They say that every cloud has a silver lining, but where Newcastle United are concerned, it would perhaps be more apt to suggest that every silver lining has a cloud.
At the moment, for example, the Toon Army are performing better than just about anybody could have foreseen at the beginning of the season, and Steve Bruce, heavily questioned as an appointment, has guided them to within four points of the top six.
That is obviously a point of celebration on Tyneside – and rightly so – and a win over Southampton on Sunday could see them climb as high as eighth in the table.
But because this is Newcastle United, there is always going to be an inevitable downside, and in this instance it was succinctly summed up by Jeff Stelling on Saturday afternoon.
Speaking on Soccer Saturday (Sky Sports News, December 7th, 13.00), he said: It’s such a difficult situation at St. James’ Park because you wonder now if Mike Ashley thinks ‘we’re doing okay, why do we need to spend in January?’.
“But if you’re the manager, you’re desperate for a little boost.
“It’s about giving the fans something to shout about.”
Stelling is spot on here, but the main concern will be that his prediction abut Ashley comes true.
After all, this is an owner who has seemingly made it his mission statement to be get by doing the absolute bare minimum in the recent past, and there’s nothing to suggest that he won’t do exactly the same again this time around.
It would be typical of the controversial chairman, and it means, as per usual, that the Magpies aren’t going to be properly able to enjoy what should be a time of real positivity and optimism.