Get your daily update and weekly newsletter by signing up today!


How Bruce should play the game of football – The Newcastle United team and tactics

11 months ago

Everybody now knows what to expect from Steve Bruce week after week, setting up a Newcastle United team that plays for 0-0 draws and a detestable tactical approach which fans should not have to put up with.

I have composed this article below on the tactics Steve Bruce plays and how he can / could turn it all around.

In this I talk about the formation approach and an in-depth description on which players can fill certain roles in the starting eleven.

So here it is – ‘How Steve Bruce should play the game of football – From dinosaur tactics to comprehensive well cut football’.

As the season develops, we are becoming ever more the laughing stock of the league, in terms of the Newcastle United team selection and tactics, leading to the ‘style’ of football and performances we have become so used to seeing.

It also doesn’t help when our manager comes out and calls the team ‘absolute sh.te‘ and ‘fr.gging hopeless’…

These comments, as we all know, are absurd, considering the fact that Steve Bruce is the man in charge and he should be putting the blame on himself, week in week out.

Therefore, what can Bruce do tactically wise to resurrect the team and restore morale between the players with a positive minded way of football?

This is the Newcastle United team selection approach which would suit kindly to our most effective starting eleven:

Courtesy of The Mag’s NUFC Team Selector, I have fashioned this 4-2-3-1 approach above, which Bruce should go with if the gloves are really off now.

Lewis and Manquillo as will provide you an energetic part as they both possess the pace to get up the pitch and to track back. In addition, the two provide good but not great crossing skills, should they find a likely scenario where they can put a ball into the box for our striker.

With Fernandez and Schar at the centre-half spots, the two can offer roles specifically to their abilities whilst still being compatible with the team. Fernandez can offer you a classic cover central defender role with the duty of dropping in deep and coming up swiftly to intercept through balls trying to break through the team’s defensive line. On the other hand, Schar should be instructed as a ball playing defender, who can stay hold of the ball and look up for a long pass up the pitch to the attackers to create an attacking opportunity. This role is a modern day part of defenders, who such as Gerard Pique, Thiago Silva and Virgil Van Dijk pull it off brilliantly.

The two central midfielder options with Hayden and Matty Longstaff gives you great balance between defending and attacking. Hayden can offer you a defensive approach, able to remain his holding position above the defence in an attacking scenario. Then you have Matty who can give you a “mezzala” role (roughly translated from Italian as ‘half winger’,  central midfielder who can also drift wide and put in crosses etc) as he would be able to drift wide and operate in half spaces, essentially becoming a central/half winger. With this option, Matty could seek balance with his responsibilities between traditional midfielder work and the inclination to attack in the attacking third.

Two wingers whose job it is to swiftly get past defenders, are ideal for Saint-Maximin and Fraser. Both of these wingers provide a lot of pace down those flanks and anyone would be foolish to not take advantage of that. This pair of players are technically proficient when it comes to their roles, so this area of the pitch is a great strength for the team. Saint-Maximin would be the winger who cuts inside and gets a shot off, whilst Fraser can swing in those deadly balls into the box. In addition, Ritchie would also be good back up for Fraser’s role as he has good crossing skills.

Lastly, we have our attacking midfielder/centre forward and striker.

Almiron, who offers good technical skills, can fashion chances for himself and others in the final third before the opposition defence reduces his time and space to make that happen. Miggy can feed the striker splitting through balls and quick passes, as he is very skilled in getting past the opposition line.

Callum Wilson can be the one who can get on the end of Almiron’s through balls and get a shot off at goal. Callum leading the attacking line, look to get into dangerous attacking positions for the team. The primary duty for him is to be the focal point of attack and be able to not just score the goals, but also set them up for other teammates, who can overlap him as he holds the ball up. His secondary duty up top should be to chase down misplaced through balls and clearances from the defensive line via Schar.

Well there you have it. My take on how I think the Newcastle United team should be setting up.

You want a change Steve? Here you have it.


If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]

Have your say

© 2021 The Mag. All Rights Reserved. Design & Build by Mediaworks