Survival may hinge on form of Cesar and Remy
Last Saturday’s FA Cup exit at the hands of lowly MK Dons could actually prove to be a blessing for Queens Park Rangers.
January 29th, 2013
Having made nine changes to the side that faced West Ham the weekend before, Harry Redknapp’s side were left helpless by the League One side. However, with Premier League survival at the forefront of everyone’s mind, one less distraction could be just what the club needs.
When examining the table a little more closely, one glaring stat jumps out about QPR almost instantly; they have only scored 18 goals in 23 games. Another relevant piece of information is that they have only conceded 37 goals; whilst this is still too many it is less than any of the other sides in the bottom eight.
Much of this cannot be attributed to their defence, which even after Redknapp’s arrival still looks porous. The majority of the credit actually lies with their current first choice keeper Julio Cesar who has been in wonderful form recently – which has seen him awarded ‘man of the match’ against Spurs and West Ham.
The Brazilian keeper arrived from Inter Milan in the summer of 2012 after seven successful years playing for the Italian club. As well as being part of a team that won 14 major trophies during his time with the Nerazzurri he was nominated for the 2009 Ballon d’Or, and played for Brazil during the 2010 World Cup.
However, after a dispute with Inter over his wages and the impending possibility of not being their number one keeper, a move to QPR appeared too good of an opportunity to turn down. Some of his shot-stopping against Spurs and West Ham in the last couple of weeks has been of the highest level, and it would appear that his consistency is back again.
What Cesar and QPR desperately need though is for more goals to be scored at the other end. The fact that they have only scored 18 goals all season is desperately worrying, and the club’s purchase of Loic Remy for £8 million clearly shows this is something they are keen to address. Having been linked with several English clubs in recent years, the 26-year old has finally made his move to the Premier League.
Having only played one game thus far for his new side it would be foolhardy to analyse his impact too much, but he did score in the draw with West Ham. He has been a regular scorer in Ligue 1 without ever being prolific. Generally his best position is as a lone striker but he can operate on both wings, and possesses a great turn of pace to add to his obvious physical strength.
If he can forge a partnership with Zamora, or be integrated alongside the more creative players such as Granero and Taarabt, the side will be far more effective in attack. At this stage of the season the club needs points and they need them quickly. A prerequisite for this is scoring goals, but in tight games towards the end of the season clean sheets will also become crucial. Whilst many consider Redknapp to be the crucial factor, it will actually be the form of Cesar and Remy who decide QPR’s fate.