Newcastle United are in an all-too-familiar position in the Premier League this season.
The Magpies will once again play in England’s top-flight domestic league next season, but having played 35 matches so far, their record this season compared to the previous campaign is identical in so many areas.
That’s right, Rafa Benítez’s men have won 11 times, picked up eight draws and suffered 16 losses, which is the exact same results that they had at this stage in the 2017/18 season.
Newcastle have also scored 35 times, conceded 44 times in the league and currently sit on 41 points.
Granted, they were higher in the table last season — they were tenth compared to the 13th place they currently occupy — but it is scary how the stats are exactly the same.
Benítez’s side picked up a 3-1 win against Southampton at St James’ Park on Saturday.
The former Real Madrid and Liverpool boss is out of contract in the summer and revealed after the match that his future at the club remains uncertain.
“We are in the same position as we were before,” he told BBC Sport. “When I came here, I could see the potential of the club to be challenging, certainly for seventh to 10th in the table but looking higher.
“But when you analyse the transfer fees and wage bills of other teams, we’re not competing.
“I am the manager until 30th June. We can see the potential. When you see the teams between seventh and 15th, we have to compete with them.”
Aside from his future, Benítez was happy that the result meant his side have avoided a nail-biting relegation battle.
“Mathematically, we will have to wait and see what happens,” he explained. “But I think we will be safe.”