Rafa Benitez joins a rare group of Newcastle United managers who have the universal/unanimous support of Newcastle fans.

Kevin Keegan had it and Sir Bobby Robson also did, whilst Chris Hughton maybe came close in very difficult circumstances.

However, Rafa Benitez is certainly up there with KK and Sir Bobby when it comes to the confidence of supporters.

Despite this, there has been an increasing debate about tactics and team selection, even though Newcastle United go into 2017 at the top of the league.

It isn’t so much that Newcastle fans think Rafa Benitez is necessarily wrong – more that some of then maybe believe that he could be doing even better with what is at his disposal.

Maybe on the eve of this new year, a good time to have a look at these set of statistics, that measure the achievements of Newcastle United and their Manager not just up against their Championship rivals – but also up against those of all teams in the top four divisions.

The stats are via the excellent @bigchrisholt twitter account (up to and including matches on 30 December 2016):

Goals scored 2016/17

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Goal difference 2016/17

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Games won ratio 2016/17

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Not doing too bad then…