The Newcastle fans have been suitably impressed this season.

Whilst the NUFC side isn’t quite the ‘Championship team’ that many pundits/experts have trotted out, the supporters know that to get Premier League safety with at least a month to spare, was some achievement.

There have been plenty of highs and lows over the course of the season and indeed the recent form or four wins followed by four defeats couldn’t have summed it up better.

The final day was glorious for Newcastle fans, hammering Chelsea in the sunshine, seeing the team end up in the top half of the Premier League table.

Now we know that Mike Ashley will grasp any reason for not spending money in the transfer market, pointing to any positive in order to question why there is such a desperate need for strengthening.

I am just a little worried that a lot of Newcastle fans are now inadvertently giving him one of these reasons not to finally break the NUFC transfer record that has stood for 13 years already.

Finishing in the top half was an excellent psychological lift for everybody connected to Newcastle United but the devil is in the detail.

The excellent (unofficial) NUFC stats man @bigchrisholt coming up with this cracking stat:

This doesn’t make ending up 10th a negative but it does show that the reality is that points are a much better reflection of how well a team has done.

These are the Premier League finishes during the Mike Ashley era:

43 – 2007/08 – 12th

34 – 2008/09 – 18th

(102 – 2009/10 – 1st in Championship)

46 – 2010/11 – 12th

65 – 2011/12 – 5th

41 – 2012/13 – 16th

49 – 2013/14 – 10th

39 – 2014/15 – 15th

37 – 2015/16 – 18th

(94 – 2016/17 – 1st in Championship)

44 – 2017/18 – 10th

If you look at the last time Newcastle were promoted, they actually got two more points (46) but ended up two places lower.

In Ashley’s first season in charge (2007/08), Newcastle were 12th with 43 points but it would have taken 50 points to get above West Ham who were 10th.

Looking at the above stats, Rafa’s 44 points is the fourth highest of Mike Ashley’s nine seasons in the Premier League, credit to Rafa although it just sums up what a low bar the fat controller has set.

Obviously a lot of water to flow under the Tyne Bridge before next season kicks off and we anxiously wait for Rafa to confirm he is staying.

However, if he gets any kind of realistic backing, I reckon 50 points is the target for next season – a total that pretty much guarantees you top half and starts getting you looking up at the top six in the distance.

If Newcastle had hit 50 points (two wins from those late games against Everton, West Brom and Watford???), then that would have given Rafa Benitez eighth spot this season, which would have been four points behind Burnley in seventh, 13 points behind Arsenal in sixth and 25 points behind Liverpool in fourth…

With Rafa we could make progress each season and who knows just how quickly that progress might be, if he is given the opportunity?

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  • fistsofsteel2

    The difference in points from tenth spot to fifth spot – 26pts, and tenth to top spot – 56pts, simply demonstrates how imbalanced the league is and how money has ruined it being an honest competition. The truth is, despite finishing tenth, we were far closer points wise to the teams relegated than the top five teams.
    Sadly Ashley knows if he can get Rafa to stay we’ll be safe again next season, and thus won’t really spend any more money. If he does spend it will inevitably be on the back of selling some of our better players………which means starting again for Rafa, rather than improving on the base he’s built with this squad.

    • Peaky

      It’s also noticeable that only the final top six had a plus goal difference….and by a significant margin to Burnley who’s was minus three.

  • Leazes.

    1. ‘Reality Check’ is the same meaningless phrase as ‘Common Sense’ is the same as ‘End of’…. is the same as ‘Shut it only my view is right’.

    2. That isn’t a ‘stat’ its a ‘figure’

    3. You really are an ignoramus.

    • Wor Lass

      Cheer up, you`ve only got about 13 weeks to go to the big kick off. Just think, 13 weeks of being told who`s on our radar, who might be buying the club, how Mike could be about to give Rafa Squillions of dough, how Jonjo and Jamaal should have been at the world cup, how great Wor Flags are, how Mitro should/shouldn`t be given another chance and how the Hoss`s fantastic pre-season tour of Andorra makes him like a “new signing”. Life couldn`t get any better.

      • Leazes.

        I don’t think any other club is surrounded by this level of stupidity, it protects it from change, I mean now is it deliberate click-bating designed to annoy? Is that why there isn’t a single Northumbrian surname amongst the writers (apart from Swan) Is Jensen just drafting in students of media studies from god knows where to rack up the hits?

        It has the unfortunate effect of blanketing the truth, confusing the easily confused and distracting from debate and analysis…. just look at Ryder and the Mag writers who wanted Shelvey out for gods sake!

        These people aren’t friends of United, their allegiance is to themselves. When the Mag started it did so as an alternative voice….that was the ‘tag-line’ and because the Chronicle and the rest wouldn’t say bloody boo to a goose.

        We’ve had 11 years of Ashley thanks to these fools, yes they are to blame along with the so called professional media!

        • Wor Lass

          I`m going to lie down in a darkened room!