I’m pretty pleased with most of my pre-season selections in the Premier League, but QPR have been the most disappointing side for me. I didn’t agree with most people doing soccer picks who had the London side to go back down to the Championship.
I thought mixing the experience of Rio Ferdinand and the youth of Steven Caulker at the back was a good move, Jordon Mutch was great at Cardiff last year, the likes of Vargas and Kranjcar, Leroy Fer and latterly Sandro make that midfield one that should be able to protect the defence and spring into attack.
Admittedly the forward line was always a bit of a worry especially if Loic Remy didn’t hang around and he hasn’t. Bobby Zamora and Charlie Austin have a lot of pressure on their shoulders now. Austin has scored 92 goals in 175 games, but that has been outside the top flight. The good news is he has already hit the back of the net this season, with the winner against Sunderland so his one in two ratio is being maintained so far! Zamora’s record doesn’t make such good reading. In 10 years in football he has only reached double figures in league football once. They will need Vargas and Junior Hoilett to add five goals each, even if Austin manages between 10 and 15.
The Tottenham match apart, when they lost 4-0, they have only conceded two goals in three games, but have only scored once as well. They have had 11 shots on target in the four matches they have played and that has to improve if they aren’t going to put undue pressure on the defence.
The defence had been playing as a three man back line with Ferdinand, Richard Dunne and Caulker, but Harry Redknapp changed it to a flat back four against Sunderland and they won 1-0. It’s not easy teaching old dogs (Ferdinand and Dunne) new tricks, so hopefully the manager will stick with that now, or at least until they are more settled into Premier League life.
Next up it’s Old Trafford and the new Manchester United faces for Rangers, but then they have games they need to pick points up in. Stoke at home, Southampton away and West Ham away, before Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City in a four game spell.
It’s conceivable QPR will only have eight points by the time they go to St James’ Park in late November. I still think they can stay in the top flight, but I’m starting to understand why people are writing them off when making their soccer picks.