Three clubs who looked all-but safe as we approached the halfway stage of the season have been sucked into a relegation battle over the last week.
Dramatic improvements from Watford, Southampton, West Ham and Villa have made the fight against the drop tighter than ever. Just five points separates 11th from 18th.
Bournemouth’s appalling form shows no sign of turning, as it always has done in the past, while Burnley have scored a meagre four goals in their last eight league games.
Newcastle’s three consecutive defeats is alarming, because if they regress to the mean then Steve Bruce’s side ought to be favourites for the drop – as they were for most people at the beginning of the campaign.
Just before Christmas we were looking at fifth placed Sheffield United, only three points away, and the brave amongst us believed we could catch them!
New Year and it is a totally different story. Yes, a week can be a long time in football, but thunder clouds are gathering.