The sacking of José Mourinho has come as a shock to the footballing world, though it was not to be unexpected.
When the news broke on Thursday that the Special One had been dismissed as manager of Chelsea Football Club for the second time, pundits and fans alike recoiled in horror as the greatest coach in the clubs history said his farewells.
Yet there was an air of inevitability about the Portugueses dismissal following a torrid run of results which underlines the Blues unwanted status as the worst defending champions in Premier League history.
A paltry return of fifteen points four wins and three draws from the Blues opening sixteen Premier League fixtures is nothing short of disastrous, and Chelsea have a fight now to secure their top division status, let alone European football for next season.
Fears of relegation have been laughed off until now, but being perilously positioned a mere point above the drop zone, Chelsea who are struggling on the goalscoring front as well as at the back should certainly not fall into the trap of complacency regarding their Premier League status.
A kickstart to their season is badly needed, and with 22 league matches remaining, plus the FA Cup and Champions League up for grabs, there is a minute possibility that something could be salvaged from this nightmare of a campaign.
One man reportedly in line to take over as interim coach is Guus Hiddink. The Dutchman, whose domestic record cannot be argued with, despite recent failings in charge of a number of international line-ups, led the Blues to the FA Cup in 2009 after the sacking of Luiz Felipe Scolari. The Londoners were also cruelly denied in the Champions League against Barcelona, and finished a respectable third in the league.
Hiddink undeniably did a fantastic job the first time round at Chelsea, but he would only ever be a short-term option.
Someone perhaps more interested in a long-term project would be Diego Simeone. The Atletico Madrid manager has led Los Rojiblancos to La Liga success in recent seasons, despite a limited budget and the competition from superpower rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona.
A man who rules over his squad with an iron first, Simeone opts for a functional form of football which prioritises defensive solidarity over attacking flair, though his Atletico side, currently on a nine-match winning run, are hardly short on the goals front, and sit joint-top of La Liga alongside defending champions Barcelona.
And it is former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola who is currently third-favourite to be in charge of the Blues. Having already stated he aims to see out the remainder of his contract at Bayern Munich to take up a new challenge, Chelsea may have competition from both Manchester clubs to secure the Spaniards signature, but Roman Abramovichs desire to see his side successful by playing attractive football may encourage the Russian to offer an irresistible package to the current Bayern chief.
There is also an outside bet in the shape of former Tottenham and Sevilla boss Juande Ramos, who is currently out of work after a period of great success with Ukrainian side Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. Ramos, who has a proven cup-winning managerial record (his Spurs side beat Chelsea in the 2008 League Cup final), could, like Hiddink, be another short-term option for the hotseat.