As of 10:45 on Monday September 15, Alan Pardew has not been removed from his position as Newcastle manager. If he sees out the day without a statement appearing on nufc.co.uk confirming the termination of his contract, then the likelihood is that he has weathered his bleakest period.
Despite a lively summer transfer window in which seven players arrived, among them Remy Cabella, Siem de Jong, Daryl Janmaat and Jack Colback, Newcastle are yet to win a Premier League match and are bottom of the league after four games.
Pardew was already under pressure before that due to the Magpies' diabolical end to last season and his decision to send fan favourite Hatem Ben Arfa, one of the few flair players in a team accused of being too direct, out on loan to Hull.
The statistics make for ugly reading: one Premier League victory in a dozen attempts, nine defeats in that period and eight failures to score. Add in indiscretions like headbutting David Meyler, pushing linesman Peter Kirkup and abusing Manuel Pellegrini - all since last August - and it is easy to see why he lost the support of those who admired him on Tyneside for the fifth-place finish in 2011/12.
However, disruption from above has also contributed to the current gloom. They were four points off sixth last term at the point when Yohan Cabaye made his final appearance, with his sale to Paris St-Germain without replacement being followed by 11 reverses in the closing 15 league fixtures.
Pardew has suffered a great deal of misfortune too. This is the first time in 14 campaigns that a club with two points after four games have been bottom, while they faced champions Man City, an Aston Villa side enjoying their finest start in years (nobody besides Newcastle have taken points off them), new manager syndrome (Neil Warnock at Crystal Palace) and hugely underestimated Southampton.
They have been granted no luck with injuries either. Only one top-flight team presently have more absentees than them, and they have come in the worst areas. One of their most exciting signings (de Jong) will be out for months, their one Premier League-tested striker (Papiss Cisse) is unavailable and their breakout star (Rolando Aarons) got crocked on England U20 duty after excelling against Palace.
Mike Ashley resisted demands to sack Pardew even when he headbutted Meyler and there might have been a possibility to do so without paying compensation, and the unpopular owner isn't usually swayed by crowd sentiment, so don't assume that a dismissal is a formality.
If Pardew survives Monday, the hotspot for post-poor-weekend-result departures, then he has to be rated a 1.511/2 lay in the Next Manager To Leave Position betting.