Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew is facing a hard season ahead as his side must improve as a team to avoid the drop.
Pardew will be hoping that his side are not dragged into the relegation scrap this season but it looks like an inevitable prospect when certain factors are taken into account.
The arrival of Joe Kinnear in the summer as Director of Football at S.t. James's Park has only led to speculation surrounding the future of the Newcastle boss and reports would suggest that Pardew now has no say at all in transfer dealings after Kinnear's comments a couple of months ago.
Newcastle were having a good season last campaign until the expected sale of Demba Ba and injuries to numerous key players left the Toon Army producing relegation form. Luckily for the Magpies the season ended before they could fall any further and a much-needed break came.
However it looks as if the acquisition of Kinnear has only unsettled the camp and potentially left Pardew unaware of who will or will not be at the club come September 2.
Papiss Cisse looked lonely and helpless in the 4-0 defeat at Manchester City in their opening game and the need for Loic Remy to begin his loan spell after injury is increasing.
An injury to the ever-present Jonas Gutierrez before half-time and the potential sale of Yohan Cabaye are two issues eating away at Pardew.
Hatem Ben Arfa looked impressive in patches on Monday but he is renowned for getting injured and the return of Steven Taylor ended up in frustration as the defender stupidly got himself sent off for a needless swipe at Sergio Aguero.
Newcastle fans will be hoping that the promoted teams fall foul of the step-up in quality and are sent straight back down because it's fair to say that out of the other 17 teams, Newcastle could potentially get sucked into the fight to beat the drop.
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