It can all change quickly, but Newcastle have surprised themselves with brilliant start

So just what has gone right at Newcastle?

The club has had Turmoil as its middle name for aeons, and endured weeks of instability during the run-up to the new season. But they have had a start to the season which has surprised everyone in the Barclays Premier League, including themselves.

Newcastle find themselves on the verge of moving up to second before the rest of the Premier League have played this weekend.

It's all going well: Demba Ba and team-mates celebrate at Stoke on Monday

It's all going well: Demba Ba and team-mates celebrate at Stoke on Monday

An unbeaten start, the best defensive record in the Premier League, new signings and star players unable to get into an unchanged team and a free transfer striker who has scored two hat-tricks.

Everton are the visitors to St James’ Park on Saturday lunchtime and, unlike last season, Newcastle supporters are turning up expecting David Moyes’s side to be brushed aside.

In the aftermath of the 3-1 win at Stoke City on Monday night, Alan Pardew delivered one message that largely went unreported.

He now wants to see St James’ Park full again, a deserved reward, he said, for his players.

And as Newcastle seek another victory this weekend, and look to go to Manchester City after the international break still unbeaten, and still established in the top three, their manager, and his board, is hoping to see the crowd touch more than 50,000 again.

Of course many of those who are electing to stay away from home matches have a problem with this regime, no matter what 'success' is delivered, and their positive achievements in the transfer market.

Football supporters can be a stubborn lot, and none more so than fed up Geordies who remain appalled at the way the club has and is being run. But Pardew and his players are doing their bit to win them back.

Alan Pardew
Demba Ba

Delight: Manager Alan Pardew (left) and a celebrating Demba Ba (right)

A healthy league position helps, although with Manchester United away and Chelsea at home to follow the trip to Eastlands, it can just as easily be taken away from them.

But there is more to this Newcastle side than that, as their impressive performance at the Britannia Stadium demonstrated.

Look at Demba Ba. Yes he notched a hat-trick, ramming the boos and doubts of Stoke down their throats, but this was more than just a personal vendetta.

In the dying minutes, with Stoke still prepared to hoist the ball into the penalty area in pursuit of an unlikely point, an inviting, bouncing ball fell to Robert Huth. The defender met it with a full-blooded smack of his right foot.

Six yards from goal, Ba threw himself at the shot, preventing Tim Krul from making a save.

Everywhere Pardew looked, his players made similar sacrifices and threw their bodies at the Newcastle cause. Jonas Gutierrez may have looked out of place as a full-back in Diego Maradona’s Argentina side at the last World Cup, but he did a very good impression of one against Stoke.

There is some good fortune to Newcastle’s unexpected and early elevation. They have yet to suffer any serious injuries, so Pardew has named the same back five for all league matches.

Struggling to win his place: Ben Arfa in action against Tottenham last month

Struggling to win his place: Ben Arfa in action against Tottenham last month

Cheik Tiote’s knee injury, which forced him to miss Stoke and grant Danny Guthrie a rare start, is the first major problem they have had, although Mike Williamson is the only experienced centre-back cover for Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini and he has been injured for most of the season.

Most sides suffer an injury crisis at some point in the season and the fragility and lack of depth to the squad must be a worry.

If either centre-back is out for a spell – and Taylor played with a protective mask and broken nose at Stoke – it leaves Pardew with few options. A central defender must be January’s priority, although a deal for Souchaux striker Mobido Maiga is nearly done.

Pardew does have players like Sylvain Marveaux and Hatem Ben Arfa itching for a start but he is being far more patient with two players with ability to turn games in an instant.

Ben Arfa in particular is a conundrum. Pardew and Newcastle fans were desperate to see him fit and available, and now he can’t get in the team. And they are playing so well, how can he be accommodated?

A very nice problem for Alan Pardew to have.

And he will have plenty of others to contend with to maintain the standards and the results Newcastle have reached so far.

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