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How do we assess Newcastle United when everyone is right?

It is hard to discuss Newcastle United right now. Whether you think we're in trouble or we're fine, you're right.

Steve Welsh/Getty Images

Supporting Newcastle United is an odd proposition today.  Whether you're in the "we're playing better stuff and surely the results will turn" camp or the "we're in serious trouble" camp, you're right.  Even though the club is sitting with only 7 points from 11 matches, the product on the pitch has undeniably been better, even if wasteful finishing and poor reffing decisions (among other factors) have conspired to put the team in situations where they have dropped points that they may not have otherwise.  Even though they have found themselves down to 10 men in more than a quarter of their matches so far this season, they have done almost enough to mitigate the damage from the three red cards they have received thus far, and they've looked decent doing it.

We've got to stop trading in moral victories, I wrote here. We're leading the injury table.  Again.  Take a look year over year at equivalent fixtures (specifically Stoke at home).  The results are the same, but we passed so much more! It is difficult to discuss the club currently as there doesn't seem to be a stable, sane metric by which by which to judge "progress".  If you're panicking about league position, you're right.  If you're calm because there are many matches left, you're also right.  Neither of these views, however, is an overreaction at this point.

With Newcastle facing Bournemouth on Saturday, the club are presented with an opportunity to climb out of the bottom three at the expense of the Cherries.  If they manage to do so, it may give their fans a moment to let out a breath that seems like it's been held for a period of years.  Trading in "we sure look better" becomes easier to buy into if we are making progress up the league table.  We're a string of results (both on our end and from other clubs, of course) from achieving a position of mid-table comfort from which we can more accurately assess – positive or negative – what side of the conversation in which everyone is truly right is reality.