Steve Bruce claims “it’s too early to change formations” ahead of Sunday’s trip to Spurs, saying his 3-5-2 system worked “very, very well against Arsenal” and that his players need time to get used to it.
It may still be very early days, but his reluctance to change formation does concern me.
I might be wrong, but it looks fundamentally flawed in so many areas, with us looking lost in just about every area of the field ever since the second half of that 1-0 defeat against Arsenal on the opening day.
Here’s what he had to say about the formation, ‘tinkering’ at Tottenham and the on-field relationship between Almiron and Joelinton (or lack of it) ahead of Sunday’s game:
“We may tinker a bit and change a couple of things. It’s too early to change formations.
“It’s new for Joe – it’s new for four or five players. Given time, we hope they can forge some sort of relationship. For Almirón, we’re working on getting him higher up the pitch and into a goalscoring position.“
Perhaps he wants to put his own stamp on this Newcastle side and go with his own formation, but I can’t help but feel it’s time to swallow his pride and revert to the 3-4-3 that worked so well under Rafa Benitez before any more damage is done.
I hope I’m proved wrong on this one, but a 3-4-3 which incorporates Almiron and Saint-Maximin in their natural positions, declutters the midfield and gets support up to Joelinton appears to make MUCH more sense.
The Newcastle United head coach also claims that some of the criticism towards him has been ‘laughable’ over the past week, slating Michael Chopra for spreading ‘lies’ about the team allegedly ‘not knowing their jobs’ in his side.
“After two games there is a so-called mini crisis. Everything is over sensationalised. There’s always a storm in Newcastle. At the minute we’re in one. The only way I can shut a few people up is by getting results. The buck stops with me.
“The Michael Chopra thing was blown out of all proportion. It’s laughable, really.
“I‘m just surprised that people take any attention of him. Some of the stuff is just fabricated and lies. When it’s like that, you think why is that making national headlines – which is total rubbish.
“Some of it is laughable, we can’t even have a warm-up. But I need to stay dignified.
“It’s not for me to comment on what’s been said but there’s often a storm in Newcastle. It’s two games & I just want it to be fair & responsible. I know the only way I can shut people up is by winning games & I know the quicker the better.
I think it’s totally right for Bruce to rubbish those claims and defend himself on that one – how would Chopra be getting inside info from senior players?
Some of the criticism has been totally justified, with the team and general tactics being all at sea ever since that second half against Arsenal, however I can’t help but feel Chopra’s claims were a desperate attempt for him to jump on the ant-Bruce bandwagon with a set of lies that would make him look relevant and in the know.
Instead, they’ve made him look pretty bitter and silly, with him making damaging claims about a subject he’s very unlikely to have any inside information on.