West Bromwich Albion (3) – QPR (2)

Team: Cesar, Bosingwa, Nelsen, Ferdinand, Hill (Traore), Mbia (Hoilett), Granero, Wright-Phillips (Mackie), Park, Taarabt, Zamora

Subs Not Used: Green, Onuoha, Faurlin, Cisse

Attendance: 23,987

Jimmy picked me up at the Target and we made it to ‘The Vine’ before it got rammed. Although it’s a 15/20 minute walk to the ground, it really is an excellent pre-match venue with decent beer and the tandoori chicken with nan bread is very popular of course.

West Brom were 1-0 up within 5 minutes, exposed again as the home side cut through our defence with ease. There was more embarrassment as we went 2-0 down. On the plus side Adel was rampant and he scored another wonderful goal after controlling the ball superbly on his chest.

Not surprisingly Clint Hill was taken off, but the whole back-line had been poor. Rangers played better after the break and although we enjoyed more possession, the build-ups were far too slow and ineffective. That said, Shaun Wright-Phillips had a very good opportunity after getting into a good position in the box, but he fired wide when he really should of done better.

Some of the home fans pathetically booed Anton Ferdinand in the early stages of the match and there was even a chant of ‘JT’ from some of them positioned to our left which brought the necessary response from the R’s contingent !!!

Ben Foster managed to get away with time wasting on a regular basis. The home side scored their third against the run of play which was the signal for many R’s fans to head for the exits. However Granero pulled one back in added time and then a golden chance for an incredible equaliser fell to Bosingwa. His awful miss was also the last kick of the game.

Again, very disappointing, desperate times and at the moment it’s hard to envisage where the next point is going to come from ?

Thanks to Jimmy for the lift. .

Steve Russell

Mark Hughes’s claim that QPR would never be in another relegation battle is threatening to haunt him every time his team venture away from the capital. This was a 17th Premier League away game without a win and Rangers remain bottom as Steve Clarke ensured his former Chelsea team mate became the latest manager to suffer hardship at the Hawthorns.

West Bromwich Albion could have been out of sight by half-time after goals from James Morrison and Zoltan Gera, but their failure to add a third conspired to create a nervier afternoon than they had envisaged, following Adel Taarabt’s strike, before Youssouf Mulumbu finally eased the tension five minutes from time.

Esteban Granero struck a late consolation in injury time, but this was Albion’s fourth successive home win in the league and increases the pressure on Hughes, who became possibly the first manager to receive a dreaded vote of confidence via Twitter last week. QPR owner Tony Fernandes’s account will have been clogged up with more bile after this latest setback.

Hughes, however, was defiant. He said: “Am I the right person to give the supporters what they want ? Yes, absolutely. We knew where we might possibly be at the beginning of the season because of the amount of changes that we’ve made.

“We’re disappointed because we feel in a number of games we’ve played well and not got what we deserved. We’ve come a long way in a short space of time. We have a lot of new players and it’s not helping us. But we can’t keep defending like this because we’re giving ourselves a mountain to climb.”

Though the visitors improved in the second period, the opening 45 minutes was a shambles. Clint Hill had an uncomfortable afternoon facing the pace of Peter Odemwingie, but it was Shane Long who embarrassed the left-back for the opening goal after five minutes. Long was too quick for Hill as he sped towards the bye-line and his unerring cross presented Morrison with a simple header. Albion, fielding 11 players from 11 different countries, increased their lead in the 22nd minute when a defensive aberration from Anton Ferdinand allowed Gera to find the corner.

Out of nowhere Rangers produced their first snarl of defiance and reduced the deficit through Taarabt’s second goal of the week. Esteban Granero’s lofted pass still gave Taarabt much to do, but he controlled the ball with his chest and swivelled to strike an exquisite volley past Ben Foster.

The goal momentarily lifted Rangers and the visitors were more threatening in the second period, with West Bromwich strangely nervy. But they could never trouble Foster and hopes of a dramatic finish were ended when Mulumbu swept home after another excellent move.

Hughes stood motionless in his technical area as chants of “you’re getting sacked in the morning” rang in his ears and though Granero caught out Foster from 20 yards and Jose Bosingwa’s fluffed a chance with the last kick of the game, three points from a possible 51 on the road is a recipe for disaster.

With Albion in fourth, Clarke said: “I am not overly surprised. Fourteen points from the first six games is tremendous. I knew we would be competitive, but we won’t get ahead of ourselves. We know what our primary objective is and we’re firmly focused on that.”

John Percy – The Telegraph

So enjoyed pre-match in ‘The Vine’, but that’s where it ended. As for the game, poor movement, no urgency and a lack of desire. We started like a side who almost wanted to get Mark Hughes sacked. It was both lethargic and unacceptable…has he lost the dressing room ?

We cannot defend – both full-backs were simply not good enough, not even close. We got torn apart far too easily. Why does Mark Hughes persist in playing/substituting Shaun Wright-Phillips ? Can someone please enlighten me ? That said, he did start Adel and got his just rewards.

I thought that we did ok in the middle of the park, but so lacking in ideas when it came to pushing forward, again not helped by lack of movement. It was better second-half which was mainly due to the substitutions. In the end we almost got something out of it, but it would have been an injustice.

As for Mark Hughes, the pressure is mounting and time is running out, but for me, it’s still far too soon to oust him.

Jimmy Murray

3 thoughts on “West Bromwich Albion (3) – QPR (2)

  1. You could see in the first half why QPR don’t win away from home. Playing such a defensive high line with no pace and allowing the opposition the freedom of the wings! In fairness to Hughes, we haven’t used our wings that much this season, so maybe that caught him out. In the second half you forced us to play through the middle, where the high defensive line made much more sense.
    With the finishing skills of some of your guys, you’ll be fine once the defence is sorted out.
    Have to say I was mortified by the treatment of Anton. One of the most embarrassing things I’ve ever heard down at the Hawthorns. Thank goodness they got bored with it and eventually stopped, but unfortunately there are quite a few Albion supporters who are not as far removed for the Wolves family tree as they like to think they are.

  2. Yes Kerrins I was just going to post ‘I think they’ve got an incorrect score for this article’. I know we are getting old but surely I can only remember the score being 2-3!

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