Look what happened on Wednesday when Barton was withdrawn from the action. Suddenly QPR had eleven players on the pitch instead of ten. Suddenly everybody in Hoops was giving his all. Suddenly all eleven Rs players were trying to pass to each other instead of giving the ball away to the opposition. But how long did it take Mark Hughes to get the message? The last thirteen minutes should have given him food for thought.
The trouble is, Barton is the captain and, when playing well, is easily worth a place in this QPR team - providing he is used in central midfield. It's a tricky dilemma. If Barton starts today, I wouldn't be surprised to see him score - especially as the crowd will be giving him the bird as an ex Newcastle player.
For Barton, read Nolan at West Ham. Everybody except Allardyce now accepts that Captain Kev is a part of the problem. Play him and we can't play 4-4-2. Include him and you are left either with a little man as the lone striker or the goal shy Cole up front on his own. Just as QPR came to life on Wednesday when Barton was withdrawn, so we looked much more effective as a creative unit when Nolan was suspended. But if he starts today, would anybody bet against Nolan scoring? And does anybody genuinely believe that Allardyce won't start him?
Might be an interesting double - Barton and Nolan both to score the first goal!