When considering Alan Pardew's position in the wake of Newcastle United's disheartening 2-1 defeat to Reading last weekend, I felt that, more than anything, the club simply needed a shakeup.
Which is why I wrote that, despite it being unfair, Newcastle might just have to fire Pardew to spark some life into its slumping team.
Well, you can go ahead and scratch that idea.
None of us saw this week's spending spree coming. We all figured Newcastle would sign a player or two before the close of the January transfer window. Based on Newcastle's track record under Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias, though, the best guess was that it wouldn't happen until the final few days of the window as the club tried to wring the best possible value out of any deal. I thought Newcastle would add only what it felt was necessary to avoid relegation this season, even if that meant taking a bit of a gamble. Again, that's based on the club's track record under Ashley.
Instead, Newcastle transformed its squad by purchasing two rock-solid acquisitions in midfielder Moussa Sissoko and center back Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, a versatile forward in Yoan Gouffran and a promising young left back in Massadio Haidara. All in the span of four days. That just doesn't happen very often.
I'd say the board has sufficiently slapped some life into the team. We can criticize Ashley and Llambias for not acting so boldly last summer, but they deserve credit for reacting swiftly to Newcastle's first-half struggles.
That's not to say Pardew is off the hook. He now has the necessary tools at his disposal to mount a charge up the table in the season's remaining four months. With those new players comes a certain level of pressure. He thrived under the strain of a similar vice grip two years ago in the wake of the Andy Carroll sale. Let's hope he does so again.