Newcastle United had a great start to the season and on Boxing Day were just six points off the top of the table. Their form in the first half of the season practically cemented their place in the Premier League and even a disastrous run from then on hasn't led to them being sucked into a relegation battle.
However the fans are not happy that after the departure of Yohan Cabaye it seemed as if the Newcastle board accepted mid-table mediocrity and didn't look to push on. Alan Pardew then found himself on the end of a huge ban and overall 2014 has been embarrassing on and off the pitch for The Magpies.
Newcastle have lost their last six games scoring just one goal in that time. They have conceded 17 in the process and the fans are showing their frustration with many calling for Pardew to be sacked. Just three wins all year have led to his 'long-term contract' being under threat. The former Southampton manager states he is still here for the long-term, but that might not be down to him.
Mike Ashley has suggested that this summer he will finally be willing to release sufficient funds for the manager. Fans don't want the club to just be happy to sit in mid-table but instead to push for European football. With Loic Remy likely to attract interest from bigger clubs, Newcastle will certainly need to strengthen in all areas a claim backed up by Shola Ameobi recently.
Players such as Fabricio Coloccini and Tim Krul could be departing St James' Park this summer for different reasons with Atletico Madrid reportedly scouting the latter. The squad could do with an overhaul, with so many abject performances this season no one's place in the squad is safe.
The club's links with France have born fruit on occasions but not always however it is likely that they will still look to bring in a few bargains from Ligue 1, with Remy Cabella one name mentioned frequently.
Newcastle have lost 14 of their last 19 games in all competitions and that form is worse than the previous 28 Premier League managers to get sacked. Whilst it is refreshing to see a club stick with a manager and back him, it is a surprise to see Pardew keep his job. Given that he is seeing out the season with the club it is unlikely they will make a change in the summer, and Ashley is obviously adamant he still has the right man in charge.
Although Ashley has also suffered from the fans backlashes before and will want to ensure that they are kept happy. Pressure from them could result in him sacking Pardew, and with David Moyes out of a job he could tempted to bring in the Scot.
Summer targets have already been identified by Pardew and chief scout Graham Carr with Jonjo Shelvey thought to be towards the top of that list. If Pardew is to be allowed to rebuild the squad he will probably need to get a result at home to Cardiff City this weekend.