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One striker or two?

Posted on June 5th, 2011 | 18 Comments |

4-2-3-1 formation at Newcastle?
4-2-3-1 next season?
Gervinho rumours persist but what do Newcastle United in terms of strikers anyway?

The French press are announcing the ‘imminent’ arrival of Gervinho at Newcastle, which sounded promising until I noticed they got their information from Sky Sports.

Allegedly we’ve made a €16m bid for the player (£14.25m) – which may be true – but I can find nothing to confirm that Gervinho will be on Tyneside at all, let alone imminently.

But what do we need in terms of strikers anyway? And what sort of formations is Alan Pardew likely to consider?

For most games last season we played two up front, even after our (then) top scorer was sold to Liverpool.

Last season we used the following strikers:

Ameobi, scoring 9 goals in 30 games,
Lovenkrands, scoring 7 goals in 29 games,
Best, scoring 6 goals in 12 games,
Ranger, scoring 1 goal in 28 games (most of which were as a sub), and
Carroll, scoring 11 goals in 20 games.

And our top scorer turned out to be a midfielder in the shape of Kevin Nolan, who scored 12 goals in 32 games.

I think most people accept the our front line does need strengthening, but how much? Do we need two first-rate strikers? Do we need one first-rate striker and perhaps a new ‘prospect’? Or do we simply need one first-rate striker, making do with Ameobi, Best, Lovenkrands and Ranger as the number 2 or backup striker?

I suppose part of the answer depends upon the system Alan Pardew intends to play. He has certainly favoured 4-4-2 up until now but, given the proliferation of midfielders we have (with more allegedly being targeted), a 4-2-3-1 formation might be on the cards.

We already have: Nolan, Tiote, Barton, Jonas, Gosling, Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Ferguson, Guthrie, Smith, LuaLua and Raylor fighting for a midfield place and we’re allegedly after additional midfielders such as N’Zogbia and Hoilett. We could easily field a team of 11 midfielders! Even if we assumed Barton will be sold and Smith will be essentially put out to pasture, there are still a lot of players competing for places even in a 5-man midfield.

We could feasibly line up something like:

Possible formation?
Possible formation?

We have of course also acquired the services of the 18 year-old Mehdi Abeid, who can play as a striker or an attacking midfielder, but I have no idea whether he is intended to be a ‘future prospect’ or an active member of the first team next season.

What do you think?

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen

I’m a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called ‘scrumpy’. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he’s not worth 10).

Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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18 Responses

  1. We definitely need two strikers irrespective formation & gervinho coming…loverman can go & it sounds like ranger might be off as well. I’d keep Shola & Best and get two more and bring Airey into the squad.

    One last thing, Cabaye isn’t ours yet…

  2. —————–Harper—————-

    Simpson–S.Taylor–Coloccini–Enrique

    ———–Cabaye—-Tiote————

    —Gervinho——Nolan——Ben Arfa–

    —————-Gameiro—————-

  3. I think we need 3, 2 top class strikers (hopefully one of which is gervihno) and a young (preferebly english) forward that is one for the future and back up..

    I do not think Best is good enough, despite his record

    But id be happy to see Zog come, playing a 4-4-1-1 with zog playing just behind gervinho, now that would be CLASS

  4. Ad give shane long a shot,
    Hopefully gervinho,and gamiero
    Get rid of shola ,ranger n lovenkrands.
    Never happen though lol

  5. I hop the sunday sun are right that Fat Sam wants to take Smith to west ham , but have also read that Nolan’s contract talks have stopped and they will let his contract run down and Ranger has been told to find a new club .

  6. In order of priority
    3 strikers as we have none good enough
    1 right back
    1 centre back at least

    Get rid of all present so called strikers
    We have a decent midfield when fit and available for selection
    Williamson, Perch, Simpson not good enough
    Replace any decent players leaving (Enrique, Barton ???)

  7. i can see ben arfa playin the no 10 just behind the striker. isnt that what AP said a few month ago that he wants to play him more centrally. can only be a good thing in my opinion. bit of pace and flair up front.

    even if we dont win nowrt i would just love to get the entertainers tag back and you can only do that with pace and flair.

    would love to see gervinho. just seems to be all out run and attack defenders. not quite the standard of messi and ronaldo but who is.

    i think i must be the only toon fan who thinks simpson did ok. i think hes improving and i dont see the need to replace him. maybe add someone for competition but thats all. CB is a must. cant manage with 3 decent CB’s

  8. well to me i think we have to look at our two newest signings, that is to say Arfa and Gosling. These two players will be at the forefront of AP’s mind and so they should. Barton going seemsto be the logical thing unfortunatly as he is stuck out on the right wing – out of position. If he goes we can then play jonas on the right which is where he plays best. Arfa goes to the left wing and in he middle we have any permutation you want really, prob going with tiote (defensive) and nolan (attacking). LB we have to hope we can keep jose but if not then he goes and bring in zogs. Infact bring in zogs anyway cos he can cover LB, left wing and centre left too. Our priority must be shipping out the crap strikers we have now as we have all to many average at best. Speaking of Best, i would keep him and ranger and get rid of all the rest, bringing in two top draw, proven forwards. Get rid of Smith while we are at it and perch.

  9. we defo need 2. The rest are pretty light weight apart from Shola who can’t be heavily relied on.

    Best, Loven, and Ranger might all leave so we havent much up front.

    As long as they’re better than Best etc 2 should be fine, any worse we might need 4 :(

  10. hey wtf is he on about we dont need 2 strikers eh and too many midfeilders, well yes we have and like he said our top scorer was nolan yes midfielder , so to me yes WE NEED 2 NEW STRIKERS

  11. as much as i like nolan we need a true cam to play that formation….cabaye is not really an attacking mid either like nolan hes a true cm…..we need 3 attacking/striker players, one a true cf.

  12. See, we’re not the only club who do “stupid things”….

    “Milan Jovanovic, who joined Liverpool from Standard Liège last July on a free transfer, is paid £120,000 a week and started only five Premier League games last season…. ”

    “Liverpool had the fourth-highest wage bill in the Premier League in 2010 – £121m – but failed to qualify for the Champions League next season and last.”

    Breathtaking figures eh…?
    Madness….more money than sense the scousers….

    Give me Ashley’s “prudent” style any day of the week….

  13. They sound like us from about 6 years ago. Will be interesting to see what happens to them.

  14. Although the word striker suggests a CF or target man, I’d like to think that PTC will adopt a more fluid style of play next season where forward players are just that – forward but not rigidly adhering to any one position.

    Barcelona employs a versatile strategic plan which enables them to change formations depending on various factors such as the score, position of play, players available etc. In a similar manner we need to adopt a flexible style of formation which would enable us to seamlessly change form a 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2 or even a 4-5-1, when under pressure, without having to change personnel on the pitch.

    HBA, a “Gervinho” type of wide player/forward and a “Sturridge” type of mobile ball playing forward could all do a job providing the “chemistry” between the front three is OK. So maybe the answer is not one or two but three ?

  15. Tripp@15…Liverpool seem to have a shed load of money to throw about these days…love to see them fall flat…

  16. AndyMac(16) is spot on. We need versatile strikers as opposed to just Ameobi-style CF’s. We need strikers with speed and skill.

    Keep: Ameobi, Best
    Loan: Ranger, Airey
    Sell: Lovenkrands

    Lovenkrands did well towards the end of the season. Perhaps that will help us get a respectable fee for him. He’s quick, but a bit of a lightweight. I doubt he will be able to get 15+ goals for us.
    Ameobi is close to 30 now but he is currently our only traditional target man. We know his limitations but i think we should hang on to him a while longer.
    Best when given the opportunity has looked decent. That hat-trick he scored has skewed his stats somewhat, but, if he can stay motivated, could be our first choice off the bench.

    We should try to buy a proven goalscorer with some pace first and foremost. Sturridge would be my first choice, though looking into my crystal ball i could see him having trouble settling on Tyneside.

    Next we should get a skillful attacker who will provide some dynamism on the right and help balance out our attack. Gervinho would be good but seems a long shot for where we are at the moment.

    Whoever we sign it will be likely that our style of play will be quite different from last season. I just hope it is at least as effective.