Rodney Charlton Trotter
Money isn't everything but it sure helps, however, on some occasions such as yesterday, other factors contrive to bring success. Princes versus paupers and the paupers came out on top.
QPR arrived at The Valley yesterday fully expecting to turn up, play the game and walk off with the 3 points. Why not ? After all they've just come down from the Prem and retain a squad of mostly Premiership quality players. Clearly they feel they have a divine right to be there and they really oughtn't to try too hard to return.
Our boys had other ideas and such things as passion, pride and desire aren't attributes that can't be bought. Simply our players had that in abundance and in the end thoroughly deserved their win.
As we saw from the recent Birmingham game stats, especially possession ones are meaningless. The only ones that matter as goals for and against. Possession is nine tenths of the law and in football only meaningful if you make use of it.
No shots on target for Redknapp's Rangers is a good indication of their efforts yesterday. They sure miss Austin eh ? However, given all the talent available they ought to be able to cope without him. The achievements of Burnley and Leicester plus a couple of other teams in the playoffs places put Redknapp's management into perspective. The media love him of course but much like another ex-Tottenham manager, Venables, his achievements and abilities are for me, grossly exaggerated. Any half decent manager ought to get Rangers promoted with relative ease. However, I really don't care about them and that's of no concern for me.
I've been critical of Chris and his selections, use of subs etc. Yesterday, however, he got it pretty much spot on although I do think Astrit and Tudgay should have started as should Hamer of course. I'd like to think Chris has a free hand to pick the team but in that one position of goalkeeper in particular I do wonder.
Whilst Thuram may not be everyone's number one choice I do believe that openly singing for the man on the bench won't help any. We should only encourage him anything else can only have a negative effect.
Tactically yesterday it worked as we allowed QPR to play keep ball at the back whilst we kept all our players behind the ball. Given the opposition and our current position it was the right thing to do.
There were so many good performances yesterday. Poyet and Cousins played extremely well and in a manner that belied their tender years. Poyet's tackle that led to Astrit's shot that to the corner that led to the goal ( are you still with me ? ) was wonderful ! That tackle alone summed up the commitment and desire from the team.
The return of Wiggins was a real shot in the arm and he was excellent in all parts of the pitch yesterday. His absence and the even more prolonged one of Solly have played their part in this wretched season.
Chris even got the subs right yesterday. All too often the subs are left to late are not made at all. This wasn't the case against Rangers and Astrit and Marcus gave fresh impetus to the cause.
Skip put in an excellent performance which was rightly acknowledged by the gaffer afterwards. He led from the front and it was entirely fitting that scored the winner. I think he was pleased with it ! Timing is everything and there's no better time to take the lead than in time added on.
I think three quarters of The Valley pretty much erupted, I know I did ! I would have been happy with a point but all three was the icing on the cake.
It must give everyone great belief although we need to repeat yesterday many more times this season and pretty much twice a week to the end of the season. Whether we can do that remains to be seen. It will require a monumental effort.
Our lack of firepower remains a concern. Hopefully Tudgay can offer something but it is a worry. I'm not impressed by Reza, Church rarely scores and Sordell isn't fancied by Chris on a regular basis. Neither it would seem is Piotr. He had a lacklustre game on Monday by all accounts.
The cup game tomorrow offers the chance to make some changes in personnel although I don't envy the boss in trying to balance the desire to win that against the need to keep players fresh for the relegation battle.
Good luck to everyone travelling up tomorrow. I hope you are well rewarded for your efforts.