There's a sense that Newcastle's strong finish to last season rather papered over the cracks.
Things had looked bleak for the Magpies, but five wins from the final eight games - as many as they'd managed in their previous 24 - ensured they finished well clear of the relegation zone in 12th.
But the pressure remains on Steve Bruce, whose style of football hasn't endeared him to the Toon Army in his two years in charge at St. James' Park.
If Newcastle begin the new campaign poorly, expect fans to be straight on Bruce's back - and that of deeply unpopular owner Mike Ashley (although they already will be).
Once again, transfer funds were tight at Newcastle, and they're the only Premier League club yet to make a signing in this window.
There may not have been any hugely notable departures - Andy Carroll headlines a handful of fringe players who have moved on - but as the sides around them strengthen, there's bound to be a growing sense of concern.
As things stand, it could take a particularly blistering start to the season to lift the fog on the Tyne.
Goalkeepers: Karl Darlow, Martin Dubravka, Mark Gillespie, Dan Langley, Freddie Woodman
Defenders: Ciaran Clark, Paul Dummett, Federico Fernandez, Emil Krafth, Jamaal Lascelles, Jamal Lewis, Javier Manquillo, Favian Schar
Midfielders: Elliot Anderson, Ryan Fraser, Isaac Hayden, Jeff Hendrick, Matty Longstaff, Sean Longstaff, Jacob Murphy, Matt Ritchie, Allan Saint-Maximin, Jonjo Shelvey, Joe Willock
Forwards: Miguel Almiron, Joelinton, Dwight Gayle, Callum Wilson, Santiago Munoz
PREMIER LEAGUE Everything you need to know for the 2021/22 season
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