Just as it seems Sunderland have turned a corner, the Black Cats have hit another bump in the road, derailing their stalling promotion hopes once again.
And an alarming dip in form could hardly have come at a worse time for Phil Parkinson.
According to the Sun (22 November, page 61) a new ownership group could mean a new manager at the Stadium of Light.
After a run of four games without a win – including what feels like a 648th 1-1 draw and a second successive FA Cup first round exit at the hands of fourth-tier Mansfield Town – the sword of Damocles is dangling ominously over Parkinson’s head.
What’s more, a replacement has already allegedly been identified; one who, at League One level, would represent a huge coup.
The Sun reports that Nigel Pearson wants to get back in the dugout.
And the chance to shake one of English football’s sleeping giants from their slumber should appeal to a former Middlesbrough player and Newcastle coach with a history in the North East.
Pearson famously led Leicester City to the Championship title in 2014 and laid the foundations for one of the modern era’s great sporting triumphs two years later.
A straight-talking coach who thrives with his back against the wall, Pearson feels like the ideal man to get this talented, underachieving Sunderland squad playing at full capacity.
Hypothetically speaking, Danny Graham, Lyndon Gooch, Chris Maguire, Bailey Wright, Luke O’Nien and, yes, even Will Grigg, have the potential to dominate at League One level.
It feels like Sunderland need a proverbial ‘boot up the backside’ and Pearson packs a kick like few others; a coach capable of making an immediate impact at a side lacking direction and motivation.
What’s more, the Sun reports that Pearson could bring Sunderland legend Kevin Phillips back to Wearside as his assistant.
So, really, what is not to like?