Although the season is just three games old, I’ve decided to look at what us QPR fans have learnt from the opening matches.
1. Chris Ramsey needs a league win. Soon.
Putting Rangers’ victory against Yeovil Town in the cup aside, it’s obvious that Chris Ramsey needs a league win ASAP. Against Cardiff at the weekend, QPR threw away a 2-0 lead with a combination of basic errors and sloppy finishing. Matt Phillips and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas both had one-on-one opportunities against the goalkeeper and failed to convert. Minutes later, Emmanuel-Thomas made an absolute hash of dealing with a defensive ball, losing possession in a sequence of play which ultimately led to Scott Malone’s late equaliser. What looked like a scrappy three points was swiftly reduced to one, and at the full time whistle, Ramsey and Co. were greeted to a fairly vocal chorus of boos from the home support. The anti-Ramsey movement is growing at an alarming rate.
2. Rangers still look poor at ful-back
James Perch and Paul Konchesky were signings that I was relatively pleased with adding experience to a squad in positions where it was most needed. However, neither covered themselves in debut glory. I can barely recall a time when one of them got near the opposition’s box and whilst attacking may not be either Perch or Konchesky’s natural game, it’s expected of full backs these days and QPR’s 4231 formation plays to that.
3. Massimo Luongo could be our best summer business
Playing as one of the two defensive midfielders, new signing Massimo Luongo covered some serious ground on Saturday and must be one of Ramsey’s first names on the team sheet. For spells in the second half, the Australian was QPR’s most advanced player, putting pressure on the Cardiff back line when the Bluebirds had possession. Although he lacks real pace, Luongo has a great engine, is a good passer and is not afraid to get stuck in. He also wants to play the ball forward. If Ramsey sticks to his current formation, Luongo alongside a fit Alejandro Faurlin (a big ask I know) could be something to watch.
4. Sebastian Polter makes an impact.
Coming on as a second half sub the German striker brought strength, commitment and nuisance factor. His rough and tumble approach made me wince and cheer in equal measure. At one point he nearly gave away a suicidal ball whilst trying to play out from defence. Minutes later he played Emmanuel-Thomas through on goal with a deft pass. I have no idea what he is going to do next and I wonder if he does as well, but for sheer entertainment value, I love him all the more for it. He might be swiftly dispatched back to Germany or develop in to a decent player, I hope it’s the latter.
5. What Do We Expect
Two league games in and QPR have earned a solitary point for their endeavours, not the best of starts. On the football pitch, it’s a time of transition and as such it makes it quite difficult to make sense of what direction the club are headed at. This confusion is seemingly reflected by the behaviour of the support. On social media, the R’s faithful seem divided. Some fans are calling for patience and an end to the cycle of new mangers and new squads, whereas others are already saying that we look like repeating the same mistakes or previous years, for instance, Charlie Austin will be this year’s Loic Remy. All in all, no one’s happy.
On the evidence of Saturday, Cardiff don’t look like they will threaten the top-six, but you could certainly say the same for QPR. In fact, both teams look like remaining Championship fixtures for quite some time. However, will this be good enough for the QPR fans and its board?