Fake stats? Rafa Benitez explains why Newcastle's Premier League stats aren't 'real' – yet

Rafa Benitez and Pep Guardiola.
Rafa Benitez and Pep Guardiola.

Rafa Benitez has told Newcastle United to ignore Premier League statistics – for now.

Benitez's side are 18th in the division ahead of Saturday's home game against Arsenal.

The club is yet to win a game, having drawn one and lost three of its opening four league fixtures.

Newcastle have made fewer passes than any other top-flight team, while only three teams have had fewer shots on goal. United, however, have faced three of last season's top five, including champions Manchester City, so far this season.

Manager Benitez and his staff have been pouring over the statistics during the international break.

"In this break we were analysing all the stats," said Benitez. "The stats now are not real.

"We had three top sides, so you didn't have too many corners. We didn't have too many shots. Let me see where we are after 12 games. We were deep defending and not attacking too much. Now it's just wait and see where everyone is in four or five games.

"The analysis has to be more in detail than just the numbers. You have to be careful with the analysis.

"One stat that is always wrong is the kilometres that you run as a team. They put in 113km. It doesn't change anything. The intensity, the pace, makes the difference, not just the kilometres.

"The stats, you have to put everything together to analyse that. In the Championship, we had the best attack – 85 goals – and the best defence – 40 goals conceded – and you have to keep this balance.

"When you have the balance between defence and attack, you can win something."