QPR 1 Peterborough Utd 1
By Ben Kosky THERE S an old adage that you can never have too many good players – but you can certainly have too many similar ones. QPR s profligate transfer policy of recent years – namely, stockpiling as many players as possible irrespective of whether
By Ben Kosky
THERE'S an old adage that you can never have too many good players - but you can certainly have too many similar ones.
QPR's profligate transfer policy of recent years - namely, stockpiling as many players as possible irrespective of whether there are gaps to be filled - has led to a situation of confusion and disarray.
Quite simply, there are too many members of the Rangers squad who function best in that imprecise area between midfield and attack - Adel Taarabt, Rowan Vine, Hogan Ephraim, Akos Buzsaky and, when fit, Angelo Balanta.
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Manager Jim Magilton - who, let's not forget, has only been in charge for eight games - is understandably still trying to work out his best side and struggling to fit the players available into the 4-4-2 system he prefers.
Saturday's stultifying draw with Peterborough - who, but for an unconvincing offside decision, would have taken all three points - showed that 4-4-2 will not work with the players available.
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With Lee Cook injured, Magilton has no genuine left winger and on the other flank Wayne Routledge's tendency to cut inside at every opportunity nullifies much of his potential threat.
The skilful Taarabt is nowhere near clinical enough to be deployed as a striker and, while on-loan Jay Simpson battled manfully, he does not appear capable of doing a Paul Furlong-type job.
All this has come about because the QPR board have never given any thought to gradual team building, instead assembling a random list of like-for-like players and expecting each manager in turn to mould them into a successful team.
In fact, the Rs' equalising goal arose out of players getting in each other's way, with Taarabt galloping into the penalty area and Simpson trying to hold the ball up before it eventually broke loose for Routledge to slot home.
QPR began well, with Taarabt and Alejandro Faurlin testing Joe Lewis and it was against the run of play when Aaron McLean glanced Tommy Williams' cross home in the 18th minute.
The Posh grew in confidence, with McLean going close again and Craig Mackail-Smith set up Lee Frecklington for a clear run at goal, but Ben Watson charged back to dispossess him and start the counter-attack that led to the Rs' equaliser.
Whatever momentum Rangers gained soon fizzled out and Radek Cerny kept out Mackail-Smith's volley and produced a karate kick to clear Toumani Diagouraga's swerving toe-punt.
Vine, who replaced Taarabt, and Mikele Leigertwood both teed up Simpson, but the striker was unable to finish on either occasion.
It looked as if Peterborough would snatch their first win of the season when Cerny spilled Shaun Batt's effort and Mackail-Smith slid in the rebound, only for the linesman to provide Rangers with an escape route they scarcely deserved.