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...
1. Wilfred Ndidi - Leicester City
7.2 interceptions per 90 minutes.
Photo: Laurence Griffiths
2. Steve Cook - Bournemouth
7.24 interceptions per 90 minutes.
Photo: Mike Hewitt
3. Paul Dummett - Newcastle United
7.27 interceptions per 90 minutes.
Photo: Nigel Roddis
4. Jan Bednarek - Southampton
7.5 interceptions per 90 minutes.
Photo: Naomi Baker