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Thursday, 29 December 2011

QPR Review

In his post match interviews Brendan Rodgers talked about it being two points lost, but given how the second half went I'd consider it a relief to get a point.

It'd be easy to laugh at Warnock and his antics of remonstrating with the fourth official for what seemed like most of the first half but it'd be interesting to know if this had any impact on referee Probert not giving the penalty for the clear foul on Graham in the second half.  Both decisions were probably wrong so I guess it evens itself out but leaves everyone angry with the ref.

The big change in this game for me compared to recent matches was the level of involvement from Steven Caulker.  In the first half especially he was carrying the ball and passing much more than Ashley Williams when it is usually the other way round.

The figures below show the number of passes made by each of the centre-backs during the last 4 games, in the 3 prior to the QPR game Ash had the greater number of passes, but in the QPR game, Caulker makes significantly more passes than his defensive partner.
As well as Caulker having more passes during the QPR game the drop in number of passes by Williams compared to the previous home game with Fulham should be noted
This meant that Swansea were even more attack minded down the right hand side than normal with 39% of passes made down the right flank compared to 20% on the right:
Large proportion of passing going through Caulker and Rangel in particular
As well as the predominance of activity down the right hand side the other area of note was the major shift in activity between the first and second half, both in terms of volume of passing and pass completion rate from Swansea. 

Swansea made 336 passes in the first half compared with only 212 in the second with a lower proportion of passes completed in the second half:
Second Half Pass Completion figures were similar for both teams and QPR actually made more passes than Swansea during the second half which is a rarity for visitors to the Liberty
The change in passing volume was most noticeable for Caulker who made 43 passes in the first half but only 16 in the second.

One of the main reasons for this change was the increased pressure on Swansea players from QPR and the number of tackles made by QPR, in particular those made by Alejandro Faurlin which broke up a lot of Swansea moves. 

QPR made 19 successful ground tackles in total, 6 in the first half and 13 in the second.  11 of the 19 were made by Faurlin alone compared to the 9 tackles made by the whole of the Swansea team during the match.
Second Half Ground Tackles won by QPR.  6 of the 13 from Faurlin.  Majority of QPR tackles won coming in Left Hand Side / Left Central Midfield positions
In terms of goal attempts, Swansea managed only 3 in the second half and overall had less goal attempts with 8 than QPR who had 14 and an investigation in to the attacking midfield role is something that I'll be looking at after the Villa game.

'Must-Win' is a term that gets used far too often, even by some of the players.  In reality avoiding defeat and keeping the points total ticking over is the most important thing.  19 points so far with 1 game remaining in this half of the season isn't a bad return at all. 

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Chalkboards/Match Stats: Created using http://www.guardian.co.uk/chalkboards