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Critchley stands by decision to leave out Willock

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Neil Critchley stood by his decision to leave Chris Willock out of the QPR starting line-up against Luton.
Rangers were crushed 3-0 in new boss Critchley’s first home match in charge and have now suffered four consecutive defeats at Loftus Road.
Willock was named on the bench, while Ilias Chair returned to the starting line-up and there were also places in the side for Olamide Shodipo and Tyler Roberts.
Critchley explained: “We just wanted to bring some energy to the team tonight – we’ve got three games in a tight, congested period.
“I wanted to bring some energy and life at the top end of the pitch and I felt we did that.
”I felt Mide had some really good moments in the first half, Ilias was bright and Tyler had some good moments.
“We got the ball into some really good areas and played some good football. But for our domination in terms of territory, we didn’t produce enough around the goal.”
Willock was eventually brought on for crowd favourite Chair – a substitution which leFt many of the already frustrated home fans unhappy.
But Chair was withdrawn because of illness, while Andre Dozzell and Jake Clake-Salter did not play because they too have been ill.
Critchley said: “Ilias is ill. We’ve had a bit of illness recently – Andre Dozzell was ill and Jake Clarke-Salter has been ill.

“Ilias was ill at half-time. He wanted to carry on. But when he came off he was struggling and went straight down the tunnel.
“I thought he had some really good moments in the first half, so it’s not something I wanted to do. I didn’t want to take him off but it was enforced.”
Carlton Morris put Luton ahead after 10 minutes and doubled their lead 80 seconds into the second half – a hammer blow for Rangers.
Alfie Doughty fired a late third beyond keeper Seny Dieng from near the edge of the penalty area.
“It was a very disappointing evening. The game has been decided in both penalty boxes and the timing of the goals we gave away were really poor,” Critchley admitted.
“At 1-0 down I thought we showed a really good response in the first half and had some really good moments and some promising situations.
“The story of our night was that we failed a lot – with our final ball and decision-making. We also didn’t get that bit of luck in front of goal that you might need.
“The second goal is the biggest disappointment for me because I felt at 1-0 that the second half of the game would follow a similar pattern to the first in that we were in the ascendancy. That second goal has a huge bearing on the outcome of the game.
“When you’ve been beaten 3-0 it looks like there’s been chance after chance and you’ve been well beaten, but I didn’t think we were.
“Seny had very little to do and has picked the ball out of the net three times. We just failed and they didn’t.”

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Graduate Organist vacancy in London and Home Counties – Church Times

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Graduate Organist vacancy in London and Home Counties  Church Times

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The dwindling case for living in London

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The recent debate around ‘levelling up’ may be missing something. I would argue that there is another way to consider geographical inequality – and, by this alternative measure, a levelling has been under way for more than 20 years.

I’ve spent three decades working in advertising, so it’s unsurprising that I tend to view economic life through the lens of consumption. By contrast, mainstream economists tend to view disparities through the medium of earnings or wealth. To me, measures of wealth should include not only the quantity of money you have but the breadth of worthwhile options available in choosing how to spend it.

Let’s put it another way. If you live in a boring village, and suddenly a great pub or café opens on the high street, then by my measure you have become richer; by the economist’s measure you have not.

Things that would once have been available in London decades before the provinces now appear everywhereat once 

There was undoubtedly a time when you were richer in London in two ways. You had more money, but you also had a far more exciting range of ways to spend it. Now not so much.

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London is a great city but, in terms of consumption quality, it has not improved markedly in the past 20 years. Over the same period, many smaller cities and even towns have advanced rapidly, significantly narrowing the gap. The kind of things that would once have been available in the capital decades before making it to the provinces – like sushi – now appear everywhere at once. Consider Turkish barbers, who seem to have taken over the country in only five years. (I can remember a time when it was enough just to get a haircut without having burning methylated spirits flicked in my ears. Back then I just didn’t know any better.)

This levelling is especially true of anything in the digital world: Amazon gadgets, Netflix films, Asos fashions and PlayStation games hit Aberystwyth the same day they hit Islington. But it also applies to the physical environment, as anyone over 50 can attest. I went to Manchester and Sheffield for the first time in 1989. Compared with London, they were then, let’s be honest, utterly rubbish. Now, when I visit those same cities, I experience mild ‘northern envy’. There are interesting places open everywhere. Northerners have better cars, because they have more money left over after paying for housing. And they are much better-looking, because they can nip home to get changed before going out.

Relatively speaking, London has improved far less dramatically than these provincial cities have. (New York, many aficionados argue, has got worse.) OK, the Tube is better than it used to be. Uber is a handy addition. But some things are awful – the last pleasure of driving in London ended when they put speed cameras on the Westway. Accommodation costs for the young wipe out any salary gains.

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By my measure, high property prices won’t just hit Londoners once – they’ll hit them twice. Not only do high rents wipe out what you earn, they also put at risk London’s once unassailable advantage as a great place to spend what money you have left. Creative businesses of any kind require space at a price which allows them to take risks. For a time, London found this space by moving its heartland from west to east. But suppose the people supporting what Douglas McWilliams calls ‘the flat white economy’ flee altogether? In my own experience, Kent suddenly seems weirdly full of fascinating restaurants founded by London exiles. If more of these people leave, the case for staying weakens further.

Londoners always say things like ‘Yes but there’s the theatre’. Let’s face it though – even Shakespeare left London for Stratford in his mid-forties. As he no doubt found, the theatre is all very well, but it’s nothing like being able to park outside your house.

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Gentrification is not a sin

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Gentrification is not a sin – UnHerd

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