Team: Cesar, Hill, Onuoha, Nelsen, Bosingwa (Dyer), Park, Wright-Phillips (Mackie), Granero, Hoilett, Faurlin, Zamora (Cisse).
Subs Not Used: Green, Ehmer, Derry, Diakite,
I got home from Spurs and dived into a very hot shower to warm up ! And to try to spend some quiet time trying to work out just how we played such amazing football – some of the best football I’ve seen in years – dominated a game of football for so long and yet came out of it with nothing ! Some are calling for Hughes’s head – for heaven’s sake why ? This club needs stability and the team needs time to work with one manager – the same manager – for a longer period than 6 months !
We are beginning to see some really positive signs that the future for this current squad is going to be enjoyable. We held Chelsea to a 0-0 and only lost to Spurs because of, (a) a very unfortunate own goal. that got Spurs level (and without which Spurs would never have got back into the game, in my opinion). And (b) because Hoilett wanted to take the ball with his right foot instead of just shooting when he had the goal at his mercy – otherwise we would have come away with at least a point !
Granero and Faurlin are beginning to work incredibly well together. We are using the wings effectively and attacking in numbers. Our defence, despite being horribly weakened through injury (including 3 minutes into the start of the game), was solid for the most part and Cesar was hardly busy all afternoon. We might not be scoring many goals yet – but that will come, I have no doubt, with the beautiful football we are playing.
So – summarising – I am still scratching my head, how we didn’t win, but I’m not ready to ring the death knell yet on either Mark Hughes’ reign as manager or QPR ‘s stay in the Premier League ! We’re only 5 games in and 3 of those were against the heavyweights of Manchester City, Chelsea and Spurs. Let us see how we do against West Ham and West Brom, for starters, and take it from there. Just saying !!!
Andre Villas-Boas’ frenzied celebration when Jermain Defoe plundered what proved to be the winning goal told its own story. It was from the realms of Stuart Pearce at Euro 96 and the elation could only have been magnified as his Tottenham Hotspur team had been so dismal in the opening 45 minutes.
Jeered off at half-time, it had been easy to fear the worst for the Portuguese, but a half-time re-shuffle helped to turn the tide and two quick goals were sufficient to earn the manager a first home victory at the fourth attempts. Defoe’s fourth of the season at club level coming hard on the heels of Ale Faurlin’s own goal.
Queen’s Park Rangers will kick themselves all the way back to West London. They had led at the interval through the former Tottenham centre-forward Bobby Zamora’s fourth of the season and their supremacy was total. Brad Friedel kept the home team in contention with three fine saves. But the second-half turnaround was remarkable and it allowed Rangers to lament the continuation of their terrible away form.
The relief for Villas-Boas was palpable. While his opposite number Mark Hughes reached for the heavy-duty overcoat as the rain lashed down, he seemed oblivious as his smart suit came to resemble a sponge. At full-time he clenched his fist and gave vent to another wild outpouring. It has been far from smooth sailing but, after the win over Reading and now this, he has something on which to build. “It’s important that people understand we have wanted this home win for quite some time,” Villas-Boas said, mindful that no Tottenham manager had ever failed to win one of his first four home games. “You could feel the anxiety when we went 1-0 down and we can be a bit more stable now. Everybody felt emotional at the end.”
It was edgy. Tottenham created nothing in the first-half and their lack of cohesion was startling. Friedel was the hero as he marked his 309th consecutive Premier League start with eye-catching saves, tipping over Clint Hill’s header and twice denying Junior Hoilett. Hugo Lloris, the £13m goalkeeping signing from Lyon, is set to remain as a substitute. “The situation will carry on,” Villas-Boas said. “We are paying respect to a player who is performing well.”
Faurlin and Esteban Granero called the midfield tune in the first-half and it was no surprise when Rangers took the lead. It did not work out for Zamora during his six-month spell at White Hart Lane in 2003-04 – he scored only once, in the League Cup – but his finish here bristled with assurance, after he had been released by Faurlin’s beautifully disguised through ball.
Villas-Boas admitted that he had erred in the first-half by inviting Rangers to take the initiative in the hope that Tottenham could counter, and he had to change at half-time. He shuffled his pack to push Gareth Bale further forward on the left, while he moved Clint Dempsey up with Defoe and asked his defenders to hold a higher line. Bale had started at left-back as Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Kyle Naughton were injured, but it is no good having your best attacking player in defence. Jan Vertonghen moved across from centre-half.
Everything was soon turned on its head. Steven Caulker, the half-time substitute who replaced Vertonghen in central defence, rose to meet a Bale corner and Faurlin, so impressive in the first-half, found himself facing the wrong way and, under pressure from Defoe, bundled into his own net.
Tottenham were in front as Rangers reeled. Vertonghen led a fast break, with the QPR manager complaining about what he said were fouls on Granero and Nedum Onuoha. “We are very disappointed with the referee,” Hughes said. Vertonghen slipped the ball to Bale, whose shot clipped Julio Cesar and reared against the bar, but Defoe was lurking. He took a touch and scored from close range.
Caulker made a difference on attacking set-pieces while Dempsey also came into the game, threatening with his shooting from distance. Bale marauded and he and Defoe might have added to the lead. The points, though, meant everything.
David Hytner – The Guardian
Started off badly, but these past two games we’ve been nothing short of brilliant. It’s just a shame Villas-Boas woke up and moved Bale further upfield. And that we had an unfortunate own goal when Ale Faurlin made a mistake turning his back yes, but it was unfortunate and everyone’s allowed the odd mistake. Then one of our defenders was taken out in the run-up to the second goal.
But we’re still gelling (remember those 12 new signings), we have a striker in form, one of the world’s best goalkeepers (kept us in the game again this week with some fantastic saves), one of the best midfield combinations in the league, with Diakite still waiting on the bench. We may be 19th at the moment, but I will eat every hat in England if we finish there this season.
I too came away gutted, but still proud. Did Tottenham have a shot on target in the 1st half ? With all our pre-match defensive concerns, we go and lose Bosingwa after 3 minutes !!! We went on to boss the half and the football served up was probably the best I’ve witnessed away for some years.
I think it was Faurlin who set up Zamora and he finished well. 1-0 up and well deserved. The R’s fans were loud and proud and everyone was talking about the wonderful first-half display at the break. At half-time it was unusual to see a Rangers goal played back so many times at an away ground from so many angles. Lee Cook was spotted with the R’s contingent.
Mr Dowd generally favours playing on, but we had a few shouts for penalties which he chose to ignore and he certainly wasn’t even handed when he did decide to award a free kick. After the own goal, the home side took the lead a minute or two later.
What had looked like a fairly comfortable shot for Cesar to take, in reality it became difficult as the ball seemed to move significantly about in the air ! We really should of scored when crucially, Hoilett hesitated in front of goal and the golden opportunity to equalise was gone.