The future’s bright

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It’s no secret that Tony Fernandes and Harry Redknapp have highlighted the need to rebuild the clubs academy and invest into the youth system. The development is a key area that will become ever so vital for the club in the long term future with the homegrown players rule and the fact that the club will be able to blood young talent from the academy. Therefore saving money from not having to pay for talent that has been raised at another club.

Just an hour after posting our first blog , QPR announced the signing of 20 year old Liverpool full back Jack Robinson. The England U21 international has played at every level for England bar the first team. Just hours before completing his move to QPR, Jack was called up to the England U21 squad before making his way down to London to sign for the R’s, pose for photographs and then make his way up north to complete a season long loan to Huddersfield. What a day eh?

Personally I think Jack Robinson is one for the future but is undoubtedly better defensively than Armand Traore. I like the thinking behind this move as it shows signals real long term intent from Tony and Harry and backs up what they said about improving the youth set up. Although Robinson wasn’t brought up through the QPR youth system hopefully in years to come this will be the type of player we will be able to raise. Jack spent time on loan last season at Blackpool where he proved he was one of the best full backs in the Championship. Even though he proved to be poor disciplinary wise (6 yellows and 3 reds) I’m sure this is something Harry will look to iron out. Robinson maintained an average pass rate of 72% a game and won half of his defensive duals. The ability of Jack Robinson is also highlighted by the fact he is the second-youngest ever player to have played for Liverpool, having made his senior debut at the age of 16 years and 250 days.

Another young player to join Rangers is 24 year old English goalkeeper Alex McCarthy of Reading. McCarthy has been widely tipped to be a future English international and is also one of the finest shot stoppers in English football although his distribution and handling needs a little work on. McCarthy stands at 6’4 and has been described as a “traditional English goalkeeper who isn’t afraid to put his head where it hurts”. You may remember McCarthy being named man of the match last season when we drew 1-1 at the Madejski. The Superhoops found him unbeatable that day and it took an inch perfect free kick from Joey Barton to beat him. Like Robinson, McCarthy has also played for England at youth level and is looking to make the step up to the national squad. Whilst Rob Green will most likely remain the number one keeper, McCarthy will provide much needed competition and a great back up for Green should he get injured. McCarthy is a man who is capable of pushing Rob Green for a name on the starting XI each week and will certainly be looking to do that.

In my opinion the signing of Robinson and McCarthy are excellent for QPR as a club, two young English players who in a few years time will be looking to break into the England squad. Having nurtured such players like Raheem Sterling and Peter Crouch in the past, hopefully we can hold off bigger clubs by maintaining Premier League status and look to improve the clubs academy in due course but for once the future is starting to look bright.

Wrong man for the job

Richard Dunne has had a great career at centre half. Playing for big premier league clubs and having hundreds of appearances under his belt. However his role in the recent 352 formation acquired by new boys QPR is a tough test for the 34 year old. In both of the R’s first two games the defender has been exploited and cracks have began to widen in his performances. The system calls for a defender who is able to confidently step out of the back-line with the ball, but also move out to the touchline to face the wingers one-on-one. The 34 year old looks awkward in possession, and he tends to play conservatively to compensate for his lack of pace. As he doesn’t push on, it forces Traore to hold back, and the whole system suffers as a result.

Nedum Onuoha has the pace required to equal his counterparts. He has also shown many times in his QPR career that he is not afraid of going forward with the ball. This will enable QPR to be less negative on the ball and give Armand Traore the chance to be further forward more often. Something that will hopefully lead to QPR moving off their goal tally of zero for this season. Just like Richard Dunne however Nedum is right footed. A problem which leads to the right footed player at left centre back being uncomfortable when playing it down the left side and forcing them to play it inside. As shown on sunday against a typical Mauricio Pochettino team, the high pressure upfield led to Richard Dunne panicking and Spurs capitalising on him being forced to play inside. Erik Lamela forced Dunne onto his left foot and outpaced him every time when cutting inside.

As ‘deadline day’ approaches there is an expectancy from R’s fans for business to be done late on. The type of player QPR require to replace Richard Dunne may not be available. The amount of quick, left footed, confident on the ball, good passing, defenders that are within our price range and wanting to join a club already fighting against relegation is limited. A lot of work needs to be done with whoever Redknapp has planned to partner Rio and Caulker if QPR are going to look better on the ball and leak less goals. The opening two games have shown that although QPR have some players who suit the 352 perfectly, they also have a few who really look out of their comfort zone. The inclusion of Richard Dunne vs Burton on Tuesday night suggests that he will not feature on Saturday. Three games in 6 days is something a man of his age cannot cope with. If QPR are to survive this season the removal of the veteran from the starting XI could be the key to getting into winning ways and chasing down the 40 point target.