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Would Bruce Consider A Return To The Preseason System With Saint-Maximin Out?

When Steve Bruce was appointed on July 17th, Newcastle were in China playing in the Asia Premier League Trophy against Wolves. We got thrashed 4-0 and were set up in a 4-1-4-1 under the tutelage of Ben Dawson and Neil Redfearn.

After a few days of training with Bruce, the formation for the next match 3 days later against West Ham was a 5-3-2/3-5-2. It worked out well for that game as we were able to win 1-0.

Bruce used the formation throughout the preseason and in our first two games against Arsenal and at Norwich. After the horror at Norwich, he ditched the system for Tottenham, which resulted in a 1-0 win and our first points of the season.

With Allan Saint-Maximin possibly out with another hamstring injury, we wonder if Steve Bruce would consider going back to his original formation. He has the players to make it work, but it would need some serious tweaking.

If he were to use it for Burnley on Saturday, this is how we would envision the team assuming Saint-Maximin and Ciaran Clark are not fit.

While it was not very successful, the team has had time to gel since then and it could be an option while Saint-Maximin is out. The extra midfielder would make room for Sean Longstaff to get back into the team.

It would also allow Dwight Gayle or Yoshinori Muto to play in a more natural role for them. There would be plenty of choices with the front two as well, even having Andy Carroll and Joelinton on at the same time.

We don’t think Bruce will risk such a drastic change at this point in the season with the team playing so well. But it is some ‘food for thought’ as Steve Bruce likes to say.

23 comments so far

  • Online Guy

    Dec 9, 2019 at 8:51 PM

    Comment #1

    Let’s not dress it up Mr Ashley, Mr Bruce, Mr Charnley, 12 thousand missing fans now have to be replaced with free season ticket people .

    Ask yourself how has that happened at a club who once had a 17 thousand strong waiting list for season tickets .

    Your doing a grand job Mike Ashley ..grand .

  • investinyouthtoon

    Dec 9, 2019 at 9:00 PM

    Comment #2

    On these free half season tickets, fans turning on other fans, those who have paid will they be saying “how come they get free tickets when I’ve had to pay 500 or 600 quid”. Surely there’s bound to be fans upset by this news and emotions can boil over.

    Surely this must be a desperate ploy by Ashley as why give them away for free rather than reduced price for rest of season, unless he is really rattled by the lower attendances

    Also will these new fans contribute to the atmosphere or just turn up and sit there. SJP needs it’s noisy and intimidating atmosphere back as it once was.

  • Online Guy

    Dec 9, 2019 at 9:01 PM

    Comment #3

    I’m informed that we are actually 18 thousand down in paying supporters ..what you see among the 42 thousand in attendance is about 7 thousand freebies .

    Near 35 thousand are paid up and in .

    Hence the free ticket (plea, Begging) announcements today.

    This reminds me of the demise of Sunderlan .. free tickets to get them in ..never been known at Newcastle United.

    Your doing a grand job Mr Mike Ashley ..grand .

  • welshgeordie9

    Dec 9, 2019 at 9:04 PM

    Comment #4

    In Bruce we trust.

  • Online Guy

    Dec 9, 2019 at 9:08 PM

    Comment #5


    Well said .

    The free tickets are already contributing to a poor atmosphere ..its what it is right now because of non passionate non supporting students and one branch of the civil servant brigade I know of first hand.

    Ashley is a dictator who will eventually fail and fall.

    A few wins and a few points has just papered over the long term non ambition from the greedy owner.

  • Just a fan

    Dec 9, 2019 at 9:08 PM

    Comment #6

    I can try and get you a free ticket if you wish.

  • lesh

    Dec 9, 2019 at 9:09 PM

    Comment #7

    Someone posted earlier

    ‘I’m not at all eager to see any existing season ticket holders take the empty seat of a protesting one simply because it’s offered for free. That’s surely not the right thing to do’

    Nope it isn’t – striking employees would call it scabbing!

  • RobLeenio

    Dec 9, 2019 at 9:09 PM

    Comment #8

    Hmmm, not convinced Neil, though it’s definitely an interesting talking point.

    Those three players are individually excellent, but don’t seem to play well as a three. Granted Longstaff has had a chance now to get back to match fitness and could play differently, but what you’d need is either him or Hayden sitting deep, allowing the other two to get forward.

    You lose too much from Lobby’s or Hayden’s game if you ask them to sit in full time. Look at the match vs Southampton, the second goal came from Lobby’s shot, whereas Hayden was winning free kicks on the edge of their area too.

    We need to find a system which maximises the talents of all of our players, not ask them to fit a system which limits them.

    That said, if we find ourselves 3-0 with fifteen minutes to go some time and we can experiment, we should try it out again.

  • Just a fan

    Dec 9, 2019 at 9:17 PM

    Comment #9

    They are not employees.
    So they can hardly be called ‘scabbing’.what a horrible word that is.

  • Jib

    Dec 9, 2019 at 9:20 PM

    Comment #10

    That’s another horrible word

  • Jib

    Dec 9, 2019 at 9:21 PM

    Comment #11

    Gooners equalise !!!

  • Jib

    Dec 9, 2019 at 9:27 PM

    Comment #12

    Arsenal 2nd Pepe

  • Jib

    Dec 9, 2019 at 9:31 PM

    Comment #13


  • Ron Knee

    Dec 9, 2019 at 9:32 PM

    Comment #14

    Pellegrini’s days must be numbered.

  • lesh

    Dec 9, 2019 at 9:32 PM

    Comment #15

    Just a Fan

    You are correct in saying that fans are not employees but the analogy is there – scabs undermine the actions of striking employees.

    Fans who take up Ashley’s offer are effectively undermining the actions of those who’ve given up their STs in protest at Ashley’s ownership.
    Scabs, no matter which way you choose to look at it

  • Just a fan

    Dec 9, 2019 at 9:37 PM

    Comment #16

    As you call them may wish to work for many reasons.
    Or have they no rights.they just have to do as they are told.

  • jane

    Dec 9, 2019 at 9:38 PM

    Comment #17


    still no sign of Lazaar since September. i’m just curious why this is. another goal for Riviere though.


  • Jib

    Dec 9, 2019 at 9:43 PM

    Comment #18

    Now in 11th place

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Dec 9, 2019 at 9:45 PM

    Comment #19

    Jesus, Alan Pardew called Pellegrini a f@$%^&* old cnut about 10 years ago.

    I’m not a physician, but I’m pretty confident West Ham have actually caught a little early onset rigor mortis from the old duffer.

    Ok, that’s maybe a bit harsh, but he’s surely got to go. West Ham are a mess.

  • lesh

    Dec 9, 2019 at 9:53 PM

    Comment #20

    Just a Fan

    I may be wrong but your words suggest you’ve had first hand experience of or support the undermining employees’ protests.

    Any ST holder thinking about taking up Ashley’s generous offer really needs to ask him/ herself whether doing so is really worth it.

    If Ashley’s the Devil, then selling souls comes to mind

  • Just a fan

    Dec 9, 2019 at 10:09 PM

    Comment #21

    Lesh no.
    If a strike was voted for by a majority I would go along with it.
    But if others didn’t that would be up to them. I certainly wouldn’t call them scabs or any other name.
    If Ashley is the devil .
    Who am I kidding of course he is not the devil just a bloke disliked by a lot of people.

  • jane

    Dec 9, 2019 at 10:18 PM

    Comment #22

    Just a fan demolishing lesh’s arguments. lesh doesn’t understand freedom of choice and respect.

  • thereallowickmag

    Dec 9, 2019 at 10:22 PM

    Comment #23

    Anyone who things the low attendances/boycotts are not getting to Ashley need to give their heads a wobble.
    This latest stunt is blind panic. We were the most televised side outside of the top six last season. That was for one reason. The atmosphere and the desire of the fans.
    That is disappearing and the TV companies know that. Ashley is panicking lads.
    This will come back to bite him in the backside. I would be livid if I was a fully paying season ticket holder still.


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