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Opinion

This is the Newcastle United team to get NUFC playing football again and progressive

1 month ago
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What would your Newcastle United team be?

Well, I’m guessing that like myself, it wouldn’t be the one Steve Bruce is picking.

Nor the tactics the NUFC Head Coach is employing either…

So what would be your Newcastle United team?

One thing for sure is that surely like mine, it would be set up to attack the opposition, rather than damage limitation and hoping ASM pulls something out of the hat, as we are seeing at the moment.

My team is set out below but I will give you a rundown and reasoning here.

With everyone fit, Martin Dubravka would play of course. However, that is no disrespect to Karl Darlow who is doing really well, however, the Slovakian is the number one NUFC keeper.

In a back four, though I may be tempted to go back three / five against certain opposition, I would obviously have Jamal Lewis on the left.

Equally obviously, to me anyway, I would have Javier Manquillo on the right. He is no world beater but steady as anything and basically, by a country mile, the best option Newcastle currently have. It is bonkers Steve Bruce playing the woeful Krafth ahead of the Spaniard and until a proper quality right-back is invested in, it should always be Manquillo.

Federico Fernandez is clearly Newcastle’s best centre-back and indeed defender, so it is easy to pencil him in.

Jamaal Lascelles has been poor so far this season I think and whilst not a great defender, I think Fabian Schar needs to play for all kinds of reasons.

Lascelles is so poor in possession and Newcastle desperately need to change from Bruce’s plan of long balls up the pitch.

The Swiss international is a decent defender when fully focused and excellent at both playing the ball out of defence and carrying it out, if Newcastle are to start and play football, having Schar on the pitch will be a massive help.

In a 4-2-3-1 formation, I find it easy to pick the central midfield pair.

Isaac Hayden is an easy pick and so if Sean Longstaff for me.

Hendrick has been woeful since his decent debut at West Ham and contributes nothing, especially when trying to play football and attack. The elder Longstaff was excellent when first breaking into the team and playing alongside Hayden in early 2019 and they are both mobile and have great stamina, ideal to cover when playing an attacking formation and can keep the ball moving forward. Jonjo Shelvey is not mobile and has no great stamina, he has though become a big talking point. He obviously has his moments but nowhere near often enough and for me, I wouldn’t have him in the starting eleven.

Callum Wilson is obviously playing up front.

However, the big challenge is how to make the most of it now we have got a proper centre-forward? Which players can help to create goals for Wilson and score themselves?

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Well in a very fluid trio behind Wilson and capable of inter changing throughout the game, it is a no-brainer for me to play ASM, Fraser and Almiron.

Get them pushed up the pitch with Wilson pressing the opposition, we need to end this sitting back so deep and simply giving the opposition control.

All three have pace and can get up and down the pitch, though probably relying more on Almiron and Fraser to track back than ASM!

To be fair though, the French winger is the one most likely to do damage so why not leave him higher up the pitch and when getting possession, try to get ASM on the ball with one or two players to beat and not the whole team, as tends to happen at the moment, when Saint-Maximin usually gets the ball closer to his own goal than the halfway line.

So this is how my ideal Newcastle United team would look to get us back playing football and attacking:

The simple fact of the matter is as well, the more that this Newcastle United team would have the ball, the less the opposition have it to threaten our defence.

That is yet another really daft strand of Steve Bruce’s current ‘strategy’, Newcastle United don’t have a great defensive unit now, so why make defending your overwhelming plan?

Best to get the ball up the other end and let the pace and ability of Wilson, ASM, Fraser and Almiron get the opposition on the back foot, rather than relying on the heroics of Dubravka or Darlow.

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