This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Josh Scowen has been in and out of the team this season but he has still proved that he could be of very good service to what Mark Waburton is trying to achieve.
QPR have used various midfielders this campaign but Warburton still seems to be struggling to decide on his preferred option, with the switch back to 5-3-2 making life more difficult as it reduces the numbers in the middle.
Eberechi Eze and Ilias Chair have nailed down their position in the side and that means a defensive-minded player is often included in order to add balance, with Dominic Ball getting the call in recent matches.
Given his ability to play at centre-back it would seem to have been a good choice by the QPR boss, but the R’s have still conceded four goals in the recent two matches he played in, and therefore Scowen may be a better alternative.
He is adept in both attack and defence, and that could be key to the transition from defence into attack for QPR. If instructed to protect the back four and make that a priority, he could be the key that the team has been missing.
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So far this term the 26-year-old has managed a pass accuracy of 79%, which although not terrible, it probably falls a little short of Warburton’s expectations.
On the other hand, his tackling is a very effective part of his game. He has averaged 2.3 tackles per game, more than any of his teammates, which shows what QPR are missing out on when he’s not in the team.
Other players in the side fall short, with only three others achieving two tackles or higher per match, and that means the R’s are too easy to play through and break down.
That vulnerability is reflected by their awful defensive record, with 30 goals conceded in 16 games, and explains why Scowen has to play more often.
His presence alone won’t be enough to start picking up clean sheets, but with him playing Warburton’s side are a better outfit, with just three defeats in the 12 league games he has appeared in this season.
Warburton has overlooked Scowen too often by only starting him in half of QPR’s league games so far, so he should be considered once again.