Queens Park Rangers: Cerny or Kenny – Who should Warnock choose for United clash?
Neil Warnock has made many big decisions in his career, and he gets paid handsomely to do so, but this weekend he will have to make arguably his toughest call of the season so far. Does he keep faith with his number two keeper Radek Cerny, who has rolled back the years over the past three games, or give the fit-again Paddy Kenny the nod to face the champions Manchester United on Sunday?
Kenny is the club’s first-choice keeper and deservedly so. He played a huge part in the R’s promotion last season and is Mr Unflappable. The former Sheffield United shot stopper has kept four clean sheets this season but has missed the past three games through injury. However, Kenny’s understudy at Loftus Road, Radek Cerny, has stepped up to the plate and put in some blinding displays – none more so than his heroic performance against Liverpool at the weekend.
Cerny may be nearing the end of his professional career but he is playing like a man half his age. The Czech Republic ace and former Sparta Prague man has been brave, agile and committed in every game. Unfortunately he has failed to keep a single clean sheet and only managed to pick up one point, but Norwich away, West Brom home and Liverpool away were always going to be tough fixtures for the Rs.
Kenny is four years younger than Cerny but has made more than 500 league appearances during his career. He may not look the most athletic person in the world but his big frame makes him difficult to beat and his reactions are first class. Warnock certainly got a bargain when he convinced Kenny to join him in the capital for just £750,000.
Despite being the club’s number one, Neil Warnock told the Sun that Kenny may not regain his place straight away.
"He's our first choice, but Raddy has done ever so well in all three games he's played. He wasn't getting a look-in last season but I promised him another year here whatever division we were in - I'm glad I did. Raddy's been marvellous for us. He's a great professional and let him enjoy his moment. It's not going to be an easy choice for me to make."
That's an understatement Neil. It’s a massive decision to make. If he drops Cerny to allow Kenny back in then the Czech will obviously feel disappointed and let down. But if Warnock opts to keep faith with Cerny then Kenny may start to question his role at the club. I don’t really think he will as he is an experienced and honest pro. He’s been in the game long enough to know that you are never assured of your starting place, but it would still hurt if he wasn’t thrown straight back into the action.
Playing the champions Manchester United is what everyone dreams of. It’s a real test of how good you think you are and how good you actually are. With Rooney and Nani rediscovering their scoring boots though this could well be a poisoned chalice for Cerny or Kenny. It could, however, turn out to be a great result for the Rs and cement their place in the starting XI.
Personally I believe Cerny should be rewarded for his efforts, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Kenny back in between the sticks.
Calling all QPR fans. If you were in Neil Warnock’s boots right now, who would you choose and why? Whatever your views, we’d love to hear from you.