Newcastle United have struggled for consistency in the Premier League so far in 2018-19, failing to win any of their opening eight matches.
The Magpies came agonisingly close to a victory over Manchester United prior to the international break that would have provided a platform to build upon but Rafael Benitez’s side crumbled in the second half, losing 3-2 after previously boasting a two-goal lead.
It leaves Benitez’s side sat second-bottom in the standings with just two points to their name and identifies a significant decline in the course of the past year.
12 months ago, Newcastle were flying high in ninth position after taking 11 points from their opening eight matches, picking up three victories against West Ham, Swansea City and Stoke City as well as holding Liverpool to a draw.
While it is worth pointing out that Newcastle’s fixtures so far this season have been much harder, already facing Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal and both Manchester clubs, it raises the pressure ahead of a crucial period in the coming weeks.
Winnable games against the likes of Brighton and Southampton are around the corner but the comparison shows that it could be a long season ahead on Tyneside.