Do Newcastle deserve their top three position?

Third on merit
There is a sense of bewilderment sweeping around the country at the moment as fans, players and pundits from around the country stared, open mouthed, at the Premier League table on Monday night.

There is something about seeing Newcastle United occupy third position that leaves a bad taste the mouths of those who think they should be there instead.

The game at the Britannia Stadium against Stoke City was once again billed as their ‘biggest test of the season so far’ just like the meeting with Tottenham was two weeks prior. There is a sense in the press and from opposition fans that the Magpies don’t deserve to be holding such a lofty position in the top flight. After all they sold their best striker, Captain and, according to some, the best left back in the league for big money and replaced them with cheap alternatives. A manager that was disliked by the fans and an owner who’s blood the fans thirsted after.

Written off over the summer as dead certs for relegation and yet another implosion was prophesied with the club supposedly on the verge of breaking point. However the polar opposite has happened and once again the black and white flag is flying high. They came through the acid test against the Potters, who were unbeaten at home conceding one goal in process, with flying colours. Demba Ba plundered his second hat trick of the season in what was as comfortable a win as you would like against a side who are famed for their physical philosophies.

Still, the acceptance of Newcastle holding their own in the top three was played down on the fact that they ‘haven’t played anyone yet’.

So far Alan Pardew’s men have played and took points off five of last seasons top 10 not to mention beating FA Cup finalists Stoke on the way to a 13 match unbeaten run stretching back to the previous season. They’re one of only a handful of teams still unbeaten in Europe alongside the likes of BarΓ§elona, Benfica, FC Porto, Juventus and Manchester City. Surely that gives them a lick of credibility?

I’ll admit that I was worried about the season ahead after a tumultuous summer that was almost torn apart by Joey Barton who seemed intent on causing mischief from his keyboard. The sales of Andy Carroll, Kevin Nolan and Jose Enrique added to the hysteria that was gripping Tyneside as fans once again turned on Mike Ashley and manager Alan Pardew. Three months later and large portions of humble pie are being tucked into at an alarming rate.

The notion that Pardew and his players don’t deserve to be in the position they are in currently is insulting. The togetherness of the squad at this present moment seems stronger than it’s ever been especially after the ego’s that once inhabited the dressing room were removed. Pardew has surprised many with the way he has conducted himself since taking the job in December despite the Geordie faithful generally opposing to his appointment.

Almost a year later they are singing his name proudly from all four corners of St James’. Alongside chief scout Graham Carr he has worked extensively at scouting players and making sure they are the right fit for his Newcastle United and so far they have all paid off.

Perhaps his biggest achievement so far is doing what no manager in the past 20 years has been able to do in tightening a notoriously leaky defence up. Newcastle boast the meanest back line in England conceding just seven goals in their 10 league games thus far which has given them a solid base to work from. He’s got the rest of the starting eleven focused and determined to not give the opposition an inch on the field.

The win over Stoke was testament to Pardew’s tactical nous and the players willingness to do what is necessary to achieve victory as they attacked and defended as one unit. The work ethic that has been instilled within the squad is a breath of fresh air and they displayed it to full effect as they hustled, harried and frustrated the home side with Jonas Guttierez putting in another lung bursting shift down the left. In attack they were incisive with Ba continuing is impressive scoring record with a hat trick whilst Leon Best once again ran himself into the ground. Even without midfield enforcer Cheik Tiote in midfield they looked solid with Pardew putting his famed man management skills to work on Danny Guthrie who put in a gritty display despite fans labelling him the weak link in the side.

To cut a long story short Newcastle deserve to be where they are because they are going out onto the field, putting in performances and winning games. It’s no fluke and it’s certainly not because they haven’t played any of the supposed big teams yet.

The squad mentality has improved 200% and it shows in the way they play with a steely determination mixed in defence mixed with a confident swagger in attack. Newcastle are winning games because they are playing good football and going into every game knowing they can come away with a positive result.

With Everton, both Manchester clubs and Chelsea on the horizon they will be put to the test but there is no reason to believe that they can’t come out of them with yet more credit.

Thanks to Jak Penny for sending this in. A fantastic read I’ll add. You can follow Jak on Twitter @kajynnep and see his work on other notable sites around the web.

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

132 thoughts on “Do Newcastle deserve their top three position?

  1. wow i got us at 2000/1 to win it haha nice lil e/w bet on dat as well so get 1/4 the odds if we fin top 4 haha πŸ˜› , my mates think im gone mad ha, they said dat on sat when i told em i back arsenal an newcastle win v chelsea an stoke respectively … had derby and hull as well won 380e haha whos mad now mwwaaahahaha


  2. Thad – Re: Getting the credit for the article.

    Its happens on most. People attribute it to different people. Just a bit of fun.

    Great article Thad πŸ˜‰


  3. Anyone watching the frozen planet?

    Incredible! I never knew Spain was that cold this time of year. Well done Citeh.

    Silva is fighting on the ice burgs to be the dominant walrus!

    Uh oh. Am I getting mixed up. David Attenborough is commentating on the Footy now. 😯

    What a night! I’m confused. 😯


  4. As a Spurs fan I’m used to being pessimistic, but this year is looking good following our shaky start. It’s early days yet, sure – can anyone serously believe Newcastle will finish in the top 4? This time last year it was Bolton up there in a CL place and surprising us all, and look at them now, the year before it was Hull – ’nuff said!

    don’t you just luv em, from a BBC blog

    anyway nite folks


  5. @toonsy

    If the great form continues, do you think Pards could be an FA favourite for England manager in 12 months?

    He’s got all the credentials and the most important for England candidates is their media skills which he is second to none.

    I never thought I would ask this question but I’m sure I’m with you all.


  6. Troy has Rod been feeding you some of his herbal cake Fella or have you been out picking mushrooms πŸ˜† πŸ˜†
    So whats the latest Lads


  7. Oh meant to say Thad I thought you always talked sh1te but this article proves that sometimes you talk sense well done lad πŸ˜† πŸ˜‰


  8. @big dave

    Do you think Rodz mood changes due to the weed?

    I’m an au Naturelle nutter! 😯


  9. We know it’s not thud’s article.

    There would not be a photo of the team celebrating.

    It would be Thud, sitting at a desk with a smug look on his fierce. 😯

    Who said that?

    Not me! 😯

    Thud you look really good but you have the same shirt on every day. Do you never change. 😯


  10. Just for the record, it’s usually an excessive amount of Strongbow that pushes me into late night lala land, although I’m more than capable of lunacy outside the cidershed.


  11. Bang bang ! 😯

    Is that you Nile? 😯

    England belongs to me by CockSparrer

    Years of being told you ain’t as good as us
    Join the line, sign your name
    And they all said that our country’s going bust
    But no-one’s fooling us again

    England belong’s to me
    A nation’s pride the dirty water on the rivers
    No one can take away our memory
    Oh Oh, England belongs to me

    We’ll show the world that the boys are back to stay
    And you all know what we can do
    Heads held high, fighting all the way
    For the red, white, and blue

    Just thought I would share it with you.

    Have a listen on YouTube.


  12. Troy I think the weed helps alter his mood πŸ˜† he does make exceedingly good cakes. I can remember when I smoked a couple of yrs ago he gave me a mighty fine cake recipe, it was top notch better than them old mr kiplin cakes


  13. @Rodz

    You worry me and young Chip Stavers!

    What’s the madder wichoo!? 😯 πŸ˜›


  14. alreet David young man. Speak of the devil, and all that. 😎

    Troy, I keep forgetting to ask. B&B told me to ask you about your experience with Jake Burns ages ago…


  15. haha, I have brewed my own in the past Dave, but it’s easier just nipping to the Co-op. Been a cider monster for quite some time now, although I’m currently sober as a judge.


  16. Rod: Stongbow is the worst cider I’ve tried, has a really bad effect on me and my friends ahaha we go really loopy. Totally understand why you have your la la moments now!


  17. Rod I use to do the old home brew yrs ago, my trouble was I never waited long enough was still good gear but ****ed the stomach up bad but was worth it.
    Then I fell into poteen which was the ruin of me until I stopped drinking all together, Funny the drink now adays is as cheap as chips to buy out of supermarkets etc


  18. @Rodz

    I go to watch SLF every March when they play in the Toon.
    I went to school with Ian Mcallum the guitarist.

    I went back to the holiday inn after the gig 2 yrs ago. I wasn’t impressed with Jake Burns’ performance mainly cos he’s about 18 stone and sweats like a pig.

    I told him what I thought at the hotel and I was surrounded by all his hangers on and Jake who ordered me to leave.

    I just started howling at them and wound them up and refused to leave.

    We sort of made up later on in the night.

    SLF – greatest music from 1978- 82.

    Did he not tell you sbout me getting Souness in a headlock? Now that is a story not for airing, 😯


  19. Troy im sure you know what poteen is πŸ˜‰ Irish moonshine normally around 80-90% proof good **** but bad for ye and your kidneys and liver πŸ‘Ώ


  20. @big dave

    No I didn’t know. Cheeses wept! That must have wrecked you man!

    Are you an alcoholic off the drink?


  21. Course we deserve to be 3rd – we’ve amassed more points than teams below us – **** the pundits they know nowt and are full of ****, they had us down for relegation (Inc shearer) and are bitter as **** we’re doing well – I def dont expect top 4 but best of the rest at 6th or 7th will be a massive step forward, however we def need to stay relatively injury free to achieve that or purchase early in jan transfer
    We also need to ensure collo stays


  22. Dave@99 that’s it mate, you can get 10 cans for a 5er these days – it’s cheaper than pop!! Need to get the homebrew kit out again though, last cider I made was more like wine. Actually, I think that’s why I stopped brewing, booze doesn’t last too long in my house.

    Troy@100 hahaha, quality. You must be a similar age to me then, if not a little older. I used to like a bit of punk in the 70s, Nobody’s Heroes was one of my first ever albums and I still listen to it today. Aye, B&B said he used to play football with Mcallum and he had a sweet left foot! Maybe we’ll leave the Souness story for another day. πŸ™‚

    Zoe@101 Magners is a bit too sweet for me, although I’ll happily drink it. πŸ˜€

    ….I’m off anyway, neet lads and lasses!


  23. @big Dave

    Incredible. Never realised though youve said certain things to Batty whom I suspect to be in the same boat.

    Good on you. Love to see people fight their demons.

    Do you ever get the urge to drink again?


  24. @big dave

    My phone is going to die any second but I will catch up with you on Facebook over the next week. Very interesting.

    I am at work for the next 4 days so the bloggers will get some relief. I don’t seem to get a chance when I’m working particularly lately.

    Toon Toon! πŸ˜›


  25. @bigd – ok he didn’t say relegation but thought we’d struggle this season
    I’ve met shearer through my now dead grandfather (through his sponsorship) and I like him a lot but he def became a bit bitter when he didn’t get job, has since changed his view to whatever Hanson says πŸ™‚
    It’ll be interesting to see how we get on against citeh – meanest defence vs most prolific scorers, something has to give – very surprised sky haven’t snapped the game up


  26. Personally I think we’re as good as spurs or Liverpool so could barring injuries/sales match them or even better em so anywhere between 4th and 7th is where I expect to end up – the real difference is that come jan if we’re in the mix,they’ll throw big money at it and poss buy better players…… Or buy our defence / midfield if they don’t actually want them, would stop us in our tracks if they buy collo, Tiote, cabaye πŸ™


  27. Troy I never get the urge now mate because I know its not for me, the 1st few yrs I used to get the urge but managed to fight the urge, untill one night we were at a do and I thought that 1 drink wouldn’t do me any harm πŸ‘Ώ .
    Catch you again Troy and im sure you will be well missed by everyone πŸ˜†


  28. Spurs only have bale and modric who I would def want, other than that we can match em, Liverpool have Suarez and errrrrr no one – arse are arsenal, Chelsea are a bunch of old blokes picking up cash to fund gambling – **** it we can end up 3rd πŸ˜‰


  29. Stevep I dont think he was the only one that thought we would struggle πŸ˜‰
    As for Man city it wouldnt surprise me if it ended 0-0 πŸ˜† , but in general I believe we are capable of winning against ANYONE as long as we play the way we know we can.


  30. Soz – gone off topic, didn’t realise it’s become a self help topic πŸ™‚ … Joshing – know loads of mates gone off the rails, some now dead – it’s ******* tough, glad I joined the army as a lad


  31. Though I also know a few who have committed suicide since they left army – think you’re either wired that way or you’re not, luckily I’m not….. Up to now at least


  32. Think man city is gonna be a big ask, man u is a possibility to get something and I don’t have that much fear of chelski, if they’re at 80% and we’re at 100% we could easily get 3 points – I’m going for 4-6 points…….. I am glass half full πŸ™‚


  33. Started as TA in prudhoe then moved to 22, was a blast as no real wars going on – loads of laughs and some scary ****


  34. It’s difficult to have played too many of the teams above you when you’re 3rd! That only leaves 2 FFS πŸ˜†


  35. Definitely deserve to be third. You can only play who you play and the lads have done well in most of those games and come up with the points. Credit to Pardew for what he’s done on the footballing side, and credit to the hard work of the players and coaching staff.

    It’s wonderful to see all aspects of NUFC doing well.


  36. Troy mate this is a footie blog you want to talk about decking get to b and q mate πŸ™‚


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