ONSIDE: A month of mayhem awaits for Newcastle United

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A NEW year but the same old script.

Defensive failings once again undid Newcastle United after another encouraging opening in Wednesday’s deserved 2-1 defeat by Everton.

Should their recent nightmares continue throughout January then expect them to look something like this.

JANUARY 5: Newcastle are knocked out of the FA Cup third round at Brighton thanks to a winner from old boy Kazenga LuaLua.

Toon boss Alan Pardew hopeful of “one or two” signings before the January 31 deadline while pointing out that the return from injury of Steven Taylor and Yohan Cabaye would be like, er, two new signings.

JANUARY 12: Newcastle lose to Norwich thanks to a winner from old boy Sebastien Bassong.

Toon boss Alan Pardew hopeful of “one or two” signings before the January 31 deadline while pointing out that the return from injury of Jonas Gutierrez would be like, er, a new signing.

JANUARY 19: Newcastle lose to Reading thanks to a winner from old boy Danny Guthrie.

Toon boss Alan Pardew hopeful of “one or two” signings before the January 31 deadline while pointing out that from injury of Hatem Ben Arfa would be like, er, a new signing.

JANUARY 27: Sunday tabloid “exclusive” pictures of Newcastle players enjoying a night out during a training camp break in sunnier climes.

With the rest of the country more concerned with the FA Cup fourth round, the story is packed with quotes from some unnamed observer and a “seething” Toon fanzine editor.

JANUARY 29: Newcastle lose to Aston Villa thanks to a winner from old boy Shay Given.

Toon boss Alan Pardew hopeful of “one or two” signings before the January 31 deadline while pointing out the return from the African Cup of Nations – ah, got you there – of Cheick Tiote would be like, er, a new signing.

JANUARY 31: Deadline passes without any new signings amid continual Sky Sports rumours of 11th-hour bids for a succession of Franco-African players with contract clauses as deep-rooted as their injury records.

Toon boss Alan Pardew reasserts faith in existing squad as they prepare to welcome Chelsea on February 2 and, er, old boy Demba Ba.

And so it continues. Or not, as the case will hopefully be.

Happy new year to you all.

- GAVIN LEDWITH