Had it not been for Newcastle’s shift to a diamond, they would probably be in the relegation zone.
The new system came into place against Everton on January 30th, and it has been used ever since.
It ended a barren run of form for the Magpies, who hadn’t won any of their last 11 games before the trip to Goodison Park.
Since using the diamond, Newcastle have picked up seven points.
Frustratingly, it should be more. We were beaten by a poor Crystal Palace side at home, and most recently threw away three points against Wolves.
Looking back, it’s hard to see where Newcastle would have gotten any points without this change in system and style. Interestingly, it coincided with Graeme Jones’ arrival at the club…
But with key players now injured, it is time to say goodbye to the diamond.
Newcastle can’t afford square pegs in round holes against West Brom
Sunday’s game against West Brom is a must win. It’s as simple as that.
The worrying thing is that we need to win without Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron.
Newcastle have lost their three best attackers.
While losing our only goalscorer in Wilson was huge, it is the injury to Almiron that should force a change in system.
The diamond system saw the Paraguayan play as the most advanced midfielder. He was the one leading the press and helping Newcastle get up the pitch.
Almiron’s speed, energy and work ethic are a big reason why he is so loved on Tyneside. But is there anyone else in the squad who can replicate that?
There are multiple players who Steve Bruce could use as an attacking midfielder, but they likely won’t be as effective as Almiron.
Therefore, it is time to ditch the diamond.
A 4-4-2 formation might be more suited against West Brom. It would allow Newcastle to play with width that they’ve been missing, as well as getting two strikers on the pitch.
Dwight Gayle is Newcastle’s most natural goalscorer other than Wilson, but looked lost when he played in the diamond system against Chelsea.
Using a 4-4-2 system would give Newcastle more structure, and mean less reliance on someone like Saint-Maximin creating something out of nothing.
It would allow the likes of Ryan Fraser or Jacob Murphy to play as out-and-out wingers, getting down the line and putting crosses into the box.
The diamond system has benefitted Newcastle over the past month, but it is no longer fit for purpose amid the current injury crisis.