With so many good center-backs available at Newcastle Rafa seems to prefer to play three at the back.
When we attack, we will be in a 3-4-3 formation, and when defending, we’ll have five at the back with the wing-backs tucking in defensively.
Mo Diame thinks the side have played better when we have three rather than four at the back.
With center-backs Lascelles, Clark, Fernandez, Schar, and Lejeune all available Rafa presumably could use three of those players in every game.
Mo Diame – played well for us this year
Mo Diame has again been playing regularly for Newcastle this season as the enforcer in the holding midfield position.
The former Senegal International can play in any formation, and he has been talking about that in the Shields Gazette today:
“It doesn’t matter what system, but it does look like we are playing better football when we have three at the back,”
“We will see if we continue to play that way, that is what the manager is here to do, to decide things like that.”
“He (Benitez) makes decisions on every game which is different, to suit certain matches.”
“If he wants us to play in a three or a four we will be ready, we have the players to do that.”
“Ki is a good player, he has quality on the ball,”
“He is playing his part with this team since he started playing.”
“We have got points in this way and we have to keep going together, as a team, work hard to get the results.”
Diame seems to be able to play well with either Jonjo Shelvey or Ki Sung-yueng as his midfield partner.
Mo’s contract runs out next June, but it looks like if he plays a certain number of first-team games this season, Rafa Benitez will give him an extension to his contract in the summer.
Mo has deserved a new deal, and he’s been very steady at the back for us all this year.