Yet another case for the Toon defence
One minute an injury hit squad can still win a European trophy and can still finish in a UEFA Cup place, the next minute talk of summer clearouts is rife.
The Euro exit to Alkmaar was awful and the 2-0 defeat at Charlton was equally as awful.
Now the ability of this squad is being questioned left, right and centre.
Cut and thrust at the top though isn't it?
We've been here plenty of times before but a squad that consists of buys from Sir Bobby Robson, Graeme Souness, Ruud Gullit, Kenny Dalglish and the two cash purchases by Glenn Roeder, in Damien Duff and Oba Martins, is now right under the spotlight.
Is it permanently damaged or in need of some hefty repairs?
Martins has fired 16 goals this season and although critics have questioned his movement and general play, the fans appear to be happy with their number 9, in his first season since joining from Serie A many would say he's a success at ÃÂ£10million.
Duff hasn't been the player we all thought we'd signed but has admitted he is still to find his best form, but the fans don't want to hear excuses, they want to see performances.
Defensively there looks like being big changes with Steven Taylor and Nobby Solano the two who are favoured the most at the moment.
But where does that leave Peter Ramage?
The player has put in some outstanding performances in his time since being handed his debut a couple of seasons ago and surely fits into to the Steve Watson, Lee Clark or even Aaron Hughes bracket - he grafts - he loves the club - he should not go.
True, he had a bad game against West Ham until he was injured or perhaps he was injured before that?
But you cannot judge him on his last game only!
Just like Jamie Carragher at Liverpool or Steve Finnan, he isn't a world beater but he cares and gives 110%.
Titus Bramble will always get stick and always seems five minutes away from a costly error, but he has still got fans in football and those at the top who rate him, Sir Bobby loved him during a time when United were in the Champions League.
As always, a frustrating character in more ways than one.
Centre-back Paul Huntington is still young and has perhaps been blooded too early and too often out of position at left-back, more time needed surely.
I mean why else bring kids through the Academy and then get rid?
Celestine Babayaro and Stephen Carr are both senior enough to let their football do the talking in what can only be a last throw of the dice for them at the club, while Craig Moore seems destined for a move at the end of his contract.
And Gooch Onyewu? The Liverpool game seems to be his best so far but he has been frustrated with being cup-tied in Europe.
Perhaps a run of five or six games on the spin may bring out the best in him, but time is running out and he knows that better than anyone.
Then you have the situation surrounding David Edgar?
Last spotted in the game with West Ham and playing well and not long before that scoring against Manchester United in front of a live television audience.
But since relegated back to the reserves.
Two quality defenders are needed to bolster the squad but how many years have we been saying that?
Yes the defensive unit does need a look at but a full scale clear out?
The defensive debate rages on.