After yesterday’s marvellous, marvellous win against Manchester United, Gary Neville said of Newcastle United that ”they have been on a terrible run”.

I find that sort of statement utterly mind-boggling.

Do these ‘experts’ even look at the facts before they bandy about their sloppy, cliched, damaging generalisations?

Benitez’ chronically under-funded team have only lost two times in their last nine games, and those  losses were both two against Manchester City.

It’s a record that means Rafa Benitez and his squad have picked up a very steady 13 points in their last nine games.

Granted, there were three underwhelming home draws in that ten game run – against Brighton, Swansea and Burnley – but they are surely more than made up for by superb, battling away wins against West Ham and Stoke.

Forgive the nightmare vision I’m about to conjure, but I suspect that if Gary Neville were managing a relegation candidate, and he’d picked up nine points with no defeats from those five games…

He would be trumpeting his unbearable success from the Mancunian rooftops like some kind of demonically-possessed, Sky-Sports-plumaged macaw.

Roy Hodgson said recently that clubs seeking to avoid relegation don’t lose points, they only gain them.

By that logic, those three home draws are disappointing, but they’re not disastrous. They should perhaps be thought of as three points gained, rather than six points lost.

In other words, Gary Neville may think Benitez’s recent record has been “terrible”, but there’s a clear case to argue that it’s been evidence of experienced, astute management; a well-organised team working hard to gradually accumulate the points they need to stay up.

Benitez’s argument that Newcastle have been unlucky not to pick up even more points, holds water too. He might be accused of being a little overly-negative in home games against bottom-half teams, but a late Darlow own goal against Burnley aside, and they’d have hit the 30 point mark by now.

Newcastle fans have plenty of cause for optimism, and their victory against Manchester United was so significant, that it led bookmakers to push them out to seventh favourites for the drop.

The average points-per-game of 1.03 has Rafa’s team on track for a 39 points total this season.

They have got the firepower of Islam Slimani still waiting to come into the team.

Southampton, Huddersfield and West Brom are still yet to visit St. James Park.

Plus the Magpies have got the most stellar managerial name in the bottom-=half of the league.

Could they be in an even better position with a little more positivity at home? Perhaps.

Will they stay up anyway?

It will be tight but the signs are good.

Has their recent run been “terrible” Gary Neville?

Anything but.

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  • East Durham Mag

    That little face….. could slap it for hour’s.

    • Scott Robinson

      Neville’s or Leazes?

      • East Durham Mag

        Definitely Nevilles

      • Wor Lass

        Nice one!

    • Peaky Magpie

      Looking at it I think somebody has already beat you to it….

  • Leazes.

    First home win since October….. is pretty terrible.

    • Danimal

      Usually agree with you (re. abysmal stewardship of our club) but let’s be right. First 9 games, 14 points. Most recent 9 games, 13 points. Yes, 2 of our last 3 wins have been away from home. Still a good return on those 9 fixtures, more than most would have expected. Also, very unlucky not to get more than 1 point from Everton. Leicester, Burnley and Bournemouth home matches. Probably on the lucky side yesterday but it had to even out at some point. We’re not in bad form, only Swansea have done better since Christmas.

  • Rich Lawson

    Buy hotels in Manc’s with your other smug pals from whatever year,chuck a few quid into a non league team with them for fun,but you had your chance at management with Valencia and were useless.You were a good full back,buts that it,shut up.

  • Martin Rooney

    It is a terrible run, when you consider we are a better team than Burnley, Swansea and Brighton, playing better than them in all though’s matches save for the finishing we were dominant against all threee and had Burnley not had the ref on their side, with Barnes who should have been off twice, then I’m sure we’d be higher up the table. That’s not down to Rafa though

    • Dillon Tovak

      In another article our season will be described as terrible, but authors like this can’t hear it said from the outside.
      Yet another claim someone has “embarrassed themselves” criticising Newcastle.

    • Danimal

      We’ve not had a player sent off against us in four years, I think it’s pushing it to expect one player to be sent off against us twice in the same match. Let’s not start on penalties, is there a single match this season when Palace haven’t had one?

  • Martin

    Perhaps he meant that we hadn’t won at home for four months.

  • robbersdog

    The fact that we were in the bottom 3 before kick-off suggests that Gary Neville was absolutely right.

  • John Fenwick

    Since Arsenal we’ve won 3, drew 4 and lost twice against the billionaires from east Manchester. Yesterday was significant becauae we won for the first time against a side in the top half of the table. Before yesterday, my assessment of a maximum 10 points from our last 12 matches now looks shameful……

    • Cockneytrev

      I gave us nine,, so don’t beat yourself up ,,

      • Wor Lass

        Me too!

        • Big Al 1967

          I gave us twelve with a defeat yesterday. We are ahead of schedule!!

          • Danimal

            Three unexpected bonus points. 10 or 12 to get.

  • Paul Busby

    Gary “gives no credit to the better team on the day” Neville.

  • Danimal

    The “terrible form” comment (which I didn’t hear) was lazy but I thought he was surprisingly very fair in his commentary. Definitely a pen, embarrassing dive for the crucial free kick, Shelvey MOM etc etc. I wish we could have a tv match that is not covered by a fan/ex-player of the other team but credit where it’s due, he was very professional and impartial I think.

  • Paul Smith

    Reading these forums and the chronicles it seems a like many of our fans agree with him.. I don’t personally but it’s not hard to see why an outsider could be misinformed.