Written by Alex Bullamore
As we’ve reached yet another international break, I thought it was a good time to look at some standout players. Some who have performed well and perhaps not so well so far. Starting with those underachieving...
This is pretty obvious to be honest, Barbet has so often this season been at fault for the goals we’ve conceded. He has a really unhelpful desire to slide after everything, leading to multiple penalties and two own goals. Last season without Barbet in the side we struggled to win, on average we conceded more goals without him in the side. This season it feels like the polar opposite. Where is this player who was once so key to us playing well? Maybe it’s a bad run of form but he’s been very disappointing so far, and I would wager he’s one of the key reasons people want Warburton gone.
Wallace seems to split opinion, some think he can still offer something others believing he’s finished and at the very least shouldn’t be playing at this level. I’m more in the second camp, whilst Niko hasn’t set the world alight with his performances he’s been much more solid and capable. Whenever I’ve seen Wallace he’s easily outdone by pace, Coventry and Preston being the best examples of this. However he still has a part to play simply because we have literally no one else, so I fully expect to see him play again. At the same time Warbs can’t complain that Dykes was over worked, when he was played nearly three full games in the last international break whilst he’s flogging Wallace to death and refusing to play Niko. At 33 Wallace is certainly no Angel Rangel and would be lucky to get a contract extension at the end of the season, Niko is at the moment our most obvious long term successor to Ryan Manning so give him more of a go. Regardless I haven’t been impressed with Wallace and what I’m trying to say is that he should be playing the rotation role and should be used sparsely, which I think would get more use out of a player close to the end of their career.
At the back end of last season Kakay came into the side and at least temporarily made the RB position his own. He was a breath of fresh air, a bit raw but majority of the time he was good defensively and offered a good partnership going forward with Bright. Recently I’ve been less than impressed with his performances, but this is to be expected. Players have good games and bad games however he has lost his position in the side to Todd Kane who’s come in and performed really well. I don’t doubt that he’ll get back into the side eventually but he hasn’t been performing at to the same standard as last season.
Now onto the positives…
So far it’s been ok from our newest CB, it appears that he’s slowly growing into the player we want him to be. Coming highly rated from Oxford United I’m starting to see what the praise was all about, with his best performance coming away at Wayne Rooney’s Derby County. Stepping out of the back line to win the ball with a perfect tackle, then to put it on a plate for Bonne with a beautiful cross to the back post. Not only that but he was a rock at the back, heading away corners and making the correct type of last ditch slide to deny an obvious goal (Barbet take note). Obviously the red card and his tendency to reach out and grab opponents in the box is one aspect of his game that is less than impressive and something that he needs to work on. Apart from that I think it’s been a moderately successful start for someone who was chucked in at the deep end.
Now if it wasn’t for a horrible injury and if he played more like he did at Bournemouth then this slot could have gone to Luke Amos. However another season ending injury did happen for Luke and consequently Carroll has played more than he might have expected to. When he was at the club previously I was not a fan, he passed sideways too often and was too weak as well perhaps this was a product of Redknapp’s football. This time round however he’s impressed me, quietly he’s gone about his business at the base of the midfield. His passing is less sideways, he adds some energy to an otherwise lethargic midfield and he always seems to be in a position to receive the ball and move it on to another player quickly. It’s looking like a good signing so far and one I would think who will earn a contract extension at the end of the season.
Much like it was obvious that Barbet has been our least impressive Dieng has clearly been our best player recently. He didn’t really have to be that successful to impress our fans with what’s come before him, however he’s shown his class and made an instant impact. At Derby he made a crucial save to deny Rooney and prevent Derby going 1-0 up against the run of play, and at Blackburn he held back the tide with multiple classy saves. I’ve already seen on twitter claims that he’s the next player who’ll be making a big transfer move to the premier league. That’s probably a bit premature he’s yet to face the most difficult part of playing in goal for QPR, playing with fans in the stadium. But the signs are promising and with him tied down (perhaps under duress) to a long term contract we can expect to see plenty more of him.