Sunderland have sacked their manager with just over a month to go before the Tyne-Wear derby.
Paulo Di Canio's finest achievement as Sunderland boss was probably guiding the Mackems to a 3-0 victory in the Tyne-Wear derby at St James' Park last April, in only his second game in charge.
It was Sunderland's first away win in the fixture in over a decade.
Now, with the the Black Cats having parted company with the ex-Swindon manager, the next man to take over at the Stadium of Light won't have to wait long to receive his first taste of the big derby.
Sunderland host Newcastle on Sunday 27 October. Before that, the Mackems have the small task of dealing with Liverpool and Manchester United in SR5, followed by a trip to Swansea.
With Sunderland getting rid of their manager so close to a derby match, should Newcastle fans be worried about the new boss' honeymoon period?
Most Toon fans would tell you they're not worried. If anything, there's a joy in seeing the Mackems rooted to the foot of the Premier League table five games into the new season.
However, whilst some would say that allowing Di Canio to bring in 14 players and then getting rid of him shows a club in crisis - others could argue that the crisis has been averted.
Sacking the Italian this early into the season could well be a masterstroke from Ellis Short.
Some of the early contenders being mentioned for the Sunderland job include Roberto Di Matteo and Gus Poyet. Plenty of Newcastle fans would snap your hand off for either one of those two to replace Alan Pardew.
Saturday's defeat to Hull City has brought back an uneasiness, a sense of apathy on Tyneside, with owner Mike Ashley and director of football Joe Kinnear laughing in the stands.
The club is being sold to fans on the premise of stability, but deep down the lack of ambition, and desire to build on past success suggests anything but.
Newcastle look more stable than Sunderland, and are perhaps the most stable club in the North East (Middlesbrough fans may dispute this) - but come October 27, all that goes out of the window. Di Canio may not be there to slide on his knees, but for the Mackems, the only way is up.
What are your thoughts on Paulo Di Canio's sacking? Is it good or bad for Newcastle?
image: © Egghead06