As chaos reigns in the Premier League, Newcastle United are perfectly positioned under the radar
Managerial movements, transfer sagas, underperforming giants and VAR controversies have all conspired to make this one of the most intriguing starts to a season in recent memory.
Apart from the latter, of which we will discuss in a bit, Newcastle have, uncharacteristically, been very quiet this season, calmly going about their business with little fanfare - and it is pure bliss.
Scott Parker’s early exit from Bournemouth set the managerial merry-go-round in action before Thomas Tuchel’s departure really sent shockwaves through the league.
Chelsea’s search for a new manager seemingly has them eyeing Brighton’s Graham Potter - one that would be a huge blow for the Seagulls.
Brighton have emerged as a really good Premier League team this season and looked to be going places under Potter with both club and manager seeming a perfect fit for each other.
That could all change now though with Brighton’s assault on the top-six potentially now shunted - if only there were another team managed by a bright and upcoming English manager ready to take their place?
Despite starting the season with just one win from their opening six games, there is no panic at Newcastle. Eddie Howe’s job is safe and the club, all acting as one, are pulling in the same direction.
You don’t need to be a multiverse expert to understand just how close an alternative universe with the Magpies being slap bang in the middle of all the panic and confusion the opening six weeks of the new season has thrown up is to our reality.
But our reality isn’t showing this. What it is showing is a team that are resolute at the back and very hard to beat - although they may be lacking a sprinkling of creativity without their main trio Callum Wilson, Bruno Guimaraes and Allan Saint-Maximin available.
In the grand scheme of things, that is not at all a bad place to be in. A quick flashback to this time last year would throw up their trip to Old Trafford and a 4-1 hammering at the hands of Cristiano Ronaldo – all coming less than a fortnight after the Hamza Choudhury deadline day debacle.
This summer window could barely have been any different. Newcastle identified their targets and brought them in with minimal fuss - and even when they faced setbacks in the market, they acted swiftly and decisively.
There were no long-running sagas involving players wanting out and the deals they failed to complete were put behind them as they moved onto other targets.
Few clubs were as efficient in the market as the Magpies were this summer and that is something to be admired.
Now we come to the elephant in the room, VAR.
Newcastle have had their fair share of frustrations with technology this season and the ruled-out goal at the weekend was the pinnacle of this.
However, there is no ‘conspiracy’ against Newcastle this season and, if you look back at all the decisions, there is a real argument that they have actually benefited from the technology this year.
Newcastle have sailed under the radar so far this season and for now, that’s exactly where they will hope to remain.