Wheeler on Wednesday: Forest, VAR and Foodbanks

QPR's David Wheeler returns with his fortnightly column on the R's official website.

Forest

I think it’s fair to say we should put our last game against Nottingham Forest in the ‘one to forget’ category.

Their opening goal was somewhat fortunate. Robbo beat their onrushing midfielder to a loose ball, which looked like it may have been a 50:50 challenge a split second before, only for his attempted clearance to cannon off their player straight into his path. He then broke through the heart of our defence with the ball and laid it on a plate for his teammate with a simple pass.

We started brightly and arguably had the better of the opening exchanges but after conceding the opening goal we never recovered in truth.

VAR

Since the disappointment at the City Ground, Conor Washington performed well in the second leg of a World Cup qualifier away to Switzerland. Despite surviving a handful of good chances created by the hosts, Northern Ireland can feel rightly aggrieved at missing out on a place in Russia. An appalling decision from the referee to award the Swiss a penalty in the first leg proved to be the only goal that separated the sides.

That group of players, the fans, and the nation have been deprived of representation in a World Cup for another 4 years, purely based on an obviously incorrect decision. I fear that if we are waiting on FIFA to make the painfully obvious decision of introducing video replays, we may be waiting a very long time. After all, we are talking about the governing body that has made a habit of making distinctly un obvious and mystifying decisions. A World Cup in Qatar being case in point.

Foodbank

The other day I had the honour of representing QPR at a recognition of the partnership and cooperation between the local foodbank and our club.

The foodbank provides emergency food to residents of the area who are desperately poor and would otherwise go hungry without the help of volunteers and the kind donations from the public.

I heard a harrowing story about a little girl that was found rooting through bins in search of food after having gone without eating anything for three days.

It is excruciatingly shameful and abhorrent that this is happening in our country, which is among the richest economies in the world. The fact that 13 million people live below the poverty line in the UK demonstrates a catastrophic failure of recent governments to tackle inequality in our society. Since the financial crash of 2008, caused by greedy reckless bankers, the rich have accumulated a greater percentage of global wealth, whilst more and more people are struggling to maintain a basic standard of living. It is obvious this trend cannot continue, but it is important that bonds within communities are strengthened in the meantime, so that the most vulnerable of our neighbours are properly cared for.

We have an opportunity on Saturday to demonstrate this sense of community spirit by clubbing together as a fanbase to donate as much money and food to the local foodbank that we can manage.

Part of the drama of football is that anything can happen and a whole manner of results is possible. The beauty of this weekend is that regardless of what happens on the pitch our campaign off the pitch will be a guaranteed win.