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).

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  • Milburn_Taylor

    with better players of his choice top 6 to 8 within 2 years.

  • Paul Patterson

    Discipline and hard work. That is what Rafa demands from his players. We could have done with more of the same qualities in far better sides that we’ve had down the years. It’s also why the Mitrovic’s don’t fit in.
    It’s also why we will be worth an extra point come the end of the season with our goal difference.

    • Leazes.

      Noooooooooo…. I said this before its not about goal difference at the end of the season……. its about trying to nick the points from better teams in individual games where the opposition have a stronger team.

      You cant plan a campaign to survive on goal difference!

      • pedrodelgardo

        It’s like banging your heed off a brick wall.

      • Paul Patterson

        That’s not really what I meant. I’d also argue that we give up the ghost against big teams but try to keep the score down . .

      • Goal difference does count, not only as an extra point in some cases but also for motivation.
        Rafa allowed us to stay and at least battle for a point against top sides. Matches we all remember ending 3-4-5 down under Pards and McClown.

      • Kneebotherm8

        It’s both….as Rafa has stated….

      • Cockneytrev

        It’s about trying to nick a point or 3 at the end of a game,, if your still in the game with 20 minutes to go anything could happen,, look against Man City, if it hadn’t been for Kyle walker scoring a quality goal ( his only premier goal) we could have nicked a point,,
        This is all you can do with this P1zz poor squad,, there’s not another manager could have done what he’s done with them.

  • JohnnyH

    Rafas a world class manager, we’ve been fortunate to have him here for the last three years. If he had been backed properly in those three years we could have been successful in the league and cup competitions and challenging for European football.
    This rare opportunity of success is going to pass us by when Rafa calls time on being lied to by the waste of a human life that is Mike Ashley at the end of the season.

  • Kneebotherm8

    Yeah we were easy meat under McLaren……….collapsed on a regular basis……despite him being provided with £80m worth of players……..that was a humiliatingly embarrassing period……

  • Cockneytrev

    I remember when Pardew was manager how many pastings we got..
    Rafa is excellent at instilling discipline in players ( this is why mitrovic was never played, no discipline)
    I didn’t realise how good he was tacticaly until I’d watched a few matches he was in charge of,,
    Since I started watching Newcastle we’ve had 2 world class mangers and one world class motivator in charge , Rafa is one of the world class ones.

  • Alreet

    Remember the 5-0s against city with macca and spannerdew. All the derby defeats with not an ounce of passion.

    We have drive, dicipline and tactical awareness now. We have turned a corner and we are no ones mugs. The mess we had to go through and still have to is due to the greedy slug at the top. Rafa is human but hes a bloody good manager.

    Get the place sold and let him put some wings on this plane we call toon.