We know that John Carver keeps Alan Pardew well informed of what’s on the Newcastle fans’ minds, and apart from being upset that we lost to a mediocre West Ham side last Sunday, and by a Kevin Nolan goal of things, there have been pleas from the fans to play something other than 4-4-2 with two strikers up front, which often seems a waste.
Demba Ba – lone striker tomorrow?
We’ve often thought that when Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba are up front together and we struggle in a game, it’s a waste of a player, and we could better employ one in central midfield to first get a grip on the game.
We’ll see what Alan does tomorrow, but Swansea do play three in central midfield, and with Yohan Cabaye out, we could again be overcome in midfield, and that’s not good.
Alan Pardew says he is well aware of the fans’ concerns:
“This year the midfield is an area where we haven’t controlled it.” “We are having a good look in there. Last year we coped no problem with having two in midfield, so we could play two strikers.”
“Sometimes we asked one of the strikers to defend the full-back when the opposition had possession. That is something we’ve done this year – the problem is that the fluency of our game comes through the midfield.”
“We need to make sure against Swansea that we don’t get bossed in that area.” “Last season we coped against three central midfielders with Cheick and Cabaye – and quite rightly because they are world-class players.”
“Swansea play three in midfield and that is a key element for tomorrow’s game.” “I think the concern that the fans have is the same as what I have.” “That’s not something that is lost on me.”
“We controlled games in the second half of last season with much more authority than we are at the minute. That’s what we are trying to get.” “The Europa League has meant we’ve swapped from system to system. That might be an issue.”
“All those questions – trust me – my staff and I have gone through as much as the fans have.” “Nobody is more frustrated than me.” “Do you think I wanted to lose to West Ham?”
An awful lot of Premier League teams play in a 4-5-1 formation, to ensure they can get a grip on the game, and when they move forward they push players up – a formation Manchester United play almost all the time – with Rooney hanging back and Robin van Perse the point man up front.
In times when you are struggling it’s important to get a grip on midfield, so it could well be that Pardew will start with one striker – Demba Ba – up front, at least until we show we can get a grip on the game with Swansea.
It will be interesting to see the team Pardew puts out tomorrow, and whether he sticks with both Papiss and Demba up front.
What do you think?
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org