In our latest fan column, Charlie Skinner assesses the performances of striker Conor Washington, and discusses why the QPR fans need to get behind him.
Conor Washington, the postman turned international striker, hasn’t enjoyed a healthy goal scoring record at Loftus Road since his arrival. Does he have what it takes?
After having a purple patch with Peterborough in the 2015-2016 season, R’s snapped him up for a figure rumoured to be around £3m. His arrival came with a lot of pressure from the very beginning as most fans were expecting someone who could carry on where Charlie Austin left off. Let’s be honest, the Austin-esque natural born scorers are a very rare breed, especially at a bargain price.
Lightning pace and enjoying the best scoring season of his professional career, Rangers probably thought they’d snapped a bargain in Washington.
What you definitely get from Conor Washington is £3m worth of running, something that R’s fans were yearning for since the era of lazy mercenary players. Washington is a younger Jamie Mackie with a lot more pace. He’s obviously been working on his strength and on his hold up play as he has shown this season at least competing with some centre halves nearly a foot taller than him. He likes to pressure defenders and give them a little nudge if they’ve let the ball bounce so that they miss it.
Why hasn’t he got a good goal scoring record then if he’s got pace, strength and endeavour?
There’s always an argument with Conor that he isn’t being played in the correct formation or with the right striker or with the right tactics. In the end, he will be judged by his goal tally which isn’t worth the £3m paid for him. He shoots straight at the keeper most times when he is in a good position and just when you think it’s going to be his year (2 goals in the first game of the season) he disappears again. What is going on?
Personally, it looks to me that Conor Washington is bereft of confidence. Not being able to hold down a regular spot in a regular formation and a lack of goals seems to have done him no good at all. Ask any striker in any league in the world what they thrive on and the answer will be the same. Confidence.
If Hasselbaink or Holloway can’t get Conor firing, then it’s up to the R’s fans to do so.
Cheer his name, applaud when he has a (half decent) shot, give the lad some confidence and send a clear message to him that we want him to succeed.
I think the next 6 months will be the most important of Washington’s career to decide whether he is capable at this level. I’m hoping he is!
If you're interested in writing a fan column, get in touch with our QPR reporter Phil Spencer by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.