Last season Newcastle United ended the season on 44 points.
That was enough to see them finish in tenth place in the Premier League in the first season back after promotion.
A remarkable achievement considering Mike Ashley refused to allow Rafa Benitez to make proper investment in his team/squad.
That 44 points total was the lowest in the Premier League era to produce a top half finish but nevertheless, 44 points was a quality return from Rafa Benitez with the resources he had available to him.
Moving forward to this current season and Newcastle only have three points from the opening 10 games.
Whilst much was made early on of a tough set of opening fixtures, fans and neutrals alike are now looking at the current failings of the squad in a more realistic light.
A bit too simplistic though now to put a lack of points just down to playing some of the better teams in the early games.
Having also now played Palace, Cardiff, Leicester, Brighton and Southampton, there is a more rounded feel to the range of matches completed.
As it stands now, Newcastle have seven games remaining against ‘big six’ clubs and 21 (11 home and 10 away) against the other 13 clubs.
Last season Newcastle picked up zero points from away games at the big six clubs and I find it hard to see that changing this time, as for the home matches, Rafa’s team still have Liverpool, Man City and Man Utd to play. Personally, I would see next to no chance of getting anything off Man City or Liverpool, whilst I doubt very much if we would see anything close to that shambolic Man U first half display at Old Trafford, repeated at St James Park.
Bottom line then, to beat last season’s 44 points total, Newcastle United need 42 points. Already that works out at two points on average from each of those 21 matches against the non-big six clubs, or to put it another way, NUFC would have to win two thirds (14) of those 21 games to reach 45 points.
Sad to say but already we are way past having any expectation of getting anywhere close to beating last season’s points total.
Instead we are looking at a war of attrition for the rest of the campaign, along with the hope there proves to be three worse teams.
Newcastle are really up against it and we need to find players who can step up to create and score the goals that are desperately missing at the moment.
Apart from a steady, usually disciplined defence, Newcastle are finding themselves lacking, especially with pace and natural goalscorers.
If what we are watching is the natural level of ability of this NUFC team, then you have to fear the worst.
Instead, you can also have a certain level of hope that missing momentum and confidence could be possibly cured with a few positive results.
Time is running out.