We’re inviting our Twitter friends, and now resident thought sharer Iwan Lehnert, to share some of their ‘Pre and Post Match’ thoughts with us from now on. If you want to share, get in touch! You can still enjoy my nonsensical, confusing, punctuation buffets below their proper good ones…
Monday was almost an example of the start of the season in reverse; we started well, built up a head of steam, took the lead comfortably, gave away a silly goal and looked nervous. Just as well the result is mostly the same. Reading didn’t make it easy, but that first goal was looking inevitable and we deserved to go through. Potentially facing Chelsea five days after the second leg of the Real tie….it’s the sort of week that you live for, isn’t it? It could be amazing, or it could be heartbreaking. Or a bit of both. Or a lot of both. ENOUGH GUESSING.
Nani’s had a lot of press inches dedicated to him this week, most of which hasn’t necessarily been encouraging. If he wants to go, and the right offer comes in, then I think it’s a case of cutting our losses (assuming that he doesn’t have a blinding end to the season). Fact is that I don’t hate the guy and I rate his skills, but he is woefully inconsistent, and there comes a point where that just isn’t good enough when you’ve spent six seasons with a club. The boss has played it perfectly, offering him a new contract whilst reasoning that if Nani wants first team football, then he needs to be worthy of it. No one’s going to hand him a place. He can do it, no doubt about it. Whether or not he will is a different story (called Whether Or Not Nani Will Actually Produce Consistent Performances, fyi).
Not looking forward to this one. Draws with City and Spurs along with a win at Stamford Bridge are not easy to come by when you’re 12th, let alone 20th. QPR have had a fortnight to get over that mauling in Swansea, and Redknapp will have spent a good chunk of time figuring out how he can stop us from scoring. It’s been great watching Cesar in the league this season, even if it is one of the most transparent deals you’re likely to come across. I still think that there’s enough quality in this side that their last league win really shouldn’t have been in December, but I doubt that that’ll change this weekend. They’ll want to play for a draw, and we need to be ready for it. I’m not overjoyed at the prospect of a team containing Park and Fabio being relegated, but it’ll have to be the most miraculous escape for them to survive because every team around them has more to offer.
I just wrote a stirring paragraph where I decided that it was worth throwing caution to the wind and predicting when we could start believing in a 20th league title. Then I deleted it. Get to 31 games, then we’ll talk.
I’m sometimes wary of teams who are in a bit of a rut: the transitorial (is that a word? – let’s say yes.) nature of football dictates that at some point, most struggling teams will “get that one big result” that breaths renewed life into their flagging hopes. This could be one of those times. Oh no, wait, they did that thing the other week against City. Phew! An away banker then. Oh no, wait, but then they nosedived back into the rut again. I can’t keep up.
We’re in as good a shape as we have been all season – which isn’t always saying something -, but the potential swing in momentum, if we were to leave Loftus Road without all three points at this particular point, could be massive. Why now and not next week, or last week? Next week is too late, last week was too early?! Hey! I find it hard enough remembering all my thoughts, without remembering the reasons for them aswell* *Thanks Mike Skinner.
Will Nani be thrust into action after his FA Cup exploits (Did I just say that? Who am I?)? Why not. Tony’s still doing his best impression of someone who doesn’t want to be a footballer anymore.
QPR have, of course, got players who can wound us, but we’ve got players who can can do them some real damage … and David de Gea.
Prediction: 1 – 2
Goals: Carrick, Nani (Come on! As if anyone ever really gets goalscorers right anyway.)