Newcastle United: Third Best?
“Fact Or Fiction” is a series that will be run every Friday. In this series, an assertion will be made regarding an impacting topic in the Premier League. EPL Talk writers Matt Hackenmiller and Earl Reed each offer their views on whether the statement is “Fact or Fiction.”
Fact or Fiction: Outside of the Big Two from Manchester, Newcastle United has been the third best team in the Premier League so far this season.
MH: Fact by default. Newcastle has not lost yet this season and they have played fine football for the most part. They have also showed an ability to get points away from St. James’s Park. But picking the third best team to this point is a very tricky endeavor. Liverpool looked to that team early, but they have struggled of late. Chelsea has been uninspiring in their victories. Arsenal? I won’t go there. It could be Tottenham if they continue to play the way they did last weekend. At this point, I would say Newcastle United are the third best team in the league, although they could be knocked from that pedestal quite soon.
ER: Fiction. The Magpies have been a good team thus far, a surprise given the losses of Andy Carroll, Kevin Nolan, Jose Enrique and Joey Barton over the last 9 months. The players who remain, with a few key additions, have coalesced and found some solid early results this season. But for me, their fixture list has been somewhat kind to start the season. As Matt has said, no team has stood out to clearly be considered third-best. Chelsea hasn’t always looked at ease, which might be expected with a new manager and a haunted forward. Newcastle United and Aston Villa have been draw-happy. Stoke would be a choice, but their dismantling against a reeling Sunderland is a stain on their season thus far. Compared to those teams, Chelsea has been better on a more consistent basis: three wins and their only loss at Old Trafford.
What do you think, is it fact or fiction that Newcastle United has been the third best team in the Premier League so far this season?