Four star start for the Hoops

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Bookmakers have re-assessed their odds on QPR after the opening day victory over Barnsley. A measly 7-1 is the best price available after the weekend, suggesting a bit of panic following Neil Warnock's opening day success.

To be fair to them, you can see why. It was a fantastic performance from QPR, and every player showed that the side have potential to go the distance this season.

Yes, there were a couple of keystone kop moments after the Hoops scored their first goal, but you can put that down to first day nerves. The dizzying speed of Adel Taarabt’s feet was an undoubted highlight as he regularly danced his way past players into the box. His signature is a real coup following last season's successful loan.

The pace of the man is pretty awesome, the only thing more impressive in those first 40 minutes were the voices of the hoops fans (who made sure the opposing players were reminded where they were) and the incredibly cheeky way Helguson put the penalty away.

Barnsley seemed to wake up; in the second half they showed real gumption and comradeship working hard enough to make room for a strong footed effort by Goran lovre. The post saved the hoops and with it sparked off another full on charge from QPR.

The Jamie Mackie goal smacked of doggedness, the goalkeeper spilling Ephraim’s tricky cross from the wing and Mackie pounced to score a crucial goal. I hinted that he is going to score many goals this season in my last post, and hopefully this is the start of a fruitful season.

Helguson was hacked down by Doyle in the 64th minute, returning the favour for a Mr. Taarabt to smash a goal in from the spot and secure the match. The opportunity cam from poor defending in-truth, with the Tykes failing to clear their lines and paying the price.

Even the England squad wouldn't try to pass it about in their own six-yard box, drawing straws as to who is going to 'hoof it' 50 yards. If the best players in the country have to do it, then that should apply in the Championship too!

Fortunately, Helguson wasn't prepared to wait for them to decide what to do and just dove in and took the ball off two defenders charging forward.

The hoops were set out in a 4-2-3-1 formation that seemed to dissolve or collapse and re-instate fluidly and rapidly, so you could sympathize with the Barnsley defenders who had to defend their positions rather than their man.

This formation, if acted out incorrectly, can cost you the game as you stretch your midfield and overcrowd your defence. When performed beautifully, with everyone involved, it makes for a wonderful example of how to control the game. It was a masterstroke from Warnock, and could cause more teams problems later in the campaign.

Of course, captain Hall had to get involved in the 81st minute and I for one was quite surprised to see him darting in at the back post to slide in number four from a lovely diagonal cross. Ephraim delivered wonderful diagonal ball to the far post, and 'one size' slid it home.

You could see what it meant to him in his celebration, suggesting it was a good choice for captain . He can definitely bring out the best of his army on the pitch.

Overall a great start for the hoops, a lovely day out for the fans, a big look out for the teams that have yet to travel to Loftus Road and a game that has fans in anticipation of the League Cup visitor of Port Vale tonight.

Nicely done team and fans alike.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.

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Queens Park Rangers
Adel Taarabt

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