Firing Squad: The Most Under-Pressure Managers from Europe's Top 5 Leagues
Pressure continues to mount on a handful of managers, some of whom will no doubt be needing some quick results in order to hang onto their jobs.
Each of Europe’s top five leagues have either hit or surpassed their quarter-poles, so the decision-makers at each of the 98 clubs in question will by now have a good sense of what needs to be done to either build on or maintain the starts they've made to the season.
Managerial changes will be one of the things several of them ponder, and over the next few slides we’ll examine five managers who currently find themselves under the gun.
Massimiliano Allegri, AC Milan
AC Milan have won just a single match since September.
That’s the sort of record that would pile the pressure on any manager, never mind the one in charge of one of the biggest clubs in Europe.
The Rossoneri’s 3-1 defeat to Barcelona on Tuesday extended their winless skid to five matches, and you get the feeling it won’t take much more for club owner Silvio Berlusconi to finally pull the plug on Massimiliano Allegri’s tenure at the San Siro.
Pepe Mel, Real Betis
Like Milan, Real Betis have not won in the league since September, and last weekend’s loss to Malaga left them third from bottom in La Liga after 12 rounds.
Should he survive another week at the Seville club, Pepe Mel will have almost become the “Teflon Man.” But with Barcelona visiting Estadio Manuel Ruiz de Lopera on Sunday, it doesn’t seem likely his side will post another victory before the international break.
Mel has faced the sack on numerous occasions since his appointment in 2010, and it’ll be interesting to see just how strong his staying power actually is.
Giuseppe Sannino, Chievo
Chievo go into Sunday’s Serie A match at home to AC Milan having taken just a single point from their last seven matches.
Currently bottom of the Italian top flight after 11 rounds, they’ve scored just three goals since September and are in danger of seeing their five-year run in the division come to an end.
In order to halt the decline, they may need to find a replacement for Giuseppe Sannino, who was only appointed in July.
Paco, Rayo Vallecano
Likable Rayo Vallecano might not be long for La Liga if the losing doesn’t stop, and quickly.
Going into Saturday’s match away to Celta Vigo, the Madrid side are bottom of the Primera Division after 12 matches and have conceded three goals in each of their last three outings.
The Celta Vigo encounter is winnable, but if they can’t take the three points it may mean the end of Paco, who took over the club he once played at in 2012.
Martin Jol, Fulham
After 10 Premier League matches to start the season, Fulham have the second-worst defensive record of any team outside the relegation zone and are averaging just a goal per match.
None of their players has scored more than two.
In 16th place ahead of Saturday’s appointment with Liverpool at Anfield, Fulham have lost their three previous matches—a string of defeats that included a loss to Leicester in the Capital One Cup.
Manager Martin Jol is facing intense pressure as the losses continue to mount, and with Shahid Khan now in charge of the club it might be just a matter of time before the new owner fires Jol and hires his own man.