Newcastle United's improvement from the backend of the last season was notable against Manchester City.
In fact, a 2-0 defeat has rarely showed such promise.
But it could get even better for Pardew's side this week, as their £6 million summer signing could be ready for his Premier League bow.
Indeed, Siem de Jong missed the 2-0 loss to City with a calf problem but has returned to training this week.
“I think Siem will be close next week," Pardew said after his side's defeat to Manchester City.
“Without Siem and Cheik [Tiote] – who I think will make a big difference to us – I thought we had a really good go."
And De Jong could prove crucial for the Magpies when it comes to breaking sides down, starting at Aston Villa this weekend.
Paul Lambert's men left Stoke City with a notable victory last weekend - and a creditable clean sheet. Newcastle, meanwhile, did everything but score against Man City, creating a number of clearcut chances.
Remy Cabella provided the skill, while Emmanuel Riviere provided flashes of brilliance. Jack Colback was steely and effective in midfield.
But Pardew's side were still unable to make the breakthrough. Granted, they were facing the Premier League champions. Even against them, though, De Jong might have made a difference.
The Dutchman was a goalscorer at Ajax and likes to create attacks from midfield. And the newly named vice-captain is just what Newcastle need to sort out their shyness in front of goal.