When the fixture list, for the 2018 / 2019 season came out, it was obvious from viewing it that Newcastle hadn’t been given the best of starts.
The first five fixtures contained games against four of the so-called big six, games Newcastle would do well to get anything from.
Unfortunately, that is exactly as it has turned out, with the four games against the so-called big-six (Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal) all being lost.
Newcastle’s only reward from the opening salvo of games being a draw away to newly-promoted Cardiff City.
However, things will get better as Newcastle go head-to-head with sides that they are capable of matching blow-for-blow.
Following the loss to Arsenal, at St James Park, Rafael Benitez, as reported by the BBC, did his best to put on a brave face.
Taking about the first forty-five minutes, a period in which Newcastle troubled Arsenal, Benitez has this to say:
“We did really well in the first half. The feeling was we could get something, then we conceded an early goal – two moments of quality and it is difficult for us. The first half we were creating and pushing but you have to take your chances.”
Indeed you do, this league tells you from a very early stage that you have to be clinical with your finishing, as Arsenal showed us in the first fifteen minutes of the second half, with Rafa adding:
“That’s what happens when you have quality like they do, it is difficult for anyone. To react against a good team, you have to attack and push higher and you are more exposed.”
But, being brutally honest, at least the fare served up was better than the ‘park-the-bus’ attitude shown in the last home game.
Continuing, Rafa spoke about the confidence in the side, further adding:
“It is a pity, still we are scoring and having chances. We knew it could be like that, it is tough. Where we are, we have to keep the belief the same way we did last season.”
Yes, we do and once we get that first win under our belts, possibly against Crystal Palace next Saturday, things just might look a whole lot brighter.