Firing Squad: Dutt, Moyes, Hughton Among Europe's Most Under-Fire Managers

Jerrad Peters@@jerradpetersWorld Football Staff WriterFebruary 13, 2014

Firing Squad: Dutt, Moyes, Hughton Among Europe's Most Under-Fire Managers

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    Since the end of January, Sam Allardyce has demonstrated how an embattled manager can escape almost certain termination.

    Keep clean sheets.

    Allardyce’s West Ham side has kept four in a row heading into next Saturday’s Premier League encounter with Southampton. As a result, the Upton Park club has risen from the relegation places to 11th in the standings.

    Meanwhile, the Hammers boss has entrenched himself as the club’s manager for the rest of the season.

    If only some of his peers would follow his example.

    Following are five of the most under-pressure managers from Europe’s top leagues. 

5. David Moyes, Manchester United

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    If Manchester United’s 2-1 loss away to Stoke on February 1 was a setback, then Sunday’s 2-2 draw at home to Fulham was nothing short of a kick to the stomach of the reigning champions and their embattled manager. The last-place Cottagers scored late to earn a split of the points.

    David Moyes, who replaced the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford in June, has delivered only 12 wins from 26 Premier League matches to date. Despite spending a club-record fee to sign Juan Mata from Chelsea, his players often seem incapable of creativity in the attacking third—Wednesday’s scoreless draw at Arsenal included.

    According to ESPN FC, failure to finish in the English top flight’s top four could cost the Red Devils upward of £70 million. They’re currently seventh. 

4. Robin Dutt, Werder Bremen

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    Don’t look now, but four-time Bundesliga champions Werder Bremen could be headed for relegation.

    Ahead of Saturday’s match at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach, the Weserstadion side is 13th in the German top flight—just three points above the relegation playoff place and four adrift of the automatic drop.

    Manager Robin Dutt has recently overseen a handful of maulings, including a 5-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund last weekend and a 7-0 trouncing at home to Bayern Munich before Christmas. 

3. Bert Van Marwijk, Hamburg

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    If the Bundesliga season ended today, Hamburg—seven-time champions of the German top flight—would be relegated.

    With just a single win to its credit since the end of October, Bert van Marwijk’s side is second from bottom in the Bundesliga and only four points off the floor.

    Their DfB Pokal campaign is also over, thanks to a 5-0 drubbing at home to Bayern Munich on Tuesday, and they’ve conceded at least three goals in each of their last five Bundesliga outings. 

2. Rene Meulensteen, Fulham

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    Fulham may still be bottom of the Premier League table, but a 2-2 draw away to Manchester United on Sunday and a narrow 3-2 defeat to Liverpool on Wednesday have shown that the Craven Cottage outfit still has some fight with 12 matches to play.

    Rene Meulensteen, a longtime assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, has suddenly started to coax some meaningful performances from several of his key players—Lewis Holtby, Darren Bent and William Kvist among them.

    A February 22 match away to West Bromwich Albion will be key for Meulensteen and company, as will a March 8 trip to Cardiff.

1. Chris Hughton, Norwich City

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    Chris Hughton has managed to avoid the sack on several occasions already this season, but Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat to West Ham won’t have done him any favours.

    Level with the Hammers coming into the match, Hughton’s Norwich City are now three points back of their former relegation rivals and head into next weekend’s match with Tottenham Hotspur on a four-match winless run.

    Hughton may get a pass against Spurs on February 23, but the following encounters with Aston Villa and Stoke City could seal his fate.