Just 18 months ago, Newcastle United looked destined to return to the Championship with Steve Bruce as manager after failing to win any of their opening eight Premier League games under him.
Fast forward to the present day, though, and Eddie Howe has completely transformed the club's fortunes around, developing largely the same squad into a much more cohesive and talented unit.
Of course, players such as Bruno Guimaraes and Kieran Trippier have been brought in since Howe's arrival as manager, but that still doesn't detract from the incredible work he has done with Newcastle.
Players such as Jacob Murphy, Sean Longstaff, Miguel Almiron, Joelinton and Fabian Schar have all flourished under the Englishman's tutelage, playing out of their skin as Newcastle seem destined for Champions League football next season.
Indeed, Longstaff and Murphy were often ridiculed by opposition fanbases, not deemed good enough for the Premier League, let alone a Champions League-chasing squad.
Meanwhile, Almiron, Joelinton and Schar also faced cries of decree, all three underwhelming after big moves to St. James' Park.
Joelinton, originally played as a striker, has since switched to a midfield position where he can operate from a deeper area and drive forwards into dangerous spaces. Almiron has also enjoyed his best season in a Newcastle shirt, scoring 11 goals in 27 games so far, as well as picking up the Premier League Player of the Month for October.
The defence is a totally different beast, with Schar's improvement stark in helping shore up the backline. Newcastle have conceded just 21 times in his 29 appearances this season, earning 13 clean sheets in the process.
But how has Eddie Howe managed to work miracles in the north east and turn once underwhelming players into some of the best performers in England's top flight?
In the video above, FourFourTwo's resident YouTube pundit Adam Clery explains the methods behind Howe's improvement of Newcastle's players.
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Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future.