A selection of Newcastle United supporters have called for Steve Bruce to make changes in the Toon’s set-up against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, in a bid to solve the key flaw with the head coach’s favoured system.
Bruce has utilised a 3-5-2 formation in our opening fixtures of the Premier League campaign, but the congested engine room has stifled the side’s creativity, with club-record signing Joelinton cutting a desolate figure in attack.
Even a late cameo appearance against Norwich City was enough for Yoshinori Muto to leave the game convinced that the set-up was flawed, as the Japan striker failed to see a connection between what was supposedly our forward line and the midfielders tasked with sparking a turnaround.
Reports have suggested a move to a four-man backline may be inbound for our trip to North London, with Bruce considering changes after back-to-back defeats suggested his favoured system is not the best equipped for the squad at hand.
For the St James’ Park faithful, this would likely be a welcome amendment, as fans have frequently criticised Bruce’s 3-5-2 on social media since he first took to the St James’ Park dugout, and are now calling for at least a return of the 3-4-3 favoured by Rafa Benitez.
Other Toon fans have suggested alternate formations entirely, with supporters suggesting that it may be worth trying a four-man defence sat in behind a midfield diamond against Tottenham, or ditch a two-striker system so that Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin can play in advanced roles on the wings, and offer Joelinton the support he desperately needed at Carrow Road.
However, Bruce sought to clarify our set-up in his pre-game press conference on Friday, and revealed there will not be any changes to the formation.
“We may tinker a bit and change a couple of things, [but] it’s too early to change formations,” he noted, via quotes by the Chronicle.
Here’s what these fans have shared ahead of our trip to North London…
Revert back to what we know and what has been successful over the last seasons. It may have been Rafa setting it up but our defence seemed settled as a 4. Miggy enjoyed playing wide and looked a threat , he looks lost in the middle where it’s more compact. Get ASM on right
— ben willetts (@willetts_ben) August 22, 2019
Will be the exact same line up except manquillo back in for Krafth since we literally have no other midfielders in the 25man squad and all our attacking options are injured
— Mick (@Looney_Toon1892) August 22, 2019
@asaintmaximin needs to play, was impressed with him against Arsenal. Can’t believe he didn’t even make the bench for Norwich
— Luke W (@LukeWhitrow) August 22, 2019
can we not try 4 1 2 1 2 that could work
— chris hill (@chrishi20004156) August 22, 2019
Hayden in the centre – holding midfielder. Leadership and talking on the pitch. Work as a team…up the pitch supporting the strikers and defensively when needed. Work off the ball to make things happen instead of ball watching & being reactive and off the pace.
— Twig (@GraemePurdyBell) August 22, 2019
It doesn’t matter who he picks or where he puts them Weill get absolutly pumped, the blokes clueless
— Conor Swann (@SwannConor) August 22, 2019
4 1 2 3 play Hayden as the DM st max wide right almiron wide left
— Andy Mason (@andymason86) August 22, 2019
Pull the entire team, forfeit match, only lose 3-0. Jokes on them. #nufc
— Marc Hazelton (@MarcHazelton) August 22, 2019
4-3-3 which I think’s quite balanced for playing against similar calibre opposition pic.twitter.com/x2RVPqgvMg
— FAZ-NUFC-87 (@FHCNUFC87) August 22, 2019
Either 4231 or 523. Make sure Joelinton gets the support he needs. Stop hoofing it in his general direction and try to play to feet. Drop Shelvey and Ki for Longstaff and ASM.
— Matthew (@JB4t00n) August 22, 2019
Go back to Rafa’s 3-4-2-1 that we were well drilled in.
Schar Lascelles Dummett
— Rafa Facts (@FactsRafa) August 22, 2019