Rafa Benitez has now been in charge at Newcastle United for 33 months.
Since March 2016 he has taken charge of 109 league matches with NUFC.
Even after all of this time, some people still don’t learn.
Whether it is media or indeed some of our own fans, you repeatedly hear the same thing when the team are struggling and/or up against the better quality clubs.
Talk of Newcastle getting ‘hammered’.
Reality is that it just doesn’t happen under Rafa Benitez, or at least it happens so rarely that it does stand out.
This is the Rafa Benitez record at Newcastle United:
Played 10 Won 3 Drawn 4 Lost 3
Number of goals lost by: 1 (3 times) 2 (0 times) 3 (0 times)
Played 46 Won 29 Drawn 7 Lost 10
Number of goals lost by: 1 (7 times) 2 (3 times) 3 (0 times)
Played 38 Won 12 Drawn 8 Lost 18
Number of goals lost by: 1 (12 times) 2 (4 times) 3 (2 times)
Played 15 Won 3 Drawn 4 Lost 8
Number of goals lost by: 1 (6 times) 2 (2 times) 3 (1 time)
In total for Rafa Benitez at Newcastle United:
Played 109 Won 47 Drawn 23 Lost 39
Number of goals lost by: 1 (28 times) 2 (8 times) 3 (3 times)
The bottom line is that Rafa Benitez doesn’t let this Newcastle team get humiliated, even though he has been starved of the resources needed to improve the team/squad.
The three occasions when Newcastle have lost by three goals in the 109 league games so far under Rafa, are last weekend against West Ham, as well as the two games within a week of each other last season, a 4-1 defeat at old Trafford and then 3-0 at home to Watford. You are always going to get the odd game when things go wrong.
However, overall Rafa Benitez instills a real professional edge in his team, with discipline to stick to his game plan an essential.
With better players…who knows?
What we do know is Rafa insists our team aren’t made mugs of too often.
As a comparison, in the past two seasons Sunderland were beaten by three or more goals on 12 occasions, seven times in the Premier League (Everton, Arsenal, Swansea, Burnley, Southampton, Man Utd and Chelsea) and five times in the Championship (Barnsley, Ipswich, Sheff Utd, Cardiff and Villa).
Also, before Rafa Benitez arrived, in Steve McClaren’s last 21 PL matches, Newcastle were beaten by three or more goals on six occasions (Man City 6 Newcastle 1, Sunderland 3 Newcastle 0, Palace 5 Newcastle 1, Everton 3 Newcastle 0, Newcastle 0 Leicester 3, Chelsea 5 Newcastle 1).