Date:Tuesday December 11 2012
ESTEBAN Granero made a big money move in the summer - but to what extent has his impact had a negative effect on the side?
The Spaniard joined from boyhood club Real Madrid in the summer and was thrown straight into the firing line for his debut against London neighbours Chelsea.
The creative midfielder has flourished and frustrated in equal measure - picking a classy pass before being knocked off the ball unceremoniously to give opponents the opportunity to attack.
His talent is undoubted - schooled at the Bernabau and having the opportunity to play under some knowledgable managers and with football's glitterati - it can only serve to develop your skills.
With the kindest will in the world, the style of football is vastly differing from Spain to England - and while I don't want to commence the age old 'whose league is better' debate, you can't help but feel Granero's talents are more suited to Spanish football.
As a spectator of both leagues, it is easy to note the languid but ultimately skilful and tactically astute game that is put forward by Spain, where as England relies on the intensity and pace that promotes the excitement we pay money to see on a weekly basis.
We have seen Esteban play well, as noted previously, when given time to dictate the flow of the fixture and play at his own, a more La Liga. pace. He does however struggle when put under pressure.
Against the calibre of West Ham United and Stoke City, Granero was getting caught on the ball, muscled out of proceedings and cut a forlorn figure on more than one occasion.
It did not help that Hughes for some reason elected to accommodate at times rather than have the strength of mind to drop his landmark summer signing - playing on the right wing only served to damage the confidence of the Spaniard.
So where do we go from here. Redknapp has taken over and has already made pleasant comments about 'the Spanish lad' but also have the strength of mind to play him when the situation warrants, rather than at all costs.
Much in the same way as Rob Green has expressed in recent weeks, had he have known he would be playing second fiddle to another player, such as Shaun Derry, he would maybe not have made that big summer switch.
This is far from me closing the door to Esteban's progression - I think he can become a fine player for QPR if he can adapt his skills to suit the league that we are in. Is he worth selecting over a more dogged fighter in Derry at present? - The old expression is 'horses for courses', and in a relegation scrap, Derry is my firm front-runner.
Date:Tuesday December 11 2012
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