Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Queens Park Rangers Story: January

January already? God this game has gone so fast! To start off with, I need to point out a slight error I made in the December blog. New signing Franco Zuculini is NOT a central defender as I had thought, but rather a DM/MR/MC, which is good! I have 4 of them though, Damiano Tomassi, Gavin Mahon, Matteo Alberti, and Zuculini himself. I decided to ship out Alberti on loan, and bring in a reliable defender on loan. Tottenham offered me Ben Alnwick midway through, another young keeper, but I refused their offer, as he was only good for league 1 sides. I ended up bringing Paul Stalteri on loan (from Tottenham), a solid, reliable right back. This concluded my transfer window dealings, so lets get on to the fixtures:

Queens Park Rangers 3-3 Southampton (FA Cup 3rd Round)
Queens Park Rangers 1-2 Bolton Wanderers (League Cup 1/2 Final)
Nottm Forest 2-0 Queens Park Rangers (Championship)
Southampton 3-3 Queens Park Rangers (FA Cup 3rd Round) *4-5 on penalties*
Queens Park Rangers 1-0 Preston North End (Championship)
Boltom Wanderers 1-1 Queens Park Rangers (League Cup 1/2 Final)
Portsmouth 4-1 Queens Park Rangers (FA Cup 4th Round)
Barnsley 1-1 Queens Park Rangers (Championship)
Queens Park Rangers 2-2 Norwich City (Championship)

All in all, a quite disappointing month, we went out of both the FA Cup and the League Cup, but with pride (the Portsmouth game was closer that it seems), and now we focuse only on the Championship. We thankfully remain unbeaten for January, but 3 draws and 1 win has dropped us down to 7th, 1 point away from 5th and 4 points above 8th. This is still very good, and I am hopeful that Zuculini and Stalteri can push us onto greater things. Unfortunately, there was an injury crisis in January, one which surpassed September by a country mile. No less than 8 first teamers were injured for over 2 weeks, and they all missed every January game until Preston, with 4 players returning for that game. What made it worse is that all 3 of our strikers were on the injury list, so I had to have a very attacking formation to make up for it. This resulted in both of the Southampton games, and backfired against Bolton and Nottingham Forest.

Now onto individual player performances, and top of the list was Glauber Berti, who amassed a grand total of 7.42 in the last 5 matches of this month, despite the bad results. I think that this shows a classy player the most, the ability to perform even when the team is losing or even drawing. This is highlighted by his 7.4 rating in the 4-1 loss against Portsmouth. 2nd in my list is Franco Zuculini, the bargain signing from the end of December. He was on international duty (Argentina U20's) for the first 3 games, but has made 3 appearances since his return and has gotten 7.40 for 2 assists and lots of good shots and passes. If I remember correctly, he has hit the woodwork a grand 4 times, and all from long range! I shall keep an eye on his performances, as he is my very own super-sub/wonderkid! Bottom of the pops goes to Martin Rowlands, for his 6.12 rating over the last 5 games. He started 4, and came off the bench in the last game, but he had as little impact as you can imagine from a commanding centre midfielder. Hopefully he will pick up his form in February. Finally, top scorer in January goes to Sebastian Abreu (again), for collecting 3 goals in 3 games. Make-shift striker Hobbit Bermudez got 2 goals in 4 appearances as striker, so I shall be considering him if my other strikers are out of form or injured.

Anyway, thats it for January, February coming up soon!


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