Handing an erratic Stoke side victory in tame fashion is merely the latest piece of circumstantial evidence in the case for backing Newcastle for relegation.
The Magpies are 3/1 fifth-favourites for the Premier League plughole in the eyes of the bwin layers and the proof they are genuine drop contenders keeps mounting up.
Firstly there’s the bad form Bermuda Triangle into which their 2014 has flown.
Just 16 points have been amassed from the 26 top-flight tussles they’ve played out this year, equating to a lowly points-per-game average of 0.64.
That adds up to a mere 24.32 points over the course of a 38-game campaign or doom, as it’s better known.
Of course it’s to be expected that owner Mike Ashley will act to pull his plaything out of its nosedive by making signings or, as has been widely mooted, giving Alan Pardew the boot.
Yet, much like Sam Allardyce at West Ham, Pardiola has remained steadfast in the face of any shadowy boardroom undermining, or open dissent from the stands.
Furthermore the eight-year deal he inked at St James’ Park a little over two years ago acts as a safeguard against his sacking.
With the most obvious way to reinvigorate the Magpies’ sagging squad less likely than the blood-scenting media would have you believe, further investment in the playing staff seems the sole way Newcastle can cheat the reaper.
However Ashley has already shelled out a hefty £33.4m on players this term, how much more can he really be expected to invest given his track record?
Less Karl Darlow and Jamal Lascelles, who have been loaned back to Nottingham Forest for the remainder of the season, Pardew was given seven new signings.
Newcastle’s season arguably rests upon the septet’s ability to rejuvenate a squad and manager that seem locked into a downward spiral by their own lack of ideas as to how to alter their fate.
So far it looks like that ability is lacking, so why wait until their odds-on for relegation? Invest now at a far healthier 3/1.
After all the wheels fell off the Tyneside train when they lost a not-far-shy of world class creative midfielder in Yohan Cabaye, who was an extremely fortuitous transfer scoop in the first place.
With Pardew unable to find a way to make his team competitive without such a figure it’s hard to see where the turnaround will come from.