It seemed for almost the entire summer and for weeks before that as Queens Park Rangers surged towards the Championship and more importantly the Premier League that Adel Taarabt would not be there to guide them into the unknown. The often fantastic but infuriating midfielder at times appeared to on his own destroy opponents with skills beyond the division he played in.
However with the news of Taarabt’s departure seemingly put to rest you could ask, why are we discussing what else do QPR have? For a football fan that spent a long time watching more Championship football than is possible last year, you noticed more than anything that Taarabt went missing. Some games he would appear from nowhere and it has been noted on more than one occasion that Neil Warnock saw it fit to drag him off.
If this happens, and who knows why it happens who else can Q.P.R rely on, well statistically you scratch your head if it solely on what was there last year the cupboard looks bare. Taarabt’s 19 goals in 44 appearances with a further 16 created speak for themselves. Hedier Helguson is second on the list (Though much of the season was spent at Watford) and was as good as anyone with 13 goals in 34 games ironically the same amount of shots he put on target. His shots to goal ratio is also better than Taarabt, (38% to 21% shots on target equalling in goals scored) though of course one is a forward and one isn’t. It also has to be added that it is anyone’s guess that Helguson figures that highly at Q.P.R with players such as James Mackie (Horribly injured last January) and new signing Jay Bothroyd.
It is to Bothroyd who I turn most attention to, signed on a free after failing to get Cardiff promoted. Bothroyd was (in a team with players such as Craig Bellamy) the stand out striker and someone Cardiff will find hard to replace. Bothroyd has a 62.9% on target shot percentage rate which is higher than Helguson or Taarabt furthermore his goal scoring rate is only just slighter lower than Helguson’s yet like Taarrabt he scored more and unlike Taarrabt played 7 games less.
Another area in which Bothroyd is successful is in creating assists, as mentioned with Danny Graham at Swansea in my last piece and also shown with Shane Long at Reading a successful striker creates assists. 8 assists could be vital in the Premier League and with a team that without Adel Taarrabt firing looks deciding low on options, Bothroyd could become the Premier League steal that Warnock so hopes he will be.
One player who did look impressive before the injured leg was James Mackie 9 goals in 25 starts and exactly a goal to every two shots on target showed how much they missed him in the second half of the season. Tommy Smith was another striker who had ok figures, 6 goals in 33 starts looks poor but in actually fact it relates to 33% success rate for on shots on
Finally Keiron Dyer, the lad could probably be called a Journeyman, a player who has seen it all and but though promised much has sadly failed to do it all. At 34 on a free transfer from West ham United it could be seen as little in terms of a gamble but only 28 games in three years has no wonder displayed some bemused looks from the Rangers public? And hardly in my view will be much of a feature to shout home about.
So All eyes will be on Adel Taarrabt and certainly his stats suggest he is the one who will decide whether they stay afloat or are to be relegated, but if one player can stop the rot I fancy Jay Bothroyd may just be that player and turn out to be a 9 carrot steal for Neil.