Newcastle have played a flat back four just once this season, with Steve Bruce unwilling to deviate away from a rigid defensive five.

However, with the Magpies’ form worsening and the attack failing to improve, the time to change is upon us.

And with Crystal Palace up next, the trip to Selhurst Park is the perfect opportunity to test out a new system.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

While the Eagles will provide a difficult task for Newcastle, they are yet to win a game in 2020. In fact, their last win came on Boxing Day against West Ham.

Crystal Palace are on a poor run of form, and Newcastle need to make the most of that.


We need to put them under pressure early on and keep the home fans quiet. If we sit back and try to contain them, they will surely become more confident that they can get their first win of the year.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Time for change

To become a stronger attacking outfit, we need to switch to four at the back.

This will allow whoever plays up front to get more support. It should also ensure Valentino Lazaro can operate in a more natural right midfield role.

We have players capable of attacking. Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin are incredible talented. They can be even more dangerous with one of them playing centrally behind the striker.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

If Bruce takes a risk and we lose, then his point about not being ready to change system is proved right. But you don’t know until you take that risk. And right now, it’s fairly clear that the current system isn’t working.

We are just a few wins away from being pretty much safe. We must take a risk and go for them now rather than be sucked into a relegation battle, scratching for points wherever we can get them.

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