Bundesliga managers figure heavily in this installment of the Firing Squad.
With the German top flight set to resume after its winter break, a handful of clubs will no doubt have their coaching staffs on short leashes over the next few weeks.
Freiburg, for example, want nothing to do with relegation and are bringing in Manchester United left-back Fabio on loan, per The Guardian.
There are also situations at Eintracht Frankfurt and Werder Bremen to keep an eye on.
Beyond Germany, two Premier League managers continue to hold onto their jobs by the thinnest of threads.
Both, you feel, are being evaluated on a game-by-game basis by their superiors at this point.
Following are the five most under-pressure managers in Europe’s top leagues.
After a fifth-place finish last season, Freiburg are battling relegation this term and enter the second half of their schedule with only two teams below them in the Bundesliga.
Chairman Fritz Keller, who hired manager Christian Streich back in 2011, may soon decide it’s time to bring in someone new—especially if Streich can’t deliver at least four points from upcoming matches against Bayer Leverkusen and Mainz.
Werder Bremen closed out 2013 on a high—beating high-flying Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 at home.
However, the week before saw them lose away to Hertha Berlin, and on December 7 they were thrashed 7-0 by Bayern Munich in front of their own supporters.
The Leverkusen match aside, Bremen are shipping goals at an alarming rate, and manager Robin Dutt may well pay the price if he can’t turn things around in the next few weeks.
Bremen are at home to Eintracht Braunschweig this weekend and will visit Augsburg on February 1.
Eintracht Frankfurt came sixth in the Bundesliga last season but enter the 2014 portion of their schedule just a single point above Freiburg and the relegation playoff place.
Manager Armin Veh has guided the club to just a single win in the German top flight since September, and chairman Peter Fischer may well be thinking the 52-year-old has taken them as far as he can.
Things will hardly be easy for Eintracht when they restart the season.
Trips to Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund await before the middle of February.
Norwich City’s eight-match winless skid in all competitions (a streak that included a shocking 3-0 loss to Fulham in the FA Cup) came to an end last weekend with a 1-0 victory at home to Hull, but with the likes of Newcastle, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur upcoming on their schedule, it’s difficult to see the Canaries picking up many points between now and March.
By then, manager Chris Hughton may very well have been sacked.
You get the feeling the club are taking it a day at a time with the 55-year-old, and a February 1 trip to Cardiff could be make or break for him.
West Ham have already acquired defender Roger Johnson this month, but manager Sam Allardyce isn’t expecting many more new faces at Upton Park as he tries to save his club from relegation.
Both Thomas Vermaelen and Lacina Traore have been linked to the Hammers in recent days, according to ESPN FC. However, while Allardyce has stated he’d like to bring them both in, he doesn’t expect either to come.
All the while, things continue to go from bad to worse at the Boleyn Ground.
Bounced 9-0 at the semifinal stage of the Capital One Cup by Manchester City, West Ham are one of three sides level on the lowest points total in the Premier League and are unlikely to build on it when they visit Chelsea next Wednesday.