Top contenders to replace Dick Advocaat at Sunderland excluding Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane
Dick Advocaat's departure as Sunderland head coach has left chairman Ellis Short looking for his eighth permanent manager in less than seven years.
Here, we assess some of the contenders who could fill the vacancy.
One of the safest pairs of hands around, the hugely experienced Allardyce, a former Sunderland defender, is available after his four-year spell at West Ham drew to a close at the end of last season. His proven track record with Bolton, Blackburn and the Hammers - if not Newcastle - make him a leading contender.
Pearson performed miracles as Leicester won seven of their final nine games to secure their top-flight status at the end of last season. He is available after leaving the King Power Stadium during the summer.
Dyche's blend of positivity, realism and entertaining football during Burnley's ultimately unsuccessful bid to secure their Barclays Premier League status last season won him plenty of plaudits. He seems destined for bigger things, but his loyalty to the Clarets could prove an obstacle.
Robinson celebrated five years at the MK Dons helm in May and guided the club into the Sky Bet Championship last season as runners-up to Bristol City after twice missing out in the play-offs. At just 35, he is one of the rising stars of the managerial game.
JIMMY FLOYD HASSELBAINK
Former Leeds, Chelsea and Middlesbrough striker Hasselbaink led Burton to the League Two title last season after only taking over the club in November, and the promoted club currently top League One after 11 games. Like Di Canio and Poyet, he was a fine player and has enjoyed an encouraging start to his managerial career, but also like them, he is short on experience.
Former Inter Milan boss Mazzarri has been linked with Sunderland, as well as Liverpool, in recent days, and is reportedly learning English. However, the Black Cats had their fingers burnt the last time they pointed an Italian, albeit one without Mazzarri's curriculum vitae.
A man who would need no introduction to fans who revered him for his goalscoring exploits in the red and white shirt, Phillips has embarked on a career in coaching since hanging up his boots. However, he is another whose lack of experience may count against him.