Why isn’t two up top working for us?

Can these two work in a front two?
The last couple of games that Newcastle United have played have seen both Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba play together in a 4-4-2 formation.

Now this was tried during the last half of last season, when Cisse arrived in the January transfer window. The formation was quickly changed to 4-2-3-1 with Demba Ba having to operate on the left-hand side rather than playing through the middle as he prefers.

Cisse played rather well when being the sole striker up front and scored many goals to help Newcastle consolidate a fifth place finish in the Premier League, but with the attempts to keep both of these strikers happy, the traditional 4-4-2 formation has once again been employed by Alan Pardew. However it does not seem to be reaping benefits for the Magpies.

Cisse and Ba are of course Senegal teammates, but that doesn’t mean that they’ll be able to form a partnership together. Their styles of play are different and don’t necessarily complement each other which affects how the team shapes up in attack.

Along with this, the employment of the 4-2-3-1 allows Yohan Cabaye to play further up the field to be more effective in the game. Hatem Ben Arfa and Jonas Gutierrez can drift inside with their favoured foots with this formation as well.

Or is it a case that Ba and Cisse aren’t strong enough after Ramadan? That could explain why they haven’t been at their best but it remains to be seen if once they have their strength back would they be able to form a partnership once again.

Pardew clearly wants to keep Ba happy after he had to play on the left-hand side for much of the end of last year’s campaign. But how long do you try to keep him happy if a partnership is not able to be formed?

From my point of view we should be looking to revert to the system that served us so well last season. Personally I wouldn’t include Ba in the team but he could easily slot into the position that Jonas Gutierrez or Sylvain Marveaux would occupy on the left. If he doesn’t like playing on the left then fair enough, but he’ll have to wait for games.

From what I have seen so far, two up top does not seem to be working. It has been tried before and if there is no solution found for playing the two of them, then ultimately one of our strikers may find themselves on the bench.

What do you think?

About Zoë Vicarage

A lifelong Newcastle fan. Currently exiled in Sunderland studying Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland Follow me on Twitter: @ZoeVicarage

169 thoughts on “Why isn’t two up top working for us?

  1. Ice – I’m wondering if this Arab lad is learning his trade with Newcastle?!, Big Willie seems to be doing a great job with the U21s so it doesn’t make sense replacing him … certainly a strange one like


  2. JAMESTOON @ 135 you say you use to love this site ? you loved it that much that you never commented 😆 good one so don’t let us keep you 😉

    Ice you never miss a trick lad 😉


  3. I think the 4-4-2 defiantly doesnt suit us and the 4-2-3-1 worked really well for us it defiantly gave us alot more of an edge going forward. what i’v noticed aswell is we keep lumping the ball up the field (first half against villa for example) once we got it down and passed it around like we can villa could handle us its been the same in the chelsea and spurs game we just havent seemed to play decent football like we can.

    and if i remember correctly didnt demba ba have this problem last season where he didnt score for 5 or so games and didnt look very sharp then suddenly after ramadan started smashing them in hopefully this is the case with him and cisse at the moment


  4. Andy ,Yeah Jonny went like a bullet in that 100m 😎 We have done so well in the medals count ,I’m losing count now 😆


  5. Yes maybe they have their Silva, Scholes giggs to give them perfect passes, but they are more killer and can create goals from nothing taking players on and being killer in front of the goals every year each year.
    In this first 3 games Ba miss almost 2 big chances and Cisse one big miss. They will not have the same luck or success in their tries than last year.


  6. Well I think this would be my favoured formation if everyone is fit and playing to their alleged strengths. Or aren’t sulking at least.

    —Ben Arfa——Cabaye——–Marveaux–
    —————-Cisse or Ba——————


  7. That story about the Saudi coach sounds like total bullshit to me. The report says that he claims that he’s signed a 2 year contract, but the article goes on to say that he’s now seeking a work permit before his move to Newcastle. But surely the club wouldn’t be stupid enough to sign a contract before a work permit had been obtained. After all, wasn’t that the reason why the Curtis Good transfer was held up for so long?


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