FORESIGHT and hindsight just cause so much trouble in sport, don’t they.

The latter quality is eminently convenient when officials, players, supporters or any other interested parties want to pontificate - much like we columnists - on what someone should or should not have done, or when something or other should or should not have happened.

The first quality of foresight though is even more tricky. That entails planning, some might say even a gambler’s punt.

Extreme examples of how foresight and hindsight have collided have been in stark evidence this week.

First off, let’s take a trip to the North-East and that bastion of football devotion that is Newcastle United.

Currently the Magpies are languishing at the bottom of the Premier League, yet to nab a win after seven attempts, a dismal sequence which has stretched to 14 top-tier tussles since a victory when adding in last season’s end of season fall from grace.

The pressure grows inexorably on Toon manager Alan Pardew, whose neck is taking on that nervous wobble that afflicts turkeys once the month of December starts.

Ahead of Newcastle’s last two outings he was said to be 90 minutes away from the chop, scores of disillusioned fans even initiating a website campaign to exhort his exit.

Yet Newcastle, whose chairman Mike Ashley insisted his own quoted deadline on Pardew’s tenure was nothing more than a joke, are in a similar situation to that last season of that other top-flight self-effacing United - Manchester of Old Trafford.

Pardew, who two seasons ago, was manager of the year after steering the Magpies into Europe, is still less than a quarter of the way through an eight-year contract, awarded - and no doubt eagerly inked - when his stock was high.

That was an uncannily similar scenario in the red half of Manchester.

When they searched for the successor to Sir Alex Ferguson they hit upon Everton’s David Moyes, promptly awarding the second Scottish coming a deal spanning six years.

The thinking no doubt was to maintain stability, ensure a seamless procession of success, even create a new dynasty.

Well, we all know how it ended for Moyes. Sacked after less than a season and the Theatre of Dreams unravelling at the seams.

With hindsight would the powers that be at either dis-United have not been so generous with the length of the contracts accorded the now out of work Moyes and the dole-threatened Pardew?

It’s not a prospect, however, that has daunted the Twickenham mandarins of the Rugby Football Union.

This week the RFU awarded a six-year contract extension to England national coach Stuart Lancaster and his back-up team of Mike Catt, Andy Farrell and Graham Rowntree.

The in-command core are presently preparing for the next bout of internationals, which will be pivotal in the build-up to next year’s rugby union World Cup held in Blighty.

But the new deal takes Lancaster and his men beyond even the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

So what if England’s egg-chasers go pear-shaped on home soil amid the land of hype and glory and swinging chariots next autumn? Will the RFU be then known as a Red Faced Unit?

A World Cup fall of embarrassing dimensions would surely prompt a review of the long-term deals but it seems, for now, that the RFU have utter faith that such a plight will not happen.

And that stance, rather than being castigated as foolhardy, should be applauded.

Based on the impressive work so far achieved, Lancaster and co have been shown a huge amount of faith.

The RFU have committed themselves, and the national sport, to the quartet way beyond the upcoming autumn internationals, RBS Six Nations series and 2015 World Cup. Indeed, it’s a genuine 2020 vision.

Given such a security blanket, some may carp that incentive has been removed, job insecurity erased.

But I would contend that Lancaster and his cohorts are made of the stuff whereby competitive spirit is all among their players and themselves, and that having such a potential long time at the helm will spur them to establishing a solid dynasty of success.

In days when short-sightedness and short-termism rules in the quest for instant success, the RFU’s actions are as refreshing as Arsenal’s faith in sticking with their boss Arsene Wenger, who this week celebrated his 18th year in charge of the Gunners.

Now there’s belief that change is not always a good thing.