This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
QPR’s elusive clean sheet doesn’t seem like it will come anytime soon, and one reason for that is the lack of form of the goalkeepers at the club.
Mark Warburton has tried different things to stem the flow of goals conceded in recent games, but his team’s problems continue.
So far there have been two constant factors which he can’t avoid – playing either Joe Lumley or Liam Kelly – both of whom have underwhelmed during their time between the sticks.
Lumley, as the more experienced of the two, is perhaps more of a disappointment. His errors have cost the R’s at times this season – with a mistake against Luton gifting Harry Cornick a goal – and due to conceding 16 goals in 10 league games he was rightly dropped.
Kelly fared no better though, conceding 14 in six league games, before injury ruled him out of the Middlesbrough fixture, and that means Warburton will have to persist with Lumley for the foreseeable future.
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Warburton’s hand was forced over the summer in regard to signing a new goalkeeper, as Matt Ingram departed for Hull, but so far Kelly is not proving an astute purchase.
The two worked together at Rangers, though, so the R’s boss must have been confident in his abilities. His failure to get up and running reflects badly on Warburton, and until he improves the decision to bring him in could be considered a mistake.
However, he is still young and adjusting to a new club as well as a new league, and with more games under his belt he may perform better.
Some of the goals he has conceded have been as a result of those in front of him, too, but the same can be said for Lumley, and that means there may be a lack of organisation of the defence from both individuals.
Worse still for Lumley is that his mistakes can unnerve his teammates, as they may be worried about his abilities, and in turn that can disrupt concentration and lead to more goals conceded – as the Boro game showed.
The goalkeeping situation should clearly be a big worry, yet Warburton feels Lumley could play in the Premier League one day, which suggests he isn’t too concerned by the problem.