The game against Barnsley confirmed for me that we need wingers. Yes, the 5-3-2 formation has worked well for us but at home when teams are content with getting a point we struggle to break them down. Matt Smith was upfront so you’d think when we’re in need of a goal they would put loads of crosses in, surely he’d score one? All of the crosses from Leeds players were hit from so far back it was basically a Warnock style hoof up field, what is he meant to do with that? Wingers add a different dimension to the game, even from the bench. If you’re drawing a game 0-0 and you can bring on one or two fast wingers it can really change a game. It stops the opposition from pushing forward too much, if they did they would be very much open for a counter attack. I think if we do sign a couple of wingers, they don’t have to be Gradel, we will be certainties for the playoffs.
Of course any wingers that are signed would mean a change in formation in order to fit them in. Leeds have recently been using a 5-3-2 with wing-back’s providing the width. I personally think this was a quick fix before January when he could go out and bring in a couple of wingers.
For me, the only downside to a switch would be if we went and played one up front. I don’t think Ross would have scored half as many if he didn’t have a striking partner to play off. We could always go and play a 4-4-2 but that would leave us light in central midfield. Or there’s always continuing with three central defenders and rather than having wing-back’s just playing wingers. Again, though, the negative to that would be us being left light defensively.
Every formation has its negatives, but I do think it’s something that will have changed come the end of January, McDermott himself has said that’s he’s not frightened to change it. Since we’ve adopted the 5-3-2, Leeds have accumulated a total of twenty points from a possible thirty. That’s six wins, two draws and two defeats. We’ve scored twenty-two and conceded just nine. Looking at that you can say the new formation has worked a treat.
Leeds have run into a few dilemmas ahead of the boxing day game at Blackpool. Zaliukas is a doubt after a hard challenge in the Barnsley game and Murphy is suspended, meaning changes will be needed. We may even get a chance to see new signing Gboly Ariyibi.
Would you like to see a change in formation just so that we can accommodate two wingers? Let us know, comment below or tweet us @leedsallover.