2017 vs 2018: Comparing Newcastle's opening four games
2017 vs 2018: Comparing Newcastle's opening four games
Photo by Cardiff City FC/Getty Images

2017 vs 2018: Comparing Newcastle's opening four games

After the opening four games of the new Premier League season, Newcastle have just one point and sit in the bottom three.

The fixture list was not kind to Newcastle, with the Magpies taking on Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City. They also had a trip to Cardiff, where Newcastle picked up their only point so far.

(Getty Images)

Despite the points tally, it’s not all doom and gloom for Newcastle, but things looked a lot prettier last season for Rafa Benitez.

How did Newcastle start last season?

At this stage in 2017, they had six times as many points, picking up two wins from their opening four games.

The Toon Army began the season at home to Tottenham, but were taught a Premier League lesson by Spurs. Their job was made even harder by Jonjo Shelvey picking up a red card.

Jonjo Shelvey is sent off for a stamp on Dele Alli. (Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

Next it was a trip to fellow promoted side Huddersfield Town, where the Terriers were buzzing off the back of a win against Crystal Palace on the opening day.

The buzz remained for Wagner and co, who won 1-0 thanks to a screamer from Aaron Mooy.

It was a dismal performance from the lads, who looked toothless going forward. It was evident from early on that the Magpies would struggle to score goals in the Premier League.

Joselu scores his and the Magpies’ first goal of the season. (Photo by Rob Newell – CameraSport via Getty Images)

A home game against West Ham handed Benitez is first win of the season, blitzing the Hammers 3-0 thanks to goals from Joselu, Ciaran Clark and Aleksandar Mitrovic.

They would make it back to back wins when they travelled to Swansea. Jamaal Lascelles scored the only goal of the game with his head, in a game that was largely dominated by the Swans.

Newcastle’s opening four games of the 2018/19 season

Once again, Benitez’s side entertained Tottenham on the opening day, but it was a much closer contest.

Mauricio Pochettino was victorious again, but were lucky to take all three points from St James’ Park. Newcastle were much more competitive, and deserved something out of the game.

Yet again, their second game was to a Premier League newbie. This time though, they managed to get a point.

Kenedy did not look confident stepping up to take the penalty. (Photo by Cardiff City FC/Getty Images)

The Magpies performed terribly, going down to 10 men, before losing the chance to steal a win when Kenedy fluffed a last minute penalty.

Games three and four were rough for the Magpies, setting up to defend for their lives against Chelsea and champions Manchester City.

Two narrow 2-1 defeats didn’t tell the full story. In both games, Newcastle were unfortunate.

Bad decisions cost them against Chelsea, while wonder goals were the difference at the Etihad.

Which start was better?

Obviously, last season was more positive as the Geordies picked up two early wins.

That doesn’t tell the full story though.

Benitez’s side have proven they can perform against the Premier League’s elite. This time last year, they had been beaten handsomely by Spurs, mainly down to a Shelvey moment of madness. This year, they’ve lost to three of the league’s best teams by just one goal.

However, everyone would rather have last season’s opening four games, because getting wins is what it’s all about, and fans would feel much more comfortable going into the international break with a couple of wins on the board.