Six games into the 2015/16 Championship season and with the transfer window finally closed, Queens Park Rangers’ chances of a quick return to the Premier League look remarkably better than any rational person would have believed at the start of the season.
After a 2-0 away loss to Charlton on the opening day the truth, the situation really began to resonate with every Rangers fan. This was supposed to be a new manager, with a new team, new style and new attitude. But after a poorly planned preseason that saw two of the R’s opponents back out, all the positivity surrounding what was supposed to be a new and better start was overshadowed by what was old and emblematic of past mistakes.
On top of that, every day the looming threat that the club’s best players would be ripped away at any time left a giant question mark hanging over QPR’s prospects by the start of the season.
While the first half of the match against Charlton started well, displaying the positive signs of the attacking style Chris Ramsey clearly intends to play, the second half showed the exact opposite. The team conceded an early goal as the defense became exposed adjusting to this new offensive style. Eventually, the whole team shape seemed to fall apart as the obvious lack of fitness appeared to set in, and play reverted to long balls lumped up top. In the end, the worst part of the whole affair wasn’t even losing, it was hearing a select few QPR fans boo Charlie Austin off the pitch.
Things felt like a mess and not because of the performance. Queens Park Rangers looked like a normal Championship level team, something R’s fans should’ve expected but weren’t ready to accept, but the harsh reaction to Austin’s performance was not representative of the Rangers faithful, and to experience such a low point was disappointing. It was well known that Austin wanted to play in the top tier, and who can blame him? But at the same time, every supporter of a smaller club understands the frustration of losing their best to the bigger guns.
Already, people began to point the finger at Ramsey after the Charlton result and the matches to follow barely helped to ease any fears. A point against Cardiff would have been welcomed were it not for the fact that QPR squandered an early two goal lead, throwing away two points through naivety right at the death.