When the fixtures for the Premier League first came out, many pundits were saying that once we got the opening game against Tottenham out of the way, we were facing a series of winnable games against what the media have begun to label “lesser teams” ie clubs that don’t usually feature in the top six or seven.

After our highly successful one-season tour of the Championship, this run of fixtures was touted as a relatively gentle re-introduction to the Premier League for United, for which we should be grateful.

However Rafa Benitez actually articulated a totally different view of these fixtures at the weekend, when he said he felt they were coming too early.

Rafa’s point was that it’s the “lesser teams” that we have to get results against if we are to reach safety this season, and that this run has come too early as we are still in the process of changing the team and settling in new recruits to the Newcastle system.

The implication from Rafa was that he would rather be playing the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea, where a loss would be less significant, than be losing to teams who are likely to be around us.

The game last weekend and our upcoming fixtures are all against so-called “lesser teams” – Huddersfield, West Ham, Swansea, Stoke and Brighton.

And the run didn’t really get off to a great start at the weekend – with a narrow loss 1-0 against Huddersfield. Three lost points which could well come back to haunt us at the end of the season.

Of course, settling in our new players has not been helped by the vicious scissor tackle by media darling Harry Kane which put Florian Lejeune out of the game for a couple of months.

There’s still much anger on Tyneside that Kane did not see a red card for that crude assaault.

Anyway. This weekend we are up against bottom of the table West Ham.

Funnily enough, whilst the London-based “national” media are trying to stir discord and crisis about our situation, they’re also currently trying to resurrect the “Benitez to West Ham” story they like to run every now and again!

So the answer to being bottom of the league with no points is to try to steal the manager of the team 4th bottom of the league, also with no points! Oh the irony!

Anyway. Are these games against so-called “lesser teams” coming too early? Does Rafa have a point?

What do you think? As ever, we would welcome your comments, opinions and views below.

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