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Q.P.R. 1 Watford 1 (22/09/2007) (again) 25/09/2007

Posted by Ian Grant in Match reports.

Tell you what, though: cracking game of football. In itself, without all of that stuff. Cracking.

Last week’s spectacular, improbable comeback against Southampton is the one you’ll remember, I imagine, when you look back from wherever we’ve ended up in May. But it was office daydream football: last kick winners, terrace cult heroes coming good, dizzy celebration all around. And willing opponents, worthy of a share if only for ambition. All amid sunshine and shirtsleeves, sure sign that the season has yet to truly begin.

This, on the other hand…a proper scrap, frantic and angry and engrossing. Penned in by Loftus Road’s four walls, it cannoned around with rude energy and raw urgency, lost in its own little world. No, it wasn’t very pretty. In large part, it wasn’t even very good. It didn’t half make you feel alive, though….

Naturally, you might be more concerned with how we should be doing in These Fixtures against These Opponents, with points targets and league positions and all of that palaver. Seems like a dreary existence to me, I have to say. Seems like you might’ve started to think that there’s nothing more to this season than its conclusion, a be-all-and-end-all. An all-engulfing expectation.

Don’t let that happen, eh? Because it’d be an awful shame if we didn’t enjoy the journey. Up there, football is rarely this pure, this essential. Rarely this bloody competitive, which is surely the point of it all. This is a division yet to be ruined by money…although we’re playing our part in its gradual demise, multi-million pound substitutes and all. It’s more than just a waiting room, this place.

We didn’t play well on Saturday. It wasn’t your armchair fan’s idea of a decent game. But you still got to see Adam Johnson continuing to find his evidently gifted feet. You still had that brutal clash between Darius Henderson and Danny Cullip, the latter very much the winner on points. You still had Gareth Ainsworth in all of his erratic, scraggly glory. Above all, you still had a game that swung beautifully between two thoroughly committed sides, then left both sets of fans with plenty to chew over on the way home.

Me, I’m in no hurry. Last season was long enough, thanks. This one…well, it’s only just begun.


1. Kris - 26/09/2007

This kind of write-up is exactly why I still miss BSAD. I really enjoyed that Ian, thanks. And it’s true – many fans (myself included on occasion) are taking promotion for granted, disussing how this player or that is not good enough for when we get back into the premiership. Sure we’re top of the league but we’ve yet to play well. Our wins have been very tight ones against sides that could have played better and who could as easily have won.

QPR was always going to be different and it showed we still have battle and bottle. This season won’t be a cake walk. This league never is (except maybe for Reading) – not for us. In stead of being disappointed about the result I see QPR as a point gained against a hard fighting opponent on a day when we very quite poor. And gaining points when you’re playing badly is a key ingredient for promotion.

I look forward to when we finally start playing well – giving players the ball at their feet rather their heads. We have the players to play a passing game and we have players to HOOF it – let’s mix it up – keep the opponents guessing – that IMO is the way to Premier League and the way of staying there.

But as you say Ian – let’s enjoy the journey – because even if the destination is different to where we want to go, it can still be very enjoyable on the way.

Bring It On! ;o)

2. Colin Wiggins - 26/09/2007

I agree with Kris, a lot of us miss BSAD, it’s such a shame there is no-one out there to take over the mantle from matt and ig….but it’s still there on-line and it’s good to be reminded of ig’s uncanny knack of getting it spot-on, by trawling through some old articles. One of his most perceptive pieces is the Gone But Not Forgotten assessment of Gabriel Agbonlahor.
It’s worth checking out…..good one ig!

3. Ian Grant - 26/09/2007

Very kind, Colin…but I didn’t actually write the piece about Agbonlahor. Have a feeling that was one of Messenger’s….

4. Peter Gardner - 26/09/2007

I cannot agree more. How I miss BS&D. The match reports were, well just different and made you think more deeply about the game. I did not always agree with them but I ALWAYS read them and it was a joy to do so.

I do not get to many games these days, based as I am in the north west surronded by Man U fans and also refreshingly so some Man C fans so I do like to an insightful view of what is going on at wfc. More reports like this please!

5. DM - 28/09/2007

Wish it was one of mine Ig, but no. I smell the work of Rowson, M.


6. Mike S - 28/09/2007

Ah. Yes. The Agbonlahor thing.
‘Fraid I have to hold my hand up to that one. I sense a touch of sarcasm in your remarks, Colin. Fine. Except that in my defence, I still reckon Gabby ain’t that good – if there’s a more over-rated player in the world, name him.
I think the only reason his roofing career has been put on hold is that Villa’s alternatives have been Angel, Baros and, latterly, Harewood.
Mark my words, he will disappear.
Either that, or I just got it completely wrong.
However, if you’re looking for a brilliant piece of ig incisiveness, check out his first profile of Paolo Vernazza. Spot on!

7. Adam J - 29/09/2007

I’ve just been reading through some old reports on BSaD. I’ve actually got goosebumps. Some of the reports from the Play-Off Finals, Famous Victories and all the other seemingly irrelevant fixtures. But the thing is, they’re not. Because they’re Watford. And whether it’s against Gimsby or Man U, it’s still Watford, and that’s what makes it all so special, so magical.

8. Colin Wiggins - 04/10/2007

Well actually, I think ig’s first profile of Vernazza was exactly spot on. I remember feeling exactly the same thing myself…and it’s difficult to think of another Watford player who looked so utterly brilliant and then vanished into a puff of smoke.
Oh yes….Rod Thomas, anyone?

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