There have been a lot of excuses coming out of Mark Hughes' mouth about the fact that we have had the worse start ever to a Premier League campaign.
"We were unlucky", "we have been hampered by injuries", "their goalkeeper was man of the match". And my personal favourite, from Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Stoke: "It just wasn't to be..."
It is all very well being able to find a reason why you didn't win after the match. But what makes a QPR manager capable of keeping their job after, say, a crunch match against Southampton at Loftus Road on Saturday, is knowing how to get the win in the first place.
Listening to Hughes, his assistant Mark Bowen, and Tony Fernandes, one would think that the mess we are in - stone last and five points adrift from safety - is entirely down to the gods, and completely out of our hands.
I very beg to differ. Here are seven things that Hughes got wrong:
1. DROPPING TAARABT FOR TWO MONTHS
OK, we lost 5-0 against Swansea on the opening day of the season, so something had to be done. But Hughes' reaction was not a complete overhaul of the squad but to alienate perhaps our most skilful player by putting him on the bench for the lion's share of the season so far. We had to wait until we were 2-0 down at home to West Ham six games later before he returned to the fold. Within 60 seconds he had put us back into the game with the goal of the season so far. Hughes' thinking may have been that Taarabt can't defend - and we certainly need to defend from midfield because of a wonky backline - but his thinking automatically hamstrung our attack, and that has compounded the problem. In short: is it really the action of a manager of sound mind to drop your best player as soon as things get a little tricky?
2. HAVING TOO MUCH FAITH IN SHAUN WRIGHT-PHILLIPS
Now, I have nothing against SWP. After all, you can't choose your parents. But the fact that it took Hughes eight games to realise that playing from the start just wasn't working is a mystery. Most of us got it after two. The problem was in Hughes' overreaction. For someone who says he doesn't worry about stuff and never loses sleep at night, Hughes puts out some really nervy sides. His theory was that the right-back we had wasn't good enough so we needed to waste a midfielder covering him. For that reason we lost Taarabt and gained SWP. Wright-Phillips did admirably well tracking back, but we still leaked goals and lost any attacking ability at the other end of the pitch. Perhaps, that is down to SWP. Since he has joined us, he has looked bright, busy, technically good, but totally bereft as an attacking force. Spending time working out why that is, might have been a better use of the manager's time.
3. ABJECT FAILURE TO STRENGTHEN DEFENCE IN THE SUMMER
We all knew that we needed a central defender. Mark Hughes knew that we needed a central defender. He even intimated as much when he bought in Ryan Nelsen as a cover for our new-look defensive pairing-to-be. He chased Chris Samba, who had only just been shipped to Russia to make his fortune at Anzhi Makhachkala, which proved to be a monumental waste of time. Then he went after Michael Dawson, who had just been made club captain at Tottenham. Then he panicked and we ended up with Stephane Mbia - a utility man who had gone on record that he wanted to be a defensive midfielder, not a central defender....
4. STEPHANE MBIA
...which is never a good way to start your career at a club. He was injured when he arrived, so we didn't see him for a bit. Then he played in the Capital One Cup against Reading (L2-3) and gave away a penalty (though it was a bit harsh). Finally, the seething rage inside him for being snubbed as a defensive midfielder got too much for at Arsenal and he was promptly sent off for the most appallingly petulant kick-out at Thomas Vermaelen. Hughes, of course, defended him by suggesting Vermaelen made a meal of it (the Arsenal skipper could have stuck a couple of half pikes into his dive, but it still would have been a straight red card offence). We have yet to see Mbia again since.
5. ANNOUNCING A 25-MAN SQUAD WITH JUST THREE STRIKERS
Guess what happened in the first game after this crackerjack thinking? Yep, spot on. Andy Johnson, our one of three, does a cruciate ligament which rules him out for, I don't know, the rest of his career? So that leaves us with Djibril Cisse, who is still a little maudlin after receiving his decree nisi, and Bobby Zamora - who has decided he doesn't like football that much anyway. The result: eight goals in 11 games. I mean, seriously?! This is straight out of the book of terrible management.
6. THE JOEY BARTON THING
There were not many fans who were unhappy to see Joey Barton finally leave the club to go on loan to Marseille for a season, but it has not been the PR coup that Hughes and his backroom staff would perhaps have hoped. For the record, I am one of a growing number of people who believe that Joey can still do a job for us, he just needs a manager who can deal with him. That obviously isn't Hughes. The worst part of the Barton affair was how it was handled. The whole idea of hanging one of our own players out to dry after he reacted (incorrectly, I know) to the cheating Carlos Tevez sticking an elbow in his face, smacks of a management team incapable of keeping a squad of players onside. He got his (harsh) punishment from the FA - a 12-match ban - and we should have just moved on. Instead, we have to watch a midfield vacated by Barton that lacks the required muscle to compete in the Premier League.
7. NOT KNOWING HIS PREFERRED XI, OR FORMATION
The injuries we have had in the back four are a bit of a red herring as it is clear that Hughes has no idea what XI he thinks is the best, and how he wants to play them. So far, he has played the same back four just once on consecutive occasions, though that is more down to injury than design. And he has been forced to bring Ryan Nelsen in full-time when he began with the thinking that he makes a great replacement. But the midfield is a mystery. First he starts with Taarabt and then drops him. In comes SWP and he eventually goes the way of all mediocre midfielders. Ale Faurlin is welcomed back from injury, plays three games and then he is dropped. Park Ji-Sung is in and out of the side. Only Esteban Granero and Samba Diakite seem guaranteed a spot in the starting XI - and then we're down to praying Diakite can stay on the pitch. Up front is a joke: Zamora on his own, Zamora with Johnson, Zamora with Hoilett, Cisse, Taarabt even. Cisse and Hoilett, Cisse and Taarabt. And we've only played 11 games - it is ridiculous, particularly as we have had only one injury up front. And formation is like reading the lottery numbers: 4-4-2, 4-4-1-1, 4-3-3, 4-1-3-2. No wonder we are where we are: we don't know what we're doing, and we don't know how we are supposed to be doing it!
Can you think of any more? Let me know below...
Follow Sean Smith on Twitter @seanshorn