Newcastle sacked Steve Bruce in October after a 3-2 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur left them 19th in the table on a mere three points from their first eight matches.
However, under his replacement Eddie Howe, the Magpies find themselves up in ninth place, with their 3-0 victory at Norwich City on Saturday extending their winning streak to four matches.
Howe has taken 38 points from his 23 Premier League matches in charge, with 11 wins, five draws and seven defeats.
That’s more than Manchester United, who have only managed to collect 37 points in the same period, and only one point fewer than current Champions League holders Chelsea.
He tweeted: “Crazy that Newcastle would be sitting above Manchester United, no matter how pathetic Ralf Rangnick’s side are currently.”
Critics might argue that Newcastle’s success under Howe is largely down to their record-breaking £90m January spend, but that’s not entirely fair.
For instance, £12m addition Kieran Trippier has only been able to play four matches after sustaining a foot injury; while £25m striker Chris Wood, their second-most expensive winter signing behind Bruno Guimaraes, has only scored one non-penalty goal in his 14 appearances.
For the most part, Howe has simply extracted more from the players at his disposal than his predecessor Bruce was able to, and for that the incumbent Newcastle manager deserves great credit.
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