Billed as the Premier League’s crisis club before a ball was ever kicked, Newcastle United fans can be proud of their team’s achievements seven games into the new season.
Under the strict tutelage of Rafa Benitez and his team, Newcastle have managed a respectable 10 points from their first seven games, including going on a three game winning run.
The opening day loss to Tottenham can be chalked up to a moment of madness from Jonjo Shelvey. The Magpies had looked rather assured up until that moment in the game.
The Huddersfield result, well, there are few words for how diabolical that performance was, and it was followed up by an equally embarrassing cup EFL Cup exit to Nottingham Forest during the midweek.
However, after a rather disheartening start, the good times came rushing back to the black and white. Finishing the first batch of games before an international break with a morale-boosting thumping of West Ham was brilliant, and to then carry that form on upon returning was even more rewarding.
Captain fantastic Jamaal Lascelles – even if I still have some doubts over him – has to be credited wholeheartedly for his performances against Swansea and Stoke City, leading by example and winning the Magpies what could be six vital points come the end of the season.
Lets not also forget that those result put Newcastle United, crisis club of the Premier League, into fourth position at the end of week 5. That was certainly not a position anyone could have predicted us being, especially not after the Huddersfield result.
Another poor showing against a newly promoted side in Brighton knocked the confidence a little and brought the Toon Army crashing back down to Earth, but a hearty if not very pretty battle against Liverpool merited Newcastle a well-earned and potentially crucial point.
That leaves us with 10 points after the first seven fixtures, a quarter of the way towards the magic 40 points total that is always touted as ensuring Premier League safety.
It is true that the opening run of fixtures has not been tough for Newcastle, and losses to Huddersfield and Brighton will not help in the long run, but overall it has been a lot more positive of a start than most would have predicted.
We certainly haven’t done a Crystal Palace yet.
Hopefully the Liverpool result will allow us to push on from here, as Newcastle go into their next few fixtures – which it must be noted are also televised, continuing the Magpies near permanent feature on Sky now.
You can tell the black and white was missed by the TV companies last year.
Hopefully the return of Florian Lejeune and the reintroduction of a potentially more disciplined Jonjo Shelvey can give Newcastle that little extra to really make advantage of the rest of 2017, and get the job done earlier rather than later.
Nobody in St James’ Park wants another final day scramble, as we’ve almost become accustomed to in recent seasons.