Fabricio Coloccini is a surprise contender to take over team affairs at Newcastle United if owner Mike Ashley decides to sack Alan Pardew as pressure intensifies on the under-fire manager.
Ashley has resisted calls to get rid of Pardew after Newcastle's dismal start to the season, which has left the club bottom of the Premier League table and still without a victory following Saturday's loss at Southampton.
More bad results, however, could force Ashley's hand and result in his looking for a successor to Pardew.
While Steve Bruce and David Moyes have been touted as long-term candidates, Newcastle captain Coloccini could get a chance to show his credentials.
Pardew handed overall control to his assistant John Carver when he was serving a stadium ban last season, but Coloccini also took on a greater role to fill the void.
Coloccini delivered half-time team talks in the absence of Pardew and has become more involved on the training pitch between games.
Newcastle lost six of the seven games Carver stood in for Pardew last season, and the 49-year-old clashed with a group of the club's fans ahead of the heavy defeat at St Mary's. (© Daily Telegraph, London)