In a game we thought we had a decent chance of winning we lost 2-1 this afternoon at home to Arsenal for our fourth defeat in our first five league games.
And that’s the fifth defeat in our first six games after we lost in the League Cup at Nottingham Forest.
That’s one point from five games, and we remain in the bottom three and could even be rock bottom after tomorrow’s games.
Even three years ago under the hapless Steve McClaren, we had 2 points after five games played so this is the worst start to a Premier League season ever for the club – after five games played.
But Newcastle played well in the first half and we were attacking and had our chances to score but it was 0-0 at the break and things were looking quite good for us.
One negative was that Lascelles had to go off injured and was replaced by Ciaran Clark.
But Arsenal were better in the second half and goals from Xhaka after 49 minutes, from 25 yards out and an Ozil goal 9 minutes later were enough to beat Newcastle in our third successive home defeat.
Both goals were hit on the volley with their left foot.
Xhaka scored the first goal for Gunners
Ciaran Clark scored with a header in stoppage time, but it was too late.
It was another sell-out crowd, and many will be worried now that we could go back down.
But we have to remember four of the first five games have been against top-six opposition, so we have to hope for the best – but we must start winning games soon.
Remember that Crystal Palace lost their first nine games last season but still survived comfortably at the end of the season.
Something that we think may be risky is that fans protested against owner Mike Ashley outside the stadium’s club shop before the game.
Not sure we should demonstrate at the ground although it’s clear who the pantomime villain is – it’s owner Mike Ashley who refuses to spend the club’s money to strengthen the team.
He runs the club on a shoestring.
For this game, Benitez had surprisingly recalled former Arsenal player Isaac Hayden, and Joselu was up front instead of Salomon Rondon.
Jacob Murphy was on the left wing in place of the out-of-form Kenedy.
As we said Newcastle, looked more comfortable in the first half against an Arsenal side who were made to struggle and it 0-0 at the break, and we looked like we could go on and get our first win of the season.
Jamaal Lascelles was injured and replaced by Republic of Ireland International Ciaran Clark.
But then in the second half Arsenal improved their game and Xhaka scored from all of 25 yards out.
Shortly after that Ozil added a second putting the ball into the net with that left foot of his after a shot from former Newcastle target Alexandre Lacazette had been blocked.
It was a poor goal to concede, and you cannot fall asleep against teams like Arsenal who have some great players in their side.
Rafa made the changes after that with Kenedy replacing Murphy, and Japanese International Yoshinori Muto coming on for Ritchie.
Clark then headed a goal in stoppage time, so we have been beaten 2-1 by four of the top six sides we have faced so far this season – Spurs, Chelsea, Manchester City and now Arsenal.
Fans cannot be too upbeat after this home defeat but we have to keep supporting Rafa and the lads – if not Mike Ashley – who has once again got us into another mess.
Newcastle: Dubravka; Yedlin, Lascelles (Clark, 46), Fernandez, Dummett; Diame, Hayden; Ritchie (Muto, 79), Perez, Murphy (Kenedy, 69); Joselu.
Subs not used: Darlow, Manquillo, Shelvey, Rondon.
Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis, Monreal, Xhaka, Guendouzi, Ramsey, Ozil, Aubameyang (Mkhitaryan, 69), Lacazette.
Subs not used: Leno, Elneny, Torreira, Lichtsteiner, Holding, Welbeck.
Goals: Xhaka 49, Ozil 57, Clark 90
Referee: Lee Probert (Gloucestershire)