When Newcastle lost 1-0 to Arsenal at The Emirates in mid-December, they were on a sorry run of form. The result left them in the bottom three, behind the likes of Stoke and Southampton, and only a point ahead of doomed West Brom. At that point, they had lost eight and drawn one of their previous nine fixtures. They found it difficult to score, and even their solid defence appeared to be crumbling - conceding 15 goals in one five-game run.
Four months later, things are looking very different. Since their last match against Arsenal, they have only lost to Manchester City and Liverpool. They are now in the top half of the table, and surely safe with a ten point gap between them and the relegation zone. They also boast a much better goal difference than any team below them.
This weekend, Arsenal come to St. James Park and face an entirely different prospect.
So what's changed? Here are the key areas in which Rafael Benitez has improved them: