Alan Shearer has claimed he could have picked six Newcastle United players in his Premier League team of the season so far, stopping short with ‘just’ five instead.

Newcastle are the surprise package of the season up to the break for the World Cup, with Eddie Howe’s side surpassing all expectations from pre season.

Whilst their rapid rise has been anticipated, since their Saudi Arabian owners took over last year, no one thought they’d do so well, so quickly.

Their win over Chelsea, in the final Premier League weekend before the World Cup, in which referee Rob Jones appeared to push Christian Pulisic late in a contentious game, saw them stay in third place, just two points below Manchester City.

However, that’s probably the only thing that the team can be criticised for, aside from the nefarious means of their owners, and especially in defence they’ve been imperious.

With only 11 goals conceded, no team have conceded fewer than Howe’s side, with league leaders Arsenal having conceded the same amount.

So it’s perhaps not that surprising to see a few of their players in a team of the season so far, but Magpies’ former boss Shearer has gone further, including Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier, Fabian Schar, Bruno Guimaraes and Miguel Almiron.

One fan accused the former striker of being biased, replying, “Newcastle legend makes a team of the season so far with SIX Newcastle players in it. Shock.”

However, Shearer replied himself to the message on social media, hinting that he could have included yet another player from St James’ Park, saying, “Should have been 6 but only 5!!”

We can’t be sure who the extra player the Newcastle legend wanted to pick was but Dan Burn might have been the one, considering his recent form that even had some calling for him to be in the England squad.

Arsenal fans were most perturbed at the sight of only two of their players in the team, with William Saliba and Granit Xhaka the only pair picked.

They had a very good argument that Ben White should have been included, for example, considering their similar goals conceded record and the fact they’re top of the table.

Manchester United fans were also calling for Lisandro Martinez to be included, with the former Blackburn Rovers striker once again pointing to the stats.

Almiron celebrates the winner against Chelsea. Image: AlamyChris Sutton thinks that the two should switch because of their positions in the Premier League table, a method that doesn’t seem sustainable if they keep switching positions.

Perhaps with Howe’s side being the only team in Newcastle, and the team from Old Trafford having Manchester City in their region, it remains sensible to refer to Newcastle United as Newcastle and Manchester United as United, depending on the context of course.