Alan Pardew’s position as Newcastle United manager is looking increasingly under threat following the Toon’s tepid 1-0 loss to mid-table rivals Stoke City at the weekend.
The Magpies may be well clear of the relegation dogfight but recent weeks have seen fans and players alike vent their frustrations at a lack of long-term progress at the club, who had ambitions of European football at the start of the campaign but look to have settled for a mid-table finish.
Out of both domestic cup competitions early on, Newcastle also failed to build on much of the early season momentum gathered through impressive results like their 1-0 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford.
However, it’s their recent form that has proven particularly irksome for the St James’ Park faithful, with the Toon tasting defeat in five of their last six domestic fixtures, scoring just one goal during what has been a miserable few weeks all round for the club.
Last weekend’s woeful 4-0 home loss to the Red Devils, for instance, came amid reports of a bust up between Pardew and star midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa.
The problems continued at Stoke on Saturday with the French player also reportedly involved in heated discussions alongside club captain and fan favourite Fabricio Coloccini.
This recent poor run has come as the former West Ham manager served out a ban for his bizarre touchline head-butt on David Meyler, an incident which many felt was more than enough to prompt his dismissal.
But while club owner Mike Ashley has held off pulling the trigger on a manager he previously gave an eight-year contract to, Pardew’s position could be untenable should the Toon taste defeat against Swansea next time out.
The Welsh club are just three points clear of the relegation zone and will be desperate to pick up a win against a team they have beaten in each of their previous three meetings.
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