QPR went out of the Carabao Cup at Plymouth in their first competitive game of the new season. Here are three things we learned from the performance.
Right is right for Dickie
New signing Rob Dickie clearly fits the bill in terms of the ball-playing centre-back Rangers have long been keen to bring in. He’s been signed as a right-sided option to slot in alongside Yoann Barbet, who didn’t play at Plymouth. And what was immediately noticeable on his debut is that Dickie looked far less comfortable when he found himself on his left side. On his right, he looks a fine prospect.
Carroll is still prone to giving it away
Tom Carroll arrived for his season on loan from Tottenham with the then Rangers boss Harry Redknapp, who had previously managed Spurs, declaring that the midfielder was a player who simply didn’t give the ball away. It wasn’t a billing he lived up to.
It was a similar story in the opening half hour or so at Home Park, where Carroll showed the same tendency to give the ball away. That said, after that he was much more accurate. And a lack of sharpness was perhaps inevitable given that it was his first competitive game since featuring for Swansea in their FA Cup thrashing at QPR in January.
QPR still lack a midfield enforcer
Rangers have plenty of midfield options yet not a single one of them seems capable of consistently running the show at Championship level. Geoff Cameron, who didn’t play this weekend, is 35 and was hit-and-miss last season. Luke Amos is far from the finished article, Dom Ball is a grafter and Carroll has struggled in the second tier. Ilias Chair, meanwhile, is still developing and in any case prefers to operate further forward.