Date:Saturday August 18 2012
Lacklustre QPR suffered at the hands of Swansea in an opening day massacre akin to last year's defeat to Bolton. Goals from Miguel Michu (2), Nathan Dyer (2) and Scott Sinclair sent Mark Hughes' men to the bottom of the table. It promised to be a great day, the start of a new era but actually it felt more like groundhog day for the men in blue and white, as yet again they started the Premier League season in embarrassing fashion.
Like most QPR fans I am feeling pretty despondent right now so I'm going to keep this as short as it needs to be.
In truth, QPR actually started the game very well and should've scored several times with Jamie Mackie wasting a golden opportunity from six yards and Junior Hoilett coming agonisingly close with a fantastic curling effort. Adel Taarabt and Samba Diakite also had speculative efforts on goal that could've gone in on a different day but it wasn't to be for the West London club.
Make no bones about it, today highlighted how weak the QPR defence is. It was hardly an inspiring debut from goalkeeper Rob Green either but it must be said that he wasn't given any protection from the back four. The new number one couldn't keep out what can only be described as a speculative effort as the ball escaped the fumbling clutches of the England International into the back of the net. QPR had their chances at the other end but much of their attacking play amounted to nothing. Swansea could've led by several more goals had they managed to avoid hitting the woodwork twice before the close of the half.
Michu who was amongst the more impressive debutants at Loftus Road today, scored his second eight minutes after the break, curling a beautiful effort that soared into the top left corner beating the outstretched Green. After that it was curtains for the R's. Soon after that effort, goals three, four and five arrived. Swansea continued to hit QPR on the counter attack with Nathan Dyer scoring twice and want-away winger Scott Sinclair getting in on the action with a late fifth. The defensive frailties were there to be seen in each of those second half goals. I'm really struggling to understand why we were so poor because three of the back four played together in the run-in last season and should've been a better cohesive unit than what they were today.
When you lose 5-0 it is pretty damn hard to find any positives but I will try my best. I had a nice tuna and sweetcorn roll and caught up with a few friends in the sunshine. In all seriousness, at times Rangers moved the ball around nicely and had there been better movement upfront then more spaces would've appeared in the Swansea defence leading to more clear-cut chances. QPR had twenty shots on goal, eleven of which were on target. Unfortunately, QPR spurned whatever chances they did create and maybe on another day they could've at least drawn level.
Junior Hoilett was the pick of the QPR players. The former Blackburn winger looked dangerous every time he got on the ball. His balance and ability to beat the defender is quite something and he will prove to be a very useful addition at Loftus Road. A player that will entertain and get supporters off their seats.
As much as I don't want to as he is a favourite of mine, I have to single out Adel Taarabt. He failed to keep to his defensive responsibilities and allowed runner after runner to pass him by and outnumber Diakite and Park Ji-Sung in the middle. A lazy performance from a player who looked to turn the corner with his work rate last season under Hughes. In my opinion, if he wants to keep his place in the side he has to improve drastically. The formation today was there firstly to accommodate Taarabt in that advanced playmaker position and secondly to nullify the midfield three of Swansea. It will only work if the more advanced of the QPR midfield three drops when not in possession. Taarabt didn't and consequently QPR suffered.
Overall, not a great day at the office but one that will not define our season. The opening day always throws up unusual results but take nothing away from Swansea as they deserved the win. One final plea, Mark Hughes please sign a centre half. Oh how we could've done with the late, great Alan McDonald today.
Robert Green - 5 - Shaky and never assured. At fault for the first but had no protection from the defence for the others.
Nedum Onuoha - 5 - Solid in the first half but woeful in the second.
Fabio - 6 - Tidy on the ball but like the rest of the back four was caught out several times.
Anton Ferdinand - 5 - Bossed by Danny Graham and Michu. Caught out of position on numerous occasions.
Clint Hill - 5 - Poor game and at fault with a missed interception leading to a goal.
Samba Diakite - 6 - Unspectacular performance not helped by the lack of protection in front of him.
Park Ji-Sung - 6 - Worked very hard and kept the ball fairly well but was overrun in the midfield.
Junior Hoilett - 7 - QPR's best player by a mile. Worked hard, nearly scored a few goals and looked lively and skilful.
Jamie Mackie - 5 - Spurned a glorious chance, never looked up when running with the ball and failed to get a cross past the first defender.
Adel Taarabt - 5 - No worse than a lot of the players but tended to drift out of the game and failed to track back on numerous occasions.
Djibril Cisse - 6 - Not a lot of movement but didn't get any quality service.
Date:Saturday August 18 2012
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