What sort of formation would you like to see the Toon use?

Posted on March 1st, 2011 | 50 Comments |

Newcastle United formation
What's your choice?
Alan Pardew has so far favoured the 4-4-2 formation at Newcastle United, but will that remain the favoured formation in the long-term when we have a fully fit squad?

The recent disclosure by Alan Pardew that he seems to see Leon Best as Hatem Ben Arfa’s main competition for a starting place in the team got me to thinking about formations in general.

Since Pardew has been here we’ve mainly stuck to a standard 4-4-2 formation, but is that out of necessity or choice?

Does Alan Pardew have a particular preference for 4-4-2 or is it just that he thinks it best suits our current available players?

When we have a fully fit squad, we would seem to have a lot of midfielders vying for a place: Jonas, Tiote, Barton, Nolan, Gosling, Ireland, Ben Arfa … possibly even Ryan Taylor and Danny Guthrie.

Now, if Pardew is thinking that Ben Arfa is a replacement for Best, are we looking at:

——– Striker — Ben Arfa ——–
Jonas — Nolan — Tiote — Barton
Jose — Colo — Williamson — Simpson
————— Harper —————–

That would leave Ireland and Gosling as ‘swaps’ in the midfield, either as subs or replacements if another players gets an injury or has a bad run of form.

Or could we be looking at a different formation, perhaps a 4-4-1-1 such as:

————- Striker —————-
————- Ben Arfa —————
Jonas — Nolan — Tiote — Barton
Jose — Colo — Williamson — Simpson
————— Harper —————–

Or how about a 4-2-3-1:

————- Striker —————-
Jonas —– Ben Arfa —– Barton
——– Nolan — Tiote ——–
Jose — Colo — Williamson — Simpson
————— Harper —————–

Or even a 4-3-1-2:

——– Striker — Striker ——–
————- Ben Arfa —————
Jonas — Nolan/Tiote — Barton
Jose — Colo — Williamson — Simpson
————— Harper —————–

I could go on inventing formations, which I find etremely satisfying to do for some reason, but I think you get the idea!

Obviously the ‘Striker’ above is just my place-holder for either Ameobi, Best, Lovenkrands, Ranger and whatever strikers we buy in the summer (if any). It would be spooky indeed if we bought a striker called ‘Striker’; spookier still if bought the Striker brothers and had two of them.

Of course if we buy any more midfielders that would complicate the issue further and it’s also a consideration for Pardew that most players want first-team football and it can be difficult to hang onto them if they don’t get that. There is the option of a genuine ‘squad rotation’ system too I suppose.

If I had to guess then I’d say it’s likely Pardew will stick with a 4-4-2 and play Ben Arfa up front with another striker, although I only say that because of what Pardew said about Best being Ben Arfa’s main competition for a place. Some managers do seem to strongly favour a 4-4-2 whenever possible though.

So, two questions really:

Do you think Pardew is a stickler for the 4-4-2?

How would you like to see us line up?

PS. The games for next weekend’s Prediction Competition are now up. If you haven’t entered yet there’s only been one week so far, so you still plenty time to do so and try to win £25 at the end of the season. ‘B1GSTEVE’ tops the table with 11 points, followed by ‘number5’ with 8 points. I’m last!

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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50 Responses

  1. I quite like the traditional 4-4-2 that Pardew is using most of the time. It gives us more bite up front than we used to have with 5 in midfield. With everyone fit I would play.


  2. I like the 4 2 3 1, but id alter the positions of players to let the wingers cut in on thier strong foot to shoot at goal, and push nolan into the hole where he usually playes. so:-


  3. With Nolan on goalscoring form and our midfield being much stronger than our strikers, I would play Nolan as a support striker. Taking Ben Arfa out of it cos of injury:


    I don’t think Lovenkrands is good enough at the moment to start every week.

    Do you see Ben Arfa as a left winger/attacking midfielder or is he going to play behind the main striker?

  4. I am really loving the 2 strikers upfront because it gives more opportunity in the air… My choices would have to be:

  5. If we are talking about this season, I would play:

    —- Ben Arfa
    Jonas -Ireland- Barton
    — Tiote- Nolan

    OR putting Ben Arfa instead of Ireland and Best up front

    Next season we must buy another striker Sturridge or maybe even Agbonlahor (if possible), Gervinho is also a great addition. And I think Willo is also not good enough.. I don’t have a good replacement for him though..
    We probably will need a replacement for Jose Enrique, I must say South African Peter Masilela is a great LB and is pretty cheap..

  6. —-Harper—-

    Benny and jonas insideforwards..

  7. this raises another interesting point (implied) if pards sees benny as competition for bests spot.
    does this mean he isn’t necessarily looking to buy a striker? completely speculating, of course, but that would give him shola, best, loven, ranger, and benny up top (assuming kuqi isn’t resigned) and jonas, nolan, barton, guthrie, raylor, gosling, tiote and smith competing for spots in the MF (assuming irelands loan ends and he goes/isn’t reloaned or signed)
    that’s a pretty packed (and decent) squad, especially when you’ll have the likes of some of the talented younger players filling out some spots.
    will be interesting to see how he uses the players at his disposal

  8. also, fwiw, i’m a big fan of:
    simpson colo willo enrique
    barton tiote jonas
    ben arfa
    2 strikers

    unfortunately that drops nolan who can be vital at times.

  9. 4-2-3-1


    Jonas/Ireland/Ben Arfa




    My Team on football manager, the futures bright lads

  10. **********Harper**********

    Joey & Jonas can track back and bring the ball forward, Ireland playmaker, scorer, with Nolan cleaning up behind Best, which gives us at least three possible and maybe four, scorers, a flexible formation, that can revert to a 4-3-3 with Ireland moving forward and both Jonas and Joey dropping back.

    When BA is ready he can play either wing or behind the striker, Gosling can fill in for Tiote, Kranjcar (we should be so lucky)can fill in for Nolan, Ireland or Joey.
    Give Pardew a selection problem, but horses for courses, in regards to formations and team selection.
    Hope our scouts are checking out defenders, apparently Celtic have a decent Spanish left back, perhaps we can do a deal with our goalie Foster going the other way.

  11. I don’t see Nolan as a center mid, so he surely has to play off the strikers, and be as close to the 6 yard box as possible…

    For the Last Game of the season, assuming EVERYBODY is fit and playing to decide who goes and who stays, i’d like to see:


    Subs- Ranger, Jonas, Saylor, Gosling, Me.

    Goodbye -Gutherie, RyanT, McLoven, Amoebie,Kuqi, Perch.

  12. i think 4-4-2 is fine with centre backs overlapping with runs. Maybe go 4-4-1-1 with one in hole for certain games esp away from home. The palyers bit is impssible to say as jose will be gone and i cant see us get van aarnholt from chelski as he has big future. I hope Barton stays and hold down his right spot.

  13. I still don’t like having so little flexibility for wingers while trying to shoehorn so many players into the central, attacking midfield. We only ever had two players that could claim to belong on the RW – Raylor and Routledge – and one’s on loan and the other suspended. Barton’s out there to fit him in rather than anything else, and he’s crocked too.

    Not a good position for a club to find itself in, and it’s not as if they couldn’t see it coming.

    I think at least two of Ireland, Guthrie and Vukic have to go, if you assume that Benny, Nolan and Barton are definite keepers. There just aren’t enough starting places to keep them all here. Shame.

  14. i think that the club will regard ireland asa better long term investment than Barton – wouldnt surprise me if they cashed in on him.

  15. Just a note to say that a few perfectly good comments appear to have been ‘held for moderation’ today.

    There’s a problem with the spam checker. It goes off to another server to check things and if it can’t contact that server it holds the comments.

    We have been manually approving such comments for now, but we expect the situation to be fixed soon anyway.

  16. I wouldn’t be surprised if we lined up with 4-4-1-1 with Ben Arfa playing just behind our main striker (either Best, Ameobi or another target man up top). It works well for Tottenham with Rafael Van der Vaart playing just behind Crouch who knocks the ball down for RVdV to spray it wide or create chances for himself. I think Ben Arfa is similar to RVdV as they both possess ‘flair’ who can create chances out of nothing and are also not afraid to run at defenders.

  17. for fu@ks sake hugh, f@cking spam fooking bstrd shittting f@@king filters!!

  18. ———–Krul———–

    I would use Gerhinho instead of Best whem signed. I think with Ben just behind is slightly better than 2 up there as he will literally getting every ball in that section of pitch…

    The defence will be SOLID with Tiote clipping in just behind the mid. (don’t need him attacking as much with Ben up there, but still a great player attacking wise used for counters and set-pieces)

  19. Does anyone know where there’s an actual quote with Tiote saying that Chelsea actually made a offer for him in January that he turned down because I can’t find one anywhere. All I can find is:

    “Newcastle life is good for me. It is not like London – London is too busy, there are too many people.” “Newcastle is not so busy. That makes it easier to focus on your job. For me it is important. I would like to be here for a few years. I can learn here.”

    And that’s about as close as it gets.

  20. –Ranger–

    –Ben Arfa–

    –Nolan — Barton–
    I think this would be a good formation :)

  21. Hugh de Payen says:
    March 1, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    “Craig, you wouldn’t believe how much spam this site gets. I kid you not when I say it can be up to 1000 spam comments a day”

    I would say we get a thousand every few hours, Hugh!

    I clean out over a thousand a day on top of all the ones that you do.

  22. harper , collo , enrique , barton , tiote , ben arfa and nolan are our main players so if we can get another 4 players like 2 good strikers and 2 good defenders i seriously think we could hit europe nxt season and challenge 4 sum silverware

  23. workyticket says:
    March 1, 2011 at 5:48 pm (Edit)

    I would say we get a thousand every few hours, Hugh!

    Aye, it’s not even interesting spam anymore. At least in the past one spammer had the decency to send jokes along with his spam!

  24. robzz….hey man, i admire your positive thinking…. “Gervinhio when signed”……..lol lol lol….unless he is for sale for about three quid there is zero chance of getitng him. Our No1 and only priority should be KEEPING what we have ffs. We are loosing Enrique and probalby barton. This is where we need to be looking to strngthen.. simply by keeping our best players. Its a known fact that top draw left backs are like gold dust so we need to man the fOOk up and get jose nailed down

  25. worky. iread the actual quote from tiote.. let me find and paste it mate. give me five mins

  26. craig do u not think we will have the money 2 get gervinho like?? i think ashley wil giv us about 15-20 for some players and could welll be 1 of them , i hope so anyway

  27. craig chisholm says:
    March 1, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    “worky. iread the actual quote from tiote.. let me find and paste it mate. give me five mins”

    That would be great Craig if you could. I’ve seen alot of stories on it, but at no point in any of them does Tiote actually say “I turned down an offer from Chelsea” or anything similar.

  28. workticket says That would be great Craig if you could. I’ve seen alot of stories on it, but at no point in any of them does Tiote actually say “I turned down an offer from Chelsea” or anything similar.

    i agree i havent seen nothing at alll like that

  29. HERES A QUESTION 4 YOUS!!!! if we are giving 20 mill in the summer 2 spend and we get three players in who would you want at the club???

  30. 21 robzz says:
    March 1, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    is that for next season or this season???

  31. icedog says:
    March 1, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    “WORKY could this be it mate”

    Thanks Ice.

    That’s one of the many that I read, but if you read it closely, you will note that Tiote doesn’t say at any point that Chelsea made an offer for him, or that he turned it down, just that he says he prefers Tyneside to London or somesuch. I’ve been quite suspicious about quite a few of the PR stories coming out about the club recently.

  32. divvent knaa aboot formations as such,but ryan taylor should be left back in the changing rooms.

  33. icedog says:
    March 1, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    “WORKY your reet,but wait a minute what sells rags best?”

    I knaa that Ice, but I suspect something more about some of the recent stories coming out about the club. I’m not sure, but there seems to be alot of club “spin doctoring” going on, and I suspect the hand of a new PR department peddling shite to the fans. This isn’t the only one.

  34. TROJAN 69 says:
    March 1, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    “divvent knaa aboot formations as such,but ryan taylor should be left back in the changing rooms.”

    Maybe we should have held on to Routledge, Trojan.

  35. Raylor is not good enough to play in Newcastle.. so is Perch, Routledge and Guthrie (even if its sad..) Willo is not good enough for the starting lineup and Steven Taylor is a mystery to me..
    I’d like to see abit of Vuckic.. isn’t he supposed to be talented? so why not let him gain some experience.. and if not for us than he should be loaned out.

  36. icedog says:
    March 1, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    “the three amgios oot poss there”

    The Three Stooges, Ice. I wouldn’t trust any of them as far as I could throw them, or the new PR lady, or even Graham Carr since I followed up his bollocks about Tiote.

  37. ———-Harper———-
    Simpson Colo Willo Enrique
    ——-Nolan Ben Arfa—–