Tactics Journal

by Kyle Boas

Analyzing football tactics

Trippier inverts

Newcastle intermittently had Kiernan Trippier move from his normal right-back position and invert into a double pivot with Bruno Guimaraes. He flipped back and forth. This allowed right center-midfielder Sean Longstaff to stay forward and outnumber Blackburn centrally.

Figure 1.1 - Newcastle's normal back-four with a lone pivot in their own end.
Figure 1.2 - Sean Longstaff drops to help Bruno Guimaraes.

It’s very easy for Blackburn to double-team the lone-pivot Bruno Guimaraes. That forces Newcastle to always play wide to the full-backs.

If they want more variety in their passing, not just going wide, one of either Sean Longstaff or Joe Willock has to drop to pull one of those markers away from Guimaraes.

Figure 2.1 - Kiernan Trippier inverts from right-back to join Bruno Guimaraes in a double pivot.
Figure 2.2 - Kiernan Trippier inverts again.

Trippier’s skillset doesn’t suit inverting. He is best in space, being a nuisance crossing, while providing overlapping or underlapping runs for Miguel Almiron on the wing. But it’s a sacrifice Newcastle are willing to take, and shorting the distance between players in the middle of the pitch will make it easier for them to work the ball into final third.

Willock and Longstaff will pin and/or distract the center-backs. Because the wings are only occupied by the wingers, Burn is in the back-three and Trippier is inverting, this may force Newcastle to play more direct through the middle, over the top. Look for curved runs from Gordon and Almiron into the half-spaces behind the opponent’s back-line.

Match: Blackburn 1-1 Newcastle, 27 February 2024

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