Newcastle United were flying in the Premier League before the World Cup break. They are third in the table with 30 points from 15 games, a point above fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.
Eddie Howe has done a remarkable job at St. James’ Park, transforming the Tyneside-based club from relegation fodders to genuine top-four contenders in a short span of time. He will be looking to bring in a few fresh faces in January to maintain Newcastle United’s push for qualifying in the Champions League.
With the World Cup break in full swing, here are three things we have learned from Newcastle United’s season so far.
#Strong defensive spine
One of Newcastle United’s reasons for a strong start to the 2022/23 campaign is down to their robust defence. The Magpies were an utter mess defensively last season, leaking goals at an alarming rate prior to Eddie Howe’s arrival.
To address his team’s defensive vulnerabilities, Eddie Howe brought in goalkeeper Nick Pope and defender Sven Botman in the summer transfer window, while the club turned Matt Targett’s loan move into a permanent deal from Aston Villa.
Pope has impressed in goal and collected seven clean sheets, helped massively by the back four of Kieran Trippier, Fabian Schar, Sven Botman and Dan Burn ahead of him. In turn, the Magpies have conceded just 11 goals in 15 games—the joint-best defensive record in the division.
#Goals from midfield
Newcastle have been exciting to watch for fans and neutrals alike, playing a high-pressing, attacking and entertaining brand of football. They have scored 29 goals in 15 games—one more than Liverpool, nine more than Man United and 12 more than Chelsea.
It is not just their forwards scoring goals but the midfielders have also chipped in with goals. Bruno Guimaraes, Joelinton, Joe Willock and Sean Longstaff have contributed to seven goals, thereby, reducing some goal-scoring burden off the shoulders of Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin and Chris Wood.
Eddie Howe would want to see his forwards get on the scoresheet more but he will be delighted to see the central midfielders chipping in with vital goals.
#Miguel Almiron—A player reborn
Miguel Almiron has been the talk of the Toon this season after producing his best form since arriving at Newcastle in 2019 from MLS side Atlanta United.
Enjoying a renaissance under Eddie Howe, Almiron, 28, has netted eight goals and registered an assist in 15 league games. Absolutely unplayable at times, the Paraguayan attacker bagged six goals and helped the Magpies go undefeated in the entire October.
The Geordies have seen an inconsistent player transformed into one of the Premier League’s best players, resulting in him bagging the Player of the Month award for October. It is a richly-deserved accolade for the player, and if Newcastle are looking to continue their upward trajectory and good form after the winter break, Almiron must maintain his extremely high standard of performance.