Newcastle United are the Premier League’s most mysterious team when it comes to form.
It seems they can either be disastrous or unstoppable for months at a time.
The stark contrast in performances is what drives the perpetual changing of the mood in the North East but this season, once again, it has culminated in mediocrity. With the managerial position still uncertain, another shake up of the playing staff seems likely this summer.
Here are five names the Magpies should be looking to push out of the nest in order to make some steadier progress…
Not so long ago Tiote was a stand-out performer for the Toon.
Arriving from the Eredivisie for a bargain £3.5million, he quickly gained a reputation as powerhouse midfielder and was touted as the answer to engine room problems at Arsenal and Manchester United.
Now though, aged 28 and in his fifth season with Newcastle, it seems his ship may have sailed.
Recent campaigns have seen the Ivorian suffer injuries and a dip in form. He last featured for the club on New Year’s Day.
With his contract due to expire in 2017 he might get another season to prove himself but a failure to build on early promise suggests the club should look to sell.
It seems the French forward is a classic case of a player who when arriving in the Premiership, failed to make the step up from one of Europe’s lesser leagues.
Signed on the back of one good, albeit not great, season with Monaco, the 25-year-old unfortunately looks incapable of cutting the Dijon this side of the channel.
His fee, believed to be around £6 million, justified a lengthy run in the side at the start of the campaign, but he duly failed to deliver and has made do with a bit-part role since.
Still goalless in the league, he has netted only twice in the League Cup. It may well suit both parties if he returned to France where his record with Monaco was a goal every three games.
Some Newcastle fans are sure to disagree with the idea of letting the diminutive midfielder go.
He was awarded the club’s Player of the Month prize for January and, at times this season, has looked their most exciting creative talent.
The problem for Cabella is the stats. He is lively, skilful and direct but on paper his attacking contribution is minimal.
One goal and three assists in 26 league outings overshadows any amount dribbling and crowd pleasing.
Unless the 25-year-old, who enjoyed success with Montpellier, can deliver over the remaining seven games of the season, he will be another prime candidate for a return to France.
Another of the Magpies’ French contingent, Obertan has been looking to make an impact and cement himself a Premier League place since 2009 when he first arrived at Manchester United.
The player, now 26, was never quite good enough to make the grade at Old Trafford and things are little different in Newcastle.
Blisteringly fast, the former Bordeaux winger has been granted more first team opportunities on Tyneside.
Raw pace alone though, hasn’t been enough to make a real impact on the English top flight and with just three goals to his name in almost 70 appearances, the Magpies should let him try his luck elsewhere.
Injuries have had a bearing on Anita’s time at St. James’ but now, nearing the end of the third year of his five year deal, the excuses are starting to wear a bit thin.
A failure to nail down a first team place at any stage of his tenure so far suggests the Dutchman could be a prime candidate for the exit door.
There are many factors involved, not least who will be in charge of the club’s transfer dealings during the summer, but with the likes of Moussa Sissoko and Jack Colback ahead of him in the midfield pecking order, the former Ajax man should be cut loose.
He simply hasn’t made enough of a contribution to warrant a new deal.