Here are five tactical flaws in the QPR defence that have to improve.
Space between the Centre Backs
Space between the centre backs is one of the most common tactical flaws in a defence which costs goals. The problem for QPR is that it’s appearing on a regular basis. The side can’t seem to keep a tight defensive shape across the back for with the full backs out of position leading to the centre backs covering the space. The problem this creates is the space left for the opposition to exploit.
Discipline of the Centre Backs
The centre backs need to work as a pair, shift when the other shifts and also to remain in a straight line. It can be all too tempting for a centre back to step out of position to try and win the ball. The problem this has created for QPR is that they are trying to steal the ball off of extremely talented players who can put the ball into the space left behind within a couple of passes and the striker is then automatically one-on-one with the goalkeeper.
Dropping too deep
There are numerous examples at the moment of where the QPR defence is dropping far too deep inside their own penalty box when it comes to set pieces. Julio Cesar has to be much more dominant in goal and order his defence to stay on the edge of the penalty box. This is also something that experienced defender Ryan Nelsen has to get a grip of. When the defence drops deep, any slight flick on or deflection leaves Cesar with no hope of saving it.
The Full Backs
The full backs have to get back into position after attacks as quickly as they can. If they take too long to get back and form the defensive back four, then the centre backs are exposed. They also need to use some initiative on the way back. If a counter attack is developing or a player is making a run, there is no harm in a full back committing a foul to give his side more time or tracking that run to eradicate the threat posed by that player.
There is not enough aggression from the QPR defence as a whole and this needs to change. Aggression does not mean having to be overly physical in every defensive tackle. It means making sure the strikers know the key defenders are all over them like a rash, it means using body weight to get into a better position over a striker to make a clearing header and it means being able to tactically push an opposition attack deeper into the pitch.