It is truly remarkable just how well Rafa Benitez has done, when asked to take on the other relegation strugglers.
In 12 games against other Premier League clubs who are now in the bottom half of the table, Newcastle have accumulated 21 points, an average of 1.75 points per game.
Just look at what this astonishing table shows here, as Newcastle have six wins three draws and only three defeats when taking on these bottom half of the table teams.
No other team in the bottom half can beat Newcastle’s/Rafa’s 1.75 points per game when playing their lower rivals.
In fact, if you take out fellow promoted clubs Huddersfield and Brighton, who are 11th and 12th in the current Pl table and who both had a net spend of over £40m in the summer transfer window, almost four times higher than Newcastle…
The stats are even more remarkable.
Against the established Premier League clubs who currently fill 14th to 20th in the PL table, Newcastle have a record of played nine, won six, drawn two and lost one.
Sadly, against teams who are higher than Newcastle in the table (1st to 12th) Newcastle United have only taken two points from a possible 33.
When you come up against better quality, effort and organisation are sadly not quite enough.
Is it too simplistic to think that if Rafa Benitez had the same resources of clubs higher up the table, he could more than match them?
It will be a travesty if Newcastle fans never get to find out.