On Saturday the team/squad has maybe drifted a bit more towards breaking point.
A small squad has been held together by half a dozen or strong individuals and they are starting to drop alarmingly.
Especially up the spine of the team Newcastle have been very strong, Tim Krul at one end with Demba Ba at the other, and two cracking pairings in between.
Obviously Tiote has been a big miss over the last month and more, while we now face being without our two real leaders at the back.
Coloccini will hopefully not be too bad but Steven Taylor could potentially be out long-term.
With the African Nations Cup edging closer, even if Tiote gets back to fitness we’ll lose him for up to six or so matches, same with Demba Ba.
Out of that spine we could be left with Tim Krul and Cabaye, team strengthening is essential in the transfer window, it is the very least support Alan Pardew deserves.
Defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea need not be fatal, just a minor dip in what still potentially is a major leap forward season.