Newcastle Must Be Able To Handle Sunderland’s 5 Man Midfield

Sunderland will play five across the middle against Newcastle on Sunday afternoon.

Cheick Tiote – important player for Newcastle on Sunday

And that’s what Wolves did last Sunday as they played in a 4-5-1 formation.

And while Cabaye and Tiote were okay in the first half, Wolves took control of the central midfield in the final 45 minutes and came back with two goals and they left St. James’ Park with a valuable point.

Alan Pardew seemed to take too long to notice the difference in the second half, when Wolves were a lot more lively,  and he probably should have brought in Danny Guthrie earlier,  after it was obvious Wolves were starting to take control in that second half.

Pardew must have a plan B to implement on Sunday,  and if  Sunderland start to dominate early in the game in midfield, he should move to his alternative formation, in case Cabaye and Tiote cannot cope.

Alan had this to say to the local press today about the way Sunderland play:

“It will be an interesting point of the game to see how well we cope with their five-man midfield.” “That’s what they’ll play. We need to cope better than we did against Wolves with our two strikers on the pitch.”

“We have done that in the past and we hope to do it again on Sunday.” “We just want to get four points from the two home games and, on the back of the run we’ve had at home, that is a success.”

“I want to win the game.” “We don’t want one point from this – that’s for sure.” “It is an important game in terms of our league position as well, and not just playing Sunderland.”

“It doesn’t matter what has gone on before – it is almost irrelevant really.” “What it will be about is the day itself and how we play.”

Newcastle have lost only once in the last 14 games between the two sides, but that means nothing, and Sunderland could even argue they are due a win, heaven forbid!

History doesn’t matter on Sunday, and the only thing that does matter is that Newcastle find some way of combating Sunderland packing their midfield, which we couldn’t do in the second half last Saturday against Wolves.

But that may even come as a blessing in disguise,  as Newcastle will be very focused on winning the midfield on Sunday afternoon, and then the game.

Comments welcome.

29 comments so far

  • Indian Magpie

    Mar 2, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #1

    can i be nervous and excited at the same time

  • shearermania

    Mar 2, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #2

    for what its worth…..

    when ever you feel down, depressed or things just dosnt go your way…just always it could be worse – you could have been born a mackem…

  • jesperfuglsang

    Mar 2, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #3


    Interesting reading cyprus 😉

    I have always likes the Wolves crest – something simple about it. It reminds me of FC Midtjylland in the Danish SAS League.

  • Indian Magpie

    Mar 2, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #4

    Talk about simple Crests, has NE 1 noticed NAPOLI”s badge

  • tomtoon7

    Mar 2, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #5

    In Tiote i trust.HWTL!!

  • spitfire_

    Mar 2, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #6

    Yeah… must be… the only problem is that Wolves also was with 5 midfielders.

  • philippealbert

    Mar 2, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #7

    We have to be really careful here. Tiote, Cabaye, we can’t get over-run.

  • jesperfuglsang

    Mar 2, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #8

    Hehe Indian, yeah that is quite simple indeed 😉

  • Colo-Sus

    Mar 2, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #9


    Perectly Balanced team here

    Three CM’s who can offer both solid cover and attacking creativity.

    Playmaker in HBA

    Solid back 4

    This is our dream starting 11, I pray Pardew tries it one day, I think he wants to but hasnt had ther bottle yet, I understand his loyalty to certain players./tactics however.

    This would hammer Sunderland IMO.


  • jayphoto

    Mar 2, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #10

    @ colosus/ indian magpie – what I meant lads was that up until we signed Cisse, Best was 1st choice striker to partner cisse, wasnt debating whether he should be in the team or not, just that he was a name in our starting 11 that was missing! I like Besty as a squad player anyway, never felt he has the fitness to be a starter but he always looks good coming off the bench, i think his workrate and his physicality are the last thing tired defenders want to see coming onto the pitch after 70mins! Similar with shola, he always looks a much better player off the bench, the spurs and chelsea home games were an example of that! The opposite to guthrie who should never come off the bench, he either needs to start or not come on at all as it takes him a while to feel into a game!

  • Colo-Sus

    Mar 2, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #11


    Agree 100% pal

    Good point well made. I alsways enjoy reading posts from those who have well considered opinions and offer knowledgable credibilty to boot. Some just frustrate me, with player bashing without reasonable, or accurate argument criticism although all are entitled to their say.

    Roll on Sunday

  • jesperfuglsang

    Mar 2, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #12

    I would love to Pardew to make some tactical changes for Sunday, ’cause lets face it our opposition has found us out. That’s way we’re struggling lately.

    A 4-2-3-1 should shape it up a bit; it’s defensively and at the same the very offensively minded – a very balanced formation with the players we have. And we can easily change it back to 4-4-2,

    If Pardew goes for a 4-4-2 – and lets be honest we know he will – then I hope he’ll go for a very tight 4-4-2 with as little as possible distance between defense, midfield and attack. There has to be no room what so ever for the Mackems to play in.

    This is very important for a 4-4-2 in my opinion. And another ting; if you don’t create enough chances one of the forward either has to drop down or go wide.

    Or else you might as well play 4-2-3-1 and relay on the three ACM’s to create the chance for us and maintain possession.


  • Colo-Sus

    Mar 2, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #13


    Some good points well made as usual mate

    Take a look at the next thread at the team ive posted…

    What you think?

  • jayphoto

    Mar 2, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #14

    colosus – id swap Jonas for guthrie mate, that would give us some invention, good ball retention etc, jonas looks knackered lately, could do with a rest!
    Think i’ve shouted on the rooftops here that i don’t think HBA has earnt a place in the starting line up, but i agree, give him that number 10 spot and lets see what he can do, i really think the only way he’ll get sharp is with consecutive games and we might have to watch 2 or 3 poor games from him before he gets into his stride! 1 thing Hatem has always been, in france, for the national side etc is a big game player! Sunday is a big game, i think he’d revel in it!

  • jesperfuglsang

    Mar 2, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #15

    Colo-Sus, I read the one you had up in #9 🙂 liked that a lot.

    Actually think you could do well without wingers.

    Have you posted another mate?

  • Colo-Sus

    Mar 2, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    Comment #16


    I was almost typing Guthrie as well into that team and I know what you mean, The only reason I went with Jonas was his work rate. He covers alot of ground and has the Derby experience and mentality for me, Also he will but fouls from Clattermole for fun. I think with HBA him and Cabaye in the team we have enough creativity in there not to mention our strikers.

    Inaddition Tiote and Cabaye and to a lesser extent Jonas are all tough tacklers and thatsd needed on Sunday.

    I agree that HBA has not deserved a start on Form or effort rescently, I was in your camp there, but I agree with you that I think Sunday Is perfect for him.


  • Colo-Sus

    Mar 2, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #17


    No same one mate,

    yeah the wingers thing is intersting, Ive been saying for a while on here that with the exeption of Marveaux, our wingers are poor crossers of the ball, I dont think we use them enough as an attacking threat really… Alot of our goals this season have come from a central threat, thats whay i think this setup works, as it also gives you that Full back cover if you need it 🙂

  • Brutooon

    Mar 2, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #18

    If i am the opponent’s manager i would

    1) Attack more on Danny Simpson’s side because he is the weakest link
    2) throw long ball to williamson or collocini
    3) when jonas got the ball, hold him.

  • stuart no9

    Mar 2, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #19

    ” we want 4 points from our 2 home games ” why is that alan? – why not 6 ? so AP will be happy with a point from the norwich game ?. at home, – unbelievable- absolutely unbelievable – the man who people think is going to take us teurope , will be happy with a point at home to norwich. dear or dear .no wonder this man has done nowt in the whole of his managerial career . ne does not give his sides a ” winning mentality. As AP is not capable of taking us any further , stuart pearce would be a great choice , however that is unlikely to happen. pity!

  • martoon

    Mar 2, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #20

    Calm down Stuart AP was talking about the Wolves & Sunderland matches!

  • stuart no9

    Mar 2, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    Comment #21

    martoon @ 20 so he does ! haha – i stand corrected – says the man in the orthopedic shoe. very nearly went off on one there. must apologize to my pet rabbit. lol

  • cupiddstunt

    Mar 2, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #22

    stuart no9 @ # 19

    Reach for the valium boyo I think your slagging of AP and then your choice of Psycho is somewhat puzzling as he has not set the managerial world alight.

  • stuart no9

    Mar 2, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #23

    cupiddstunt @22 “psycho somewhat puzzling” not really. when your talking about the next level ie europe, i would want a manager who has not just played in europe , but has also played for england ,managed a top class team , managed england u 21s , and 1 senior team game , as for pards who has just visited europe on his holidays, also i cant remember pards setting the mansgerial world alight at 55 years old ? he needs to hurry up, as time is passing him by. pearce or pards in europe? no comparison there .

  • Marty-Toon

    Mar 2, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    Comment #24

    He’s just said right there that it’ll be the same team.
    Surely hat leaves us again unbalanced Alan?

    Get the players to pass the ball to each other in this game and you’ll hear the backing of the home crowd Alan
    We’ve had a great start to the season but have let up a bit.
    Due to injuries and ACON and not buying a Cb
    Get the team to show some passion and creativity like we had for he Manu match and we will take the roof down

  • max

    Mar 2, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    Comment #25

    good luck

  • Thump

    Mar 2, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    Comment #26

    5 man midfield? Don’t you mean 11 man defence?

  • Troleibusiukas_LTU

    Mar 2, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Comment #27

    Colo-Sus // Mar 2, 2012 at 11:24 AM,
    >>> very good formation, but i’d prefer 4-2-3-1




    ———JONAS————-BA————-BEN ARFA


    This formation will let us keep the possesion, and put pressure on them in the final third, Raylor and Santon could also put crosses into the box. Jonas could cover Raylor (they had formed good partnership on the left in the first 10 starting games, but i think this could even be better on the right). Santon could do well defensively, to cover Benny if he looses possesion. But that would let Benny to roam on the field, and to work on attacking duties, HE WILL SURELY CREATE CHANCES, AND DEMBAS CONVERT IT TO GOALS. THAT’S A FACT.

  • JohnNUFC

    Mar 2, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    Comment #28

    We’d be overrun with no wingers, Simpsons too weak on the right to protect a 3 man centre midfield with two strikers. It’s too narrow to play I think.
    we need to play a versatile 433 with two up top cabaple of converting back to a solid 451 when we need to soak up some pressure.
    usual back four, centre mid of cabaye and cheik, hba on the right guti on the left and ba up top. Big call to leave our #9 out but it’s too big a game to risk the unclean bitch slapping us on our home turf.
    3-1 to the toon.
    Your thoughts?

  • JohnNUFC

    Mar 2, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    Comment #29

    Sorry meant to add obertan playing in the hole, switching position with hba through the game,.


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