Rafa Benitez has now been at St James Park for 365 days.

Formally agreeing to join NUFC on Friday 11 March, with Newcastle fans not quite believing that this was happening.

After suffering Pardew, Carver and McClaren, it scarcely seemed possible that a manager of the stature of Rafa Benitez saw the potential in amongst the disaster zone that had been created under Mike Ashley’s watch.

One year on and Newcastle United are now in a great position to make that instant bounce back to the Premier League.

Whilst the other relegated clubs have failed spectacularly and sacked their managers, Rafa Benitez has kept his nerve and Newcastle currently stand top of the table, nine points clear of third in the race for automatic promotion.

Thanks to the excellent efforts of Chris Holt, here is a table showing how Rafa Benitez has got on during this 12 months, comparing his opening 46 matches to the Newcastle Managers who have gone before him.

I look forward to seeing how he has got on in his second stack of 46 matches…

Rafa’s first year compared to other NUFC managers’ first 46 games since 3 points

rafa benitez

You can follow Chris on Twitter @bigchrisholt

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  • Wor Monga

    A good appraisal this… with an average 2.14 points over the next 10 games…I’d definitely take those 21pts, to give us a total of 98…I’d even take the lower (1.9) to give us another 19…

    …but it also shows the difference with Rafa (compared to others) in that he knows how to establish a level that his teams can maintain ‘consistently’ over the length of the season…that’s the hard part whereas periods of ‘highs and then lows’ during a season are relatively much easier to attain, but they’re not as effective for success, in the long term!!!

    • GToon

      Consistency? I take it you haven’t seen today’s score yet.

      • Wor Lass

        Cheap shot!

        • GToon

          Ok. It was a bit of smart comment. I am concerned tho as we might be top but we haven’t exactly set the league on fire have we. At home we play like dads against their kids, letting them have all the ball and then just expecting to win it at the end. I’m not impressed by our performance of late. Wouldn’t our players rather be attacking?

          • Wor Lass

            Yeah – it was good tactics against Huddersfield and worked perfectly but we really should be going for teams on our own patch. I`ve said nearly all season that if we finish above Huddersfield we`ll be promoted as champions.

  • Wor Lass

    I`m not surprised to see Jim Smith at the bottom of the list! A mate of mine was at the club when he was manager and said he would put ketchup on his salad! Nothing to do with football but it made me laugh (apologies to anyone out there who does the same!).

  • GToon

    I think the table doesn’t particularly reflect the history as well as it should. The team now under Rafa has premier league players in it. They are currently playing in a league where most average managers would get that team to be top 6. The team Keegan took on were nearly relegated from the old second division. He turned that group of players into one of the most exciting sides the second division and ultimately the premier league has ever seen. I don’t think I’d use the word exciting to describe this current team and their games apart from maybe two games this season. I also found the team Hughton managed to be a lot more pleasing on the eye than this lot. I just don’t expect a top of the league side to be so consistently poor in front of their own fans.

  • Tony Mckenzie

    yep Rafa stats are top but I know who’s team I’d prefer to watch !