Firing Squad: The Most Under-Pressure Managers from Europe's Top 5 Leagues

Jerrad PetersWorld Football Staff WriterDecember 12, 2013

Firing Squad: The Most Under-Pressure Managers from Europe's Top 5 Leagues

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    Chances are at least one manager from Europe’s top five leagues will get a rather unwelcome Christmas present in the next few weeks.

    With schedules nearing their halfway points, club owners and chairmen will by now have clear pictures of what their squads actually are—and if their current managers are the ones to guide them.

    The following slides will reveal five individuals feeling the heat, and it’s likely that one or two of them will be looking for work come the New Year.

Juan Ignacio Martinez, Real Valladolid

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    With 15 matches in the books, Real Valladolid find themselves third from bottom in La Liga and without a goal in four of their last five outings in all competitions.

    Manager Juan Ignacio Martinez was only hired six months ago after leaving Levante, but unless he can produce an uptick in results, it’s unlikely he’ll see out the season at Estadio Jose Zorrilla.

    Valladolid have Primera Division matches at home to Celta Vigo and away to Espanyol before Christmas, and they will probably have to win at least one of them to ensure Martinez’s safety.

Stefano Pioli, Bologna

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    It’s going from bad to worse at Bologna.

    Coming into Sunday’s match away to Fiorentina, the Rossoblu are in Serie A’s relegation zone and without a victory since the end of October.

    Stefano Pioli has been in charge at the club since 2011, and it’s possible president Albano Guaraldi could make a coaching change in the next few weeks.

Armin Veh, Eintracht Frankfurt

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    Armin Veh is very much on the clock at Eintracht Frankfurt.

    After 15 rounds, the Bundesliga side are only above the relegation zone on goal difference, and they haven’t won a match in the German top flight since the middle of September.

    They’ve had some success in the Europa League and the DFB Pokal, but it’s unlikely Veh will be in his job much longer unless he can transplant some of those results into the club’s Bundesliga performances.

Sam Allardyce, West Ham

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    Back-to-back losses against Crystal Palace and Liverpool—in which they were outscored a combined 5-1—have left West Ham teetering on the edge of the drop with just 13 points from 15 Premier League matches.

    They have a crucial appointment at home to Sunderland on Saturday and will then face Manchester United at Old Trafford on December 21.

    Embattled manager Sam Allardyce needs at least three points from the six available before Christmas, and if he doesn’t get them, it’s likely he’ll be shown the exit door at the Boleyn Ground.

Robin Dutt, Werder Bremen

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    Robin Dutt has never posted a winning percentage above 50 in his three previous jobs in club management, and with just four wins from 15 Bundesliga matches to start the 2013-14 campaign, it looks as though he’ll be continuing that trend for some time.

    But likely not at Werder Bremen.

    Last weekend’s 7-0 loss at home to Bayern Munich was a shock to the system at the Weserstadion, and going into Friday’s match against Hertha Berlin, Dutt’s side have conceded at least three goals in five of their last six outings.