If a manager like Steve McClaren had Newcastle’s current squad it’s likely he would have started this season much like he did two years ago with just 3 points from the first 8 league games and the first win coming after 9 games.
And Steve’s squad back then was better than the one Rafa Benitez has this season, but the difference is the experience and competence of the manager.
And the pundits have looked at our squad this season and are almost united about Newcastle (excuse the pun) in saying it’s just not good enough.
But nobody told Rafa and his players that.
Rafa Benitez is world-class, and that’s starting to show through now with Newcastle 4th top of the Premier League.
And who would have thought that would be the case after we had lost our second league game in a row at newly promoted Huddersfield in August.
Rafa Benitez – getting the best out of the squad he has
And it turns out that we have the same results in our first five games as we had last season in the Championship.
Two losses followed by three wins and 9 points from our first 5 games.
So that’s not a bad start for Newcastle this season, and it’s something we would have certainly taken before the season started.
Rafa already has half the 6 wins McClaren managed in his 28 league games in charge of Newcastle when we got a measly 24 points, and our goose was cooked.
So Rafa is really the only reason we are doing so well as he forms a good team from the players he has and improves the players and the team as the season progresses by his coaching and guidance.
Mike Ashley also has a chance to make up for Rafa’s disappointment in the summer transfer market when the club failed to get Rafa’s top choices signed.
But sometimes that happens, and Rafa has ended his complaining and is now concentrating fully on the job at hand.
And that job is to pick up wins for Newcastle – all 3 points from a game quickly makes a lot of difference for any team – as we’ve seen in the last three games.
If we can keep winning these close games like the last two against Swansea and Stoke, then we may be in a decent position by the end of the year.
And then two or three good players brought in during January will make our squad that much stronger.
The club should also work to get business done in January and not leave it all to do in the summer, when too much is often expected.
We can also move some players out in January like Jack Colback, Henri Saivet, and Sadio Haidara.
We may even have a good transfer window in January.