Will Pardew return to a 4-4-2 to keep Ba happy?

Posted on July 23rd, 2012 | 22 Comments |

Alan Pardew.
Pardew: More hot air?
In an interview with the Evening Chronic’s ace football reporter, Lee Ryder, Newcastle United’s Silver Supremo exclusively revealed on Saturday that he will be playing Demba Ba centrally “in 90% of the games next year” in a bid to keep Senegalese hitman happy on Tyneside.

Pardew said:

“Demba wants to play in a central role. He wants to get himself chances to score goals, and I think that in 90% of the games next year that’s where he will play.”

But what could this mean?

Will Pardiola be abandoning his fancy foreign experiment with the 4-3-3 formation and return to his good old fashioned, decent, British 4-4-2 with Ba and Papiss Cisse as the two big lads upfront? Or will it be Cisse who will be shunted to the flank this time, or even left on the bench as an impact sub? (Admittedly, those last one would be somewhat doubtful!)

Alternatively, did he mean that he will be doing one of his customary 70th minute substitions every game, taking off Cisse, shutting up shop and giving Ba a twenty minutes + injury time go in the middle to stop him spitting his dummy out, hopefully with the team two or three goals up? If the aim is to keep Ba happy, I doubt in my own humble opinion that this will be completely effective.

There could also be two final alternatives, firstly that he was just trying to placate Ba until the transfer window was over, or secondly, that he was just saying whatever came into his head at the time without engaging his critical faculties (again).

If you think you know the correct answer, please let us know on a postcard, or alternatively, via the comments section and / or in our poll below.


NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1091 articles on this blog.

Related Posts:

22 Responses

  1. My problem is …. If he plays 4-4-2 . Then this means Cabaye won’t get as much freedom to go forward.

  2. why is everybody worried over a 4 4 2 , it wont be rigid and boring like people are expecting, plus cabaye had the most tackles from a midfielder last season , which shows hes awesome to hold alongside tiote, then we could play with hatem and marveaux bit further forward on the wings with ba and cisse up top, its about flexibility within your system, the system you play doesnt have a huge difference, unlesd it becomes like a religion ( like the ‘two banks of four’ which woy loves to play )

  3. —————-Krul—————-





    I’m hoping we’re going to set up something like the above with an ever more popular 4-2-3-1. Ba will be happier in a more central role, albeit having to be play a little deeper sometimes to allow for Arfa and Marveaux to push forward. Maybe some would argue that Cabaye would be more suited for that role instead of Ba, but with the thought of getting them both on the pitch playing in positions that will keep them both relatively happy, I can’t think of a better solution.

    I think Simpson will be off. Even if he stays, it looks like he will just wind down his contract and leave for a free–so not one for the first team anymore, unfortunately; also Santon was apparently told by Pardew that he wanted him playing on the right, so I’ve took the liberty of sticking him in there.

    Guti just needs to be on the pitch. No room on the left, no room in defensive midfield, so the next best place for him is left-back–not quite a square peg as some will say. Our most under-rated player in my opinion.

    To be honest, I would be very excited indeed to see that formation and that group of players playing together in a happy, fluid, attacking unit. In fact, I can’t bloody wait–this break is starting to get to me now, hence a very rare post from me–I’m normally happy just reading but staring at an empty blog from China waiting for everyone else to get their arses out of bed is getting too much!

    Great site by the way, Worky. Best there is.

  4. Morning Worky,

    If we are to abandon 433 to keep Ba happy most of the time I think we’d have to be really flexible with our new formation, otherwise it just wouldn’t work.

    Are we good enough to play a diamond formation in the middle with Benny out right, Cabaye behind the front 2 and Jonas/Marveux maybe out left?

    Or do we play 4-1-2-1-2:


    Whatever we do Ba will have to realises that in some games he will have to play out wide for the good of the team and not spit his dummy out. There’s more than enough games this season to find the back of the net.

  5. We did not play a 4-3-3 last season, we played a 4-3-2-1. Last season we used Ben Arfa and BA as wingers not strikers. Maybe I can see pardew going with a 4-3-1-2. Imagine this. Ba and Cisse up front. Ben Afra playing behind the strikers and moving out wide when needed. Cabaye, Tiote and ? playing in the middle and Debuchy and Santon bombing down the wings playing as attacking fullbacks getting the crosses in to Cisse and BA. Maybe if we sign Anita we could have good defensive cover in Tiote and Anita whilst our fullbacks are playing like wingers.

  6. WhyAyeMan says:

    Maybe I can see pardew going with a 4-3-1-2.

    Yep, I can definitely see that working. I would prefer my 4-2-3-1, though. If not just for the more attacking possibilities.

  7. Hope Pardew does’nt get to read these tactical opinions.
    His head would be swimming.
    Appears the fans are more tactically aware than he is.
    Having done nothing more adventurous, than a switch from his regular 4-4-2, to a form of 4-3-3 to-wards the latter part of the season.
    A system that did’nt work, bringing Ba’s goalscoring to a halt and playing him in a position that he was both innefectual and uncomfortable with, ergo his request to play upfront.
    It appears that though great goalscorers, both Cisse and Ba, dont seem to comlement each other when playing to-gether, too much alike in style i suspect.
    And we are looking to sign another striker ?
    Whadda we going to do with them, give each a game every three games?
    Yeah i’m joking, just would like to see Ba sign a new contract, i mean he has professed his loyalty to the club, but hangs around it appears awaiting a possible move he can’t turn down (it’s all about the money, innit?)

  8. Jonas
    Hell i sugested we play him in the defensive midfild role a long time ago, face it he excells in tracking back, giving wing backs all the cover they need and being his attacking end product is not exactly great, thats a good thing.
    But to waste Cabaye in that role would be foolish, he should be like Ya Ya Ture at the back of a triangle, where he can dictate play and supply those killer passes, even clean up goalscoring opportunities.
    Certainly Tiote and Jonas in front of the back four, with a triangle of Cabaye at the back , Cisse up front, plus Marveaux and HBA on the wings, would be an effective combination, no ?
    But i’m beginning to sound like the rest of the would be tacticians on here, ah well !

  9. chuck says:
    July 23, 2012 at 2:04 pm
    Hell i sugested we play him in the defensive midfild role a long time ago, face it he excells in tracking back, giving wing backs all the cover they need and being his attacking end product is not exactly great, thats a good thing.

    Yeah, got to admit I was impressed with Jonas when he started to play that defensive mid role. With the engine he has, it suits him to the ground. He’s also quite adept at keeping the ball after regaining possession and pushing away from our box from that position to relieve a bit of pressure.

    I hear you on Cabaye. I guess I just want to see all our best players try and gel on the pitch at the same time (@4) before they’re benched on assumption they won’t compliment each other. Through injuries and whatever last year we never really had that happen. If it doesn’t work, we’ve got plenty of other options. The young ones are impressing, too.

  10. WhyAyeMan says:
    July 23, 2012 at 9:33 am

    “We did not play a 4-3-3 last season, we played a 4-3-2-1.”

    That’s a good point, WhyAyeMan. We actually did play a Christmas Tree formation sometimes later onin the season, and sometimes we would go back to something more like a 4-4-2 when we were 2 or 3 goals up too. But Benny and Ba were were right up alongside Cisse much of time with 3 at the front. One thing we were in the latter stages of the season was very narrow both at the front and in the middle, with the full backs getting right up alongside the midfielders.

  11. GS says:
    July 23, 2012 at 10:39 am

    “Sorry to put this thought into anybody’s mind but he is orgasmic in that article.”

    And so you should be, GS!

  12. geordiejohnny says:
    July 23, 2012 at 9:01 am

    “the system you play doesnt have a huge difference,”

    I wouldn’t put it quite like that, but I get your point. There are many different ways of playing one formation, which is just a starting point. Of course, a formation can change too from one minute to the next in a game, eg a 4-3-3, or a 4-2-3-1 slipping back into a 4-5-1 when other teams counter and so on.

  13. In my experience the only system that works is the Pavlovian System.
    I have seen it demonstrated and proven on quite a few occasions, including having used it myself.
    I’m sure it is used on a regular basis by many Managers and Coaches in football.
    Somehow i just cant picture Pardew as someone capeable of bringing in a system that is both modern and can be easily learned, by the present squad.
    Sure all of the combinations mentioned by the above, have had their successes and failures, when in turn faced by a system designed to play counter to it.
    It appeared to me that we were outplayed in many of last years games, during the second half.
    Or even when being outplayed in the first half, there never appeared to be any tactical change in our approach from Pardew.
    Hell we have some talented players, who have the technical ability to play just about any style.
    And who have been subjected to playing in sides where adaptability and a change of tactics accured on a regular basis.
    I just dont see that from our present manager, who other than attempt to “Park The Bus”, as they say, when leading in the second half, has been his only answer.
    It takes time and a lot of work to get players to understand various roles and how to play them, under changing circumstances during a game.
    And some players either never fit or just dont get it.
    Will be interesting to follow the fortunes of some of the new managers in the PL this coming season and how they leave their imprint on the various sides they will manage.
    Especiall Rodgers at Liverpool, who has more or less told Carroll his outdated role, just does’nt fit into the system he intends to play, we shall see?

  14. He’s a rhetorician (not an insult) so take his words literally at your own risk. Especially when they come via PR mouthpiece Lee Ryder.

    90% of all games? Or 90% of those in which Ba plays? As in, he starts when he merits selection over Cisse and in those instances he would, of course, be the lone forward.

    I wonder what we’ll do if we get Debuchy, who likes to get forward A LOT more than Simpson and is quite handy at it. Now I’m dreaming of 3-5-2 again…a preference for such a formation might explain the narrowness of our forwards/midfield late last season as well as our management’s lack of enthusiasm over Simpson.

    As for HBA out wide: you can start him there, but he’ll end up in the middle of the park. Count on it.

    No pro manager is so foolish as to change formation for one player unless we’re talking Ronaldo or Messi. If AP does revert to 4-4-2 it’s because he wanted to, regardless. We will see it at least occasionally just as we did throughout last season. That has to be factored into this as well.

  15. I have no idea how Ryder mustered that article. The enthusiasm is unexplainable and will not lessen criticism of Mr. Ryder as AshleyCo’s bought-and-paid-for mouthpiece.

    For me, after that match I decided to clip my toenails in search of some excitement…

    (Is losing to Chemnitzer that different a result to losing at Orlando City?)

  16. tunyc says:
    July 23, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    “He’s a rhetorician (not an insult) so take his words literally at your own risk. Especially when they come via PR mouthpiece Lee Ryder.”

    Er no, tunyc. Winston Churchill was a rhetorician, Martin Luther King was a rhetorician. Pardew just talks alot and is a bit of a used car salesman, and that’s a different thing. ;-)

    “As for HBA out wide: you can start him there, but he’ll end up in the middle of the park. Count on it.”

    tunyc, after Pardew emerged like a butterfly from a chrysalis as Alan Pardiola, they all ended up in the middle of the park, apart from the full backs who pushed up into midfield where the wingers would have been. Even Simpson was up there.

    “Is losing to Chemnitzer that different a result to losing at Orlando City?”

    Not really, but Ryder doesn’t let stuff like that get in the way of his PR guff.

  17. geordiejohnny says:

    “the system you play doesnt have a huge difference,”

    Only if you’re Barcelona !!!

    Unfortunately if, like the rest of the footballing world, you dont have the luxury of players steeped in tiqui-taca then formations are needed in order to get the best out of any team. Each team is a system and the actions of one player has a knock-on effect on everybody else in the team.

    Which is true for NUFC. We dont have great passers in the side nor do we have that many who are truly comfortable on the ball so any formation based around four midfielders and two front men always leaves us with a major problem of how to feed the front two.

    Last season 4-4-2 didnt work that well because we failed to deliver quality ball to the front men who, admittedly, werent always firing on all cylinders. In the beginning Ba was learning the ropes and Best was………well Best. Then Ba started to play and Best was ………..still Best :( Then Cisse arrived and burnt up the league but Ba dried up so maybe if we ever get two performing at the same time 4-4-2 might work ?

    However I have a bad feeling about Ba right now. (Cue Star Wars soundtrack). Sure he played out of position when Cisse arrived but he had opportunities when Cisse was around but unfortunately couldnt convert them.

    Take the West Brom game at the Hawthorns. Two of Cisse’s scoring chances could have been converted by Ba but he didnt connect (arguably he was fouled for one of those) but Cisse did. I hope I’m wrong but his performance against Fenerbahce was not startling yet Cisse looked more composed (even though it was his first appearance) when he came on.

    However back to the issue of formations and given the variety of formations now being deployed in the BPL plus the Europa League, we should really be looking to adopt a more flexible formation which the whole club can adhere to including the Academy, the Reserves as well as the first XI. So as you move up through the ranks you know the basic system you’ll be playing and you’ll feel comfortable in that system.

    4-3-3 works in many ways including keeping all players, defenders, midfielders and attackers, “close” to one another. When attacking, at least three players are in attendance with a fourth coming from the tip of the midfield diamond (Cabaye), while the rest of the midfield are available to receive the ball if the “four” are under pressure.

    Bottom line is if we want to maintain possession for more than three or four passes at a time, before giving it back to the opposition, we either find better players or adopt a system that helps them out.

  18. Hi workyticket,

    just letting you know that I received my benny photo earlier today, and very nice it is too!

    Cheers mate!

  19. Mikeyboy, glad to hear it, and glad you like it!

    Glentoon, if you’re reading this, yours ending up getting posted a little later the Mikeyboy’s but should be well on it’s way by now (1st class Recorded), if you don’t have it already that is. If you haven’t, keep an eye out for the postman!

  20. I don’t think he will change formation to make Ba happy after playing the whole season with 4-3-3 and 4-3-2-1 although I would prefer if he return to the old formation 4-4-2.