Newcastle World journalist Liam Kennedy believes that Steve Bruce’s 5-3-2 formation is not working at Newcastle at the moment.
How have Newcastle fared when playing this formation this season?
Bruce used this particular system for Newcastle’s first three games of the season, and it didn’t seem to work in terms of getting the desired results.
The Magpies lost their opening two matches, conceding six goals in the process, before they finally got a point on their board in their third outing at home to Southampton.
The Newcastle boss has since tweaked his formation slightly, moving to a 5-4-1 setup, but this hasn’t improved matters significantly, as his team have picked up just one point from their last two fixtures.
What did Kennedy say about Bruce’s 5-3-2 formation?
Kennedy feels that Bruce’s system has not been a success at Newcastle, as he believes that it does not suit the team that he has at his disposal. He has claimed that it encourages the team to sit back too much, leading to an over-reliance on catching the opposition on the counter-attack.
Explaining his thoughts on Bruce’s tactics, Kennedy told GIVEMESPORT: “I just think it’s too many square pegs in too many round holes. Really, there’s too many players in that 5-3-2 system playing out of position and as you say, it’s a very counter-attack based system.”
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Which system should Bruce use against Watford this weekend?
Newcastle will face Watford later today in what is already looking like a very important game in their season. The North-East club have not won any of their first five Premier League games, and they need to get some points on the board as quickly as possible.
Bruce must find a formation that works for his team, and that may mean trying a third different system of the campaign. The 5-3-2 setup did not work at all, and things have not gone much better since he switched to a 5-4-1.
The trip to Vicarage Road could be the time for Bruce to move to four at the back. At times this season, Newcastle have been too passive in games, and that could be attributed to having too many defensive-minded players on the pitch.
If they are going to start moving up the table, it seems that they might need to take the initiative in games more. With this in mind, Bruce may consider dropping one of his defenders, and bringing in an attacking player who can make more of a difference in the final third.