Team: Cesar, Traore, Samba, Hill, Onuoha, Derry (Granero), Taarabt, Jenas (Wright-Phillips), Townsend, Mbia, Mackie (Zamora)
Subs Not Used: Green, Ben Haim, Park, Bothroyd
A rare positive on Saturday was Bobby Zamora and I don’t just mean his goal. He made an instant impact after the interval and I noticed later that he was really struggling at times, but he gave everything. Well done to him, but as I said before the game… why was DJ Campbell sent out on loan and why the hell didn’t Bothroyd start ?
Swansea squeezed us far too easily and when they had possession it was either pass and move or they just pinged the ball into the box to an unmarked player. They always seemed to have a number of options open to them, but when we had the ball there was little movement or players available in space.
With no Wright-Phillips on the flank or a striker upfront, the ball was either lost in midfield or hoofed upfield to a Swansea player. They enjoyed the time and space we allowed them as we weren’t closing them down.
At 0-2 we continued in much the same vein and at times it looked more like a training session for the opposition. Our defence was having an off day and it later transpired that Julio Cesar was carrying an injury. To be frank, it seemed at times during the first-half that Mark Hughes was still in charge !!!
However, it did change immediately after the break. Bobby Zamora replaced Jamie Mackie and Esteban Granero was introduced at the expense of Shaun Derry. Shaun Wright was to come on later for Jermaine Jenas.
Within 2 minutes, Adel Taarabt’s shot was saved by Michel Vorm and at that point it was most certainly game on. Our hopes were soon dashed as crucially Swansea hit back with a third in less than 3 minutes.
I have to say that Mr Swarbrick was inconsistent and generally very poor. Adel Taarabt was booked for kicking the ball away, but a Swansea player avoided a card for doing the same thing. Then Taarabt was ‘handled’ in a mini flare-up and there was also the heavy challenge on a Rangers player after we had played on with a Swansea player on the deck. Not really the right course of action to bring play to a halt ! Finally of course there was the blatant handball in the box which everyone else clearly saw apart from him ?
A very disappointing afternoon, but once again well done to Bobby Zamora and thanks to Jimmy for the lift.
Swansea fly off to Dubai on Sunday for some well-earned warm-weather training, leaving behind another job well done. In contrast, QPR are probably heading for the Championship after a comprehensive defeat that saw the Harry Redknapp revival come to a halt.
The Premier League’s bottom team were unbeaten in five before this, but remain in dire straits after a dreadful performance that was characterised by the fumbling hands of their goalkeeper Julio Cesar.
Redknapp believes Rangers need to win at least six of their last 12 remaining matches to stay up. “It’s going to be tight, but Wigan and Reading lost today and it’s still all to play for. Yes, we can do it,” he said. Cesar, with a groin injury, let two shots escape from his grasp in the first 18 minutes of the game, and the Swans punished him ruthlessly, scoring on both occasions.
Bobby Zamora, on as substitute, did pull one back early in the second-half, but Swansea quickly re-asserted themselves to score two more. Their only concern after a good win was the ankle-ligament injury sustained by Chico Flores, which threatens to put the Spanish centre-half out of the Capital One Cup Final in two weeks’ time. His replacement was Kyle Bartley, who cleared a shot from Stephane Mbia off the line.
Injuries to Loic Remy (hamstring) and Zamora forced QPR to start without a conventional centre-forward. Zamora needs surgery to remedy his hip condition, and is delaying it until the end of the season in the hope that cameos like today’s, might help the team to stay up. “Without those two we are short upfront, that’s why I tried to get (Peter) Odemwingie,” Redknapp said.
Swansea were ahead after only eight minutes, when Cesar failed to hold Nathan Dyer’s shot from the edge of the penalty area and Michu forced the ball in at close range for his first goal in seven games.
For the second goal, Wayne Routledge supplied Angel Rangel, who cut inside Jamie Mackie before letting fly. Again Cesar saved the initial shot but allowed the ball to get away from him, enabling the full-back to make sure with his second attempt.
QPR were briefly back in contention three minutes into the second-half, when Michel Vorm palmed Adel Taarabt’s shot from the right straight to Zamora, leaving him with a simple tap in. Two minutes later, however, the Welsh team restored their two-goal advantage, with Cesar again at fault. Pablo Hernandez, supplied out on the left by Michu, cut inside two QPR defenders, then beat the Brazilian goalkeeper at his near post from what looked like an almost impossible angle near the bye-line.
Midway through the second-half Michu added his 18th goal of the season, holding off Chris Samba before scoring with a sublime finish from near the penalty spot, one Spaniard’s cool expertise doing full justice to a lovely through pass from another, Hernandez.
Shaun Wright-Phillips struck the crossbar in stoppage time at the end, but it was far too little, much too late. Redknapp acknowledged that Cesar had been at fault, but refused to criticise the man he described as “a world-class goalkeeper”.
“We gave bad goals away today,” said Redknapp, “they were bad errors. Shots came back off the keeper. He (Cesar) had been absolutely fantastic for us, as good as any goalie in the league. I wouldn’t swap him for anybody, but he played with a groin strain today and it handicapped him. He told me he was all right to play but obviously he wasn’t. I’m not going to have a go at him. In our previous five games, when we’ve done so well, he was our best player. It was a bad day for him today, but that’s how it goes.”
“When we bring Bobby Zamora on we’re a different team. He holds the ball up and brings others into the play, but he’s only 50% fit and can’t play 90 minutes. It makes a massive difference to the team when he’s fit.”
The Swansea manager, Michael Laudrup, said: “Overall it was a good day for us, apart from Chico’s injury. We’re hoping that it’s just a twisted ankle, but if the scan shows it’s ligaments he’ll miss the (Capital One) Final.”
Joe Lovejoy – The Guardian
Another poor game, another loss and an incredibly poor, biased ref, but regardless of that, we got what we deserved….nothing. I’m not just disappointed, but gutted by what was such an inept performance.
Harry’s team selection needed a lot to be desired…he got it wrong, indeed, I don’t know what his game plan was ? Message for Harry: ‘you can fool some of the people some of the time’, you know the rest.
The first-half was simply unacceptable and we showed far too much respect for the opposition. Our shape/discipline was poor and we never attempted to get at them. We got overrun in the middle of the park and never closed them down. No hunger, no desire.
Harry changed it at half-time and it made a marked difference. However, after our goal we got cut open again very quickly, but moreover, very easily, it was too little and too late.
The truth is the players brought in have not made enough impact and will not make the difference. We are now in desperate times.
On the way back, talking and thinking about the dross that was served up and the money fans have paid to watch it….and also of the time Wimbledon used to hunt down the opposition in packs…we are so far removed.
All that said, I so enjoyed the trip and the company…till the next time.