Steve Bruce can’t take all the credit for that – especially with almost all of the defenders used this season signed by Rafa Benitez and playing the Spaniard's well-worn system.
It may not seem like it to some, but there now seems to be a clear plan at United. They are a counter-attack team, happy to let the opposition dominate, while transitioning at pace to create disarray in the opposition half.
That system ask A LOT of the players in it. The striker must, at times, plough a lone furrow while midfielders and full-backs must press, cover and provide width at both ends. Defensively, too, this style of play ask a lot of those in the back three.
As a result Newcastle United have THREE players in the Premier League top 10 for interceptions per 90 minutes. Here’s who they are and where they rank...