No Winger Needed for Leeds if 3-5-2 Does the Trick – by Rob Atkinson


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It seems clear in the wake of the Birmingham victory that, while Leeds don’t possess an out-and-out winger (especially since Ryan Hall seems to have tweeted himself right into the ordure), what we don’t lack is the potential for width – given the right team selection and formation.

All of a sudden on Sunday, the team looked to have clicked – doubtless the result of some hard work and hard talking during a fortnight away from the domestic routine while England took care of business at Wembley.  Birmingham were dire in the first half, but even in the second when the opposition improved, Leeds coped well, created chances and scored a lovely fourth goal.

The width came from more advanced positions for the likes of Byram and Warnock, either side of three central defenders.  Suddenly, we could start to think of the players NOT in the team, who might also have contributions to make to such a system, some of them from the bench, perhaps.  Diouf, Hunt, Varney. Possibly Dexter Blackstock if strong rumours of his imminent arrival on loan are true.

While the Forest player’s name sounds like that of a kids’ cartoon private eye, Blackstock has some pedigree and, if Brian McDermott feels he could add value to the squad, that’s a call worth backing.  It’s interesting to remember that Brian has said in the past he’d be looking for loans with a view to permanent signings in January – watch this space indeed.

Another likely arrival is that of former Hearts captain and central defender Marius Zaliukas, available on a free since his release by the Edinburgh strugglers.  Again, a central defender didn’t seem high on the shopping list a few days back, but if 3-5-2 is the way to go, we will need more numbers in central defence to cover injury and suspensions. It seems nobody has heard much about Zaliukas that isn’t good, save perhaps a slight tendency towards overdoing it on the “getting stuck in” front.  But those kind of players have always been well-loved at Elland Road.

It may well be that discussions during the international break resulted in a decision to give width from wing-backs an extended try – and that this is behind the sudden cooling of interest in wingers.  I still feel that Chris Burke from Birmingham would have been a sound acquisition, but if Plan A has changed to Plan B then our limited resources may be better used elsewhere.

It will be very interesting to see the personnel and shape on display at Huddersfield next weekend, and also whatever may have transpired in terms of recruitment in the meantime.  Another display and result to compare with the Birmingham game, and the atmosphere around LS11 could really start to perk up again.

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15 responses to “No Winger Needed for Leeds if 3-5-2 Does the Trick – by Rob Atkinson

  1. I personally feel that aswell as the system been spot on another reason we played so well was due to not playing the likes of varney hunt green there just not good enough however I do agree diouf wud fit in to it

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    • I think they could all be given a shot at it in any new system IF it’s going to be stuck with – and injuries and suspensions would mean we’d likely have to give them a shot anyway.

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  2. if we play the same way against the mongrels ( terriers ) then i will be convinced , what happened on sunday was fantastic but was it against a very poor brum side that were as supprised as us by our new system ?..

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  3. We once signed another player who had a reputation for getting stuck in and he became a legend. Could Zuliukas become another Vinnie?

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  4. John jones

    Ive said all along we should play wingbacks.i would prefer white to warnock as he has more pace.

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    • Warnock is starting to put in some quality deliveries when he gets in position though.

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      • The majority of Stephen Warnock’s final ball is far, far better than Aidy White’s though I do agree about the pace … perhaps the player BMcD should be looking to sign is a poor man’s Leighton Baines, or discover one with the new found scouting system.

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  5. Mr Orange. Town play 3-5-2. This is the future. Passed out from the keeper, back 3 turns to into a 5 man midfield, and reverts to 5 at the back when under pressure. Only issue I see is you need proper wingbacks not a right and leftback pretending to be wingers when attacking if you see what I mean. You also not pace and accuracy. Not Anthony Gerrard with the turning circle of a Lada in reverse gear. But they’ve been playing it all season, and after watching that appalling Birmingham team, they will no doubt give you a sterner test to benchmark your progress

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    • I believe Birmingham had played it all season too, it helped them seat aside Millwall and the Wendies. But in the first half against us their back three played like men who hadn’t been introduced to each other and we blew them away. I’m sure Huddersfield will be better than that, and that old derby day chip on the shoulder often helps the dafter little Yorkshire clubs get a result against nasty, Dirty Leeds.

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    • Thanks for the lesson ban , my point was that unlike the diamond formation favoured by bmac before the international break we suddenly came out playing 3-5-2 , did this supprise and unsettle brum thus helping us score 3 goals before half time , will it have the desired affect against town ? Lets hope so mot

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  6. Lee Clark changed formations about 5 times a game most games, hence them not having a clue generally. That and them being completely shite.

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    • I’m old enough to remember Leeds winning a match and nobody scrambling to drone on about how shite the opposition were. Can’t recall the precise game, but I think it was in the early nineties.

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  7. About 3 months ago, Bolton away

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