Sucking heartily on life's half-time oranges

Monday, 5 March 2012

Four-Year Plan: Get Goals, Win League, Buy A New Helicopter

I watched the quite astonishing documentary, QPR: The Four-Year Plan, last night, which is surely a football doc for our modern times. It followed the club 2007-11, following their buyout by a conglomerate of largely rich, spoilt popinjays; whilst the title suggests that over four years, QPR worked their way patiently and measuredly to the top, really the title should have been 'QPR: The Three Year Plan Of Trying Out Every Manager Until You Find One You Don't Feel The Need To Insult, Followed By A Successful Year And Promotion, Almost Scuppered By Dodgy Dealings By One Of Our Crazies'. For three years, the power-hungry team, led by Flavio Briatore, lorded over the club, sifting through managers like cards in a pack, elbowing their way into the dressing room to try and make changes, and seeming to have no idea how a club should work. They wanted to play at this football lark, like a real-life version of Championship Manager mixed with Monopoly, and were just gallingly rude and obstreperous. Poor Gareth Ainsworth, now Wycombe's very own legend but previously a QPR mainstay, hovered quietly around in the background for a bit, occasionally having to do another stint as caretaker manager, before being rescued by us, knights in shining blue quarters.

The documentary laid bare the three-tier system: egocentric yacht-owners at the top, the players and manager (well-paid but exuding the air of good honest journeymen, one and all) in the middle, and right at the bottom, the fans, struggling to pay the most expensive seats in the Football League and surely following the managerial meddling (5 in one year!!!) with furious bafflement. My favourite moments were the threats of peasants' uprising: lunkheads singing derisory songs at Gianna Paladini as he smiled uneasily, surrounded by minders; and lustily singing 'fuck off, Flavio', to which the outrageously arrogant one simply said to fans 'find me the names of those who sang that. I want their names or I sell the club'. He needs taking down a peg or two (or at least the keys to his helicopter taking away).

Chelsea operates like this on a grander scale, with poor, adorably delicious Andreas Villas-Boas unsurprisingly now out on his ear. Andreas was a silly appointment I'm sure, a bit too young for such a mega-club, but once he was there, you'd think they might give him a BIT of a chance. In our instantaneous culture of everything-on-demand, chairmans and owners (and I'm sure, fans too), expect immediate, mostly utterly unrealistic results. No one has the werewithal, or the stomach, for the long game.

I'm not sure what Wycombe's Four Year Plan is. At the moment, our quite baffling short-term plan is to lose most of our games, some in extremis (Huddersfield walloped us 6-0, Scunthorpe 4-1 yesterday), with less occasional stonking wins (3-0 and 5-0 against Rochdale and Hartlepool respectively). Yet through a wetly crap season, our very own moneyed overlord, Steve Hayes, hasn't sacked Gary Waddock, and I respect him for that. Now, where's the door to my helipad...

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