Good pickup KP. I was going to comment on that too.
I read into that that he sees 2 or 3 upfront as this standard and 1 as the 3rd choice...
Now if he players with a more wing-forward approach it is essentially 4-5-1 while defending.
But if it is appearing that we're only going to have 2 lads in the middle most of the time then I really don't know what to think? We've far too many good midfielders. Seems a massive waste to me.
Conversely, I think that if Jacob turns out to have the tackling and passing capabilities that various reports have suggested, we may benefit from having the two strikers, Long and Wingie, playing on the shoulders of defenders and looking to get in behind. The problem last season was that neither Mulumbu or Scharner, having dispossessed the opposition in deeper areas, were capable of delivering a first time cross field pass or defence splitting ball, so play tended to get held up in midfield. Jacob, from what clips I've seen, can hopefully provide a remedy for that issue. Playing 4-4-2 with Jacob sitting in front of the back four gives you plenty of options in midfield, including the possibility of reverting Mulumbu to that box-to-box role he seemed to enjoy so much under DiM. Given that Brunt/Dorrans and even Olsson can also play an accurate ball through to the front men, I wouldn't be surprised to see 4-4-2 again this season, with an emphasis on quick breaks through midfield and pace up front.
Plus, bear in mind that we always work on the assumption that everyone is fit, available and raring to go, which is rarely ever the case. By my reckoning the club are looking to cover positions (or at least players with similar attributes) throughout the first team squad: Foster/Myhill; Reid/Jones; McAuley/Dawson; Olsson/Tamas; Jacob/Mulumbu (but also Morrison/Mulumbu); Brunt/Dorrans; Cox/Gera (a bit tenuous this one); Thomas/El Ghanassy; and Wingie/Long. The missing 'mirror' players are Ridgewell's and Fortune's, which I suspect are the positions Clarke is intimating he'd like to fill with his 'two more signings'. Personally I'd like to see Tamas replaced as well, but unfortunately I'm not convinced that'll happen.
Anyway, the point is we'll doubtless be missing players during the course of the campaign. Imagining the very real possibility that Brunt, for example, is supended, Thomas is injured and Gera has collapsed in a heap again, we'd need the likes of Dorrans, El Ghanassy and possibly Cox to bridge the gap. At that point you'd certainly be struggling to make a case for not starting both Wingie and Long up front.