It was a bit of a reality check for Rafa Benitez and his players on Monday night.
After four wins in a row and picking up 16 points from a possible 21, Newcastle lost to Everton.
A solid enough performance but in a tight game with two defensively minded formations, the extra bit of quality and creativity was missing, with attacking space at a premium.
It was only the second time in 2018 where Newcastle had failed to score in the Premier League, ironically that other occasion was only a decent misplaced pass away from Goodison Park, over at Anfield.
Rafa Benitez was asked after the final whistle, what made the difference between the two teams?
This was what he had to say:
“Do the numbers.
“If you do the numbers then it is very easy.
“The difference is that they have players with experience in the Premier League.
“I don’t know how much they spent this year exactly…but it’s very simple.
“For us to come here and [people] expect us to beat them, it is not easy.”
The Newcastle boss when talking about ‘numbers’ was obviously referring to the gap in both wages and transfer fees that Everton and Newcastle are paying out.
Rafa Benitez has already said that he wasn’t able to compete with even Huddersfield or Brighton when it came to transfer fees and wages, so little chance then of competing with the £100,000+ per week that the likes of Walcott and Rooney are getting.
As for transfer fees, just look at this Everton v Newcastle comparison below.
Figures are from the specialist Transfermarkt website and are the transfer fees paid out on all 22 players who started the game at Goodison last night:
So basically, the Everton starting 11 saw £159m spent on transfer fees, whilst Newcastle’s is over a third less on £50m.
There are other striking aspects, particularly the fact that Newcastle are relying on three loan players to get by at the minute and have indeed arguably saved us from possible relegation.
In fact, if you take out Lejeune, Ritchie and Shelvey, the other eight players have seen Newcastle pay out only £16m when it comes to buying players.
It gets worse, as not even starting last night for various reasons, Everton also have £44m Sigurdsson, £24m Klaassen and £16.1m Niasse in their squad.
Michael Owen is still Newcastle’s record buy, costing £16m thirteen years ago, by my reckoning Everton have at least nine players in their squad, six who started, who all cost more than that Owen record NUFC fee.
Actually, when you look at the rest of this Everton starting eleven, as well as the six who all cost £20m+ each, you also have Rooney who may not have cost a fee but has that massive pay deal.
It is also deceptive with three of their back four, as Coleman, Jagielka and Baines may not have cost that much in fees – but all three were signed at least 10 years ago and have been great servants to the club.
Money isn’t everything but as Rafa Benitez says…Do the numbers!
(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the game HERE)
(To read the match ratings on all Newcastle players after this defeat go HERE)
(Sam Allardyce up to usual tricks with post-match comments – Read HERE)
(Everton legend destroys Allardyce’s laughable claims – Read HERE)
(DeAndre Yedlin has his say after the defeat at Everton – Read HERE)
(Rafa Benitez says ‘Do the numbers’ after losing at Goodison – Read HERE)