​If you are a Newcastle fan, you probably didn't start the season with too much optimism. With the side having lost Rafael Benitez as well as their two top scorers from last season in Ayoze Perez and Salomon Rondon over the summer, it was difficult to see too many positives. 


Many were tipping the team for relegation.


Yet with four games gone, the side have a win under their belts and are outside the bottom three. For now.


Here is a review of how the opening month went for the Magpies.


Best Player

Fabian Schar

Martin Dubravka has been impressive in goal, stepping up when needed as Newcastle pulled off a shock 1-0 victory over Tottenham. Joelinton also got off the mark in that game, with his first Premier League goal sealing the win.


Yet it is Fabian Schar who gets the nod on this occasion. The Switzerland international was one of Newcastle's better performers in the second half of last season, and he has continued that form into the current campaign.


After a shaky start on the opening day against Arsenal, Schar has been dependable in the following three games and scored the equaliser to earn his side a point at home to Watford. Newcastle will need him to continue this form if they are to remain clear of the relegation zone.


Worst Player

Miguel Angel Almiron

There was plenty of excitement on Tyneside when Miguel Almiron joined the club for a record transfer fee back in January. Over seven months on, he is still looking for his first goal.


Having joined from Atlanta United, it was always likely to take the Paraguayan forward time to settle into life in England, but there is no doubt that it has been a disappointing start to his Premier League career.


The 25-year-old clearly possesses talent and has moments in games which offer hope. The problem is that there are not enough of those moments. He is yet to be directly involved in a goal for the club, signalling how his end product must improve.


Best Performance

Joelinton,Fabian Schar

Not a hard one to decide. Newcastle had lost their opening two games of the season, whilst Tottenham were coming off the back of a fortuitous but hard-earned point against Manchester City. As the Mapgies headed to north London there was surely only one result coming.


Or perhaps not.


Newcastle produced a resilient display to hold off a lacklustre Tottenham side, securing a 1-0 away win. Joelinton took his goal with minimal fuss, whilst the defence were outstanding, remaining disciplined in keeping Harry Kane and co quiet.


The next challenge for Steve Bruce's men is to prove that this was not just a one-off.


Worst Performance

Teemu Pukki,Emiliano Buendia

Travelling to Norwich for their opening home game of the season was never going to be easy. With the Canaries returning to the top flight for the first time since 2016, it was bound to be an electric atmosphere at Carrow Road.


Still, Newcastle should have handled the occasion better. Norwich were the superior side from the outset and dominated the opening half. That pattern continued after the break, with Teemu Pukki netting a hat-trick in a 3-1 victory for the hosts.


Jonjo Shelvey's late consolation goal could not cover up what was a miserable afternoon for the Toon Army. Performances like this are exactly why Newcastle could face a battle to avoid relegation this season.


Best Goal

Joelinton

There are only three to choose from, but the best of the lot was Joelinton's winner against Spurs.


When Christian Atsu picked the ball up midway inside ​Tottenham's half, there appeared to be little danger. However, he strode forward purposefully and picked out a lovely through ball for Joelinton, who controlled well and and finished beyond Hugo Lloris.


Atsu's vision alongside Joelinton's clever movement enabled a well-constructed goal and was a rare moment of exciting play from a team that often struggles to create many chances.


Rating

Steve Bruce

Four points from four games may not seem like much, but most Newcastle supporters would have taken it at the start of the season.


Having already faced Arsenal and Tottenham, it was always going to be a tricky beginning to the campaign for Newcastle. 


Yet other than a poor showing against Norwich, the team have produced three respectable displays, earning roughly the number of points that they would have hoped for from those fixtures. A solid start, let's see if they can build on it.


Rating: 5/10