Paul Lambert has always had a tough time at the helm of Aston Villa after doing well at Norwich, where he was labelled as part of the 'new brand' of manager, young, tactically astute and strong motivator.
However, with his Aston Villa side dangerously close to relegation for the second successive season, things don't look too good for the Scot.
Ian Culverhouse and Gary Karsa have been removed by the club with Shay Given and Gordan Cowan, but the players insist that the upheaval has not unsettled them. Either way you look at it, it's unwanted attention off the field with Randy Lerner and CEO Paul Falkner both being in the news surrounding the support and future of the club.
Villa finished in 15th last season on 41 points, five clear of the drop in nervy end to the campaign. Now, they find themselves in an identical position, only on 35 points.
After surviving last year, fans were positive about the young squad and their progress and experience in the Premier League. None of that has come to fruition though, and Christian Benteke aside, Villa have struggled yet again.
Benteke rediscovered his form after the new year and has been their standout player, and despite encouraging signs from Fabian Delph, it has been a similar story.
The inquest into another disappointing campaign has to start with the home form. Five wins from 18 home games has simply not been good enough.
When you consider also that two of those wins were against Manchester City and Chelsea, it puts into context two things. One is that if they are capable of beating the best teams in the league, why can't they put it into practice against the lower sides? The second being that it makes their record seem even poorer because with two of those wins coming at the top of the table, more teams towards the lower end have taken points from them.
The youngsters at Villa Park have also continued to struggle under Lambert, although they have been praised at various points this year. They have scored just 35 league goals so far this season, but unlike Crystal Palace who have scored 28, Villa don't have the defensive organisation to make the most of those goals and turn them into points.
Their fixtures aren't as tough as Norwich's trips to Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge before facing Arsenal at home, but they still don't present too much cause for optimism.
Three of their last four games are away from Villa Park, although as we have seen, their home form has not been great, so some fans may even see that as a good thing. However, they face Swansea, Manchester City and Tottenham away before the season is out, so their best opportunity for points may come at home to Hull.
Things do not look too good for Villa and they may need every last point of the five that they currently hold over the trap door victims to survive.
Points away against Swansea are a must combined with a win at home to Hull if they are to avoid the drop because they are by no means safe yet.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/1a2u3KU
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.