Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Don't Mention It!

People who won't say "thanks" when you hold the door open for them.

Drivers who won't acknowledge you when you pull over to let them through.

I've encountered one each of these today. It's doubtful that either of these two ignoramuses are reading this rant, but if you are - I'm not your fecking servant, OK?


When I set up this blog it was not my intention to write about stuff like this. Most people, you would think, have been brought up with some basic manners. There's not usually any excuse for not nodding/smiling when someone holds open a door for you - unless of course you're on an aeroplane in mid flight & not wearing a parachute.

Likewise, although it's probably not mentioned in the Highway Code, most drivers know when to say thanks in some way when someone pulls up to let you out of a tight parking space. You have to be a bit careful though - some people leave it right until the last moment to hold their hand up when you've let their oncoming car in ahead of you at a tight spot in the road. Many a time I've been about to give someone the bird, when they've smiled & nodded their thanks virtually as our windscreens are parallel.

Some might say that there's more serious issues to be concerned about, but my argument would be, get the basics right at least.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

The Good, The Bad, and.....

I feel sorry for Iain Dowie. No, not because of any aesthetic reason - I'll try to avoid making any childish jokes about his boat race during this posting.

See, Dowie's on a bit of hiding to nothing this season as manager of QPR. If he gets QPR promotion to the Premiership, he will probably be replaced by a more, shall we say, cultured manager/coach. If he doesn't, he'll get the sack anyway.

The bar has been raised at Rangers. With the takeover by wealthy investors, expectation levels have risen enormously. Add to this the inflation busting increase in season ticket prices at Loftus Road, and suddenly the tolerance of loyal fans has become a lot shorter. We're only 3 games into the new season, and already the "noisy minority" on various internet messageboards are calling for Dowie's head.

I've always had a theory in football, that whatever level of football you watch, regular punters will always crave a scapegoat to moan about. Like a pantomime villain, some people love to hate certain players. Sometimes the tarnishing is well deserved, other times not so - I could never understand, for example, why a section of R's fans regularly used to moan about Steve Palmer's inclusion in the team when we were crying out for an experienced, calming influence in the team.

This season's early contender for King Rat appears to be new goalie Radek Cerny. Signed on a free from Tottenham, Radek has replaced fan's favourite Lee Camp between the sticks, and about 20 minutes into his home debut was given some stick by some of the QPR fans for his nervous start to the game.

Dowie also is a very strong contender for the role of one of the Ugly Sisters (see what I did there?). Along with the massive expectations, fans were grumbling about his perceived style of football, and the fact that he replaced the popular Luigi di Canio, who had Rangers playing some stylish passing football last season - perhaps conveniently ignoring the fact that we needed better organisation & fitness levels as well.

I think people are judging Dowie a little too early. A new manager needs time to impose his style, personality & philosophy of play onto his team. I met Dowie a few years ago, at an end of season Player of The Year do. At the time he was assistant manager to Gerry Francis, so just starting out on his managerial career. He came across as an intelligent & likeable guy, and seemed to me to be really passionate about football. After Francis was sacked, Dowie was a strong contender to take over the reins, but Ian Holloway got the gig instead.

In the meantime, Dowie has taken Oldham to the playoffs, Palace to the playoff final & subsequent promotion to the Premiership, where he missed out by a whisker of keeping them there the following year, left Palace in acrimonious circumstances a year afterwards, left to join Charlton where he was sacked after only 12 Premiership games, and then had a storming start to last season in charge of an exciting Coventry team, before a slump & fallout with the Coventry board signalled his departure.

You might detect that I am sitting in his corner on this one. I think the jury is still out on him at the top level, but has proved to be a very capable manager at Championship level. He's a bright, young & hungry manager, and needs to be given time. I was, like many QPR fans, a little underwhelmed by his appointment, but I have since warmed to him - he's positivity shines through in interviews (and with a face like his you'd have to be positive - sorry, sorry).

I was at the first two games of the season, an uninspiring 2-1 home win vs Barnsley, and a 3-2 away win in the Carling Cup at Swindon, where some of our attacking play was a joy to watch. By all accounts, our 3-0 capitulation at Bramall Lane was awful, so the start of the season has been a mixed bag. All I am saying is give Dowie a chance.