When you bring in a top manager like Rafa Benitez then you can expect some expert insight into the team’s problems and hopefully how the new Manager is going to sort them.

Rafa hasn’t let us down on that first point, straight away he has identified two areas that need addressing immediately.

The new manager saying Newcastle United need to improve in two aspects….’defending and attacking’!

Hopefully he will also have the solutions because the statistics are pretty damning.

These are the clubs who have leaked the most goals so far in the Premier League:

57 Aston Villa

54 Sunderland

54 Norwich

53 Newcastle

Newcastle United have actually played two games less than Villa and Norwich, one less than Sunderland, so if everything went pear-shaped against Leicester tonight and/or the other game in hand (Man City at home) – Newcastle could have the very worst goals conceded column.

As for at the other end of the pitch, the clubs that have scored the fewest goals in the Premier League are:

22 Aston Villa

28 Newcastle

This record of course includes a shocking total of only seven goals away from home, the lowest of all 92 clubs in the top four divisions.

(These stats really make you wonder why action wasn’t taken a lot sooner, the team was failing on all fronts under Steve McClaren)

Rafa Benitez has suggested that the two aspects, defending and attacking, are very often inter-dependent.

As in, get the defending right and you often start scoring more goals with a solid reliable base behind you, whilst alternatively, if you start knocking the goals in then it can demoralise the opposition and make life easier for the defence.

Personally, of course I wouldn’t knock back a 5-0 Newcastle win tonight but realistically I would be more than happy with a 0-0 draw v Leicester.

Rafa Benitez has won a lot of praise in the past for building strong defences and if he can sort ours out to any significant degree, then we can approach the following matches against Sunderland and Norwich, with some confidence that just the odd goal might equal three points if the defence look capable of maybe keeping the relegation rivals out.

Rafa Benitez:

“We have to improve in both areas – defending and attacking. If you improve defending maybe it will be easier to score more goals.

“If you score more goals it is easier to defend because you have more confidence and the other teams lose confidence.

“In football it can be so complicated but so simple at the same time – we have to score but we have to improve the defence.”

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