Premier League: What now for Aston Villa following the sacking of Tim Sherwood?
At the final whistle following Aston Villa's 2-1 defeat to Swansea on Saturday, you would have been hard pressed to find anyone who would have said Tim Sherwood would still be at the club on Monday morning.
And whilst his sacking had an air of inevitability that is becoming all too familiar for managers in the Premier League, the wider footballing world will still wonder what may have been for a young English manager who in the end simply couldn't get the results to save his job.
Sherwood will undoubtedly make a return to management in the near future, and whilst Premier League sides may now be hesitant to appoint him, many Championship sides will certainly have him on their radar.
His eight month stay at Villa Park began in the right manner, breathing fresh air into a club stagnating under Paul Lambert, and managing to save the club from relegation and reaching the final of the FA Cup.
But the manner of their 4-0 hammering by Arsenal at Wembley that day only highlighted the overarching problems, and with Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph leaving in the summer, Sherwood's first full season was always going to be tough, and so it proved.
The most immediate question always raised when a manager is sacked is who will replace him, with several names already heavily linked with the Villa job.
That speculation also raises it's own questions, what will the new manager bring to the job, can he bring better results than his predecessor, and is the squad they inherit good enough?
For Villa, the main contenders for the job, barring left field choices such as Rangers' Mark Warburton, are Frenchman Remi Garde, and former Manchester United and Everton manager David Moyes.
49 year old Garde last managed French side Lyon, and has been working as a pundit for a French television station. For Villa's want away owners, Garde could be seen as a relatively cheap appointment, and would represent a departure from their recent recruitment policy of hiring young British managers.
Garde's lack of Premier League experience is an obvious concern, but when hiring foreign managers with no experience in England, there are many examples of both success and failure for other clubs, with Watford's Chico Flores currently an example of someone who has, at least so far this season, shown an aptitude for the League.
David Moyes had been heavily linked, and in most cases offered, with every Premier League vacancy since he began his Spanish adventure with Real Sociadad.
That adventure has been mixed to say the least so far for the Scot, who watched his side win for only the second time this season at the weekend with a 4-0 win. However, only a week previous his days seemed numbered with his own fans chanting, in English, 'Go home Moyes'.
The fact that Moyes has turned down other jobs in the Premier League suggests that he is not looking to return just yet, but if he himself is given the boot by Sociadad, then that may change.
Whoever is appointed permanently will have to galvanise a squad mixed with inexperience and mediocrity. Sherwood brought in a lot of young players who have little or no experience in the Premier League, whilst those that were already there have been part of a squad that been underachieving for several years.
Take a player like Gabby Agbonlahor, who has served Villa for many years and clearly loves the club. However fierce his loyalty is he, along with other members of the squad have simply not performed.
Villa, along with Sunderland and Newcastle, all currently fall into the 'big club in trouble' category, but when these clubs continually under perform they invariably end up exactly where they should be.
Sherwood may not have been the right man to get Villa out of this trouble, and his successor could prove to be the man who does, but as is always the case with football, only time will tell.