3 Formations to change Newcastle United performances…and results | OneFootball

3 Formations to change Newcastle United performances…and results

Logo: The Mag

The Mag

For any Newcastle United fan who have watched the games so far this season, it is very clear that our current formation does not work.

The extra centre back seems to do nothing but add confusion to our set-up and gifts chances to the opposition.

Whilst the midfield is woefully light, leaving the middle 60% of the pitch basically uncontested, and our forward players are completely isolated from the rest of the team.

Players who could do so much better are left putting in a shift out of position, one perfect example being Almiron. While he does put in great performances, his attacking abilities are nullified by the fact he is mainly playing 30-40 yards away from our own goal line (if he’s lucky!) With that in mind, here are three Newcastle United formations that I think we could / should shift to, in order improve these issues.

4-2-3-1

This would be my preferred Newcastle United formation, and would be the easiest to accommodate given our current players.

With a fully fit squad, this would allow for an extra midfielder to come in to shield the back four, allowing Hayden to move further forward. My ideal outfield line-up would be:

Lewis, Clark, Fernandez, Manquillo, Hayden, Willock, Ritchie, Almiron, ASM, Wilson

The positives of this formation would be that Almiron and Ritchie are both freed of some defensive duty, which should translate to more chances and more goals. A double pivot in midfield would also give us more solidity, and would provide more options for goalkeeper distribution, something that is currently too slow and lacking in options.

We also have solid cover in attacking midfield roles, with Murphy being able to cover right, Joelinton left, Fraser all three positions, and Willock able to push forward into the 10 role if needed, shifting Almiron wide.

Negatives would be the lack of right back cover, with the only back-up options being Hayden, which leaves a lack of defensive midfield options, Krafth who has never convinced as a full back, or Murphy who is not defensive minded enough to play as an out and out full back.

Another negative is the lack of defensive midfield options, with Hayden being our only real sitter. If he was injured, we would probably have to play Shelvey (more of a distributor), Longstaff (unreliable) or Hendrick (too many issues to list).

If only a deal for a very reliable cover option hadn’t been denied on deadline day…

4-4-2 (Flat)

A second solid option, this would again solve our issue of no bodies in midfield and is less of a strain on our pretty threadbare squad. The ideal line-up here would be:

Lewis, Clark, Fernandez, Manquillo, Ritchie, Hayden, Willock, Almiron, ASM, Wilson

The main positive of this one is the way we can have solid cover for almost all positions here.

Almiron could shift into the centre as an attacking CM, whilst Joelinton, Gayle and even Fraser could cover as either support or out and out strikers (support for Joelinton / Fraser and out and out for Gayle), while Murphy, Fraser, Joelinton and ASM could drop into the wider areas if needed.

A major downside would be the fact that Almiron is still somewhat crowbarred into this side as there is no number 10 position. He could continue to play as a centre midfielder, which is less ideal, or play as a wide midfielder / second striker (depending on the needs of the squad).

4-4-2 (Diamond)

Something I’ve seen a lot in my comment sections.

I think if we had more midfield options this would be a great shout. Ideal line-up in this one would be:

Lewis, Clark, Fernandez, Manquillo, Hayden, Willock, Longstaff, Almiron, Wilson, ASM

The main positive of this formation is the bodies in midfield, which as I mentioned, we really need so as to avoid contesting so much space. We could really dominate with the workrate that Almiron, Willock and Hayden all put in, and Longstaff is versatile enough to both attack and defend.

A huge weakness of this formation however, is our lack of midfield depth – especially in quality. Lose Hayden and you’re likely to be either pulling Longstaff back (a huge drop in quality), trying to put Schar or Shelvey in (out of position, less familiar with the role, and losing cover at CM or CB), or Hendrick (I don’t even want to think about it).

Brucie. He needs all the help he can get…

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