The good news is that we have won seven of ten total games played, so that’s a 70% win rate and good in anybody’s book.
The bad news with Newcastle so far is that we have lost three of our first eight league games in all competitions.
Compared to how we did six years ago when last we were down in the Championship, we have 15 points from the first eight games – whereas Chris Hughton’s Newcastle had taken 19 points from the first eight games.
Rafa Benitez – started quite well
That was six wins and one draw and just one defeat at Blackpool and then manager Ian Holloway.
We had a goal difference then of +9 whereas we have a goal difference today of +10.
Here’s the comparison so far.
We’ll track how we do against Chris’ record six years ago, but it does seem the Championship is now much stronger than it was six years ago.
So we probably should drop our expectations just a little bit – as Rafa said in Monday’s press conference – this is not a parade (to the Championship title).
One advantage with Rafa is that he goes all out to win every single game – so while we may have more than the four defeats suffered by Chris’s side in the 46 games in 2009-2010, when we won 30 and drew 12 – we could also win more games.
There will probably be less than the 12 draws we had six years ago, although Rafa’s philosophy in a game is if you cannot win – don’t lose.
We’ll have to see how it goes.
In the League Cup back in 2009 we had beaten Huddersfield 4-3, but then we lost in the 3rd round 2-0 at Peterborough, so we were out of the League Cup at this time six years ago.
Of course in those days the cups were not important to Newcastle and were definitely second priority – that’s no longer the case under Rafa Benitez.
We have started well under Rafa, especially when you consider the first two games were both shock defeats and Rafa’s goal is for the team to get better and better as the season progresses.