Why have we changed formation?
If someone could tell me why, it would be great.
But why? Why have we done this?
In the last two recent games, Kevin Nolan has experimented a bit and changed to a new formation, switching from 4-4-2 to 4-2-3-1 with three central midfielders including Noor Husin, Matty Virtue and Liam Noble. This means Jon Stead is up front on his own with Jorge Grant and Lewis Alessandra on the wings.
However, this recent change hasn’t worked as shown by successive 2-1 losses at home to Exeter and Crawley. Notts’ amazing home record has been worsened by this change in formation and the results that have followed.
By all means, this formation can work if you have the right players but this Notts team doesn’t.
First you need to have a pacey striker up front - Aguero for Man City for example and Conor Chaplin at Portsmouth.
Notts cannot play this formation with Jon Stead up front. He is too slow and too isolated. We have next to no threat up top when we play one striker. Defenders are quick to get the ball off him before he ever has a chance to bring the wingers into play.
Next, you need to have a good attacking midfielder to play behind the striker. Someone like Luke Berry. Notts have this in Liam Noble but refuse him to play instead placing Matty Virtue into the role of the No.10 when we can clearly see that he has the same properties of Ryan Yates.
We have rushed three new midfielders into the side who have not played with each other before and if we continue to play this formation, they will have to have time to gel. You can’t take that risk in a promotion race especially when Notts have only taken 26 points from their last 19 games. Notts have dropped so many points, that the gap to 4th is now minimal.
In both games, when we reverted back to 4-4-2, we immediately looked more of a threat going forward. Virtue showed in the short time he had in the 4-4-2 formation against Crawley and his performance at Lincoln, that he can easily slot into Yates’ role. Just because of Yates’ recall, doesn’t mean we have to introduce a whole new system. It really isn’t needed. You have got to play Hewitt alongside him in midfield because he is the legs of the team. Even when Notts are out on their feet, Hewitt is still running around causing the opposition problems. He doesn’t stop running. These two in a 4-4-2 formation would be fine.
Noor Husin looked a lot better suited to our normal formation at the weekend. He became the man pulling the strings when we went 4-4-2 against Exeter, only for him to be replaced. I would like to see Liam Walker start a few games because every time he has come off the bench, he has been quality.
We have abandoned tactics that have worked so well for us all season. Why abandon them now? It makes no sense whatsoever.
4-4-2 gave us structure and stability. It gave us a Notts side that scored goals and gave us a Notts side that stood in second place. A striker, a centre back and a backup winger was all that was (and still is) needed and Notts would have been fine. But no, this is Notts and we love to bottle every good opportunity that comes our way.
I salute Charlie Slater for his questioning of Nolan’s tactics last night on the radio. I love Nolan for what he has done for this football club so far but we’ve got to go back to basics otherwise we won’t even finish in the play-offs, never mind the automatic promotion places.
I am begging that Nolan returns to the formation and the tactics that bought us so much success all season. Look at Brentford. We played 4-4-2 and beat a Championship team. A CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM.
Seriously, we have got to go back to 4-4-2 otherwise we can kiss goodbye to promotion.