Firing Squad: The Most Under-Pressure Managers from Europe's Top 5 Leagues
Pressure is mounting on a handful of managers, some of whom may not survive the weekend in their current jobs if results aren’t satisfactory.
Europe’s top five leagues have so far seen 10 managerial changes this season, and as most clubs by now have a sense of where they’re headed, the decision-makers who run them will be growing increasingly emboldened regarding personnel decisions in the coming weeks.
Following are five managers we think could struggle to keep their positions in the short term.
Pepe Mel, Real Betis
Pepe Mel has faced the sack on numerous occasions since his appointment in 2010, and his longevity at the Seville-based club could end up being what works against him.
Last season, Mel improved the club’s final position in the table from 13th to seventh. However, coming into Sunday’s match away to Malaga, his outfit is winless in four and have scored just twice over that span.
Betis have become accustomed to life in La Liga, but they’re currently in the relegation places, and a change could be coming sooner rather than later.
Malky Mackay, Cardiff City
Last weekend’s 0-0 draw with Norwich will hardly have helped the case of embattled Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay.
The Welsh club have now won just once since August, meaning pressure on the 41-year-old will be especially intense ahead of Sunday’s much-anticipated match against Swansea.
Meddling owner Vincent Tan has already sacked recruitment director Iain Moody—a Mackay ally—and the Malaysian may continue making changes whether or not results improve.
Giuseppe Sannino, Chievo
With Thursday’s 1-0 defeat away to AS Roma, Chievo are on a six-match losing skid ahead of Monday’s trip to Bologna and are dead last in Serie A after 10 rounds.
Offense has also dried up under manager Giuseppe Sannino, who was only appointed in July but is already facing the sack in Verona.
Chievo have been in Serie A since 2008 and have no intention of getting relegated any time soon, which means Sannino will be cut loose if the club haven’t crawled out of the bottom three in the next few weeks.
Remi Garde, Lyon
Things have gone from bad to worse at Lyon since the Ligue 1 side failed to progress to the Champions League group stage back in August.
Winless in their last five matches—a stretch that includes a 5-1 defeat to Montpellier—Les Gones have plummeted to 14th in the table and are now seven points adrift of the division’s lone Europa League position.
Manager Remi Garde, who has been with the club since 2011, may not be long in his position if things aren’t turned around in a jiffy.
Massimiliano Allegri, AC Milan
On Thursday, AC Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri admitted he was concerned his side might not qualify for the Champions League next season, per ESPN FC.
"It's a very bad moment for us," he told Sky. "The only way out of it is by working hard, but of course we’re now a long way off third place."
The 46-year-old might not be around if and when the Rossoneri manage to climb back into Champions League contention.
Milan have won just two of their last seven matches in Serie A. Ahead of Saturday’s difficult match at home to Catania, they sit 10th in the division.