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Competition For Places

Competition For Places

QPR boss Iain Dowie will have several decisions to make with regards to team selection when the R`s return after the international break.

As it stand Rangers currently have eleven midfielders in the first team squad, not including Rowan Vine and Angelo Balanta who were both played there last season.

Rangers have started the season with the preferred partnership of defensive duo Mikele Leigertwood and Gavin Mahon at the heart of midfield, with Daniel Parejo coming in to play a more attacking role in midfield.

Couple these three central midfielders with the return of Martin Rowlands from suspension and the impending inclusion of Akos Buzsaky, with Adam Bolder sitting on the periphery there is certainly healthy competition for places in the middle.

Combine this with competition in wide areas with Emmanuel Ledesma, Hogan Ephraim, Lee Cook, Matteo Alberti and Gareth Ainsworth all fighting it out for places on the flanks.

With Rangers severely lacking options up front, Dexter Blackstock has been used as a lone striker to compensate for Rangers lack of forward guile and to accommodate the vast array of midfield talent on display.

At the back there is no similar disappointment with a very versatile defensive unit vying for positions in different areas. The injury to Fitz Hall has given Matthew Connolly a chance at his more natural central defensive berth, with summer signing Peter Ramage slotting in at right back. Damion Stewart and Kaspars Gorkss remain to slot into various defensive roles.

This selection headache seems to go all the way back to the goalkeeper with Radek Cerny and Lee Camp battling it out for the number one jersey. Far be it for me to judge which should be picked, but it seems a tad strange to persist with a jittery 32 year old goalkeeper, when there has been a consistent performer and one of the best young talents outside the Premier League sitting on the bench, when nothing has warranted such a decision.

The real weaknesses in the side appear to be both at left back and upfront, should Damien Delaney pick up an injury Rangers would be struggling for full back talent following the departure of Chris Barker to Plymouth. Barker`s chances however were all but quashed last season when a left-back crisis saw Matthew Connolly slot into the position performing admirably.

Angelo Balanta has promised much in the reserves in forward areas, but seems to lack that cutting edge that his accomplished approach play deserves. Patrick Agyemang is yet to feature heavily this campaign along with Samuel Di Carmine the pair can`t seem to buy a goal thus far prompting a 4-5-1 formation shift.

As it stands Rangers have a squad that is capable of a top half finish, but the fears of most QPR fans is if the attack can finally grab a goal, there is absolutely no guarantee that the defence will stop goals leaking at the other end.

A squad that is extremely versatile Rangers should be able to cover for the majority of injuries without much of a problem, as has been shown thus far. However an injury to key positions such as left-back or a striker could see Rangers falter as some new blood may be required on loan in the build up to the opening of the transfer window in January.


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Date:Wednesday September 3 2008
Time: 4:25PM

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