Sunderland have endured a miserable start to their Championship campaign as they face the reality of another relegation battle in a lower division.
But not every Black Cats player has blame to shoulder as the inquests continue this Christmas.
Lewis Grabban has scored 10 league goals this term, making him one of the Championship's most prolific marksman despite Sunderland's lowly position.
Unfortunately for Chris Coleman, though, Grabban's summer transfer from Bournemouth was only a loan deal.
This would represent a huge blow to Sunderland's survival hopes, but the rumours also illustrate just how precarious their situation is.
The Black Cats would have been in even graver danger without Grabban's goals this season and yet they will seemingly retain the front man only as long as there are no serious bidders.
Sunderland do not appear to be in any position to offer Grabban a long-term contract now, but if they make money from sales in January, Coleman would be wise to look to secure the star man he already has before looking to strengthen elsewhere.
Signing Grabban on a cheap deal was a masterstroke, but relying fully on a loan man was perhaps not so wise.
His recall and sale would represent another desperate development in a dismal season for the Wearside club.