop the constant leaking of goals. In fact, we even went three months without conceding one! Admittedly, this was due to a global pandemic halting football entirely for 3 months – not helping the notion around the place that it would take a miracle to keep a clean sheet. The lockdown, although lacking football, was awash with nostalgia, with several old faces showing up to wish us well. Clint Hill and Jamie Mackie stopped by, Uncle Neil even showed his face but I think we were all happiest to see our favourite son Adel return to wish the fans well.
From one number ten to another; Ebere finally packed up his things and left the nest. We all saw it coming and quite frankly, we wish him very well. The couple of years of gliding past players, defence-splitting passes and jaw-dropping finishes were all we were lucky enough to get with Ebere, but it truly was a blessing nonetheless. He’s in the Premier League battling it out with Darnell. Ryan isn’t quite, but we shan’t talk about that.
Upon receiving a club record fee for Ebere, we set about spending (some of) it. We finally got a striker to call our own in Lyndon Dykes – an Aussie with a Scottish accent or a Scot with an Aussie accent – bringing an end to years of loaning them in and bringing back the feeling of having a recognised number 9 just as Conor Washington, Nick Ward and Daniel Nardiello had done before him. We also brought in a shiny new centre-back, Rob Dickie, to keep up with the theme of only signing players with names that would make 13-year-old boys laugh. The other boys have given him quite a rude nickname – I’m sure you can guess.
Our foray into the actual transfer market – not just frees and loans – brought us even more new faces, including Macauley Bonne, Chris Willock, and Little Tom Carroll ( still exactly the same size but seemingly a much better player than when he left). George Thomas and long-time Rangers fan Albert Adomah came in the door too, emphatically answering ‘no’ to the question as to whether you can have too many wingers in your team.
Speaking of wingers, keep Bright Osayi-Samuel in your thoughts and prayers. There’s nothing wrong with him, he just absolutely hates it here. In the meantime, his mate Ilias seems to be enjoying himself and is really growing into his number 10 shirt. Quite literally, I think he’s even got taller since last season, so please keep that in mind when buying gifts this year.
It’s been a weird year, that’s for certain! We seem to be playing the same football, but a little bit worse going forward and a little bit better at the back – although that doesn’t really say anything. I feel like Mark might move out soon. We go into 2021 wishing you and yours all the best, and wishing us and ours a decent performance for longer than 45 minutes.
Merry Christmas – and come on you R’s!
The Rangers Family
In the season of bargain-bin items finding their ways into Christmas stockings, Ben Summer concocts a “CLEARANCE: EVERYTHING MUST GO” catalogue of merchandise specific to since-departed QPR players:
Jack Clarke Commemorative Spoon: A classy, stainless steel throwback to everyone’s favourite reminder of the fine line between “team-building banter” and “bullying a small boy,” this decorative piece can sit on your mantlepiece as a reminder of the funniest thing orchestrated by Ryan Manning until his “big move” to play second-string to Jake Bidwell in Wales. Not that I’m bitter.
Ryan Manning’s Crystal Ball: Okay, I am bitter. Clearly, Ryan knew something we didn’t when he decided to jump ship. Optimism turned to delusion over the transfer window with people on Twitter calling Willock the “new Eze,” Chair the “new Eze” and Dykes the “new Hugill,” then Willock the “new Eze” and Bonne the “new Hugill” just in case the first set didn’t turn out right. With Rangers sat in 19th at the time of writing, what better time to invest in fortune-telling equipment – the likes of which Ryan Manning was clearly in possession of when he realised just how bad it was going to get, and scarpered.
The Foodie Footballer Official Body Pillow: When Marc Pugh, aka the Foodie Footballer, praises your attempt at one of his recipes on Instagram, it feels like getting a lovely hug over the Internet. Now, you can cut out the middleman and hug Marc Pugh directly. Just don’t tag him on Instagram because he will respond and it will make it weird.
The Very Best of Ebere Eze on DVD: Come off it, we know you already spend your days watching old Eze highlights on YouTube to remember just how good we had it. Spare yourself the shame of accidentally turning into a Palace supporter as you tune in week-on-week “just to check how he’s doing,” and relive the glory days whilst you try and hold back the tears. Benefits of the physical format include the ability to encourage housemates and family members to borrow it (only to be politely turned down), and bonus features such as “That Time He Did a Scorpion Kick Over Wayne Rooney,” and “20 Minutes of Andy Sinton Yelling: Soothing ASMR.”
As we all wait for that visit from Father Christmas, children around the country eagerly wait to find out whether they’ve made it onto the Nice List – but not everybody at our beloved club has made the cut. Dan Lambert has nicked St Nick’s list, and brings you an exclusive glimpse:
Firstly, the nice – a bunch of lovely characters, not all of whom have stayed in West London…
Ebere Eze: Our beloved boy, with all his tricks and flicks, will always hold a fond place in our memories. Graceful too in his departure, he is already shining as one of Palace’s brightest stars. Realistically, it’s all every R’s fan could have wanted. Of course, we’d rather he was doing it in a hooped shirt, but the kid (and I emphasise kid – although he’s older than most of our writers, he’s still at a relatively young age) can be a top, top talent in the future. Hopefully a return to the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium is on the cards someday but all the best to him. What a career he will have.
Dieng the Gem: An early Christmas present was gifted to us through the excellence of Seny Dieng. A big presence, loved by all and brings us joy – sounds a lot like Father Christmas, but Seny sure is a keeper no matter the season. His gruesome green goalkeeping shirt might not be as fetching as a big red suit and a sack load of presents, but he has made sure that the back of our net is as empty as can be.
Nahki Wells: The Bermudian striker, a favourite among R’s fans and one name on the list nobody can really begrudge. Finding his feet in his first season, he settled in the second, scoring 15 goals in 29 games before his big money move to Bristol City. But we like to think he still loves us really, the sentiment of the love letter he wrote on Instagram upon his departure reflected in his hesitance to celebrate the goal he scored against us in November (a knife in the heart regardless). However that goal shouldn’t take anything away from the brilliance of Nahki Wells, a striker who we were lucky enough to experience in arguably the peak of his career.
And now the naughty – some maligned players, some sticky dilemmas, and some ugly issues that keep rearing their heads…
Lockdown Losses: Blame COVID-19. The momentum of a great unbeaten run (finishing off at Preston, 3-1 to the good) was killed off over lockdown as a great run of fixtures in March became a bunch of scrappy tough games come June. A lack of goals over the period and an absence of defensive solidity proved to be our biggest weakness and was certainly the low point of Warburton’s first season in charge of the R’s.
Contract Conundrums: Ryan Manning’s infamous move arguably reflects poor decision-making – with the board not offering him a new contract until the final year of his deal, and with Warburton consigning him to the bench when talks broke down. But now having “learned from our mistakes,” we find ourselves in the same situation with Bright. Arguably our best player, with January fast approaching we risk having to sell him on the cheap or else the signing of a pre-contract with any old club looms. So please Bright, sign a deal!
Warburton’s defensive dismay: Another clean sheet on Tuesday night against Stoke takes our total to six – equalling last season’s tally. Whilst the clean sheets are respectable, the goals and individual errors conceded aren’t. Concerningly, Clint Hill (whilst at Rangers) claimed that the gaffer never worked on defending in training, and the latest fiasco was the revelation that a strike partnership of Bonne and Dykes hasn’t been possible as the two have never trained together, due to Big Lyndon’s international commitments and the intense fixture list. Time will tell whether Warburton is able to steer the ship through this period, but the picture as it stands isn’t looking very festive…
In an otherwise bleak time, the brief return to football was a welcome respite and helped to make the Christmas season feel special – Lukas Ross recalls the experience:
I was walking home from school on Monday 23rd November, and I got a notification from OneFootball. It said that when the England-wide “stay at home” order ended on 1st December at 11.59pm, fans will be allowed to return to stadiums in a COVID-Secure way and of course we jumped to renew our season tickets.
Following that was the waiting game of whether we would win the ballot for the Stoke game – we did win the ballot, and I was over the moon. I spent my week of revision and exams counting down the minutes until the immense day that Tuesday was bound to be.
I had my last exam in the morning, then, about 4.15pm, for the first time in 9 and a half months, me and my dad made the 15 mile pilgrimage down to the “KPF.” We did the old “scarf in the car window” trick, and sadly no one noticed. But that’s besides the point. After arriving, we scanned the necessary QR codes – and suddenly, we were in.
Through the turnstiles and up the stairs, down to our seats, and suddenly we we were joined by 1,998 other passionate QPR fans.
The buzz around the place was insane, and one which I will never forget. It had been 9 and a half months since I last felt that buzz, and I will never forget that feeling. It might not be quite the same as normal, it was a bit strange staring out over an empty Loft and Ellerslie Road stand, but it was something familiar – something normal.
It did still feel a tiny bit surreal – rather than meeting up with other fans at halftime in the concourse and after the final whistle for a debrief, we fell back into the group chats that had served us well over lockdown (and formed a rudimentary system of signalling via hand-waving between different stands).
The crowd was surprisingly lively; all 2,000 fans were just grateful to be there and were probably in better voice as a result. There were some comedic moments – including someone trying to rouse the crowd with an ill-timed “COME ON YOU SUPER….” as Stoke were mounting an almost-successful attempt on goal – only to be greeted with a nervous silence that would put a library to shame.
Overall, despite all these new unfamiliar elements, the whole experience genuinely brought a tear to my eye. It was a feeling which I will never forget.
Hopefully, once it’s safe and once these uncertain times are behind us, we can relive that immense feeling of returning to our favourite place – Supporting ‘R’ beloved club…
AN OPEN LETTER TO QPR FANS…
Hi R’s fans, this is Sam from ‘R’ Generation.
Over lockdown many of our lives were thrown into the unknown and the only certainty in this uncertain world was in fact uncertainty itself – a difficult state to live in. For a group of young QPR fans however, it presented the opportunity to form ‘R’ Generation.
The idea was to make a website, a platform for those QPR fans who have quite a bit to say about our team and wouldn’t otherwise have anywhere to say it.
‘R’ generation has developed into a multi-media fan network with over a thousand followers across Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. We also have a weekly podcast and have conducted some high profile interviews with some QPR favourites, becoming a hub for exclusive QPR content.
In a world where everyone has everything to say, we at ‘R’ Generation ask you to take a moment to listen to what these QPR fans have to say. The content is regular and of an incredibly high standard and (most of the time) enthusiastically optimistic. We have a group of hungry, aspiring media professionals ranging from age 16 to 25 providing the freshest look on all things QPR.
If you’re a QPR fan, or even if you’re not and just like laughing at a club other than your own, please follow @rgenerationnet on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to support the careers and ambition of 20+ up and coming youngsters. QPR have always been about inspiring the next generation and by reading this, you have played your part in following that ethos.
We love our club, so do you and through the ups and downs we all know that QPR is and always has been about more than just football.
This is ‘R’ Team. This is ‘R’ voice. This is ‘R’ Generation.
Have a wonderful festive period, come on you R’s!
Founding Editor, ‘R’ Generation.