This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Player view’ series, this content strand is where we put ourselves in the shoes of a given player, and offer an opinion-based outlook on the perspective on the situation at hand…
QPR central defender Toni Leistner has started twelve times so far for the R’s in their back line, and has been a mainstay of the team of late.
However, the 29-year-old has faced criticism from his own fans for his recent performances in the absence of centre-back partner Yoann Barbet.
The game against Brentford at Loftus Road two weeks ago represented a disappointing performance for Leistner, who was dispossessed once during the 90 minutes, and won 1 out of two tackles, according to WhoScored.
It has been a season of instability in defence for Queens Park Rangers, which has seen a variety of different partnerships at the back.
The team may have an issue as a whole defensively, as the West Londoners have not kept a single clean sheet in the Championship, also conceding 28 goals, the second worst figure in the division.
The tinkering in defence by Warburton – sometimes forced due to injury – no doubt has influenced the side’s wayward performances.
Is Leistner potentially being made the scapegoat for QPR’s poor defence? From the statistics, the German has had a relatively successful season so far.
It has been reported in the Kilburn Times that the German suffered an knock against Leeds that makes his involvement against Middlesbrough on Saturday unlikely, which leaves Mark Warburton’s side short at the back with Yoann Barbet also not fit.
That means the likely central defensive partnership Warburton would have to field would be Lee Wallace and Grant Hall, who have only taken to the field together once this season.
The problem Leistner now has is that if Hall and Wallace show their qualities and prove to be a viable defensive partnership going forward, the German may find it difficult getting back into the QPR side for the foreseeable future.