Why Church does not deserve to start
Simon Church sent the Madejski Stadium into raptures at the weekend when he banged in the winner in the fine come from behind win over Doncaster. It was his second goal in two sub appearances, after he scored the fourth in the 4-0 win over Burnley last weekend and that has got some fans overly excited about started Church in the next game against QPR. However this is really not the way to go, and Church has a long way to go before he can be considered a regular starer in this team.
Firstly because of the formation we play under Brian McDermott. Whilst we have still not found the right blend for the role just off the striker, Shane Long has made the position of lone striker his own. In this formation that role can be an unselfish one and the work Long gets through during a game is far greater than he gets credit for. It's easy to critise him when we are on a run of not scoring goals, as we were a few games ago, so maybe now is the time to praise him for the opportunities he creates for others, now that we have started scoring goals again. A trip to QPR will require a hardworking striker up top and Church does not fit the bill.
Secondly, Church has not impressed when starting this season. In his 5 starts in the league he has yet to score in those games, and has been subbed in all of them. In fact we have only won one of the games he has started and that was the 3-0 win over Barnsley when Hal Robson Kanu came on for him with the scores still level at 0-0. Church does not appear to be as effective as Long in the lone striker role, and has yet to form a decent partnership with either Long or Noel Hunt forcing McDermott to play 4-4-2.
Church is at a stage of his career that Long was at a couple of years ago, effective from the bench but not able to produce that over a longer period on the pitch. For now Church must stay as our super sub, and I would be very surprised to see him in the starting 11 at Loftus Road.
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