Newcastle Can Play In Many Different Formations

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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150 comments so far

  • Dannyo

    Dec 1, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #1

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

  • euanpolo

    Dec 1, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #2

    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.

  • Graeme

    Dec 1, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #3

    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

  • Magpies-till-d3ath

    Dec 1, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #4

    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!!!!!!!!

  • outsidethebox

    Dec 1, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #5

    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 …

  • FatmanJoe

    Dec 1, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #6

    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.

  • mattyNUFC

    Dec 1, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #7

    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.

  • jimmysmith

    Dec 1, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #8

    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.

  • FatmanJoe

    Dec 1, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #9

    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.

  • jimmysmith

    Dec 1, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #10

    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.

  • toonLYF

    Dec 1, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #11

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






    Long shot like…

  • cadete

    Dec 1, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #12

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

  • Premiership Manager

    Dec 1, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    Comment #13

    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.

  • ~Anita One Bites the Dust~

    Dec 1, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #14

    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.

  • toonLYF

    Dec 1, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #15

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

  • toonLYF

    Dec 1, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #16

    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?

  • FatmanJoe

    Dec 1, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #17


    Knock yourself out pal.

  • solano

    Dec 1, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #18

    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.

  • FatmanJoe

    Dec 1, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #19

    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?

  • Black and White with an army lol

    Dec 1, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #20

    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.

  • Black and White with an army lol

    Dec 1, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Comment #21

    4312 first team when all players are fit.


  • toonLYF

    Dec 1, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    Comment #22

    @ 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.

  • Super Magpie

    Dec 1, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    Comment #23

    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…

  • solano

    Dec 1, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #24

    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.

  • nick_9

    Dec 1, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #25

    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?

  • Transfer Sage

    Dec 1, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    Comment #26

    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.

  • Super Magpie

    Dec 1, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    Comment #27


  • FatmanJoe

    Dec 1, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #28

    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.

  • Black and White with an army lol

    Dec 1, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #29

    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

  • FatmanJoe

    Dec 1, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #30

    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.

  • Transfer Sage

    Dec 1, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #31

    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.

  • Black and White with an army lol

    Dec 1, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #32

    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

  • Ian Toon

    Dec 1, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #33

    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.

  • Black and White with an army lol

    Dec 1, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Comment #34

    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.

  • toonLYF

    Dec 1, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #35

    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.

  • mattyNUFC

    Dec 1, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #36

    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.

  • Ian Toon

    Dec 1, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #37

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

  • Black and White with an army lol

    Dec 1, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #38

    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

  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 1, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #39

    Ian Toon,

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

  • toonking

    Dec 1, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #40

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


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