What the Canary Nation had to endure at Loftus Road on Easter Monday was little short of embarrassing.
The 4-1 drubbing at the hands of a mediocre Queens Park Rangers side was very reminiscent of the early season losses at Aston Villa and especially against Millwall at The Den.
Arguably as bad a 45 minutes as we’ve seen this season and with various reasons for it.
I have issues with individual players and with the Head Coach over these sorts of inept, soft displays.
Firstly, I have to say that I can see what Daniel Farke is trying to do and if you follow my ramblings, you’ll already know that.
I don’t believe that you need to have world class ‘Galacticos’ to play the way he wants to. Of course it helps but it also helps to have Andy Carroll in your side if you want to be direct, rather than Dwight Gayle.
Fulham, Huddersfield and Reading (last season anyway) all played the possession based game in the Championship with added goal scoring prowess and none of them have any Galacticos.
Daniel Farke has changed to a back four recently, presumably in an attempt to score more goals, as opposed to the solid three centre back defence that we have seen operate so tightly.
The trouble is that we ship goals with four at the back and I’m suggesting some of that is down to individual errors from the full backs.
We only have one recognised senior right back in Ivo Pinto at the club and he was made Captain after the demise of Russell Martin. I’ve never really seen much leadership in Pinto, so that was a surprise but my real issue with Ivo is his defending.
He is lightning quick and that gets him out of trouble time and again and it gets him up the field into good attacking positions. His problem is always his decision making/final ball and he is an inconsistent crosser. He can’t defend very well and if he didn’t have that blistering pace, I’d struggle to see what he offers at all.
On the left flank at QPR we had James Husband, who is also not good enough. His primary job is to defend and again, he’s not great at it. He was simply beaten by a quick pass and move for the equaliser. He’s only played in fits and starts and been kept out of the side for much of the season by a left footed midfielder (Stiepermann) and has then been replaced by young Jamal Lewis, who is only now in his fourth month of professional league football.
Both full backs were weak links at QPR.
I’m starting to wonder if we can actually defend at all without loads of numbers at the back?!
Then we come to my issues with the Head Coach.
He has tried to get us creating more chances with the change in the defence and he says that his defence worked heavily on the threat of long balls and aerial duals with Matt Smith for this game and yet they just didn’t win their individual battles.
In any team sport you need to win your individual battles and I suppose you can’t legislate for Angus Gunn making a rare howler of a mistake and being beaten in the air by Matt Smith. Zimmermann and Lewis being out jumped though is not acceptable.
I am very concerned at Daniel Farke’s lack of a Plan B.
Sound familiar? We levelled that at our last manager, Alex Neil and it looks like Farke is the same. Stubborn.
Against QPR he made one change at 75 minutes when we were 3-1 down and it was like for like – a left back for a left back. Surely he should at least try to get back in the game with substitutions?
Throw Dennis Srbeny on and go two up top, try a few long balls etc.
It seems that in any sport you need to adapt to the challenges around you, like in life in general really.
Anthony Joshua’s points win on Saturday was a first for him. It wasn’t an exciting boxing spectacle to watch but he did what he had to do to win, that’s the only thing that mattered.
He used his superior reach to keep Joseph Parker on the end of his jab all night and jabbed his way to victory. It was what he had to do to win and he adapted to be lighter and quicker. He was wary of his opponent’s speed and changed accordingly.
Ian Holloway has adapted to the squad he inherited at QPR and he is making the best of it. He’s added Matt Smith to his squad and he’s now working on those strengths.
He hasn’t always been a long ball manager. When he took Blackpool to the Premier League, he had some ballers and played passing, attractive football.
At QPR he doesn’t have that, so he’s adapted. He’s now basically saying in his pre-match talks ‘Get it long quickly and look for Smithy’ Or ‘Hoof ball’ as it’s commonly known in these parts.
It was effective against Norwich and we couldn’t cope with the physicality and aerial threat, despite being aware of it, as Farke said in his post-match comments.
Daniel Farke needs to be able to adapt and use a Plan B when needed. Next summer, we badly need a new right back and I know that we tried to buy one in January. Rome wasn’t built in a day and I’m sure that will be remedied in the summer.
There I go again, trying to be positive.
I think that the majority of City fans will still be behind Farke come the summer but if say, after ten games of next season nothing has changed and we cannot compete in and around the top six and the soft under belly hasn’t been eradicated then the Canary Nation will be baying for blood.
Stuart Webber will know this.