It served us well last season, and it looks like it will be used again this season as Chris Hughton attempts to make Newcastle hard to beat.
The theory is that the game has moved on from simply playing that old favourite, the 4-4-2, and it is now a formation that is becoming redundant, out-dated if you will. Indeed you only have to look at the World Cup to see what is meant by that. Not many teams used a 4-4-2 other than England and a few others, and we all know how well England’s World Cup campaign went – Not very!
I kind of agree that the 4-4-2 is becoming out-dated as a tactical system in football. There aren’t that many teams in the Premier League that will use it as a default system. They may use it as a base and make some tweaked changes to it, but the use of the conventional 4-4-2 looks to be dying out.
Louise Taylor inspired me into writing this. I read her article in her Sunday paper which suggested that the 4-4-2 system was built into Geordie football philosophy. I disagree. I actually think that 4-4-2 was a part of English footballing philosophy.
After the World Cup it is blatantly obvious that a 4-4-2 is almost redundant against the top teams. They will over-run it, ans Germany did to England. Weaker teams will nullify it, as Algeria did to England.
A change in system will only work though if a team has the right players that are able to adapt into a new system. Do Newcastle currently have those players though? I’m not so sure.
I would like us to start with a 4-4-2 today against Aston Villa, but I wouldn’t be surprised of we started with only one up front again, much like we did against Manchester United. In my mind, playing one up front is very negative, but if players that can quickly support that lone striker are played then I seen no reason why it can’t work.
The standard 4-4-2 may be becoming redundant, but as with any formation and setup, it has to suit the players that we have at our disposal. I’m not so sure what our best formation would be at the moment to be honest.
The 4-4-2 is dead. Long live the new system.