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Bruce Talks About The Conundrum He Faces In Getting The Formation Right For Burnley



Steve Bruce rang in the changes last week against Tottenham. It produced what Bruce dubbed during his press conference this morning as ‘arguably one of our best performances of the season.’

Against Spurs, Bruce reverted to a back three with wing-backs after utilizing the 4-3-3 for the previous 9 matches. The 4-3-3, or diamond formation, worked wonders when first implemented at Everton, producing a surprisingly competent 2-0 win.

However, that system is sometimes easily prepared for as we witnessed in the following weeks. It was also a formation that didn’t suit this squad without key players like Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson.


So with Wilson still unavailable last weekend, and Saint-Maximin only available from the bench, Bruce went with the 5-3-2 while handing starts to players like Matt Ritchie, Jacob Murphy, and Sean Longstaff, who had barely played over the past few months.

With the revelation this morning that Wilson and Saint-Maximin were available and raring to go for Burnley on Sunday, Bruce was asked about what formation would get the best out of his star players.

The question primarily involved Allan Saint-Maximin, who came on for Dwight Gayle up front against Spurs. This is how Bruce handled the question:

“Great question. Very good question.

“That is the conundrum that I face all the time is getting the right system and getting your better players on the pitch.

“For example, we used a back three last week. I think it was more of a back three rather than a five with Matt Ritchie and Jacob Murphy.

“Last week, we got the balance just right. I was very very pleased.

“However, we did concede twice. Once was an awful, awful mistake. The second goal for them, if your Tottenham you’d be purring about it because of the quality that it showed.

“Look, that’s the balance that we have to try and get right. I have that conundrum every week or every other week. So, I hope I make the right decision.

“I’m sure there were a few raised eyebrows last week amongst you all before we kicked off.

“The players played very well. Whatever role or system it certainly suited us last week.”

It’ll be interesting to see what team and formation Bruce will go with at Turf Moor. He may opt to keep relatively the same team, though unfortunately without Jamaal Lascelles, and save Wilson and Saint-Maximin as impact substitutions.

Bruce admitted that he had to ‘box clever’ with both of them due to them returning from muscle injuries as opposed to impact injuries which are easier to gauge. However, he also stated that Wilson looked great in training, and with just 8 matches remaining he could start on Sunday.

Newcastle had one of our better performances of the season in the home fixture against Burnley to start October. Callum Wilson got a brace but it was Allan Saint-Maximin who put in the Man of the Match performance with a goal and an assist. He signed a new contract soon after that match.

Bruce used a 4-4-2 back then with Joelinton alongside Wilson and Saint-Maximin starting out on the left-wing, though he swapped positions later in the match. However, there would be no room for Matt Ritchie or Jacob Murphy if Bruce reverted to a back four on Sunday.

So Bruce has some team selection decisions to ponder. Let’s not forget that Joelinton had one of his best performances on Sunday so it could be back to the 5-3-2 with Wilson and Big Joe leading the line.

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166 comments so far

  • carltoon

    Apr 9, 2021 at 12:36 PM

    Comment #1

    We were the envy of the world, it’s all gone now, but the Queen and Prince Philip, have done nothing but good. I loved his irreverence. All the gaffs.

    13
  • dougie

    Apr 9, 2021 at 12:36 PM

    Comment #2

    RIP Prince Philip,another one of our 2nd world war heroes passes away.Not many of the greatest generation left now unfortunately.

    11
  • carltoon

    Apr 9, 2021 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #3

    I’m sure he may have lodged in Newcastle during his Navy days.

    4
  • Tackle from behind

    Apr 9, 2021 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #4

    The BBC news site have already put up a massive obituary story for HRH

    Looks like they were expecting and planning for his demise.

    2
  • carltoon

    Apr 9, 2021 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #5

    Well said Dougie

    5
  • Toon Tang

    Apr 9, 2021 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #6

    RIP Philip

    Forever remembered for some of the funniest most quick witted banter known to man.

    Some of his quotes are legendary.

    9
  • lesh

    Apr 9, 2021 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #7

    Words of wisdom from Bruceyboy:

    ‘That is the conundrum that I face all the time is getting the right system and getting your better players on the pitch.’

    He’s failed to get right system and players on the pitch so often, shouldn’t someone just tell him to leave it to someone else to do it for him.

    9
  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 9, 2021 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #8

    A favourite of mine, being an Electrician was when he told an apprentice ”it looks like an Indian wired that box” 😮 . Before the faux outrage gang jump on me, because of the amount of Indian labour used world wide in the shipyards of unscrupulous countries, there are some excellent electricians, however when there’s a panic on, shoemakers, bakers and candlestick makers slip through the net and Indian wiring is notoriously bad 😀

    9
  • Tackle from behind

    Apr 9, 2021 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #9

    Hope he managed to get his pledge in before he went.

    3
  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 9, 2021 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #10

    RIP Prince Phillip.

    8
  • Novocastrian66

    Apr 9, 2021 at 12:50 PM

    Comment #11

    I’ll keep of the blog for the next couple of days as punishment for my earlier outburst and for my own safety.

    3
  • simon376

    Apr 9, 2021 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #12

    Know someone who met Prince Philip years ago when he visited a company up here, said he made an effort to everyone who he met that day, cracked jokes with some, said he seemed a lovely bloke, and that is someone who isnt keen on the Royals at all, but not a bad word at all to say about him.

    Think this may have been expected for a while, when doing my contract at the Ministry of Housing, they mentioned something I think called operation bridge was being reviewed on a weekly basis, that is for when a prominent member of the Royal family dies, so must have been looking at him or the Queen, but with recent illness, most likely him.

    Whoever it is who dies and whatever we may personally feel about them, got to think of the family and what they are going through, its all horrible

    6
  • lesh

    Apr 9, 2021 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #13

    Cleveleys

    Your anti-EU rant suggests you really ought to try to get a more balanced view of the news.

    It’s early days and we can but wait and see the benefits we were promised – much as the UK’s fishing industry’s waiting.

    8
  • Toon Tang

    Apr 9, 2021 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #14

    Anyway, let me get back to my besmirching of Bruce.

    Why does the formation need to be some huge enigma wrapped inside a conundrum?

    Burnley have been pish all season the same as us. Just chuck all the best attacking players on with three at the back and attacking wingbacks and let Burnley worry about how to contain us.

    I’d swap out Kraft for Clark or whichever whichever alternative CB is fit and just have murphs and Ritchie attacking the flanks and sticking crosses in the same as last time out and just try to score some damn goals.

    Bruce saying that “oh but we conceded two goals last time out” worries me slightly as it sounds like he’s going to go defensive when we’re playing Burnley not spurs multibillion dollar front 6.

    Just try to win the game and forget all the ‘play for a nil nil and pray we scab a goal’ bollocks that we always seem to play against shit teams like Burnley.

    14
  • lesh

    Apr 9, 2021 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #15

    Carltoon

    What makes you think the Duke would’ve lodged in Newcastle during his navy days?

    If he was onshore in the area he’d have little choice of where to stay. It’d have been either the Mens Palace or Alnwick Castle.

    🙂

    3
  • cleveleysbob

    Apr 9, 2021 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #16

    Lesh, cheers mate, but not possible with all the left wing stuff hoisted on us by the beeb, Sky and Channel 4. Just remember all of the broadcast media were pro EU, where can I find balanced views on that lot. Plus, the fishing industry would be doing fine if the French (who were our biggest customers) hadn’t started playing silly buggers with regs. Shell fish and fresh fish that were OK for consumption for the past 40 years now need vets certificates ffs!

    That’s just Macron “punishing” U.K. for having audacity to leave their precious boys club.

    17
  • HpoolMag

    Apr 9, 2021 at 1:16 PM

    Comment #18

    Why is he wasting his time worrying about formations, just tell the first 11 he sees to get on there, run around and try and score like Willock quoted last week I mean why complicate things

    6
  • Just a fan

    Apr 9, 2021 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #19

    Tackle
    The media always has an obituary set up for anybody famous or semi famous.
    They may have one for you lol

    1
  • cleveleysbob

    Apr 9, 2021 at 1:21 PM

    Comment #20

    I liked Philip, he was the last of “the old guard” who spoke their mind and disregarded the minefield of political correctness that we now all must tiptoe through in our daily lives.

    I think we’ll live to regret having freedom of speech ripped away from us in the name of PC.

    It’s a pity we couldn’t get Bruce ripped away from us in the name of common sense. 😉

    I’m sad today, won’t be on much.

    11
  • geordietom

    Apr 9, 2021 at 1:21 PM

    Comment #21

    wasnt gonna come on here today as its 5 years today since my daughter died , thought i would RIP PRINCE PHILLIP …

    thats me for the rest of the day …

    26
  • Just a fan

    Apr 9, 2021 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #22

    Cleveley
    The Tories say the beeb is left wing.
    Labour claims they are right wing.
    I hate most of them.
    Bunch of liars wth Boris well I shouldn’t need to finish that off.

    10
  • Romford mag

    Apr 9, 2021 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #23

    GT

    Hope you and your lass are both ok bud

    6
  • WLtoon

    Apr 9, 2021 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #24

    Good afternoon all, quite sad news about Prince Phillip finally going.
    I liked the way he spoke his mind and seemed to have a cracking SOH.
    I`m not a royalist, but i recognise he did a lot of good work for charity and represented our country in WW2.
    RIP

    Onto more important things re Sunday`s game, maybe Bruce will wait to see what the outcome of tonight`s game is before deciding whether

    5
  • WLtoon

    Apr 9, 2021 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #25

    wether to defend deep or go for a win.
    Don`t know what happened there.

    0
  • geordietom

    Apr 9, 2021 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #26

    Rom …

    thanks mate quiet day today in our house cheers again …

    6
  • Romford mag

    Apr 9, 2021 at 1:29 PM

    Comment #27

    GT

    Both of you take care mate

    5
  • WLtoon

    Apr 9, 2021 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #28

    It`s not Prince Philips fault but you might as well forget about tv for the next fortnight, even Corrie might be put on the back burner .
    Now that would create a fuss.

    0
  • WLtoon

    Apr 9, 2021 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #29

    After thinking about the NUST proposal last night iv`e decided to put some money in, ONLY if this takeover goes tits up.
    I won`t need to worry about anything regarding the club if Staveley and co get the nod, it will be in good hands.
    However, if we are stuck with Jabba then……

    0
  • Munster Mag

    Apr 9, 2021 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #30

    Wasn’t pribcev Philip always associated with saying silly things like slitty eyes etc? Sad for the family

    5
  • DaveD1000

    Apr 9, 2021 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #31

    RIP Prince Pip I’m not mad keen on many of the Royals but him I had time for.

    3
  • JohnJ

    Apr 9, 2021 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #32

    RIP Prince Phillip.

    I respect (almost) everyone who passes on when you are gone that’s it end of! (I don’t respect folk such as H!tler and others who should never have lived on our Earth)

    I feel,for all the folk who have lost friends and relations in a tragic way and any other way come to that – It’s painful…..

    I lost my younger brother back in ’75 Alan like me was a big NUFC fan and I hope to go to his grave after “The Take Over” and tell him “Well Lad we’re up and running at last”

    18
  • JohnJ

    Apr 9, 2021 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #33

    geordietom

    Apr 9, 2021 at 1:21 PM
    Comment #21

    Very sorry indeed about your daughter Tom
    I feel your pain 🙁

    5
  • WLtoon

    Apr 9, 2021 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #34

    JohnJ,

    Cracking post there John. I hope all is well with you and your family 🙂

    2
  • Munster Mag

    Apr 9, 2021 at 1:47 PM

    Comment #35

    John J, good to hear u remembering your brother. Over here u you are allowed to break lockdown for grave visits. Apparently us and you have had some of the hardest lockdowns measured worldwide!

    2
  • Munster Mag

    Apr 9, 2021 at 1:47 PM

    Comment #36

    Howya WL

    0
  • WLtoon

    Apr 9, 2021 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #37

    geordietom,

    Try and stay strong for your family today mate, come on, chin up

    5
  • WLtoon

    Apr 9, 2021 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #38

    Munster,

    Alreet lad, not in very good fettle but mustn`t grumble, just hoping like the rest of us to hear some good news.
    How`s things in the Emerald Isle?

    0
  • Munster Mag

    Apr 9, 2021 at 1:53 PM

    Comment #39

    Bob AZ had promised the likes of Ireland 3 times the amount of vaccine it has supplied. Between the shortage of supply and the blood clotting I’m afraid the white Knight image of the company has been a bit tarnished. As for the EU “supporting its own”, Pfizer hasn’t had the same issues on either front, or not to the same degree, so their reputation is proportionally stronger, without the EU needing to promote them.

    1
  • Munster Mag

    Apr 9, 2021 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #40

    OK WL just OK. Weather is cold too, 7 degrees foe w/é. Did u do your back in?

    0
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