The ebb and flow of last season in the English Premier League affected everyone in good (City, Arsenal), bad (Man Utd) and ugly (Spurs, Liverpool) ways.
However, one club emerged unscathed – proving that an up, up and away trajectory need end in a massive fall.
At least, not yet.
Which is why, Newcastle United ended the season as the smartest looking club with the smartest looking buys.
Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse and Hatem ben Arfa showed that Magpies boss Alan Pardew had the scouts or the scouting prowess to turn the league on its head.
Which is why, going in to the business end of the current transfer market, it might make sense to watch Pardew and Newcastle closely.
And the early signals are that rather than be thrashing about trying to get players to come to you like Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool and Roberto Di Matteo at Chelsea; or be desperately trying to keep players like Arsenal’s Wenger; or be looking to cut your losses and move on like Sir Alex at United; the Toons seem secure in their plans.
They have announced a short transfer list and there has been no cacophony about them missing out.
Also the kind of players they are targeting have the trademark “bargain buy” Pardew signature all over them.
Vurnon Anita from Ajax’s midfield is the latest target.
Anita is a defensive midfielder who can also operate at the back.
Then there is the French Euro 2012 star Yohan Cabaye, who despite being on Barcelona’s radar, no less, has not ruled out staying at Newcastle.
Pardew says he is not worried about losing a player or two.
Demba Ba is contractually allowed to leave for £7m if Newcastle receive an offer by July 31.
Pardew was quoted in the British press as saying: “I know we can sign two or three players and keep all those we have. I know we can do that. I think we will be stronger.
“And if we do lose a marquee player to a really inflated price – an Andy Carroll price – then we have got to trust our judgement and go into the market place and bring in an equivalent, and I think Mike is quite comfortable with that.
“I don’t fear a big offer coming in, I expect it. I expect a bid for one of our marquee players.
“Whether it’s enough money to take the player away, we will have to wait and see, but it would have to be a lot of money.”
Perhaps the over-achievement of last season means Newcastle have nothing to lose.
That makes them a team who will go for it. And therefore, a team to be feared.