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Keys to Newcastle's surprising success

Updated: November 2, 2011, 9:48 AM ET
By Michael Cox | Special to ESPN.com

In the buildup to British television's coverage of the Stoke versus Newcastle game Monday night, Gary Neville -- now a pundit, and a very good one at that -- was saying how much more difficult it is to play an offside trap in modern football, compared to when he started out. With so much squad rotation, he said, it is a lot harder to get a settled backline that works instinctively as a unit.

Newcastle is supporting his case: It currently has the best defensive record in ...

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