Newcastle United: The only tactic that will bring long-term success

Steve Bruce, Manager of Newcastle United. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Steve Bruce, Manager of Newcastle United. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images) /

Newcastle United will find their rhythm once they scrap the 4-4-2 formation.

The 4-4-2 formation “worked” for Newcastle United against West Ham on opening day, but the Magpies were also fortunate in that clash seeing that the Hammers hit the crossbar twice.

The same luck did not pan out for Steve Bruce’s men against Brighton earlier today, though. The Seagulls, a team that many pundits have tapped as relegation favorites, ran wild at St. James’ Park with three goals and a clean sheet.

Newcastle United have more talent, and they were favorites to win on paper, but poor tactical decisions held the team back. The Toon need to scrap the 4-4-2 shape and revert back to the 4-2-3-1 formation they used in the second half of last season.

Callum Wilson has the talent and football acumen to the lead front line on his own. Trying to pair him with Andy Carroll is simply keeping more dynamic players who can have an impact on the bench.

That being said, Wilson needs to be the lone striker, and the trio of Miguel Almiron, Ryan Fraser, and Allan Saint-Maximin need to line up behind him to orchestrate meaningful attacks.

With two midfielders behind them in the center, both the back line and the attacking trio will have sufficient support, regardless of the duo Bruce selects in the middle of the park.

This formation also works wonders for wing-backs as it enables them to get more involved in the action offensively as other holding players in midfield can cover for them when they move up field.

Bruce’s admiration for Carroll, and his desire to see him succeed on Tyneside cannot be valued more than the overall success of the club. Carroll is a great option to have on the bench, or even start in certain games when the schedule is congested, but the 4-4-2 formation is simply not working.

If Bruce wants to see this team climb the table, and if he wants to enjoy more job security he needs to revert back to the 4-2-3-1 shape. This is the only way he will get the best out of his key players.

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