You can't say you couldn't see this coming. It's Newcastle United, after all.
Away games against lower-league clubs in cup competitions tend to be no-win situations for Premier League teams. And if you weren't at least a little bit uneasy going into Saturday's fourth round FA Cup game at Brighton, then you clearly didn't watch last year's debacle at Stevenage.
Newcastle might not have played as terrible on Saturday as it did in last year's humbling exit, but it was still fairly lifeless in punching out of the competition. United, operating once again in a 4-3-3 formation, simply didn't create enough legitimate scoring chances, as Alan Pardew correctly pointed out after the match.
Newcastle was dull and predictable in the attack, with Shola Ameobi providing little to no movement as the focal point of the forward three. Leon Best generated most of United's chances before fading as the game wore on, while Hatem Ben Arfa failed to conjure up any magical moments. Jonas Gutierrez roamed in the midfield, with Yohan Cabaye and Danny Guthrie sitting as anchors, but the Argentine was about as wasteful with the ball as he's ever been.
Cabaye, meanwhile, reminded everyone that he can be hot-headed at times with a silly kick at Brighton's foul-happy left back Adam El-Abd that could draw attention from the FA. Pardew persevered with his starting lineup for far too long before replacing Ben Arfa, Guthrie and Davide Santon with Ryan Taylor, Dan Gosling and Shane Ferguson in the 83rd minute. Somehow Ameobi, who seemed content to wrestle with Brighton's two center backs for most of the match, avoided being withdrawn.
In truth, Brighton was incredibly lucky to emerge with a win, even if it did defend superbly. The goal came from its only truly threatening movement of the game, and needed a deflection to break the scoreless deadlock. Had Danny Simpson not been booked for a challenge in which he clearly won the ball, maybe he could have stopped Will Buckley on the halfway line before he created the goal. Even so, Simpson's performance on the play in question was troubling.
Had Newcastle made use of its dominance in possession, then that one play wouldn't have been so significant. But these sorts of games happen, particularly when a team is missing its two best strikers, its midfield enforcer and its defensive leader.
So, while it's fair to say United could still do with a few more creative players in its ranks, it's worth remembering that upsets are a part of cup competitions - particularly when you're Newcastle United.