Queens Park Rangers: 5 Things We Learned from Draw with Reading
After a shabby first half, QPR could easily have taken all three points, with Djibril Cisse and Adel Taarabt missing very good chances. Reading, too, looked like they could have snatched a result through their strength at corner kicks.
However neither could find that finishing touch, and yet again both the Royals and Rangers supporters trudged home disheartened with the result—more than likely looking in shop windows for anyone selling a win.
But what have we learned? Here are five pointers from Sunday's game.
Keep Calm and Play Football
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The Queens Park Rangers team obviously do not adopt the very British mentality of "keep calm and carry on."
Whenever QPR had the ball in the opposition half, the focus was on getting into the box as quickly as possible. There was no holding the ball up, no switching the play and no buildup passing.
This led to their football being rushed, and good chances slipped away thanks to the panic style Rangers adopted. The lack of goals—and more importantly points—may mean that QPR think they need to spend as much time in the opposing box as possible, but this is not the case.
They just need to keep calm and play football, and the rest will come. Probably.
McCarthy Is One for the Future
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Alex McCarthy is proving to the world what Reading fans already knew: He is a top keeper.
He denied Adel Taarabt and Bobby Zamora last-gasp winners on Sunday and was awarded man of the match for his superb saves (via The Guardian).
The former England U-19 international will have sparked the interest of Roy Hodgson, who is currently searching for a consistent No. 2 for Joe Hart and future No. 1. And McCarthy may well have just dropped his own name into the hat with his fine performances of late.
Faurlin Is Left Floundering
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When Alejandro Faurlin returned from a long layoff earlier this season, fans and managers alike were thrilled at the thought of seeing him in a hooped shirt.
However Faurlin has gone from fan favorite to benchwarmer in recent weeks, and has tweeted his frustration. Simply saying "Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz" after the match against Reading—this expressed what every fan was thinking.
He later clarified what those z's actually meant:
Zzzz frustration I feel sorry for the team after that performance!! This is no about faurlin granero o Tarabt this is about team and qpr....— Alejandro Faurlin (@alefaurlin) November 4, 2012
Faurlin's fighting spirit despite being cut adrift from the starting 11 is one reason Rangers fans want to see him on the pitch. Another is that he is a very good footballer.
But frustrated as he may be due to a lack of playing time, in his own words: "But we turn this together!! Every single one!!keep fighting".
Set Pieces Are Rangers' Downfall
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Once again QPR conceded a goal from a set piece. Rangers switch off time and time again when the ball is being set for a corner or free kick, and seem to forget they still have to play.
Ex-Hoop Kaspars Gorkss had plenty of space in an otherwise-crowded penalty box and chopped the ball through Julio Cesar's hands and into the back of the net.
If QPR hadn't conceded from a set piece this season, the results would have been very different. They would have beaten Everton and Reading and drawn with West Ham and Tottenham (via BBC match reports).
Those points dropped could be costly come the end of the season for the team, and even more costly for Mark Hughes' job in the near future.
Excuses Are Wearing Thin
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Mark Hughes and Tony Fernandes seem to know all the excuses in the book regarding why teams can't win football games.
The most recent in this seemingly never-ending list comes from an interview Mark Hughes gave the BBC on Sunday:
We have potential in this team but need a bit of time for it to come together. When it does we will play some good stuff here and people will enjoy watching us. But at the moment it is a bit of struggle...It has been a difficult period and we have had difficult games...Teams will not allow us to play an expansive game so we have to be able to deal with that.
QPR have played 10 League games so far, and time for Hughes to change things around is running out. Despite what Tony Fernandes says (via ESPN), these results—and reasons behind them—cannot go on forever.
The fans are getting frustrated, and rightly so—they want points, not excuses.