At the end of August, Yasuhiro Higuchi's Omiya Ardija were doing OK and although not exactly playing well were maintaining a position of mid-table respectability. Fast forward through five utterly forgettable performances and the Squirrels find themselves languishing in the relegation zone, falling headlong towards J2 while their rivals pick up the points via impressive results such as JEF United's 3-2 win over Urawa Reds.
Saturday's match with Kashiwa Reysol at Omiya Park was one that Ardija could not afford to lose. They did - and how. Prior to this season, Kashiwa were a team that had never beaten the Squirrels, but they made easy work of a nervous, mistake-ridden side and in Yusuke Murakami fielded a defender who netted a hat-trick on his professional debut - a J-League first.
The former Juntendo University student will no doubt be thinking that the pro game is a piece of cake, especially after his eerily similar first two goals. For Murakami headed in a pair of looping efforts from an identical position inside the home team's penalty area, as the Ardija defence demonstrably failed to learn from their mistakes. Just before half-time, and bizarrely the furthest forward player in a Reysol counter-attack, he then clipped the ball over Koji Ezumi to complete a stunning hat trick.
The game was thus already over before the Sun Kings added a fourth just after re-start and Omiya subsequently continued to be over-run, until the referee mercifully called time to end the misery. Klemen Lavric had the ball in the net in the first half but was offside as he did so - and in the way of chances for the Squirrels, that was about it. Chikara Fujimoto did his best to motivate his team-mates, but Lavric, Leandro and Daisuke Tomita all deserve black marks for berating each other as Higuchi's side capitulated.
Luckily for Omiya, the J1 table remains desperately tight - but anything approaching a repeat of such a performance in the next fixture at Tokyo Verdy will see the relegation trapdoor open just that little bit further.
About the only thing you can say about Higuchi at the moment is that he hasn't opened a press conference by calling a reporter a c***.
I don't know if changing managers will make any difference but we're going down on this form. Nothing surer.