I think it’s fair to say that there are many problems with QPR as a team that are keeping them from reaching their potential. The team undoubtedly has talent but a lack of cohesion and discipline on top of poor management has seen them just above the foot of the table on goal difference (thanks to Southampton’s historically bad defense). I’ve compiled some numbers through my own research to help shed some light on just how bad QPR have been, not just this season, but since their return to the Premier League.
But let’s start with the here and now:
QPR have become the 8th team in Premier League history to go 10 games into a season without recording a single victory. Here is how they compare to the rest of the teams that have achieved this dubious feat.
|Team||Year||Draws||Losses||Points||Final Pos.||Game of 1st W|
As you can see, they aren’t necessarily in the worst position when compared to the rest of the teams who have gone this far into a season without a win. In fact, Blackburn finishing 13th after only garnering 4 points could be a sign of hope for Rangers fans to hold onto. But generally when a team goes this deep into a season without a victory it usually ends in relegation as it has done five of the previous seven times. They do have a way to go to catch Swindon Town’s 16 games without a victory and their next six games have some winnable fixtures in them. Away to Stoke (who they beat home and away last season), home to Southampton, away to Manchester United & Sunderland, back home for Aston Villa and away again to Wigan. Surely there are at least three winnable fixtures in that run to help QPR stop the early season rot and right the ship. Their overall losing streak extends back to the final day of last season, which puts it as 11 overall and in that time they’ve managed four draws and seven losses.
Our next number is three, which is the number of wins that QPR have managed in their road games dating back to last season, which is the fewest in the Premier League. While that is an abysmal total, QPR aren’t alone in their road woes as there are 3 other teams right behind them with only 4 wins in their road travels dating back to last season. Here’s the table on some of the feeblest road warriors dating back to last season:
Though the rest of these teams are just behind QPR in a win total, the amount of losses that they’ve suffered on the road is staggering. The saving grace for the other three teams in the table is the fact that they’ve at least been able to garner a decent amount of draws on the road. You can also take away the fact that even though QPR seem to score a fair amount of goals while travelling, they give up way more goals than the rest of these squads. A team with the players that QPR have should not be letting in that many goals on the road.
The number zero not only signifies the number of wins that QPR have managed this season, but it is also the number of road wins that QPR have managed under Mark Hughes since he took charge at Loftus Road. In fact Sparky’s record on the road is so bad it makes Neil Warnock look like Sir Alex Ferguson by comparison:
Even with four extra games in charge, Hughes hasn’t been able to scratch out a winning result on the road. QPR have put up some exciting results on the road under Hughes, three games where the team has lost 3-2. But for whatever reason it just hasn’t happened for dear old Sparky on the road. His 14 games without a victory on the road is a spectacularly bad record, which leads us to our next number…
QPR have now gone 18 games winless on the road dating back to last season, the longest streak for an active Premier League team. Their next game, which is away to Stoke, will be a crucial one because if they do not achieve victory at the Britannia (which oddly enough is where they won their last away game), they will be joining another elite club of road losers. Only six times in Premier League history has a team gone winless on the road during an entire season. Granted QPR haven’t done it in a single season. They will have still gone a Premier League seasons worth of road games without a win.
Here are the other teams who have done it in a single season with QPR’s current 18 game winless streak in for comparison:
Man that is a lot of failure right there. A couple of things to add to this table — all of the teams that went winless on the road in a single Premier League season were relegated except two. Coventry City actually finished 14th in the league the year they failed to win a game on the road. Leeds United also finished 17th their season, which was the inaugural Premier League season (hence the 21 road games).
Of the teams that are in this table, Leeds went the longest without a road win (24 games), while Derby County and Hull City’s streaks are technically ongoing since they were relegated (Derby is at 23 without a win while Hull sits at 24). So QPR can take solace in the fact that they are not the worst of the worst. During their 18 game losing streak, they’ve given up the 2nd fewest goals and have scored the 2nd most which gives them the best goal difference out of the bunch. Hooray for small victories!
The number 32 is the amount of cards that QPR have accumulated over their 18 game losing streak. Now it’s easy to see how a leaky defense can affect a club, but indiscipline is also something that can really hamper a team. A player gets a yellow card and he might play differently, which in turn has an adverse effect on the play of the entire team. Let’s take a look at the card breakdown for QPR and their home opponents.
SRC: Straight Red Card, TC: Total Cards, G1C: Games with at least one card, GMC: Games with Multiple Cards
As you can see QPR are averaging nearly 2 cards per game on the road, which is significant because you’re taking nearly 1/5th of your team out of their game. In a league where you need to be at your best week-in and week-out, no matter where you’re playing, that is a huge detriment for a team to have to deal with. What’s also astounding is the fact that of all the red cards they’ve accumulated during this streak, they’ve all been straight reds, no double yellows. Nearly a quarter of the games that QPR have lost they’ve been down a man at some point in the match. You only need to look back to their last road game versus Arsenal to see the impact of a needless red card and how it can impact the match.
Last season, Queens Park Rangers sacked manager Neil Warnock on January 8 after the R’s lost at home to Norwich City. If you take a look back at Warnock’s first 10 matches in charge during the Premier League for the 2011-12 season, Queens Park Rangers won 3 games (for a win percentage of 30%). Compare that to the first 10 Premier League games this season under Mark Hughes, who has zero wins (for a win percentage of 0%).
Who did QPR beat in their three wins during their first 10 matches last season? Chelsea, Everton and Wolves.
There is a lot that one can take from all this information mainly that the QPR defense is not good, the team is not very disciplined and the manager at least plays a significant role in the team’s road woes. But that’s the wonderful thing about statistics. Everything and anything can be viewed, skewed and given multiple narratives depending upon who is looking at them. While one could say that QPR are absolutely dreadful on the road, you only need to look back and see that there are teams just behind them who are just as poor. A win at the Britannia this weekend would see Stoke become the new torch bearers for road futility in the Premier League (Stoke currently have a 15 game road winless streak). But then again, the numbers are there for all to see. QPR are awful and are not very far away from becoming historically awful.