A 2-2 draw for Newcastle at Bournemouth on Saturday set up a remarkable statistic that shows just how brilliant Rafael Benitez truly is.
Newcastle were extremely unlucky at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday, as were many people who had Bournemouth in their William Hill bonus code bet, as the Magpies should really have played the majority of the match against ten men after Jefferson Lerma’s first half horror tackle.
Salomon Rondon put Newcastle in front with a perfect free kick, before a brace from Josh King flipped the game on its head, only for Matt Ritchie to equalise in stunning fashion late on.
The win leaves the Toon Army on 35 points after 31 games, seven clear of the drop zone.
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It has been said several times throughout the season that the Magpies’ campaign was following a similar trend to their last, starting off horribly before picking up form thanks mainly to some fantastic home performances.
The similarities are greater than you could ever imagine though. At this point last season, the Tyneside outfit had nine wins, eight draws and 14 defeats with 31 goals scored and 40 conceded.
Right now, Benitez’s men have nine wins, eight draws and 14 defeats with 31 goals scored and 40 conceded. They are quite literally exactly where they were at the same point last season.
To many fans that statistic may be a worrying indicator of stagnation from the boss, but delving deeper into the numbers shows just how impressive it is.
Of the teams above the Magpies, every single one bar Tottenham Hotspur spent more money than them last summer. Of the teams below them, only Crystal Palace spent less, per TalkSPORT.
To achieve consistency while all the teams around you in the table splash tons of cash to improve their squads is a true marker of just how special Benitez is, and it also makes you wonder just how good Newcastle can become under the Spaniard with even a little bit of backing from upstairs.
Whether it be under the infamous Mike Ashley or, as Newcastle fans will hope, with someone new at the helm, Benitez is more than capable of leading a charge for the top eight with some genuine backing this summer.