Why a diamond formation would work for Newcastle
Last season, Newcastle enjoyed their best and most consistent period playing a 4-3-3 formation. The results pushed the team in real contention towards UEFA Champions League qualification. However since then, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has persisted with what in some quarters has been described as an old fashioned 4-4-2 formation.
Fans have been clamoring for a 4-3-3 formation whereas Pardew has been sticking to 4-4-2. The argument being he wants to play both strikers i.e. Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse centrally. Given the fact how few the goal scorers we have, it makes sense. In addition, that is the best position and where they have delivered lethally for Newcastle. Fans too have a point, why fix something that is not broken. A 4-3-3 formation not only brings about best from individuals as well as the team.
A formation that I think can marry both those formations and can do justice to the team is what is called a diamond (4-1-2-1-2) formation. This formation will allow Pardew to field two strikers, which he prefers and allow the team to be fluid in the midfield.
Assuming all the players from the squad are fit and available to Alan Pardew, the personnel that I will go for are.
Anita__________Coloccini ___________Taylor (S) __________Santon
This formation and personnel will have enough creativity to feed the strikers to score plenty of goals and enough defensive steal to repel whatever the opposition has to throw at the team. The set up will allow Hatem ben Arfa, undoubtedly one of the best players at Newcastle to wield his magic without having to worry too much about defending. Yohan Cabaye enjoyed his best period as an advanced midfielder, this formation will allow him to dictate play and if need be drop a little deeper helping out team.
The reason why I choose Vurnon Anita over any specialist or recognized right back is because the width is important and he has shown himself to be a decent enough right back who can put good crosses in. the rest of the back four picks itself.
As said previously, this will allow Pardew to play two strikers which he likes and what both strikers prefer with plenty of ammunition behind them.
Any formation is as good as the players make it out to be and good players can play in any formation. However, formation is important and plays a big role tactically and given the resources Newcastle have, I believe that a diamond (4-1-2-1-2) formation can really bring out the best from some great technical players at Newcastle.