Have a look at the league table, yes yes yes we know it’s very nice to look at but there is something else that hits you right between the eyes.

At the top you have pretty much the six sides that were expected to be seen there, certainly by the bookies, plus of course an unwelcome visitor from the frozen north east.

At some stage in the season there is nearly always a clear divide opens up between the top teams and the rest. What is so striking already, is that after Arsenal in 7th you have a 7 points gap to Everton in 8th, who are top of a group of ten teams divided by only 5 points.

I think it would be a fair shout to think that the other six teams in those top placings will be in the same group of six or seven after 38 matches, the challenge for Newcastle United must be to achieve the same.

How high it is possible to finish within that group of seven is another matter but this great start means that it is only Newcastle United themselves who can stop themselves finishing in that top seven.

Newcastle have at least a ten point lead over ‘the rest’ and if they don’t stay ahead of Everton, Villa and ‘the rest’ then it will be a golden chance wasted to make major progress.

Injuries are already hitting hard the small squad at St.James’ Park with the African Nations Cup still to take Ba and Tiote away for a significant period.

Talking of wasted chances, if Mike Ashley doesn’t fully support Alan Pardew’s wishes in the transfer window then it could prove to be his very worst decision, which takes some doing, of his time in control at St.James’ Park.

Excerpt The tremendous point at Old Trafford summed up the team spirit and ability shown by the squad so far.

Top 7 awaits for Newcastle United…