Queens Park Rangers: 5 Things We Learned from Draw with Aston Villa
This is getting ridiculous now.
The fans, manager and players all believed this would be the game that would change their fortunes; however it wasn't to be.
So what did we learn from the draw? Read on to find out five lessons from QPR vs. Villa.
Mbia and Diakite Are Key
When Stephane Mbia was clattered by Gabriel Agbonlahor, for a horrible moment it looked like the injury could be very serious.
Thankfully, Mbia has tweeted from his hospital bed that he is fine, and the neck brace and stretcher were precautionary.
However once Mbia and Samba Diakite were taken off through injury, QPR looked a very different team. The command in the midfield was not there anymore, and despite all of Shaun Derry's efforts, the side looked weaker.
Rangers need these two Africans fighting fit for the majority of this campaign if they are to make any form of great escape.
Jamie Mackie CAN Finish...
I'll hold my hands up and admit I was wrong.
I wrote before that Jamie Mackie wasn't a strong enough finisher to start alone up top. But his wonderful header Saturday proved otherwise.
Jamie Mackie has added a bit of Premier League class to his worth ethic and is fast becoming one of the stars of the season.
His two goals in three games (via Soccerbase) is the kind of scoring ratio QPR will need him to keep up if they are to stay up.
...But Nobody Else Can
However QPR need more than just Mackie to bag the goals if there is going to be any chance of survival.
Shaun Wright-Phillips and Ji-Sung Park both had great chances to put Rangers in the lead, but Brad Guzman saved the first SWP effort and then Wright-Phillips hit the woodwork in a second attempt.
Ji-Sung Park also had a chance to snatch the win for QPR but, yet again, Guzman came to Villa's rescue.
QPR need to players to start taking their chances—and fast.
Lambert Really Doesn't Like Bent
Darren Bent was benched again at Loftus Road. And he didn't look too happy about it.
What Paul Lambert has against the striker is a mystery, especially as Villa are struggling in the league and finding goals hard to come by.
Bent wasn't even used as a substitute, which would make sense if Villa were in the lead. But they weren't; they were searching for a win, but Bent was not called upon.
If Lambert doesn't like him, Harry Redknapp does, and QPR would welcome a striker of his caliber to Loftus Road (via Daily Mirror).
Price Tag Isn't Everything
Despite spending millions on players' wages and on agents' fees (via Premier League), it is not necessarily those who have had a Champions League medal around their necks who will save Rangers.
Of the Championship-winning team, only Alejandro Faurlin, Clint Hill, Shaun Derry, Jamie Mackie and Adel Taarabt remain.
And it is these players who seem to have the biggest impact on the squad and the results. Not including Faurlin, who hasn't even made the bench since Redknapp's reign began, the four men mentioned above are the ones who have shown the most heart and the most desire to win.
Redknapp must realize this, and utilize their passion to try and turn Rangers' season around.