The Athletic’s Phil Hay has raised an intriguing possibility about what Jesse Marsch’s tactical plans at Leeds United might be…
In a fan discussion for The Athletic, Hay said: “Marsch has used a front two before. When Bamford is back, does that create and opportunity to pair Bamford with Rodrigo? Or Gelhardt? Fascinated to see what he does formation wise. It surely won’t be 4-1-4-1.”
Having missed such a large part of the season, Patrick Bamford’s return to the starting line-up at Elland Road can’t come soon enough.
The England international has led the attack for the Whites for the past few seasons now, and while the defence has been a real issue for them this season in the Premier League, they’ve missed that cutting edge and focal point Bamford offers up top too.
What Leeds fans could expect though in the future, is seeing Bamford being joined alongside by another forward, perhaps someone like Rodrigo as Hay suggests.
In an analytical piece done by Mark Carey and Hay for The Athletic, they noted: “As a former employee of three teams from the Red Bull stable and a self-confessed disciple of Ralf Rangnick’s swashbuckling style, Marsch makes no bones about the fact that his style is focused on physical intensity, direct play, and collective aggression from his players.
“True to the RB philosophy, a glance at Marsch’s most common formations used in all competitions from his period at Salzburg and Leipzig shows that has implemented the well-known 4-2-2-2 structure more often than not.”
Rodrigo has already played in a more withdrawn role for Leeds, so the idea of playing the support striker role next to Bamford and giving him the licence to get into the box rather than come much deeper could potentially get the best out of the Spaniard.
After years of getting used to Bielsa’s unique tactical style, Marsch’s seeming preference for a 4-2-2-2 and having a strike duo should surely excite Leeds fans and the prospect of seeing them find the back of the net much more regularly than they have done this season.