Saturday January 20, 2018
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Majestic Swindon go Third, P45 for Mark Hughes and December 2nd in Milton Keynes will unite the nation

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- Tom Winnifrith

West Ham are not playing until Monday night and so nothing needs to be said about may favourite team today. Naturally I was delighted to see Spurs routed by Arsenal and the sending off ( entirely justified) of Adebayor is a bonus as he now misses the looming visit of West Ham to White Hart lane as he will be suspended.

At the bottom of the table, not an area which – to my surprise – features West Ham, QPR lost 3-1 at home to Southampton, one place above them at the start of the day. This leaves QPR on 4 points after 12 games and the only team in all four English leagues not to win a game all season. Mark Hughes, QPR’s manager, really must be set to encounter a P45 before long.

The problem is that he was personally appointed by QPR’s owner and so such a rapid firing will cause red faces all round. But if one assumes that you need 35 points to have a chance of survival and 42 to be safe from relegation QPR now need 31 or 38 points from 26 games. That is already looking like a bit of an ask. If one assumes that at least 6 of those games are totally slam dunk nil pointers (Man United twice, Man City, Chelski, Arsenal and of course the visit to the other big 4 club – West Ham) then QPR in reality need 31 or 38 points from just 20 games.

If QPR owner Tony Fernandes hangs on until the January transfer window then suddenly that will become just 20 games left ( of which five are slam dunk nil pointers) and the odds are that Rangers will still be needing at least 30 odd points and probably 35 – to do that from 15 games means that you need to win half your games and draw the rest. It is just impossible.

Fernandes said on 6th October that Hughes will not be sacked even if QPR are involved in a season long relegation struggle. The reality is that they already are. At the start of the season they know that an average of a point a game should have meant safety. As things stand it is now almost a point and a half a game. Not that anyone would want the job but I sense that a vacancy at Loftus Road is looming.

Meanwhile my second team, Swindon, walloped Yeovil – as predicted here – 4-1 and are now third in Division one and just 3 points off an automatic promotion spot. Paulo di Canio’s men meet Brentford ( not great shakes) next and so things are looking good for the Robins.

And finally to December 2nd and the FA Cup second round when MK Dons from Division One meet AFC Wimbledon from Division 2. As you probably recall MK Dons used to be Wimbledon FC but the club was treated as a franchise and moved to Milton Keynes. Loyal supporters decided to start all over again as AFC Wimbledon starting in the lowest of the amateur leagues and gradually they have climbed back up into the football league itself. I cannot imagine that there is one person outside Milton Keynes who is not rooting for AFC Wimbledon on this occasion – the first time the two sides have met since the formation of AFC. This will be more than a football match.


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