Is Newcastle’s 3-5-2 Formation Here To Stay?


Alan Shearer produced a surprise on Saturday as with Jose Enrique, our only specialist left-back injured, he elected to play just three at the back, in a rarely used 3-5-2 formation.

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David Edgar – had fine game for Newcastle at Stoke


It seemed to work well, and certainly Beye, Bassong and David Edgar all had strong games at the back for Newcastle on Saturday, but in the first half it looked like there was just too much space, that a better team could exploit.

However, it appears that Alan Shearer was delighted with his 3-5-2 formation that helped to keep the in-form James Beattie and Ricardo Fuller at bay.

Alan told the Evening Chronicle today:

“We haven’t got a left-back without Jose Enrique. That’s one of the reasons. I know Damien could have played there, and he did a great job in the wing-back position there.”

“We just felt that with the strength Stoke had with Beattie and Fuller, we’d put the three lads in there, and I think it worked very well.”

“It might be a different system we go with next Sunday at Spurs.” “For this particular occasion I felt it was right to leave one or two out and bring others in, and the lads who came in did a fantastic job.”

We don’t necessarily think Alan will keep this formation but he will play each game with horses for courses. Hopefully Jose will be back for the next home game, against Portsmouth, and maybe even earlier than that.

He’ll look at the opposition and see what the best side, and the most appropriate formation is for Newcastle to win the game.

But we’d like to see a more attacking formation 4-3-3, against the weaker teams, and at home, as we just have to go for the 3 points, because we all know now that draws will not be enough to save us.

Comments welcome.



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25 comments so far

  • DanToon

    Apr 13, 2009 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #1

    v Spurs

    ……………….Harper
    Baye – Coloccini – Bassong – Edgar
    …….Guthrie – Nolan – Jonas
    ………………..Owen
    …………Carroll – Martins

    Subs: Krul, S. Taylor, Viduka, Duff, R. Taylor, Ranger, Lovenkrands.

    Jonas on the left to track Lennon.
    Shameobi in the bin.

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  • Tom_Toon

    Apr 13, 2009 at 12:41 PM

    Comment #2

    No it is not the way to go and Jose said he’ be back at Spurs.

    Harper
    Beye-Edgar/Taylor-Bassong-Enrique
    Guthrie-Butt-Jonas
    Martins-Carroll-Owen

    With Guthrie taking every set piece.

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  • Nick D

    Apr 13, 2009 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #3

    I think as we are so vulnerable to the ball played in behind us , principally Colocinni, then a sweeper is a very good idea. It doesn’t have to be a negative move at all asa good ball playing defender can instigate moves from the back.

    Admittedly footballing teams, rather than Stoke are better at playing killer through balls, but even so, I thought it worked OK. We could have Jonas and Enrique as wing backs who would certainly track up and down all day long.

    TOm Toon I tend to agree with you all the time and with your liking and knowledge of continental football, I thought you would be in favour of a sweeper system.

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  • G 2

    Apr 13, 2009 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #4

    Dan toon that is our best team, Butt is useless. Anyone who rates him needs their heads testing. Hope Barton is on the bench against Spurs.

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  • Fans Should Own The Club

    Apr 13, 2009 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #5

    I wasn’t convinced by a back 3, but I was certainly surprised by it. Does this show Shearer’s at least thinking more tactically than Kinnear’s rote 4-4-2?

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  • Steve R

    Apr 13, 2009 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #6

    We were left way too vulnerable at the back, when Jose is back we should be able to play a more attacking formation: 4-3-3
    ………………….Harper
    …………S.Taylor…Bassong…
    Beye……………………………..Enrique
    …..Loven……..Butt…….Jonas
    ………….Owen………..Duff
    ………………….Carroll

    …….Beye and Enrique as wing backs- would need 2 very fit players and Shearer did say he was not impressed with the squads level of fitness.

    We played well down the left in the 2nd half vs Stoke, and i think that Duff and Jonas linked up well. Jonas still can’t cross but he can definitely run past players, and as i said before, Duff can provide well-flighted crosses. Either Guthrie/ Lovenkrands on the right although Guthrie was flat on Saturday.

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  • Steve R

    Apr 13, 2009 at 1:56 PM

    Comment #7

    Does any1 think that Nolan is better than Butt? If we were going to play an attacking formation i don’t see why we have to have 2players with similar attributes, Nolan should be scrapped. Imagine this team:
    ………………….Harper
    Beye……Taylor….Bassong….Enrique
    Duff…………………………………Jonas
    ………….Owen……….Martins (as forwards)
    …………………Carroll

    But without Nicky the centre is just too unstable. Butt has been a very good servant to NUFC, he doesn’t deserve the criticism that some people level at him.

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  • Danish_Magpie

    Apr 13, 2009 at 2:00 PM

    Comment #8

    I would play 3-5-2 as follows:

    …………………Harper………………..

    …..Beye……..Colo……..Bassong….

    Jonas………………………………Duff

    …………..Guthrie……Butt…………

    ………………..Owen…………………….

    ………..Oba…………Carroll………….

    Subs: Krul, S. Taylor(unfit), Enrique(unfit), R. Taylor, Nolan, Løvenkrands(unfit), Ranger

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  • DanToon

    Apr 13, 2009 at 2:08 PM

    Comment #9

    But do we all agree that Ameobi should be binned?!

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  • Tom_Toon

    Apr 13, 2009 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #10

    Danish – Enrique will have missed 1 game, barely ‘unfit’.

    Steve R – Butt is about 800x better than Fatty Nolan.

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  • Fans Should Own The Club

    Apr 13, 2009 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #11

    Tom_Toon, I don’t know if Nolan’s all that bad. He was something of a goal threat at Bolton (was it? can’t remember), wasn’t he? I’m not convinced he’s such a waste. Maybe just a bad few weeks.

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  • Tom_Toon

    Apr 13, 2009 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #12

    Nolan has been dire for 2 years.

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  • cosmicMini95

    Apr 13, 2009 at 5:21 PM

    Comment #13

    I know we need a win, but I would be happy with a point and think a 5-3-2 would be a good way to go. I think if we go three upfront we will get ripped apart at the back. With Keane liking to drift wide and Modric/Lennon we need some width at the back..

    I would therefore have five across the back:
    Taylor-Beye-Edgar-Bassong-Enrique

    This allows S.Taylor or Beye to get forward as to be honest they are going to cause more problems than R.Taylor and we have seen Duff and Lovenkrands cant play on the right wing.

    Presumably Barton won’t be match fit so I would have Guthrie and Smith in the middle.. Not really any need for a RM with Beye/Taylor at the back.. I know alot of you don’t like Smith but hes fighting for his place at the club and looked good in the reserves last week. There isn’t really much of an alternative in Butt (Who looks tired) or Nolan. Finally Jonas on the left as I am sure he can keep Lennon quiet.
    ———Guthrie—Smith–Jonas–

    Obviously the boy Carroll needs a start upfront and I would have said should be partnered with Martins, though after the “groin” problems I would like to see Lovenkrands up there. I can’t really see a place in a two man attack for Owen, though am not saying he should be dropped in future games!
    —–Carroll—–Lovenkrands—–

    Put it all together and we get:
    Taylor-Beye-Edgar-Bassong-Enrique
    ———Guthrie—Smith–Jonas–
    —–Carroll—–Lovenkrands—–

    Subs: Krul, Taylor, Duff, Butt, Nolan, Martins, Owen

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  • workyticket

    Apr 13, 2009 at 7:13 PM

    Comment #14

    “It seemed to work well”

    Er, no Ed. We were pinned back too deep for much of the game, the players seemed somehat confused and no one could really hold the ball for long enough, so we resorted to hopeful long punts toward the front. Not a big success on that occaision really. Having written that, Carrol substitution was obviously a success and we were better towards the end when Stoke knackered themselves out with their high energy play.

    I wouldn’t think that it was here to stay.

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  • workyticket

    Apr 13, 2009 at 7:19 PM

    Comment #15

    ps and Gutierrez was a fairly effective sub too.

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  • DENIro

    Apr 13, 2009 at 8:43 PM

    Comment #16

    Team for spurs:

    ……………….harper………………..

    geremi..cacapa…colo….r.taylor

    nolan…..smith…butt….gonzalez

    ………..ameobi…viduka………….

    ….just a joke….

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  • LambethMag

    Apr 13, 2009 at 10:16 PM

    Comment #17

    We started with a three at the back on Saturday, and although Beye, Edgar and Bassong all looked comfortable in that formation, we had our best spell when we went with two banks of four later in the game. That said, Spurs have a midfield with plenty of movement. 442 or 4411 will probably prove more effective, and give better cover down both flanks where Lennon seems to be their main threat.
    Up front I would probably go for Owen and Carroll, as I’m worried about Oba’s attitude at the moment. When he was subbed against Chelsea, he went straight down the tunnel. It wasn’t after half an hour when this happened it was 80 minutes. He should have gone into the dugout and seen the game out, but chose not to.
    Doesn’t seem like a team player to me. All of the players are in this together. They should be united in this. Then we have a mysterious groin strain overnight. If he’s got the lip on, leave him out. Carroll deserves his place for the effort and spirit he showed. Owen is our best player, and should be in regardless. He won’t miss the chances Oba does if they fall his way. Still think thirty seven points will do it for us, and I believe we’ll probably get 38 or 39.

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  • newyutd

    Apr 13, 2009 at 10:46 PM

    Comment #18

    My team for Spurs

    …………..KRUL………..

    Beye……STaylor…Bassong……Enrique/RTaylor

    Jonas…………….Nolan……….Guthrie

    Owen
    Martins…….Carroll

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  • Macedonia toon

    Apr 14, 2009 at 1:45 AM

    Comment #19

    ———-Harper———-

    Beye–Taylor—Bass—-Enrique

    Loven-Jonas–Barton-Duff

    —Owen—Martins—-

    and stop playing long balls, we must play with player who can pass the ball more then three in a row,and those midfielders can do that i think(also they are goal scoring midfielders acept Jonas, but who knows maybe he will score against spurs) C’mon Newcastle

    please not butt in the first team!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Tom_Toon

    Apr 14, 2009 at 2:36 AM

    Comment #20

    /

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  • Nick D

    Apr 14, 2009 at 7:22 AM

    Comment #21

    Very interesting to hear that before martins injury, shearer was planning to play a 3-4-3 a la Brazil. That in itself makes Shearer light years ahead of kinnear. Brazil always have the 3 at the back with a sweeper and wing backs, 2 hard working midfielders and 3 up top. 5 times world champions enough said.

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  • workyticket

    Apr 14, 2009 at 9:07 AM

    Comment #22

    Nick D // Apr 14, 2009 at 7:22 AM

    “Very interesting to hear that before martins injury, shearer was planning to play a 3-4-3 a la Brazil. That in itself makes Shearer light years ahead of kinnear.”

    So if I picked a 3-4-3 formation like Brazil, would that make me “light years ahead of Kinnear” too Nick?

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  • Nick D

    Apr 14, 2009 at 9:50 AM

    Comment #23

    Absolutely worky, I can hear the cogs turning, but you’re getting there son, well done. I could have sworn you were trying to provoke an argument as per usual, but maybe your’e not as sad and dogmatic as you portray yourself to be.
    Then again……..

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  • Tom_Toon

    Apr 14, 2009 at 7:14 PM

    Comment #24

    //

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  • Tom_Toon

    Apr 14, 2009 at 7:15 PM

    Comment #25

    ///

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