Under fire Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce has named Alan Smith as his new captain.
Smith was initially handed the skipper's armband for the 1-0 Boxing Day defeat to Wigan but Allardyce has confirmed that the appointment is a now permanent one.
The former Bolton manager, however, denies that his decision was motivated by Geremi's imminent departure to the African Cup of Nations, even if his tone suggested otherwise.
"We need to establish for a while somebody who can captain the side on a regular basis with the attitude, desire and commitment that Alan shows", Allardyce told Newcastle's official website.
Many will see the appointment, however, as a reaction to the teams latest booing off the pitch at the hands of the Toon Army following the disappointing loss at Wigan and Allardyce clearly hopes that Smith's ultra committed attitude to every game rubs off on some of the other players.
"I'd like all the players to be like that", scowled the coach.
Smith himself is delighted and determined to lead by example.
"It's a massive honour for myself," said the 27 year-old, who has surprisingly now been skipper at all three of his clubs, "wearing the armband gives you that extra lift...you are the focal point...you've got to make sure you're giving 100% week-in, week-out."
The Newcastle faithful will be hoping that it proves to be a catalyst to kick-start their season.