So who is next?

The decision to sack Stuart Pearce may not have been surprising, but the timing probably was as it seemed that there may be some hope for him as regards a future at the club.

Less than twenty-four hours though, after a 2-1 defeat at Tottenham (the result he started his tenure with) Pearce has had his contract terminated - the club announcing the news in a brief, terse statement.

Before the dust has had time to settle on the managers chair, there is news aplenty as regards Pearce's successor - to go along with reports that the takeover is set to be completed within the next week.

When time permits over the next couple of days I'll have a more in-depth look at the Pearce reign, along with all the end of season round-up's I have planned.

But for now, who are the candidates in the frame for the hot seat?

Stories of Sam Alladyce began to resurface today, but it may be too late as as Newcastle have a press conference scheduled tomorrow - seemingly to rubber-stamp the announcement. Adding two and two together, there are suggestions that Paul Jewell's departure could pave the way for his arrival, something though that Dave Whelan was quick to dismiss and news that he wants to take a break are seemingly accurate.

So who else? Paul Simpson's name could again be in the frame, whilst former-Preston man Billy Davies is highly regarded and Chris Coleman is of course available following his sacking at Fulham.

From the foreign contingent, Ronald Koeman was reportedly interested in moving to the Premiership (albeit with Fulham) and Gerard Houillier is believed to be interested in a return but Sky Sports linked Guus Hiddink with us at odds of 6/1. News of Sven Goran Eriksson also surfaced but seemingly Claudio Ranieri is the hot favourite with the bookies.

I would be surprised (or maybe not with our board) if there wasn't someone in the wings waiting for an (official) approach, but at least making the decision early has given the board (current or new version) time to get the right man in and give them time to get to grips with the club and the squad in time for next season, one which I expect the manager to hit the ground running.

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