The season so far has very much been built on the solid foundation of our so far excellent defence.

Obviously the heart has been ripped out of the back four with the  devastation caused by the Chelsea match, Steven Taylor almost certainly out for the season and Colo maybe missing for the next month.

Whether reinforcements  arrive in January is anybody’s guess but certainly for the next month Newcastle United have to get by with what they have got.

A mixture of young kids and square pegs in round holes (Danny Simpson at centre-back?) will have to see us through the Christmas rush.

The way the fixtures fell was quite bizarre, Manchester City, Man. Utd. and Chelsea in quick succession was never going to be easy but looking beyond that was a bit of a contrast.

The next four fixtures are Norwich, Swansea, West Brom and Bolton. These aren’t easy matches but certainly ones that you would expect a healthy return of points from…if we have aspirations to be at least the best of the rest. Or as it known in the modern day, seventh.

With the lack of cover exposed at the back I believe that there is a definite need to switch the emphasis to the attack as with the best will in the world you just cannot expect to be keeping many clean sheets with what we have available.

Now that Gutierrez, Shola and Best are available again, plus here’s hoping for Tiote, we need to get on the front foot.

Can we play two strikers plus Hatem Ben Arfa? With workrate and team spirit I think we could make it work.