Jay can be QPR’s Zamora

As I walked away from Loftus Road on Monday night following Neil Warnock’s post-match press conference, I overheard various comments from QPR fans about Jay Bothroyd’s performance. Some weren’t too complimentary.

After just a few Premier League matches it’s far too early to judge him. He hasn’t scored yet, but he does look capable of getting goals. And apart from that, he is vital to the way Warnock has the team set up.
Playing as a target man, Bothroyd is very good with his back to goal and was involved in several decent passages of play against Newcastle.
Sure, he doesn’t exactly have Les Ferdinand’s aerial ability but he is decent enough with his head and has shown that he is able to hold his own physically against defenders in the top flight.  

Like any striker at a new club, he will want to get a goal sooner rather than later and I’m convinced it will happen in the next few games given the attacking talent around him in the shape of Shaun Wright-Phillips and Adel Taarabt.

“Zamora’s name is now regularly sung from in Hammersmith End and without him Fulham do not function as well.”

Even if it doesn’t, I’d suggest Rangers fans who may be tempted to lose faith in him should look down the road to Fulham, where another left-footed forward is now the main man.

Like Bothroyd, Bobby Zamora initially struggled to find the net after arriving at the Cottage from West Ham in 2008 for £4.8m.

Despite his excellent hold-up play, his lack of goals saw him come in for stick from some Whites fans on the internet.  
Zamora didn’t take kindly to the criticism and after grabbing the winning goal against Sunderland in December 2009 he let rip at the keyboard warriors with a foul-mouthed tirade in the direction of the Hammersmith End.
The then Fulham manager Roy Hodgson wasn’t impressed by his reaction and suggested he’d been reading too many comments online.
Plenty of punters who had backed Zamora through his barren spell were not best pleased to be on the receiving end of Zamora’s angry reaction.

And when he finished that season with only four goals, he looked set to leave after Fulham agreed to sell him to Hull City for £5m.

Zamora misfired early on in his Fulham career

In the end, Zamora turned down the move which proved to be a wise decision for both him and the club. In 2009/10 he scored 19 goals in all competitions which helped Fulham to a mid-table finish and a memorable run to the Europa League final.
It was a remarkable turnaround which also saw Zamora win his first cap for England.  

Zamora’s name is now regularly sung from in Hammersmith End and without him Fulham do not function as well as a unit, as was proved last season when he broke his leg and was out for five months.

He returned to the side in February, and finished the campaign with seven goals, helping Fulham stay up.

At 29, Bothroyd is a year younger than Zamora and having joined the R’s on a free transfer I think he prove to be a similarly excellent signing.

Neither player wants to finish their career as one-cap wonders and are desperate to get back into the England reckoning, so this is a crucial season for them both.

Even at club level, Bothroyd still has much to prove. But he is capable of proving it – and Zamora is his benchmark.