Newcastle United have found life back in the Premier League tough.

A disappointing summer 2017 transfer window saw Rafa Benitez badly undermined by Mike Ashley.

Rather than significantly increasing the quality of his team, the United boss was forced to use the limited cash to make sure his squad was strong enough, as a host of players left.

Little wonder then that Newcastle have this record against the top half of the Premier League so far this season:

Played 10 Won 0 Drawn 1 Lost 9  – Averaging 0.1 point per game (Liverpool at home the only point gained in a 1-1 draw)

In addition, Newcastle have only scored five goals in the 10 matches against teams in the top 10 of the top tier, with a sizeable 20 goals conceded.

However, if Rafa Benitez’ remit was to compete against their rivals at the bottom end, then he has certainly achieved that.

Just look at this table below of matches between the clubs in the bottom half of the Premier League, up to and including the games on New Year’s day.

The table has been published by @bigchrisholt (with thanks to Newcastle fan @dave_leeds).

Newcastle United, top of the table when it comes to relegation scraps!

premier league

As you can see, Newcastle have played 12 matches so far against other bottom half of the table clubs, picking up an excellent 21 points from a possible 36, at a rate of 1.75 points per game.

Six games won (Stoke, West Ham and Palace at home – Stoke, West Ham and Swansea away), three drawn (Brighton home, West Brom and Southampton away), with three defeats (Bournemouth at home – Brighton and Huddersfield away).

What these stats tell me is a number of things.

Rafa Benitez has managed to use his experience to enable his team to outperform clubs who have squads/teams that are on the same level as Newcastle, or a little bit better.

However, Newcastle just don’t have the quality to hurt better teams, lacking the creativity and goalscorers that were desperately needed to be brought in last summer.

The need for strengthening is desperate, despite seven points from nine against relegation rivals over the festive period, giving everybody a boost.

The harsh reality is that only six of the 16 remaining games are against the nine other clubs in the bottom half, with 10 to play against top half performers.

This is one occasion where the stats most definitely don’t lie.

  • Rich Lawson

    As someone else has commented previously,there are two divisions within the Prem’. That’s life without a new owner or significant funds (lol).

    • TheNutJob

      3, the top 6, then we have 8 who are average, then the 6 at the bottom who are rubbish

      • Rich Lawson

        So we’re not far off 2nd division status ? Good news for the New Year.

    • Mitros gotta start

      Or a manager that can work with the dross we have at the club and get them playing as a team that gives it ago instead of parking the bus at home to the mighty brighton.

      • Geordiegiants

        You are getting extremely boring Clarko!

        • Mitros gotta start

          Clarko or moose?

          • Geordiegiants

            You are Clarko no doubt, your little charade has just proven it, there isn’t anyone thick enough to fall for that.

          • Mitros gotta start


  • Salty

    as we’ve played 2 games more against the bottom half teams than most of our rivals it also suggests we need to pick up a higher points ratio against the top half teams in the run in. That said, 5 more wins and a couple of draws should see us safe so getting in 2-3 better players will sort this out

  • David Dutch

    Given these stats we need not worry about relegation we are already relegated. Six games against bottom 10 teams at 1.75 pts = 10.5 pts 10 games against top ten teams @ 0.1 pts = 1 point add together plus our existing points = 33 pts. Could be a good exercise to calculate what the bottom 10 stats are and see what they finish with at the end of the season using the same type of calculations using their existing stats. We need to spend in January and ask will fat man panic to protect his investment or gamble with a chance of losing. I still believe that there are 4 or 5 teams worse than us in the division or am I too optimistic.

    • Wor Lass

      We`ll need Clarko to crunch those numbers through his Godly cranium and then tell us what`s wrong with them.

  • Danimal

    Tenth placed Watford are sinking like a stone, so they should be a bottom half team by the time we play them. Burnley at home is a possible too. I think the next match (Swansea) is crucial. Momentum and all that.

  • kingfisher

    I would take big Andy from West Ham on loan.2 goals last night.If he can steer clear of injuries,he’s got to be worth a punt ?

    • Paul Smith

      Why would he suddenly have got better at avoiding injuries as he gets older ? And he hadn’t scored in his previous 12 appearances. If West Ham thought he could avoid injury I can’t think why they would be willing to loan him to a relegation rival either.