Two close lieutenants suspended, away supporters getting on his back and four straight Premier League losses – Paul Lambert finds himself in the choppiest of waters at Aston Villa at present.
Murmurs in the Midlands are that it is a matter of “when” rather than “if” regarding Lambert being relieved of his duties and a victory over Southampton next, available to back at 12/5, may strangely seal his fate.
The rumour mill is in full flow at Villa Park at present, with one piece of speculation indicating that owner Randy Lerner has already found a new buyer on the premise that relegation is avoided this season.
There is a consensus that 37 points will be enough this season to survive and completing the double over Southampton would carry Villa to this total, perhaps providing an opportunity to make a change.
Lambert seemingly does not have many friends left at Villa, especially given suspended backroom duo Ian Culverhouse and Gary Karsa followed him from Norwich.
Culverhouse was already walking a fine line after swearing at fans over the Christmas period.
Rumour has it that he has not enjoyed the best relationships with coaches and players in recent months.
What is slightly strange is the timing of the suspensions, given that it had been barely hours since chief executive Paul Faulkner called for unity from all at the club in this difficult period.
Certainly, suspending assistant managers and other members of staff is not a traditional method of encouraging everyone to pull together.
What may help galvanise the club, particularly the supporters, is the decision to promote club legend Gordon Cowans to aid Lambert for the coming weeks.
The promotion of back-up goalkeeper Shay Given to assist Lambert is more surprising, given that the manager has never appeared to have much faith in the Irishman as a player.
Whoever the owner is, it is tough to anticipate Lambert retaining his job next season, particularly after losing the backing of supporters, and much may hinge on if and when survival is secured.