Newcastle are stuck with the timebomb that is Joey Barton
Apart from the occasional controversial outburst about playing for England, United's vicious supporters and reflections on mistakes he'd made earlier in his career at Man City, Joey Barton has - by his own standards - had a pretty quiet opening to his career with Newcastle United.
That was until Barton - who is already waiting trial for a training ground incident with a former Man City team-mate - was charged with assault.
It's no good going into exactly what happened at 5.30am in the morning yesterday - when most of us were either tucked up in bed after the dismal defeat of Wigan or the revelers amongst us still burning the midnight oil or tucking into a low standard kebab - because until the latest drama unfolds we can't speculate too much.
Certainly Barton's reputation walks into the room before him and there will be plenty of people with things to say right now.
But Sam Allardyce must be wondering just what he got himself into when he decided that Newcastle United was the next step up the ladder in his managerial career.
Ironically for Big Sam had he been allowed to stick to his original plans for the festive period this would not have happened.
Originally it was widely believed that United would head straight for London from Wigan to stay in a hotel before training for the big clash at Stamford Bridge.
It has also been thought that this idea wasn't to the liking of some of the senior players but because there was a lack of suitable hotels ahead of the Chelsea game, United players headed back to Tyneside to be with their families.
Barton though - who didn't play at Wigan and was said to be OK for Chelsea - was allowed to head to Merseyside to spend time with his family.
Without doubt this is the last thing Big Sam would have wanted after the fans turned nasty again at Wigan after a torrid performance at the JJB Stadium.
Newcastle already seemed to be a club in crisis before all of this erupted but that crisis has suddenly deepened now.
People may ask just why Big Sam signed a player with a poor track record to start with and after a string of ordinary performances so far, nobody can blame them.
Indeed he makes Kieron Dyer or Craig Bellamy look like two kids fighting over a Mars bar.
But on a serious note Newcastle are lumbered with Barton whether they like it or not.
It's thought that Barton earns ÃÂÃÂ£64,000 a week and we have contracted him to stay on Tyneside until 2012.
It would cost a bomb to pay him off now and you have to ask who would want a player with such a track record?
Fair enough jailed former WBA striker Lee Hughes has still managed to find a home at Oldham but is only earning peanuts at Boundary Park compared to Wor Joey.
Sadly underneath all of the hysteria that surrounds Barton lies a superb player who is capable of turning games and inspiring the rest of his team to three points.
And he's already stated just how much he wants to lift trophies with Newcastle United.
But United fans have not experienced any of that to date unless you count a last minute penalty against Fulham and the bad run that United find themselves on right now coincided with the return of Barton to fitness after a foot injury.
Great managers have the ability to control such free spirits and turn it into their favour.
If you don't believe me look at Keane and Cantona at Manchester United or Terry Venables with Gazza at Spurs and then you have the Di Canios and John Terrys of the world who have also suffered dark days in their careers.
All of their managers have had to deal with the occasional hiccup and still managed to get the best out of their players somehow.
But is this just an impossible job for anybody?
And the cold facts of the situation for Allardyce right now are that he must sort out both the mess that is happening on the field and then deal with the Barton scenario.
Big Sam said he wanted a challenge at Newcastle - well he's certainly got one now hasn't he?