Worried Warnock hides behind a mask of cynicism following defeat to Norwich City
12:02 06 January 2012
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Well, what a week that was. First of all a last gasp equaliser to squeeze a point against Fulham and then a fightback victory at QPR, the latter made all the sweeter by another ludicrous post game exhibition by Neil Warnock, the game’s most appropriate anagram.
While I would be happy to devote the whole of this column to the QPR manager (but for how much longer?) I should start with our final fixture of 2011; a game that some fans seemed to consider was almost a foregone conclusion, given Fulham’s league position and injuries.
In fact, we found ourselves up against a well disciplined, experienced outfit (hardly surprising given their European adventures over the last couple of seasons) who had real quality up front in Sa and Frei, both of whom caused huge problems in the first half.
To be honest, the game was looking like one of those in which, whatever you do, things don’t quite happen for you until Jackson equalised deep in stoppage time to send us home happy.
And so to Loftus Road for one of those games that pundits like to describe as “six pointers”. Games against QPR have not been short of spice in recent years and Monday’s proved no exception with some hefty challenges flying in and some difficult decisions for the referee and his assistants to make, not least the incident that resulted in Barton’s red card.
Like most in the crowd I didn’t see what happened at the time, but the replays clearly showed Barton’s intent and the red card was fully justified despite his subsequent dummy spitting session on Twitter.
What made it slightly ironic was that Monday’s referee was Neil Swarbrick, who, as most of you will remember, gave Stoke a penalty (as well as red carding Leon Barnett) for a foul committed three yards outside the box in our first home game.
The fact that City went on to claim all three points as our pressure finally told ensured that we would all be treated to a special edition of the Warnock show after the game and he didn’t disappoint.
Bradley Johnson was a cheat, Joey Barton “wouldn’t have gone down in those circumstances” (Gervinho might well have something to say on that matter) and, yet again, his side had been mugged. In fact crime must be rife in that particular area of West London as QPR have managed to allow themselves to be relieved of all but two of the last 24 points they’ve competed for, despite a transfer budget that Paul Lambert could only currently dream about.
For all Warnock’s sniping, inevitably delivered in his usual post match persona of a cynically avuncular, albeit rather sinister elderly uncle these were the words of a very worried man, and with good reason.
Tony Fernandes is used to success and is hardly likely to swallow the constant diet of “we were robbed” as his club teeters on the brink of the bottom three.
He won’t hesitate to wield the axe and Warnock knows it, which is why he is so desperate to find something to distract attention from his own failings.
It was nearly a perfect day, tainted only by some of our fans chanting “There’s only one John Terry” at Anton Ferdinand.
Sadly, I suspect that these same fans will be booing Terry for his misdemeanours when Chelsea visit without any sense of irony whatsoever.
I’m all for humorous chanting, but anything that indicates support for suspected racists is unacceptable in my eyes and not something I want to see our club associated with.