Comparing and contrasting the Premier League table after 10 games, with how it looked last season at the same point, gives us some interesting pointers.
Of course the most glaring thing for Newcastle fans is that after losing 1-0 at Burnley on 30 October 2017, NUFC had 14 points from 10 games.
This compares to the paltry three points from 10 matches Newcastle currently have.
Difficult to look past that massive negative BUT there are reasons to be feeling, if not exactly cheerful, at least positive that Rafa’s team can get out of trouble.
2018/19 Premier League table after 10 matches:
2017/18 Premier League table after 10 matches:
As you can see, of the bottom eight at the minute, Newcastle have played three of them. All the games were away from home and Newcastle are unbeaten against these fellow relegation strugglers and haven’t conceded a goal against Palace, Cardiff and Southampton.
Looking at last season’s Premier League table after 10 matches, it is also a positive that none of the three in the relegation zone ended up going down. Instead it was the teams in 14th, 15th and 17th after 10 games who were relegated.
Newcastle United have been poor this season but they are not alone. Last season the bottom eight clubs had accumulated 69 points between them after 10 matches, this season that figure is only 47 points.
At the moment, Newcastle are only two points off fourth bottom, last season if they’d had only three points NUFC would have been already five points adrift of safety.
This season NUFC are only five points off 13th after 10 games, whereas last season it would have been a nine point gap for any club with only three points.
Yesterday was a terrible match at Southampton and difficult to take many positives, with not a single shot on target.
However, looking at the info above, I do think there is room for optimism that Rafa Benitez can get Newcastle out of trouble.
We are one of eight clubs from West Ham down, that could all potentially go down.
Four points or better from these next two home games against Watford and Bournemouth would do wonders.
They are both doing well but if Rondon can get fully fit by next Saturday and the whole team step it up, there is a clear path towards heading for safety.