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Newcastle Can Play In Many Different Formations

11:14 am, Saturday, December 1st, 2012 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 150 Comments

There has been a lot of discussion lately about what’s the best formation for Newcastle to play in, and since we played 4-3-3 with Ben Arfa, Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba being the front men back in March, a lot of fans would like to see that formation again – the one we tore West Brom apart with at The Hawthorns,  when we were 3-0 up after 34 minutes – yes that one.

Jonas Gutierrez in action – we can play different formations

The Newcastle players can take a lot of positives from our last game at Stoke in mid-week – even though we lost again – and another gritty disciplined performance on Monday night against Wigan, and we  could see our first win in eight games.

But there’s one stat that’s hanging out there – Newcastle have never lost five league games in a row in their history – so let’s hope that doesn’t happen on Monday night.

Our players should be so determined that doesn’t happen – that they should be playing out of their skins on Monday night – so to speak.

Jonas doesn’t thinks the formation Newcastle use depends  lot on the team we are playing, and what their strengths and weaknesses are:

“We have different type of formations – we can play 4-3-3, 4-4-2 and 4-2-3-1. I think we are different types of players.” “And so that gives the manager different options and different formations.”

“It depends on the game and the teams that we play against.” “What is more important is the players that play in these positions try to do their best and try to give 100 per cent.”

It’s a really big game on Monday night for Newcastle, but let’s hope our players come out and show the spirit and determination that can get us that win we need so badly.

Let’s keep the faith.

What do you think?

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Tags: Demba Ba · Hatem Ben Arfa · Jonas Gutierrez · Newcastle News

150 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dannyo // Dec 1, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    We can play other formations, yes, but we don’t, not enough of the right ones atleast.

  • 2 euanpolo // Dec 1, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    I wonder if Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye would say the same thing because they’re the players being shackled in 4-4-2. 4-4-2 doesn’t suit our team, it doesn’t work against most other teams, and it is becoming an obsolete formation. Football has moved on.

  • 3 Graeme // Dec 1, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    Football may well have moved on – this is NUFC, we move at our own pace, when it suits the illustrious leader!!

    We sold a striker, bought a replacement many months later; needed a CB 18 months ago, according to Pardeau, even MA was asking where the new CB was – errr, yep, we are still waiting. We needed a FB last year – yes, you guessed it, we are still waiting.

    Is it any wonder frustration sets in lol

  • 4 Magpies-till-d3ath // Dec 1, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    We also tore apart:

    Liverpool- 2-0
    Swansea- 0-2
    Stoke- 3-0
    Bolton- 2-0
    Norwich- 1-0
    Chelsea- 0-2

    But yet Pardew decides to go back to the formation that worked wonders for England at the Euros. 442!!!!!!!!

  • 5 outsidethebox // Dec 1, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    graeme …agree with all comments ..i wrote during window that everyone and their aunty knew we needed a full back and a quality left sided centre back and this had been case for previous season …we cannot hope to compete with williamson and sicknote taylor ..comments for which i was called negative …

  • 6 FatmanJoe // Dec 1, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    Let’s not forget that Colo has also had a terrible season so far. He really hasn’t been consistent.

    None of our top players have been playing very well and when that happens it exposes our lesser talents like Williamson.

  • 7 mattyNUFC // Dec 1, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    what matters to me, Jonas, is that we find what we’re best at and stick to it instead of tinkering and conforming to each team we play, albeit on the sole decision of a man who has proved anything but a worthwhile tactician.

  • 8 jimmysmith // Dec 1, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    Of course, that’s the problem. Some of the players think they’re playing 442, others 433 and still others 4321, and all the while Willo, well he’s just circling the planet Coozbane.

    Fugen ‘ell.

  • 9 FatmanJoe // Dec 1, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    I still don’t think it’s fair to single out one or two players for criticism when most of the team have been under performing.

    Willo has been no better or worse than anyone else in the side.

  • 10 jimmysmith // Dec 1, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Fair enough, Willo has been among our better players this season, but I did think that on a couple of occasions in the Stoke game he appeared as if all sense had escaped him. Seemed to be acting counter to the actual play that was going on around him.

  • 11 toonLYF // Dec 1, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    I would just like to see what happens if Pardew went like this on Monday…






    Long shot like…

  • 12 cadete // Dec 1, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    Well I have no problem singling out anyone, Williamson Simpson and Guti have been abysmal all season,

  • 13 Premiership Manager // Dec 1, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    It’s about time some people realised that 4-3-3 is great when we can control the midfield and take the pressure off the defence however if we don’t retain possesion it becomes a liability as the midfield collapses and the defence cannot cope on it’s own.

    It’s all about team work, retaining possesion and controling the midfield.

    Putting it simply we cannot carry Ba, Cisse and HBA in the same team as it leaves three in midfield, leaving us wide open, hence the problems we have suffered this year and the reason we have been very poor all season.

    In some games such as any london games, MU and MC we would be far better off playing 5-5-1 or 5-4-1-1 with HBA in the hole and Ba or Cisse on the bench.

    We need to control the midfield and the defence will take care of itself. We will not score 3 or 4 goals a game but we will get results even if it is ground out 1-0.

    Anita needs at least another year in the EPL to adjust however it’s backs against the wall at the moment. Cabaye and Tiote are not the players they were last year and Jonas who has done little wrong is being sacrificed to accomodate Anita who is a 3M player at best.

    Vukic, Sammy Ameobi, Amalfitano, and Marvaux are all attack minded players but are simply not up to EPL standard yet. Biggy shows promise, is defensively minded but needs to be introduced carefully if he is to reach his full potential.

    In short we need at least one or two PL proven midfielders who can retain possesion and pass the ball. If they can cross a ball even better.

    We also need a centre back and to give Simpson a new contract so he can focus on his football. He is a very good player and has not deserved the flack some fans have given him. We’re ok at LB as Jonas and Perch can cover.

    My only hope is that we can win a few games before the Xmas break otherwise come January it will be a free for all with some players leaving the club. My guess is ba may be the first to go.

  • 14 ~Anita One Bites the Dust~ // Dec 1, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    What really annoys me is that, we are seemingly playing in a formation that clearly does not work. Just to satisfy one player. Namely Ba.

    Yes, he is a striker and like all strikers he wants to play down the middle. But there comes a time when you have to suck it up. Play out of position, especially when it clearly helps the team perform.

  • 15 toonLYF // Dec 1, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    5-5-1? You’re some premiership manager you like!

  • 16 toonLYF // Dec 1, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    also “Premiership Manager” – Jonas has actually done ALOT wrong, as in not turning up for nearly every bloody match. Anita a 3m player? Can you see into the future like?

  • 17 FatmanJoe // Dec 1, 2012 at 12:47 PM


    Knock yourself out pal.

  • 18 solano // Dec 1, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    It’s laughable that people will defend Wiliamson and then slag Colo. He may well have not hit the heights that we know he is capable of, but I shudder to think of what we would be like without him. He is one of our few players who can actually ‘play’ when the pressure is in and deoesn’t hide or resort to hoofing the ball in blind panic. Playing centre half is very much reliant on being part of a partnership: and I’m afraid Colo’s sidekicks are very much sub standard which has affected his game (and I include S Taylor in that, though he did threaten to fulfill some potential during a period last year before reverting to type again – physical bluffer with no football brain). Williamson’s continual selection is doing neither the team or himself any favours; he is what he is, an honest tryer who should not be selected at present as he is suffering terribly with confidence (and ability!). It’s an indictment on the short sightedness of the ‘planners’ that utility player James Perch should even be considered the most viable alternative in a specialist position.

  • 19 FatmanJoe // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    I’m guessing that’s aimed at me seen as I’m the one criticising Colo on this post? Would be a bit more courageous to actually direct it at me rather than pretending it’s a generic comment.

    Anyway. Colo has been known to hoof it. Watch him closely. Short simple passes, sure. Very capable. But 3/4 of our back line hoof it I’m afraid.

    And continually play Williamson. Who else would you suggest? We’re a bit short of defenders or haven’t you noticed?

  • 20 Black and White with an army lol // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    first of all 442, 4231, 433 sucks big time they dont work with newcastle and never will for those who think it will work dont kno football at all, wheres the strength in these tactics, we have 1 superb winger HBA, rest of them are costing us games.

    if you notice the stats we had we seem more deadly through the center, if we want to get the best out of our players then a 4312 would be perfect for our team. prove me wrong.

  • 21 Black and White with an army lol // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    4312 first team when all players are fit.


  • 22 toonLYF // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    @ 21

    4-3-1-2 will not work under Pardew

    – Pardew always doubles up his full-back and winger

    – Doing so in 4-3-1-2 means two of the three midfielders dropping off, leaving a huge gaping hole in the middle of the pitch. Not gonna’ happen.

    Looks great on paper though.

  • 23 Super Magpie // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    We play different formations to suit the opposition?
    Is that why we have stated every game but 2 in a 4-4-2 this season?
    Jonas is speaking a load of sh*t…

  • 24 solano // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    Can you read Fathead? What I’m saying is that we have no alternatives due to bad planning so we must suffer. I hope you were not one of those who were happy that we were going into a 50game season with 3 cbs?
    My point on Taylor is that he needs Colo to look half decent, but Colo could definitely do with someone better than Taylor.
    Your point on Willo being no better or worse than anyone else is wide of the mark – he’s shot to bits, I’m afraid – it’s just that the others have more talent that is lying latent and not being tapped. They can improve their games massively no doubt, I’m not sure Williamson can.

  • 25 nick_9 // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    Fatman i as well disagree withy you. Williamson has been worse than most of our players in my opinion. He is a nightmare and im a pass holder so im not just saying it without having witnessed it. He plays short hospital passes all the time meaning the person he is passing to has to rush to the ball with the opposition nearly winning it, he seems to bottle challenges in the air and never seems to win a lot. I will say we dont have many players making themselves available for the pass but this lad is definitely the main culprit for sending it long and so is simpson. The rest of the lads barring a few aren’t having a great season by any means but i do believe they need coaching better to move off the ball and work on their passing, we dwell on the ball for to long.

    All this talk of formations but surely you attack in numbers and defend in numbers regardless of the formation? How mnay times have we seen just one player in the box when a cross comes in or an aimless punt at williamson from a set piece, its ridiculous. I personally feel that our best formation would be a 4:2:3:1 with either tiote and cabaye or tiote and perch/anita the defensive two and the front four being marveaux, cabaye/hba/ cisse and ba. If we are on the defensive we defend in numbers and switch to 4:5:1 if we are attacing we swithc to a 4:2:3:1. This is easy this, where do i sign for the job?

  • 26 Transfer Sage // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    I kind I agree with Fatman

    Williamson has been no better or worse than most.

    He plays worse than colo and other but I would say he is probably playing to the same % of his ability.

    All of our players have been around 40/50% of what they are capable of apart from 3.

    Ben arfa, Ba and santon have all player pretty well. It’s difficult when the rest of the team underperform but these 3 must be around 80/85% at their best.

  • 27 Super Magpie // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:18 PM


  • 28 FatmanJoe // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    Fathead. Original and clever, well done.

    I started to read your post and got bored actually. Just had to pick up on the first couple of points.

  • 29 Black and White with an army lol // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    but you realize 2 of our mids can also act as attackers aswell as defensive providing a more solid formation look at AC.MILAN for example when they have the ball they go on counter attack, when they dont they win the ball back as they drop deeper.
    i understand that you said pardew isnt basicaly equiped using these kind of tactics but honestly all managers should kno how to put these together and also i have stated in another thread that we have 2 attacking coaches namely beardsley and carver who can input these styles

  • 30 FatmanJoe // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    Nick that’s fine. I come here for discussion.

    Tiote has been worse in my opinion. The handful of games he’s played he hasn’t been able to string passes together. Looks completely overwhelmed at all times.

    But I just think in general our team looks poor with one or two doing well. Need a win to get the confidence back and I’m sure we’ll be fine.

  • 31 Transfer Sage // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    Black and white

    For me he formation is an issue but he main problem is the attitude and philosophy of the team.

    We set up to not lose as oppose to win. Whatever formation we play we usually sit deep, and never commit many men forward.

    This means we lose the ball too much, don’t create many clear cut chances and ultimately make it even harder to defend as we just sit back and invite pressure.

    Spend less time worrying about the opposition and more time making then worry about us.

  • 32 Black and White with an army lol // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    im also enjoying the way santon runs up on the wings to provide crosses or cuts inside this style into a 4312 can be a major threat towards the opposition side when attacking he will also have plenty of choices who to pass too ba, cisse, hba, anita etc etc

  • 33 Ian Toon // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    solano- very well said., You display your knowledge and understanding of football. A golden nugget in a sea of dross. I would hate to call it the beautiful game when Williamson is mentioned. Taylor has lost his way and really has gone backwards from the player of three seasons ago when he was being spoken of as the new John Terry. Injuries haven’t helped his development. He talks a good game. I have posted of the need to restructure the defence and with Coloccini around that should be possible during January. Simpson and Williamson are holding us back and nobody seriously can question than they are constantly being targeted as the main area of weakness in the team. Also any question of playing a pass and move game out of defence is negated by their presence. Coloccini as well as being a good organiser has ability and an astute football brain. With like minded types around him post January we should be able to close the stable door. It is inconceivable that Ashley will not open the coffers because he will recognise the need to protect his investment.

  • 34 Black and White with an army lol // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    sage, did you look at the tactic 4312, its a solid tactic hba can put plenty of through balls in for ba and cisse and even ba and cisse can open up the defense for hba to run through them and have superb goal scoring opportunitys, so this tactic isnt a defensive tactic its an attacking, possession, counter tactic.

  • 35 toonLYF // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    Black and White – If we went 4-3-1-2 with the current team and form we have, we would be absolutely ripped to pieces by any team in this league.

    Too much open space all over the pitch, especially if you’re on about bringing the full-backs forward too.

  • 36 mattyNUFC // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    ian toon

    the player of three seasons ago? when he was out for a year?

    let’s be honest, Taylor has never been a consistent performer. He was always polarizing in his first few years in the first team, got injured, came back and was at RB and did a solid job, hurt his shoulder, got another injury and didn’t come back til the tail end of Pardew’s first few months. Was unstoppable before he got injured last year and has been consistently inconsistent this season.

  • 37 Ian Toon // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Fatman- With apologies to Samuel Johnson , when a blogger is tired of Solano he is tired of NUFC.

  • 38 Black and White with an army lol // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    we have 3 mids who can win the ball back and support others aswell as sit back when not in possession to put pressure on them to keep passing the ball in there own half hence counter attack, hoofball wouldnt be an issue as this provides possession passing play that would tire out opposition players as they keep trying to chase the ball giving us advantage in attack as hba will be waiting to receive and deliver

  • 39 Rotonda heights // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Ian Toon,

    Not quite sure how we got off on the wrong foot as I could not agree more.

  • 40 toonking // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    the team i see as best if all fit is
    on monday against wigan i would play this

  • 41 toonking // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    the team i see as best if all fit is
    on monday against wigan i would play this

  • 42 Ian Toon // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    matty- if you understand my point and agree with it then stop behaving like a juvenile seeking attention. . Create something rather than go in for semantics.

  • 43 Black and White with an army lol // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    toonlyf, they wont be full backs but wing backs, santon and anita if played as wing back have the skills to go up in attack and also to come back to defend when not in possession, leaving spaces wont be an issue also as we have 3mids and a attacking midfielder to move into channels to provide pressure on other teams to quickly pass the ball and make mistake for us to counter

  • 44 Ian Toon // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    Rotonda- we haven’t. I am suspicious though that you might think I always will share your point of view.

  • 45 Transfer Sage // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Black and white

    When did I say yours was a defensive tactic?

  • 46 catchy in norway // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Ferguson make aberage players look world beaters because he plays he plays his best players in there best positions and fills the gaps with the average players,
    He pretty much plays the same system all the time

    How on earth do you expect players to look there best playing out of position in a defensive formation,

    We play defensive and we have no pace in the team,

    Our trust is put into a guy who can start of with one defensive formation and during the match change it 2 or 3 timesa

    How can any one player train through the week up to 3 different formations and be affective ?

    13 weeks into a season jonas has players LW/LB RW DMC AMC that’s 5 different positions

    Anita has played 4 RB LB dMC AMC

    Our forwards don’t know what position there in

    I really fail to see how the players can be at fault for trying to carry out Pardews instructions,

    I fail to see what impact new players will have in jan coming into a team that is or has played well,

  • 47 toonLYF // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Black and White…

    Don’t get me wrong mate, i love the look of it, but i’m just sceptical whether we could execute it effectively. Also i highly doubt Pardew is willing to persevere with it.

    Without doubt the best looking formation for our current team though!

  • 48 mattyNUFC // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:49 PM


    was saying it was highly divisive opinion even when he was younger that he was going to be the ‘next john terry’

    easy now

  • 49 mattyNUFC // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    and catchy

    anita’s played 5 as well. pards switched him to RM in a EL tie

    versatility or desperate attempts by the manager to salvage a point or hold on to one?

  • 50 Transfer Sage // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    I still think a 433 is your best formation.

    Tiote Anita and cabaye in a 3 with Ba cisse and Benny across the front.

    Ba and cisse through the middle just doesn’t work.

    4312 won’t work either. We don’t have full backs either side who attack and therefore we will be too narrow and teams will crowd out our space.

  • 51 Black and White with an army lol // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    toonlyf, i agree with you completely that we shouldn’t use this straight away but pardew must give this a go during training maybe against the reserves during a week break or something as the old saying as many of us kno there’s no harm in trying.

  • 52 nick_9 // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    I agree tiote has looked a bit off form. If your tough tackling midfielder isn’t allowed to put in a tough tackle for the fear of being booked then what can you do? He needs to stop focusing so much on the hole bookings situation and carry on playing his game. The yellows aren’t so much a problem its the rash reds and i’m bound to stir a rose tinted debate here but i don’t think his most recent red even was a red.

    Would also love to see us bring in a left footed full back and switch santon to the right. The lad is a star but cutting in on your stronger fut gets figured out after so long. For me he seems more natural at right back and delivers better from that side, would it be worth switching him and lose him cutting in and shooting? I dont think the current 4:4:2 works so we either switch personnel, work on it or switch formation

  • 53 Transfer Sage // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:58 PM


    I think the red tiote got at Sunderland was a bit harsh but understandable.

    He didnt stamp down, he just let his let out stretched and made contact. Surely no worse than Larson kicking ameobi in the chest with his studs.

    The problem with the red though was that refs are keen to give reds for those types of tackles and it was totally unnecessary. He missed three games with stupidity which is what annoys me.

  • 54 nick_9 // Dec 1, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    Most teams in the league play either 5 across the middle or 3. Do you not think the full backs and the two strikers playing on the side provide much width? Ba drops deep to collect the ball so i am not sure why he would have a problem collecting it from a wide place.

  • 55 Black and White with an army lol // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    sage, 433 doesnt work now ba doesnt want to be on wing again so if we played ba as a lone striker cisse isnt a winger, nor has he the speed or creativity to pull it off nor does any of our wingers but HBA so a 433 wont work

  • 56 Transfer Sage // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:00 PM


    Simmo doesn’t provide width for us. Jonas if a full back wouldn’t as he doesn’t get forward from LM.

    Santon would be forward but his final ball isn’t great, needs more work still.

    Ba and cisse both stay very central, neither work the channels when played through the middle. I think that why we don’t stretch teams and also why they are constantly in each others space and don’t link up well.

  • 57 Tsunki // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    Saylor’s inconsistency is linked with his injuries and the constant state of flux in the back four. The back line has not had a stable form since the beginning of last season when coincidentally we kept out hurricanes and our midfield had a decent time freed of too much covering for them, hence more service for the forwards. Even then with Raylor back there it was still a bit makeshift for my liking. But this season is appalling, we pick out players like Willo and Simmo for barracking and even Colo gets a down mark for this season, but to be fair our back line is not at all settled, and it always looks like nobody is quite sure who is covering for who or where, its like a random free-for-all sometimes. In such cases I wonder why they spend so much time pushing suicidally forward and creating a huge whole between them and Tim Krul. Not one of them has the pace to get back to cover a break, bar Simmo who is always stranded up the left wing for no product anyway. Colo is having an under par season simply because he is attempting vainly to plug gaps. Willo has done a lot of good things, but like goalies, a few howlers are what stand out, he needs stability, and when someone like Colo is out, he roves about almost lost sometimes. The flaky and fluid nature of our back line is what is knacking our midfield, they are scared of pushing forward, tiote is virtually being asked to cover an imaginary line between our box and halfway, and the likes of Cabaye are picking up pieces all over the park, Jonas is also sweeping all over the place and it has ruined his game, he is ow virtually midfielder without portfolio. We even have Ba dropping deep to pick up nowt, and Cisse defending – the last player I want to see near our area. I hate seeing EVERYONE track back, it does no good – just compresses an already disorgansed defence, and meanwhile produces nothing going forward. Only HBA seems oblivious to this and presses forward at every opportunity and good on him I say.

    If the defence is going to be what it is, why dont we just go with our old ‘score one more’ philosophy and let them at the back take care of their business, while the attacking midfield and forwards go for the goal? I would rather go down fighting than have the midfield filled with headless chickens flapping about in front of a panicky defence. WE seem to be adopting a ‘park the bus’ stance from the KO, but unfortunately we are also crap at doing that. What are the alternatives?

  • 58 nick_9 // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    A red card in my eyes is for a challenge worthy or a three game ban or cheating to deny a clear cut goal scoring opportunity. Handling the ball off the line, hacking the man down if your the last defender and the attack is clear through. Tiote made contact but i do not think the contact justified a three game ban. I dont think the punishment suited the crime having seen what others challenges are allowed to be let go. Its consistency we need and i dont think you will get that until you have an official who doesnt have to face the crowd so cannot be influenced. A bit like race control in formula one or the rugby league official sat in a box watching it back.

  • 59 Transfer Sage // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Black and white

    That is why pardew should play Ba left or tell him he isn’t playing.

    Ba is best centrally, we all know that, but cisse is a better lone man up front I believe as he finds more space. Ba is better in a 442 with a shola type player.

    I would play 433, have Ba left or in the bench. Don’t care if he is our top scorer or not. 433 works best for tiote, Anita, Ben arfa, cabaye and cisse so why mess around just for the sake of Ba.

    Lets face it. Ba doesn’t love the club, he lives money. If he didnt why would he insist on release clauses at most clubs and just refuse to play for hoffenheim. He is a greedy man whatever he says otherwise. If a better offer comes in he will be off without a second thought

  • 60 Ian Toon // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Catchy- My brain is clearly not what it was as I found ploughing through your last post a real struggle. As a special favour could you choose an easier read next time, with clarity paramount. Naturally I don’t want you to lose your taste for the meretricious or to dump down and lose the love bombing of fellow bloggers.

  • 61 Transfer Sage // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    Black and white

    A 4312 could work however if we signed a full back like debuchy and used ranger with either Ba or cisse.

    Ranger is a guy who runs the channels to create the space and stretch teams.

    But we can debate this all day…we know it will be 442 on Monday.

  • 62 Tsunki // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    Would Santon work as a RB though? His go-to option when flying down the wing would most likely be the byline instead of cutting in. So….does the lad have a cross in him?

  • 63 Transfer Sage // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:09 PM


    Only one way to find out really. Think it woul certainly be worth a go if we had a left back, unfortunately santon is the only one really.

  • 64 Black and White with an army lol // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    sage, cant argue with that mate, ba should be on the bench and if he wants to leave then let him, and also you got it spot on mate we need players that love the club not the money hopefully this will happen during transfer market so fingers cross.

  • 65 Tsunki // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    Sage – exactly. 🙁

  • 66 Mancgeordie // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    Transfer sage that’s bang on the money if pardew grew some n told him look it’s better for the team if you play left we are suppose to be following the arsenal or man utd with this 8 year deal but would Ferguson or Wenger let a player dictate what tatics, formation and where he plays think not

  • 67 nick_9 // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    Sage do you not think the following formation could work:

    ————- Tiote——-Anita———

    Ben Arfa ——- Cabya ———-Marveaux

    ———————–Cisse/Ba ———————-

    Or to accommodate both strikers:

    Ben Arfa—————-Ba—————-Marveaux

    Both 4:2:3:1 but if we are under pressure the first formation very easily switches to 4:5:1 with a strong three in the middle and the second formation easily swithces to a 4:4:2. Would love to see us give this ago even if its only in the fa cup. This for me would be great attacking but who knows defensively. We often worry about conceding but if we was banging the goals in it wouldn’t be as much of a worry

  • 68 Transfer Sage // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    Black and white

    I don’t care if players only play or us for money, that’s fine with me. It is a job at the end of the day and we can’t expect 11 Newcastle united fans on the pitch.

    What I don’t like though is a player who doesn’t want to play a certain position just to be selfish.

    At work if I refused to do a job because it wasn’t my favourite I would be shown the door.

    I like Ba as a footballer but as a man I find him thoroughly unlikeable and selfish.

    I do like your 4312 just currently don’t think we have the right personal. 1 or 2 additions could change that though.

  • 69 Tsunki // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    Well I wouldnt espouse the ‘love the club or get lost’ philosophy too much. We could end up with a very small squad indeed. I do agree there are degrees of cynicism though, and Ba would appear to be in the Band B of journeyman types. Players like Bent, Gyan, and… well there are lots… would be in my Band A, for example.

  • 70 Ian Toon // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    Transfer- Marveaux has to start to match up their 4-3-3. He would be a good balance between Ba and. Cisse They have injury problems.
    To be honest I would settle for a 1-0 win and three points. I appreciate your point though.

  • 71 Black and White with an army lol // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    true mate 442 on monday, im dreading it.

  • 72 toonking // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    TS as well as ba being a greedy player could it be that simmo is another greedy one

  • 73 Transfer Sage // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:17 PM


    I like the first formation.

    2nd one I think has cabaye too deep and that’s not his best position. And I also don’t like Ba behind the striker, think he isn’t a good link between attack and midfield, I feel cabaye and ben arfa both do that much better.

  • 74 nick_9 // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    Well from what ive witnessed i think he offers more in attack on the right but he hasnt played there much so its hard to say, he could of just had a good performance that game but if we played santon at rb again who knows, he could have a stinker. The best two full backs we have are simpson and santon so its no surprise they play. If it came to buying a lb or a rb i personally would say go for a lb.

  • 75 Tsunki // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    nick_9 I like the look of your first formation actually, but not the second as I have never felt Ba and Cisse should be on the same pitch, they instinctively run into the same spaces. One must step down. Its almost like the Lampard/Gerrard conundrum for me.

  • 76 Tsunki // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    The reason we ended up with two similarly – styled strikers is that Cisse was purchased when Pardew was convinced Ba would leave last season. Thats how I see that one.

  • 77 Transfer Sage // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:21 PM


    As it stands I don’t care what or how we play, we just need points at the moment. I agree there. But we need to plan a style for the long run too, can’t only focus on the next game.


    I don’t think Simmo is too greedy. From what I understand he wants first team football which is fine and as such wants a first team wage.

    Would you be happy if all your employer did was talk about how he wanted your replacement in debuchy to be signed for months? I wouldn’t so fully understand why he wants to leave.

    He isn’t the best I get it, and I don’t care if he leaves, grateful for his efforts though, but he has every right to feel annoyed after being a major role in a defence what finished last year with the 3rd most clean sheets in the league

  • 78 nick_9 // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    Tsunki the first formation is the one i like the most but despite Ba and Cisse not forging a partnership together very well both of them are capable or some amazing goals. We saw last season that they could both be 20 league goal per season strikers and it would be hard to leave one out. I prefer the first formation but the second formation for me could also work because ba comes deep to collect the ball anyway, if he had marveax and ben arfa at either side and cisse behind it should give him plenty of options. I would love to see both Cisse and Ba firing on all cylinders together.

  • 79 Ian Toon // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Transfer- Ba is the most courteous of guys off the pitch even to young kids seeking autographs. On the pitch he displays a selfishness but don’t all goalscorers to a certain extent. Remember Shearer! He certainly shouldn’t dictate where he plays particularly as Pards has to look at the bigger picture. It seems to me that Pardew has considered his options going forward. Why else advertise that Ba’s still got the same clause in. Place!

  • 80 Tsunki // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    nick – I know I would also like to see them combine goal tallies but I think that if they are any where near each other they actually cancel each other out. We would have to ask one to transform his play.

    Sorry to jump in and out out gotta go, carry on without me ha ha….


    BTW we WILL beat Wigan I feel it in my bones.

  • 81 Transfer Sage // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    I think pardew needs to call Ba’s bluff.

    Play him left sides or bench him and see if he goes.

    He got no good offers in the summer. Let him try to go somewhere else if he likes. I bet he won’t fancy turkey or Spain with some if the racism that goes on there. He won’t have many options to better us I don’t think.

  • 82 Transfer Sage // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:28 PM


    Ba might be a nice guy as a person.

    What I think though is that he clearly only thinks of himself in football. That’s fine as its his career. What’s not fine is the way it appears pardew has pandered to him.

    Not sure why pardew appeases him by sacrificing the team just to get the best out of him and then advertise his release clause at he same time.

  • 83 nick_9 // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    Seen many times Cisse and Ba both go for the same ball and mess the chance up. I think if Ba is to leave it is more thank likely going to be a money rich club abroad. He is getting older and has the knee problem, if it wasnt for that then statistically on a goal scoring point of view he should be worth much much more because he is proven to bang the goals in. Surely…. surely we can accommodate both of them? Perhaps if no ofers come in Ba will realise he has to do whats best for the team,

  • 84 nick_9 // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    West Ham 3 Chelsea 1. Wow

  • 85 Transfer Sage // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:33 PM


    Was just going to mention that. A very good performance and well deserved win too.

  • 86 Transfer Sage // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    Once again Diame running the show.

    Why did we not get him on a free again?

  • 87 toonking // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    chelsea loose 3-1
    what can i say does it not prove sacking manager is not the thing to do.

  • 88 nick_9 // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    Bad result for us in my book. It shows that teams like Chelsea are beatable but we could do with the teams fighting for top ten to drop points so we can catch up. I like to see the big boys lose but not at our expense

  • 89 Transfer Sage // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:41 PM


    Chelsea had a a few bad games before di Matteo went so not like its just Rafa.

    The thin is changing a manager usually takes time for the manager to implement his own changes.

    I think you don’t want to change a manager mid season unless you are having a run like QPR were.

  • 90 nick_9 // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    ToonKing Chelsea sacked AVB after 6 months and then won the champions league and the fa cup, that oagree with yu though. Stability is a positive factor, we need to be patient. Hope the revenue increases so we can sign some players and hope Pards learns and changes his ways

  • 91 toonLYF // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    I think i’d have Diame over Sissoko or Tiote tbh. He offers the same as Tiote defensively, but as much as Sissoko going forward, him and Cabaye in a 4-4-2 would be lethal.

  • 92 Magpies-till-d3ath // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:43 PM


    Cabaye Tiote Anita
    Ben Arfa
    Cisse Ba

    At the minute, that’s our best team. Gutierrez shouldn’t be anywhere near the Premier League!!! Never mind the starting XI. Absolutely pathetic he is!!!!!!

  • 93 Magpies-till-d3ath // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    LYF- Diame over Tiote!!!!!!!??????? You serious bro?

  • 94 Transfer Sage // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    Tiote and Diame are different types of players.

    If I had to have one in my squad it would be Diame though.

    He offers more than tiote does overall.

  • 95 toonLYF // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    erm, yes…..? Have you watched Diame play this season? He’s the best box to box midfielder in the league.

    Which when playing a 442, it’s vital to have a midfielder who’s going to gamble. Cabaye or Tiote don’t do it often enough.

    I think we should’ve got him in instead of Anita. That would’ve been some good business!

  • 96 toonking // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    what i try pointing out is 9 times out of 10 managers who are likely to join don’t help much as the best managers only want to join teams they confident they will stay and can spend money without much trouble something i think both chelsea and newcastle don’t have

  • 97 Indian Magpie // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    As transfer sage said the other day,

    success brings stability, not the other way round

  • 98 tequilamag // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    Magpies till death, best teanm at the moment? HBA and Cabaye are injured.

  • 99 Transfer Sage // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:52 PM


    Chelsea will get near enough any manager they want.

    You get a lot of money and a good team and a chance to so well.

    Then if you get sacked you rarely get blamed, always the owner accused of being harsh. You then get a huge pay out and can move onto somewhere else.

    Dream job really.

  • 100 toonking // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    but indian you think how many managers we have had in the last 4 years yet not one was decent

  • 101 toonking // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    TS why then did they not get pep who was the one they wanted

  • 102 nick_9 // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Anyone remember when gutierrez used to do this once in a while?

    Man he looks so much slower now, i miss the old Jonas

  • 103 BelfastMagpie // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    Benitez is a far better manager than Di matteo.

    Chelsea fans have got a bee in their bonnet,because Benitez slagged them off.

    They’d probably be a mid table team without Romans millions anyway.

    Though I dont think half of them realise that.

  • 104 Transfer Sage // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    You can’t keep a manager hoping that f he stays long enough you will be successful.

    But on the other hand if, like us, you don’t spend big and only sign 2/3 a season, you need to make sure you have the manger to suit that and give him enough time.

    You also need a very clear plan as if you only spend small each window you can’t keep changing the plan as you will never get all the pieces in.

  • 105 Indian Magpie // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:55 PM


    yes, infact we have no decent manager since SBR, i was hoping Souness will do well but he was poor too

  • 106 Transfer Sage // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:56 PM


    I said near enough any manager. Obviously not all will go there.

    Pep said he wanted a year out and would take no job.

    They must be confident of getting him in the summer as they only have Benitez on an interim basis until the summer.

  • 107 Pushy Pardew // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    We need to get some of our key players back together with confidence. Your kicking against a closed door on Williamson he’s so lacking in confidence and ability that he’s a liability at present. The point others were making was that we have nobody currently to replace him.

  • 108 Transfer Sage // Dec 1, 2012 at 2:58 PM


    I find Benitez a strange appointment.

    Abramovich always is rumoured to be wanting a entertaining brand of football and Benitez doesn’t bring that.

    In surprised he didn’t go for a manager with more flair in the play. Although I suppose it’s only til the end of the season so maybe that’s why.

  • 109 Pushy Pardew // Dec 1, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    Interesting to note that our slump in form has been in the absence of Cabaye. HE IS THE BAROMETER OF OUR FORM.

  • 110 Transfer Sage // Dec 1, 2012 at 3:00 PM


    Do you agree than Williamson has played no worse in terms of % of his ability than others.

    A lot of our plays have been playing at 50% at best of their ability. The problem is for willo is that even at 100% he never looks top class.

  • 111 solano // Dec 1, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    Ian Toon…(with apologies to Gore Vidal) Meretricious and a Happy New Year to you, too!

  • 112 Pushy Pardew // Dec 1, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    Do you ever post anything new? You just keep repeating old posts. You make a good case for doing away with free speech.

  • 113 nick_9 // Dec 1, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    Sage Williamson is trying and so is Simpson, i will give them that. Trouble is we need better players if we wish to progress. I have tried to show you some videos of Jonas but it is under moderation. If you have a spare minute go on YOUTUBE and search for



    Have a look at those two videos on youtube guys, you will get all nostalgic i promise you haha

  • 114 BelfastMagpie // Dec 1, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    I thought It was a strange appointment too, but Benitez is a far better manager than Di Matteo in my opinion.

    Chelsea fans are only moaning because Bentitez said they’d no history amongst other things.

    They would of been on Di matteo’s back by now too.

  • 115 Pushy Pardew // Dec 1, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    The creme de le creme of toon blogging.

  • 116 Pushy Pardew // Dec 1, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    I have seen our recent away games and he’s a bundle of nerves a disaster just waiting to happen. We just don’t have an alternative. Do you rember last December with Simpson at CB.

  • 117 toonLYF // Dec 1, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    Everton flying – They were annoying me at first as i was jealous, but now i just have the utmost respect for them.

    The difference between us and Everton?

    They actually impose themselves on games no matter who they’re playing. They play with the same intensity against a Reading, as they would against a City. Also they’re not ever over-respectful of the opposition.

  • 118 Transfer Sage // Dec 1, 2012 at 3:43 PM


    He is terrible but I just think even at his best he is only just ok.

    It’s not his fault he is out if his depth. It’s llambias and Ashley. Pardew identified that as a week area.

  • 119 HullMag6 // Dec 1, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    We needed a squad where you had at least two alledged purples per position given our fixture commitments. Woefully under resourced and our form shows it.

  • 120 Graeme // Dec 1, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    Hull, mate,ssshhhhhhhh

    You cant be saying things like that, Lambsarse will have apoplexy lol

  • 121 Ruddy Marveaux-lous // Dec 1, 2012 at 4:17 PM


    One of these days you are going to spontaneously burst into flames right in front of your computer, simmer down lad, break things down, and try getting into even handed debates with fellow NUFC supporters instead of hurling your bile at your screen, you’ll be a more content person as a result.

    With the season as it stands, unless we undergo an overhaul of about 4 players in January then I don’t think we are going to see a more fluid style of play. We are going to have to roll our sleeves up, work harder and try and eek out the wins and points that we grafted for last season, with the quality we have, and the spirit that I know is with a lot of these lads then I know we will get out of this situation and finish around 10th/11th.

    Now, for a lot of fans that isn’t good enough, finishing 10th isn’t good enough after last year’s 5th placed finish, playing grinding football isn’t good enough considering the quality we have and, to an extent, I agree but slowly slowly catchy monkey.

    We need not only better defenders, but more astute defenders, defenders that can cope with pressure to pick a pass to the midfield, and on top of that we need astute minded midfield players to make themselves available for said passes, Tiote has let himself down in this regard this season and may not be the player we thought he was or perhaps it is just a slump of form, either way he needs to wake up.

    Moving forward, I honestly don’t believe Ba will be playing in a NUFC shirt next season, and in some corner of my mind I have a feeling that he may be moved on in January. While I don’t wish for it as he has scored goals for us and we’re short up front, his apparent selfishness is choking us as a team and that’s not the kind of player I want in our XI, if Pards had other options Ba would be given the boot.

    We are a work in progress, one that may even take a few seasons of mid table mediocrity to get right but I do believe we will get there, until then I am neither going to get overly excited when we do well or get too downhearted when we don’t do well. It’s a zen way of supporting such an emotive football club, I find it is the only way that can keep me sane!

  • 122 Ruddy Marveaux-lous // Dec 1, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    Interesting article demonstrating another side to catchy’s insistence (and those who share his view) of the importance of tactics in the modern game

    Not saying that it is 100% correct but it’s just another way of looking at things.

  • 123 Magpies-till-d3ath // Dec 1, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    King- its still our best team. Its just that we can’t play it!

  • 124 Graeme // Dec 1, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Arse Nil – Swansea 2 pmsl

  • 125 Big Pappa Cissé // Dec 1, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Michu signing of the season IMO. about time Carr starts scouting Spain me thinks

  • 126 Indian Magpie // Dec 1, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    we offer cheapest tickets in the BPL, may be ashley’s thinking is pay cheap, watch football and dont complain too much and dont expect too much either.

  • 127 Ruddy Marveaux-lous // Dec 1, 2012 at 4:55 PM


    Blah blah blah drivel topped off with dross.

    Have a nice day 😀

  • 128 Indian Magpie // Dec 1, 2012 at 4:57 PM


    Treat me as a barking dog, Ignore me.

  • 129 Magpies-till-d3ath // Dec 1, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    QPR- Quality Players Ruined!

  • 130 Ruddy Marveaux-lous // Dec 1, 2012 at 5:01 PM


    You’ve created an analogy for yourself that is more apt than anything I could have given you my little Jack Russell friend 😀

  • 131 Indian Magpie // Dec 1, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    Thank You

  • 132 Indian Magpie // Dec 1, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    Any 1 looking forward to bayern V Dortmund & Real V Athletico

  • 133 MacToon // Dec 1, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Watching Reading v Man U Indian, good to see you back posting again.

  • 134 MacToon // Dec 1, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    2-2 , not even 20 mins played yet. been a strange day for results so far.

  • 135 spitfire_ // Dec 1, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    “Pardew: ‘Your Team Needs You!”

    What the F more he wants? Newcastle is one of the clubs with best supporters in the world… I’m sick of that plea… I’ts too much and too often used. More plea to the players and less for the fans. The fans gave always 100%… the players not. Period.

    Now shut it and do it.

  • 136 Big Pappa Cissé // Dec 1, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    I hope Pardew is watching the Reading game and picking up some set piece tips

  • 137 Conaldo (The Wizard...Also Bestest Friends With Paul Scharner) // Dec 1, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    Spitfire – the home support has been p*ss poor this season. Seriously.

  • 138 Graeme // Dec 1, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    Reading 3 – 4 Manure after 35 minutes

    A cracking match

  • 139 Big Pappa Cissé // Dec 1, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    That was over the line like

  • 140 spitfire_ // Dec 1, 2012 at 6:10 PM


    Why’s that? Because it’s a little bit quiet when the team lose?

  • 141 Big Pappa Cissé // Dec 1, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    Finally a decision goes against Manure 🙂

  • 142 mattyNUFC // Dec 1, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    god i wanted diame for ages!

    i remember our season in the CCC i harped on all day about getting Gylfi and Diame to spruce up the MF

    guess i should be a scout

  • 143 89Norcal // Dec 1, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    I’ve lost faith in Pardew using 433 ever again. He’s petrified of alienating Demba Ba, though maybe that might change post-January?

    Ba should be the ST in a 433 anyways, I think Cisse has more pace than Ba, or we should try a sort of 4231 with Ba as a CF behind Cisse, and leave everyone else the same.

  • 144 stuart no9 // Dec 1, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    spitfire @135—-correct my thoughts exactly!

  • 145 Big Pappa Cissé // Dec 1, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    I would like to see this team in January






    That should be more than enough to keep us in the PL and push forward next season.

  • 146 jimmysmith // Dec 1, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    “Wigan the value in tight clash” Sporting Life

    Quite a fall from race; or had we flattered to deceive until more recently.

  • 147 santonthenewmaldini // Dec 1, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    Well it looks like Arsenal fans are calling for Wenger out today after getting beat off Swansea

    They got totally dominated off Swansea as well where as we got sucker punched when we played them!!

    To be honest the premier league is more competitive this year but its not down to the quality hardly any team is playing well just look at how City got dumped out of champs league !

    Hope we dont get Ajax or a Spanish or German team in the next europa it could be a disaster!!

    Surely we will try something different against Wigan as they always play with 3 at the back and flood the midfield so we need to pack the midfield as well not play 2 in the middle and get dominated as the stadium could be a nasty atmosphere if we get beat at home again!!

  • 148 Jail for Ashley // Dec 1, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    Was talking to a mate of mine today about the usual football stuff and I hadn’t really thought about how much it pi$$ed me off until I mentioned it,the statement in one of Pards press conferences when he was talking about other teams and cited Spurs as being one of the bigger clubs,how the f^(k are Spurs a bigger club than us,maybe similar to us in stature but nevertheless a bit insulting for our manager to come out and say that.

  • 149 Marty-Toon // Dec 1, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    Shame the 2nd half wasn’t as good and reading scored another 3 goals 😉

  • 150 Newcastle for alltid // Dec 2, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    That’s completely wrong. Newcastle can’t play in all these formations. One thing is to line up in different ways, another thing is to actually play them. I don’t know what we do on the training ground, but it seems that no matter what formation we play this season, we get overrun and outplayed.

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