Paul Simpson claims that Newcastle went into the game at Manchester City with two attacking central midfield players.
The First Team Coach says that Vurnon Anita and Yoan Gouffran are two players who can ‘get on the ball and push us forward’.
Simpson says that people shouldn’t ‘worry about systems’ and dismisses talk from others that United went into the Etihad game with two defensive central midfielders.
Further explaining the tactics in that last match, he says that Steve McClaren went with two wide players (Wijnaldum and Sissoko) ‘who can go and create’, as well as Mitrovic and Perez up front who Paul Simpson says can link well together.
I would certainly agree with that last statement, with the front pair the real positive in recent games.
As for creating from out wide, Mbabu and Wijnaldum between them created the goal and the Swiss defender provided Mitrovic with another great chance before that.
Whilst on the other side of the pitch, Newcastle had decent service in the first half as Sissoko and especially Janmaat caused some problems.
As for the middle of the pitch…I saw precious little and whether Gouffrand and Anita were supposed to be attacking or defensive midfielders, they proved to be a massive weakness in the team.
They were minimally involved in the attacking moves in the first half and once the goals started flying in, they were both noticeable by their absence.
If Newcastle don’t sort out this area of the pitch then it will continue to cause big problems for the team.
As well as improving the defensive side, United are desperate for a playmaker to dictate play, with still no replacement for Yohan Cabaye almost two years later.
Paul Simpson speaking to the club’s official tv channel:
“We shouldn’t worry about systems, I read people saying we went with two defensive midfielders at (Manchester) City, no we didn’t.
“We went 4-4-1-1 with two midfielders who can get on the ball and push us forward.
“We went with wide players who can go and create for us, we went with two strikers who can go and link with each other.”