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A closer look at Newcastle's season so far as Steve Bruce answers early pressure

A closer look at Newcastle's season so far as Steve Bruce answers early pressure
© Reuters
The Magpies have collected 15 points from their opening 12 games this season.

Newcastle's failure to retain the services of manager Rafael Benitez over the summer sparked uproar on Tyneside and Steve Bruce's appointment as his replacement did little to dispel the fury.

However after a worrying start, things have taken a turn for the better for the Geordie head coach, whose return from his opening 12 Premier League games stands up against those of his recent predecessors.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at the Magpies' first dozen games in each of their last 10 top-flight seasons.

2019-20

Head coach: Steve Bruce

Wins: 4

Draws: 3

Defeats: 5

Goals for: 11

Goals against: 18

Points: 15

Finishing points: ?

Finishing position: ?

After a tough run of fixtures which included a 5-0 drubbing at in-from Leicester, Bruce's men have responded to beat Manchester United, West Ham and Bournemouth to add to their earlier scalp at Tottenham.

2018-19

Manager: Rafael Benitez

Wins: 2

Draws: 3

Defeats: 7

Goals for: 9

Goals against: 15

Points: 9

Finishing points: 45

Finishing position: 13th

Benitez had to wait until the 11th game of the season to taste victory over Watford, but a strong finish to the campaign which saw his side beat eventual champions Manchester City at St James' Park helped ease them to safety.

2017-18

Rafael Benitez
It was not always plain sailing for Rafael Benitez on Tyneside (Nick Potts/PA)

Manager: Rafael Benitez

Wins: 4

Draws: 2

Defeats: 6

Goals for: 11

Goals against: 14

Points: 14

Finishing points: 44

Finishing position: 10th

Successive early victories over West Ham, Swansea and Stoke looked to have got the Magpies going, but they won only twice more before Christmas and needed big results against Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea during the second half of the campaign to secure a top-half finish.

2015-16

Head coach: Steve McClaren

Wins: 2

Draws: 4

Defeats: 6

Goals for: 13

Goals against: 22

Points: 10

Finishing points: 37

Finishing position: 18th (Relegated)

Wins over Norwich and Bournemouth did little to calm the nerves under former England boss McClaren and by the time he was replaced by Benitez with 10 games remaining, the damage was done despite a January spending spree which saw Jonjo Shelvey, Andros Townsend and Henri Saivet added to the mix.

2014-15

Alan Pardew
Alan Pardew enjoyed a decent start but did not see out the season (Adam Davy/PA)

Manager: Alan Pardew

Wins: 5

Draws: 4

Defeats: 3

Goals for: 14

Goals against: 15

Points: 19

Finishing points: 39

Finishing position: 15th

Successive victories over Leicester, Tottenham, Liverpool, West Brom and QPR got Newcastle off to a belated start, but Pardew, who had increasingly become a target for disillusioned fans, called it quits on New Year's Eve leaving number two John Carver to preside over a difficult second half of the campaign.

2013-14

Manager: Alan Pardew

Wins: 6

Draws: 2

Defeats: 4

Goals for: 17

Goals against: 17

Points: 20

Finishing points: 49

Finishing position: 10th

A return of 20 points from the first 36 available represented a solid enough start, but the £19million January sale of midfielder Yohan Cabaye to Paris St Germain – which ultimately cost director of football Joe Kinnear his job – and the club's failure to replace him proved costly.

2012-13

Manager: Alan Pardew

Wins: 3

Draws: 5

Defeats: 4

Goals for: 13

Goals against: 17

Points: 14

Finishing points: 41

Finishing position: 16th

The effects of a run to the Europa League quarter-finals bit hard into Pardew's resources and his team's league form suffered. They eventually limped across the finishing line with only arch-rivals Sunderland buffering them from the bottom three.

2011-12

Demba Ba celebrates a goal against Wolves in October 2011
Demba Ba inspired Newcastle's best start of recent years (Clint Hughes/PA)

Manager: Alan Pardew

Wins: 7

Draws: 4

Defeats: 1

Goals for: 18

Goals against: 11

Points: 25

Finishing points: 65

Finishing position: 5th

An oasis in an otherwise largely barren wasteland, the 2011-12 campaign saw a team fuelled by the goals of Demba Ba and later January signing Papiss Cisse go unbeaten in the league until the middle of November and secure their highest finish since the Sir Bobby Robson era.

2010-11

Manager: Chris Hughton

Wins: 5

Draws: 2

Defeats: 5

Goals for: 21

Goals against: 16

Points: 17

Finishing points: 46

Finishing position: 12th

Returning to the Premier league after a season in exile, Hughton's men bounced back from an opening 3-0 defeat at Manchester United to trounce Aston Villa 6-0 and later hit Sunderland for five, although the Irishman was gone by December and it was Pardew who guided them home despite the £30million sale of star striker Andy Carroll to Liverpool in January.

2008-09

Manager: Kevin Keegan/Chris Hughton/Joe Kinnear

Wins: 3

Draws: 3

Defeats: 6

Goals for: 15

Goals against: 20

Points: 12

Finishing points: 34

Finishing position: 18th (Relegated)

A season of of turmoil saw Keegan walk out after three league games to be replaced, following a brief cameo from Hughton, by the controversial Kinnear. His own departure after heart surgery prompted owner Mike Ashley to briefly hand Alan Shearer the reins, but ultimately to no avail.

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3Leicester CityLeicester22143547212645
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12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2385102234-1229
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16West Ham UnitedWest Ham2265112634-823
17Watford2358102034-1423
18Aston Villa2364132944-1522
19Bournemouth2355132036-1620
20Norwich CityNorwich2345142345-2217

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