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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Parky versus Paulo

In the end, no matter what we thought, he had to go. With dire home performances, ten victories in the last 43 games, one win in the last 12 and without back-to-back victories since Dec 8th last year all told the story. Somehow surviving the Barnsley defeat and seeming to have negotiated a bend rather than turned a corner with improved displays away at Plymouth and Birmingham, a 2-5 howler on Saturday and descend into the bottom three meant the end for Pardew.
A handsome payoff then for a man who couldn't, much like Dowie and Reed before him, stop the rot. Makes you wonder what kind of manager will, or can, turn us round. Because all of the last three promised us attacking, entertaining football which was meant to show, I suppose, how wrong Curbs had been with his boring, grinding draws. And just to emphasize the point, we've scored 6 times in the last three games. But Curbs won't come back so perhaps we need someone completely different to really enforce a change, someone like......Sam Allardyce.
So anyway, enough joking, its on to Lotus Rd with caretaker Parky. There are many that have already written off our chances but hang about. Its a game between two new managers with Portuguese legend Paulo Sousa, who joined last Wednesday, managing his first home game. That's because they sacked the even more legendary Ian Dowie after only 8 wins in 15 games ( we should be so lucky). This is Sousa's first job in management after being assistant manager for Portugal and he can only hope to improve things after a bad start at Vicarage Rd on Saturday with a 0-3 defeat. And you'll be pleased to learn that he comes highly recommended by such renowned names as Capello, Mourinho and Solari, apparently.
So its Parky versus Paulo. QPR are in 12th place with 25 points and with the fourth best home record after Reading, Wolves and Birmingham with 6 wins, 1 draw and 2 defeats. Wins over Barnsley, Doncaster, Southampton, Forest, Birmingham and Cardiff whilst the only teams to score more than one goal against them at Loftus Rd were the two teams that beat them, Derby 0-2 and in their last home game Burnley 1-2.
Form Guide As for Form, in wins and points, there's nobody worst in the fizzies than us over the last 8 games. Rock bottom with no wins and only 3 draws and only Watford comes close to us in the race to see who can concede the most goals. We've let in 19 in the last eight. But there's five teams that can't match our strike force in hitting 9 goals and one of them is QPR with a palty 5. Perhaps we should ask them how they accumulated 11 points from the last 24 with only 5 goals. Oh, they only conceded 8. But things are not going too right at the moment, two defeats in a row, at home to high-flying Burnley and a real slap in the face for Paulo in his first game, a 0-3 defeat to that second-worse-defence Watford on Saturday.

Their Secret?Well, we've already told you. Five goals scored in the last 8 games with only 8 conceded paints a picture of a mean conversative side with only one team, Doncaster with 8, scoring less than their total 16 goals. But then there's only 5 teams that have conceded more than their 19 goals. Their favorite score is 1-0 and of the last 12 games they've only scored ONCE before half-time.
Who They Got? Well, to start with they have just signed injury-plagued Bolton striker Heidar Helguson on loan although he didn't play against Watford, obviously still in the treatment room. Icelander Helguson is ex Watford and Fulham and was rumoured to be chased by Pardew a couple of weeks ago obviously impressed by his renowned work-rate in closing down defenders but clearly QPR are paying more than ourselves these days. Top scorer for QPR is the 22 year old Dexter Blackstock. Six goals last season he's already beaten that with 7 so far.
And due no doubt to Flavio's influence they do go in for players with fancy names. There's Damien, Damion, Damiano, Dexter and Dani. Rowan and Hogan. Mikele, Fitz and Kaspars. Emmanuel, Matteo and Samuel. You get my drift, there's not a lot of northern grit here. And it seems to have showed on a damp Saturday afternoon at Vicarage Rd where a bad performance lead to being 3-0 down, and the game over, at half-time.
And they also seem to be having a bit of a nightmare with injuries. Missing from Saturdays defeat at Vicarage Rd were Hungarian midfielder Akos Buzsaky, captain Martin Rowlands, Matthew Connolly and ex-Addicks Lee Cook, back on-loan from Fulham. And they now have key defender Fitz Hall unavailable due to a late red card against Watford.
History There's only nine of the 23 other teams in the fizzies that we have a winning record against and QPR aren't one of them. Current status in the League is 17-16 to them with a near record number of draws at 17. And to emphasize their mean Arse-like attitude to football, last season was one of little excitement with two 1-0 games, both going against us.

Team News After fielding an unchanged team on Saturday for the first time this season, it'll be interesting to see who Parky selects now that he is in sole command. This will be his first game in charge of a team since 2nd Dec 2006 when a 2-4 home defeat to Southampton (better replace him before Saturday, Richard) spelt the end of his short six month reign at Hull, conveniently opening the door to first team coach Phil Brown. We don't know much about Parkinson except from his 3 years at Colchester whom he took into Tier Two football for the first time in their history in 2006.

Strangely ungrateful for what he had done for them, they dealt him a 1-5 defeat the first time he returned with Hull with Chris Iwelumo getting 4 of them and that was probably the main reason that Big Chris enjoyed a year at the Valley.

Anyway, its anybody's guess who's he going to choose this evening with even 100% -so-far Weaver far from certain to start after another appalling game. But its reassuring to see that he's moved already to fill what he sees as a weakness on the right with the arrival of Keith Gillespie. And he seems to know what he wants because he has apparently already picked his team. Two key players will surely be Hudson and Primus, or will it be Cranie, with orders to prevent Blackstock from adding to his total.

Prediction Of all the 37 punters on cafcpicks only one, tabletopping Angela Risebro, forecast a win at QPR. But that was back in July and things have suddenly changed and its become even harder to forecast. A tough derby game with two new managers in the dugouts, its become impossible to call with the added complication that one team loves 1-0 games and the other leaks goals for fun, so its a clash of two teams that won't know what to do with themselves. A 0-0 looks possible as Parks seeks to stop the rot and avoid defeat except that the last time we kept a clean sheet was eleven games ago at Forest.

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