This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Mark Warburton has shown he likes to mix up his formations and a slight change in the current system could reap big rewards.
Just yesterday we suggested that using a 4-2-3-1 could get the best out of Ryan Manning and Lee Wallace, and now we believe that a 5-2-3 is another system he should also consider using.
When Brentford comfortable dispatched the R’s a few weeks ago Warburton decided it was time to ditch the 4-2-3-1 system he had in place, but so far a return to 5-3-2 has not fixed his team’s defensive problems, with four goals conceded in two games.
As a result, it would be wise to alter his system slightly to a 5-2-3, and operate with two defensive midfielders whose primary job is to protect the defence and cut out any passes into their own final third.
Doing so should make QPR more organised and tougher to break down, but it will also have a positive effect on the forward players as it could grant them more freedom to express themselves in attack.
A forward three of Ilias Chair, Eberechi Eze and Nahki Wells would be able to interchange up-front and create chances for one another, with the wing-backs also performing their typical role, meaning QPR will be able to maintain their attacking strength.
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At the moment it is all about finding the right balance for Warburton, but in organising his team into two separate sections he can delegate responsibility effectively.
He has the personnel at his disposal to make a success of it, too, with Geoff Cameron and Dominic Ball two defensive-minded players who are able to play in deep-lying midfield.
The attacking trio mentioned above have already proved themselves as well – Chair even grabbed an assist for Wells’ goal against Middlesbrough, and with Eze given free rein he too could wreak havoc.
Eze has already achieved more successful dribbles than any other Championship player this season and in a role which would allow him to play closer to Wells, the pair could thrive.
The striker has been key to QPR this term, and continuing his goalscoring record will be a top priority, but with two supporting teammates he should get even more chances, and that should lead to more goals.
The change in system would help Wells and the other strikers in the squad, while also addressing the big concern of the defence.