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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Snippets: QPR's Need for Another Forward?...Two Ex-QPR Birthdays...Year Flashback: QPR Bottom..Holloway and Mancienne Looking...Nardiello's Injury

Ricky Brooks/Goal.com - Do Queens Park Rangers Need Another Forward?Following QPR's recent defeat away at Birmingham City, manager Iain Dowie admitted he may be in the market for a striker. With Rangers having failed to win in their last four league games, is a new forward just what they're looking for?
- Queens Park Rangers started the season as one of the favourites to win promotion from the Championship to the Premier League according to the bookmakers. Although they have billionaire backing which makes them one of the wealthiest clubs in the world, the R's spent relatively little over the summer. Of the nine players who have arrived at Loftus Road this summer only one was not either a free transfer or loan, Kaspars Gorkss, and his transfer fee was only around £250,000.
- Rangers' recruits so far this season include one goalkeeper (Radek Cerny), two defenders (Peter Ramage and Kaspars Gorkss), five midfielders (Matteo Alberti, Emmanuel Ledesma, Dani Parejo, Lee Cook and Damiano Tommassi) and a solitary striker (Samuel Di Carmine). Following the 1-0 defeat to Birimingham City before the international break, Hoops boss Iain Dowie revealed that the club could be in the loan market for a striker, telling BBC London: "I've said all along that there are one or two areas I'd like to strengthen, that's something we'll do when it's the right character."
- Having started the season rather brightly, winning four of their first six league games and only losing once, QPR were sitting pretty in the play-off zone. Aside from the 4-1 thrashing of Southampton however, Rangers had not been prolific in front of goal scoring ten times. Since their 1-0 win away at Norwich City, Iain Dowie's team have picked up only one point from a possible twelve, finding the back of the net only once in that period.
- Of the eleven goals QPR have scored in the league this season, five of them have come from Dexter Blackstock who is only bettered by Kevin Doyle, Chris Iwelumo and Ross McCormack in the Championship scoring charts. In a recent interview, Blackstock told the club's official website that while he acknowledges the club have not been performing to their potential in recent games he has been happy with his own form, even if it has not kept the club in the promotion hunt.
- "We've suffered a dip in form over the last couple of weeks but that was always going to happen at some stage," stated Blackstock. He continued: "We made a great start to the season but we couldn't go through the whole year showing that type of form, that's unrealistic. I'm happy with the start I've made, it's been nice to get amongst the goals. If I keep plugging away and get a few more, then it bodes well for the future."
- Only one other forward has been on the score sheet in the Championship for QPR in the 2008/09 campaign, Patrick Agyemange who scored in the 4-1 win over Southampton in September. This could be due to the formation which Rangers have adopted this season, playing many of their games with one forward. However, Fitz Hall is the only other member of the squad to have scored more than once in the league, with Ledesma and Rowlands the only two midfielders to have found the back of the net.
- The R's do have plenty of options in midfield and defence, aside from left back perhaps, but are slightly shorter in attacking numbers. Both Samuel Di Carmine and Angelo Balanta are young and inexperienced and Rowan Vine is still recovering from a broken leg suffered last season. That leaves only Blackstock and Agyemang as the fully fit senior forwards available for selection and while the former has started every leage game, the latter has featured in only eight and six of them coming off the bench.
- The question therefore is do QPR need to bring in another forward on loan? Would a change of formation back to a 4-4-2 be more beneficial, allowing Blackstock to be paired with Agyemang? Could one of either Di Carmine or Balanta come in and do a job for the R's? Or should the Hoops perhaps employ one of either Buzsaky or Ledesma in a more attacking role just behind the lone striker? Whatever the answer may be, the fact remains that QPR need to start scoring more goals if they are to mount a serious challenge for promotion this season. Ricky Brooks, Goal.com

Ex-QPR Birthdays Although technically, Rehman is only on loan from QPR.

Zesh Rehman Turns 25:
- Born October 14, 1983. Signed from by Gary Waddock from Fulham in August 2006. Went out on loan a couple of times. Currently on long-term loan at Blackpool. See Rehman/Wikpedia

Clarke Carlisle Turns 29
Born: October 14, 1979. Signed from Blackpool by Gerry Francis in July 2000. Left QPR to join Leeds in July 2004. Then went to Watford and now at Burnley. Carlisle/Wikipedia

Flashback a year:
A year ago, after nine games, QPR were bottom with six points (and a minus 12 goal difference; and had scored two goals at home.

Repeating what's been in various papers over the last few days:

BBC Gossip
Ian Holloway, who parted company with Leicester in May, is in line to become the new manager of struggling League One side Swindon. (Daily Star) [Although Swindon have denied it; Holloway was at Swindon's last game. When Bill Power and Mark Devlin were at Swindon, they did not appoint Holloway as manager.] See also: Swindon Chairman Andrew Fitton "...If Holloway was at the game then he was there to watch a football match. He wasn't an invited guest and it's not relevant," "Denial

Chelsea's England Under-21 star Michael Mancienne has admitted he may have to quit the Stamford Bridge club to fulfil his desire for first-team football. (The Sun) BBC Gossip

- The Sun/Michael Mancienne "I Might Jump Off The Bridge" (but say Fulham and West Ham are interested in Mancienne.]

Danny Nardiello Injury UpdateBlackpool Gazette/Steve Canavan - Grayson backs injury hit striker
SIMON Grayson insists he has no long-term concerns about Daniel Nardiello despite the striker's injury-hit start to his Seasiders career.
The unlucky frontman has made just two brief appearances from the sub's bench since his summer switch from QPR.
He has suffered a string of injuries and Grayson admits the 25-year-old is unlikely to be fit for the Doncaster clash, despite a fortnight of intensive treatment.
But the manager has dismissed suggestions that a medical might have picked up Nardiello's injury problems.
Instead he has staunchly defended the striker and insists Nardiello just needs time to get himself fully fit.
"He is working hard with our physio Phil Horner, although he is not doing any football work yet," said Grayson.
"We've just got to be careful that we don't bring him back soon because he keeps breaking down with different injuries. He needs to spend some decent time with Phil.
"Whether's he's fit for the Doncaster game I don't know. He may be over his injury but whether he's actually fit to play a part is another thing."
Grayson added: "Some people have said that these problems should have been picked up in a medical but sometimes you can't do that. It's just one of those things – it happens.
"We've signed players who we thought might struggle with a couple of injuries and they didn't have an injury for two or three years. And vice versa, it happens.
"Players pass medicals and sometimes you just can't legislate for things." Blackpool Gazette

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