Roy Keane and seven other candidates to replace Paul Lambert at Aston Villa
Aston Villa announced on Wednesday night that they had parted company with Paul Lambert.
The decision came as little surprise after a run of results that had seen the club fail to pick up a win in 10 and drop into the Premier League relegations zone. The last straw was a 2-0 defeat to fellow strugglers Hull City.
Now the attention turns to who owner Randy Lerner will appoint in a bid to save the club from their first relegation since 1986/87.
Here we take a look at the contenders...
1. Tim Sherwood
The short-term manager of Tottenham is in danger of becoming the next Alan Curbishley - linked with every vacancy but never landing the job. At one stage looked certain to take over at QPR but pulled out of the running after failing to get assurances about where the club was heading. With Aston Villa Randy Lerner making no secret of his desire to sell the club, there could be sticking points yet again.
2. Glenn Hoddle
The former England manager was among the staff at QPR but in the shake-up after Harry Redknapp departed he left Loftus Road too. Has not managed any side since he left Wolves in 2006, spending many of the intervening years as a television pundit.
3. Michael Laudrup
The Dane has been strongly linked with the vacancy at QPR and his agent has indicated he would be keen on a return to the Premier League - so much so he would be willing to take a pay cut from his current job as manager of Qatari side Lekhwiya. But his agent has also said Laudrup will honour his contract - meaning any move to Aston Villa might have to wait. The former Barcelona player is regarded highly after taking Swansea to League Cup success and instilling an easy-on-the-eye style of football in Wales despite a limited budget.
4. Jurgen Klinsmann
Jurgen Klinsmann has often found himself linked with a return to the Premier League where he remains well loved for his entertaining spell as a Tottenham striker. Is still the manager of the United States, a job he took in 2011, and with another World Cup very far away he could be tempted by a return to club football.
5. Gareth Southgate
Having only been appointed as manager of the England Under-21s in 2013 it would take a lot to tempt Southgate away. But his history with Aston Villa makes is a possibility - the former defender made over 200 appearances for the Villains. Only other management experience came at Middlesbrough - where he oversaw the club's relegation from the Premier League.
6. Neil Lennon
The former Celtic manager only recently returned to management with Bolton where he made a quick impact to help them move away from the relegation zone. Recent results haven't been quite so impressive but five league titles with Celtic and some impressive Champions League results see his stock remain high.
7. Roy Keane
Was recently among Paul Lambert's staff at Aston Villa before departing to concentrate on his assistant role with the Republic of Ireland. The appointment of Keane would see someone arrive who already knows the players and the club and he certainly has the fear factor if that is what is needed to kick the faltering team into shape. However the former Manchester United captain has failed to replicate his success as a player in the management roles he has held at Sunderland and Ipswich.
8. Sean Dyche
A coach with real respect and is proving why he's regarded so highly by giving Burnley a real fighting chance of Premier League survival despite the shoestring budget at Turf Moor. Would take a lot to tempt him away - particularly just for another relegation battle.
Who would you like to see as the next Aston Villa manager? Let us know in the comments below.