When you start digging down into the story of Newcastle United’s last two seasons, you begin to understand why twelfth became fifth and forty six points was exchanged for sixty five.

Amazingly, Newcastle scored the same number of goals (56) both seasons and only conceded six more (57) goals two seasons ago than last time around….so how did we get seven extra steps up the league and nineteen more points?

Well both seasons have been heavily distorted thanks to a relatively small number of matches.

The past season Newcastle conceded four or more goals in a match four times compared to three times this last season just gone.

However, when it comes to goals scored in the 2010/11 season, Newcastle scored four or more goals in a match five times.

Amazingly, in the season just ended Newcastle never scored more than three goals in a league match. Quite remarkable considering the goal threat and spectacular goals from the likes of Ba, Cisse and Ben Arfa.

So  over the 2011/12 season Newcastle have been ultra consistent in terms of scoring goals week in week out, while at the other end Tim Krul has kept an excellent fifteen clean sheets compared to the eight Newcastle kept the season before.

Maybe the best way to sum up the figures is that in the 2010/11 season Newcastle’s best players came together and all played really well in a relatively small number of matches such as Villa 6-0, mackems 5-1 and the crazy second half at home to Arsenal (4-4).

In contrast, I would argue that Newcastle’s best players have came together this time around and had a real stinker on a relatively small number of occasions when they have been really punished, matches such as Spurs (0-5), Wigan (0-4) and Norwich (2-4).

Those hot spots (or cold spots) of goals in a low amount of matches superficially covers up real weaknesses in 2010/11 and alternatively a really strong season long campaign the season just ended.