Wasn't quite sure where to put this but...
We've played 4-5-1 for most (all?) of pre-season, partly through front-line injuries. As Kevin Davies said in the BN
, “We’re not sure what system we’re going to play because the gaffer hasn’t had a chance to try us out in any different positions. It’s been a case of me up front with a Chris Eagles or a Darren Pratley in behind, but once everyone gets fit you’ll see what he wants to play."
It's true that we've struggled for numbers up top, with Ngog's niggle, Sordell's absence and Eaves apparently not ready (yet?). And Coyle has shown he wants more forwards with the interest in Benik Afobe - a well-regarded England Youth striker who scored two in three at this summer's U19 Euros, making it 7 in 11 games for the U19s (after 11 in 23 for the U17s and four in three for the U16s).
However, I suspect 4-5-1 may not be just needs-must, judging by the ongoing interest in Ryo Miyaichi. We already have four wingers – the returning CYL and three Coyle signings (Petrov, Wylde, Eagles) who have all impressed in pre-season – and despite Coyle's natural tendency to collect attacking players, I don't think he'd be borrowing another one for a laugh.
Playing 4-2-3-1 allows him to field three 'wingers' (attacking midfielders) in a more fluid formation; Eagles played centrally in April and May, and Coyle has tried CYL there pre-season with encouraging results:
“Chung-Yong Lee could play anywhere as he’s so intelligent on a football level and it was good to see him in there [centrally behind the striker] because he’s very clever on the ball. We know we have terrific offensive players. What we have to do is add that to the mix and make sure we’re working hard off the ball in the right shape and, when we get it, go and play.
Mind you, even then we'd have the choice of Eagles, CYL, Pratley, MDavies... options...?!