Date: 5th September 2019 at 7:00am
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The departure of Rafa Benitez and appointment of Steve Bruce caught many Newcastle fans by surprise, and even more were expecting the worst.

Supporters were expecting this season to be the one where their demons would yet again catch up with them following the appointment of the former Sheffield Wednesday manager, resulting in Newcastle being relegated back down to the Championship, yet, so far, that hasn’t been the case.

Four games in and the Toon stand above the relegation zone with four points from in the Premier League table, with the shock 1-0 win away to Tottenham the obvious highlight so far this season.

Indeed, Bruce’s start to life as Newcastle manager has been surprising, and even more so when you compare it to Benitez’s start to the 2018/19 campaign last year.

Comparing the two starts via results from Transfermarkt, it’s surprising to see that Bruce has faired much better in the opening four games compared to the Spaniard.

Of course, you can argue that Benitez had it harder when you see that the Champions League winning manager had to face off three of the top-six instead of two like the current Newcastle boss, yet the Magpies’ only win so far this season did come against one of these teams in the form of Spurs, whereas the current Dalian Yifang coach was held at the likes of Cardiff and lost to Chelsea.

There are still big question marks over where Newcastle can end up this season, yet four points from the opening four games is a return that the majority of Toon supporters would have taken at the start of the campaign, and the win against Spurs, which has already had major ramifications on the race for the Premier League title, must be seen as a result that can spur Bruce on when the squad return from the international break.

 
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