Newcastle United have lurched from one of the Premier League's in-form teams to one heading for another inevitable crisis following their derby defeat to Sunderland.
Owner Mike Ashley was rightfully castigated last January for the woeful lack of ambition shown in the decision to cash in on Yohan Cabaye, with little coming in the way of a replacement. Despite recent league form, a dismal end to a promising cup run coupled by their fourth consecutive defeat to Sunderland will heighten calls for those mistakes in the transfer market to finally be rectified.
Who will be leading the charge in January still remains to be seen with Alan Pardew expected to be confirmed as Crystal Palace manager in the coming days.
What they need
While Newcastle's summer business has yielded its rewards, the lack of a consistent goalscorer in their ranks remains a persistent problem. The arrival of Remy Cabella was meant to supplement Papiss Cisse's contribution this season but the Frenchman is yet to find the back of the net since arriving on Tyneside. Meanwhile, Siem de Jong's absence has not helped.
Although both Tim Krul and Rob Elliot are expected to return in January, manager, whoever is in charge may still be tempted to bring in another goalkeeper, while the capital crime of not replacing Cabaye also looms large still.
Who could join?
Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette would be a welcomed addition by a number of clubs including the Magpies but the Ligue 1 club appear adamant their top scorer will not leave the club mid-season.
Danny Ings is another name touted to fill the void left by Loic Remy at St James' Park, while Anderlecht starlet Aleksandar Mitrovic has been linked with a host of Premier League sides leading into the new year too. Celtic centre-half Virgil van Dijk also appears primed for a move south.
Who could leave?
What better way to cheer up supporters suffering from derby day heartache than with a tell-all interview detailing your "love" for another Premier League side? Moussa Sissoko's recent Arsenal outburtst did just that but whether manager Arsene Wenger feels the same is another matter.
Hatem Ben Arfa has firmly burnt his bridges with Steve Bruce at Hull and appears to have no future with Newcastle, with his contract set to expire in six months. Finding a club willing to take a chance on the Frenchman is likely to be a thoroughly joyless task.
What the manager has said (before he was sacked)
"Our policy here has been the same since I've been at the club – we have bought players we think have good market value and that means mainly the younger players," said Pardew.
"I've had to deal with younger players and some have been massively successful and some haven't. At the moment we are not having as much success as we've had [speaking in October]."