Three games ago we were flying high with 14 points from our first 9 league games.
But then in our last three games, we have lost all three, and our goal difference has been reduced by 5 goals in defeats to Burnley, Bournemouth and Manchester United.
So the reality is sinking in that this could be a tough season and maybe Rafa was right at the end of the summer when he was so disappointed he was not backed by owner Mike Ashley in the Premier League.
He was hoping to bring in a higher class of players than he got and that showed up on Saturday at Old Trafford – Newcastle don’t have enough top class players in the side.
Of course, they cost money – some big money these days and in Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaka Manchester United had on display two players who cost a cumulative £165M in transfer fees.
Rafa Benitez – feet firmly on the ground
We spent a net of £12M in the summer and brought in six players.
Let that one sink in for a moment.
So Rafa is well aware of the fight Newcastle are in this season against the top six clubs in the league.
We saw that big difference in class at Old Trafford on Saturday.
And Rafa has gone into some detail on the difficulties we face in the Chronicle today:
“I think you have the six teams at the top, and they are operating at a level where they are much better than the others.”
“We have to try to compete with everyone, but you have to do everything pretty much perfectly if you want to get a result against one of those sides.”
“Then, with the other teams in the league, if you play like we did in the first 30 minutes, then maybe you will get a good result.
“It is very hard to get away from the money situation. For a newly promoted team like us, it is always going to be difficult.”
“Because we haven’t had the same level of money for the last couple of years. That is a massive thing.”
“Then the teams at the top of the table, they have that money, plus all the extra money from the TV and the Champions League.”
“Plus the money they already had before. That is a big difference.”
“The money they have spent in the last five years is massive. The players they have are very good players.”
“So even if you are doing very well, if you do not take your chances, then you pay for that.”
“Afterwards, they can make substitutions and keep their level, and you have to do everything pretty much perfect.”
“For 90 minutes, that is very difficult at this ground.”
“It is difficult because they also have Lukaku around, and Pogba, and later Marouane Fellaini or Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Ander Herrera.”
“They have very good players.”
“You cannot just manage two players, you have to cover for the others and then you leave more spaces.”
Rafa is proving to be patient in a season when he was initially let down badly by Mike Ashley.
But fans are hoping and praying all this can change soon.
Amanda Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners Financial Group are working hard on due diligence as part of the acquisition process.
We hope she can soon become the new Principal Owner and everything will change for the better.
That’s the expectation today at Newcastle United that we can soon start competing with the top six clubs in England.