On Wednesday, for the first time since the January 2019, I ventured out for a long distance away day.
To say I was unconvinced of QPR’s ability to avoid their basic nature and lose this game would be an understatement. Prior to the game I had seen many stats that painted a picture of woe for Cardiff City. For example, they had not won in 9 games and lost 8 in a row under Mick McCartney. He had just been sacked which gave way to a mini new manager bounce where they recovered from a 3-0 deficit to draw 3-3 with Stoke City.
Then there was Keiffer Moore, a proven Championship goalscorer who was suffering through a bit of a drought, who went on to score against Stoke in the comeback – well, that only spells bags of confidence and a turnaround in form. Oh, and to make things worse, QPR were due to wear black.
So with all this considered, and the indifferent form which QPR were in, was it the disaster it threatened to be?
No, would be the short answer. It was still a boring and slow game with only very brief flashes of entertainment, but it was a good result for QPR and a very enjoyable evening in Cardiff because of that.
I’ll be very clear here, Cardiff did not threaten at all, they were really poor. The passiveness of the Cardiff fans said it all, their previous two managers have played agricultural football that is an assault on the eyes of the common football fan. So I can forgive their lack of energy, interest and noise we ourselves have been there under Hasselbaink, we know what its like so let’s have some sympathy.
Speaking of noise, the QPR fans in general were noisy – right behind me were the fans who were constantly singing. They did make the atmosphere significantly better, however there were two moments I didn’t really enjoy. Firstly the song about Chelsea rent boys, what I will say will fall on deaf ears but there is no need for that song to be sung at all. Similarly, when a female Cardiff fan gestured back to our end, many fans sung a song that asked if she performed a specific sexual act. Again there isn’t any need for this to happen. In the moment I was embarrassed to hear both there songs sung. The club prides itself on being a family club and yet there we go singing two songs that make watching football in the ground difficult for any of our fans who are gay or a woman. It isn’t needed, it isn’t funny and it certainly isn’t banter.
Back to on the field matters QPR huffed and puffed their way to the one outstanding moment of footballing beauty. I am of course talking about the Andre collaboration. The assist firstly, was sublime Andre Dozzell showing us a big glimpse of what a good play he truly is. In one piercing pass he removed 5 or 6 Cardiff players from the game when he found Andre Grey expertly. Gray would himself demonstrate textbook forward play, taking the ball on the turn before sending the ball into the corner of the net giving former QPR player Alex Smithies no chance.
This, as is said, was the highlight of the on the field activities. Any time Cardiff got close enough to shoot, the ball found its way into the arms of Seny Dieng who had little to do for the whole game. Until, that is, the very death of the game where we very sportingly gave Cardiff the chance to get back into the game. I’m not sure why we do this but recently we’ve given the opposition way too many chances to snatch something at the death, and to be honest I do not care for it one bit.
The players knew how they cocked it up against Forest and did look determined to avoid more late heartbreak. But I just don’t know why we do this to ourselves after largely dominating the game.
QPR could have lost this game but ultimately, I still would have had a great time. Yes, it is fantastic to be back doing proper away days, but what I really did enjoy was meeting in person two R Generation contributors. R Generation has been a godsend for me, to have a platform to write and talk about my beloved team is amazing. Last year it kept me going at times when there was nothing to do and now, I present our podcast every week with three brilliant regulars. So, to see some faces in person that I was only used to seeing on a computer screen was truly amazing and rounded off a fantastic trip.
If you largely enjoyed this article, then do listen to the podcast I mentioned. R Generation on Air (a QPR podcast) is a weekly show covering all things QPR and is available to listen on Spotify and Soundcloud.
So please give us a chance and add us to your podcast rotation by subscribing to us on Spotify!
Written by Alex Bullamore