Firing Squad: Moyes, Schneider and Europe's Most Under-Fire Managers

Jerrad Peters@@jerradpetersWorld Football Staff WriterFebruary 27, 2014

Firing Squad: Moyes, Schneider and Europe's Most Under-Fire Managers

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    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    We’re going to give Chris Hughton a reprieve in this week's installment of the Firing Squad.

    After all, he earned it.

    Shortly after being given an ultimatum to keep Norwich City out of the relegation zone—or else, according to ESPN FC—the 55-year-old guided his side to a 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

    The Bundesliga is where we’ll look to fill his vacancy in this inauspicious ranking, and in the following slides, we’ll highlight some other managers from the German top flight, La Liga and the Premier League.

    Here are the most under-pressure managers in Europe’s top leagues. 

5. Christian Streich, Freiburg

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    Martin Meissner/Associated Press

    This is not how Freiburg were supposed to reprise their fifth-place finish of 2012-13.

    Going into Friday’s match away to Hertha Berlin, the Breisgau-Brasilianer are second from bottom in the Bundesliga and have the second-worst offensive record in the German top flight.

    Manager Christian Streich, appointed in 2011, simply hasn’t been able to coax goals out of his struggling side this term. Chairman Fritz Keller could suddenly opt for a managerial change simply to shake things up for the stretch run. 

4. David Moyes, Manchester United

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    David Moyes is in a fight to save his job as Manchester United manager, with The Independent reporting the 50-year-old has been given 12 matches by the club’s owners to prove he’s the man for the job.

    Just when it looked as though the Red Devils were about to turn the corner following a 2-0 win away to Crystal Palace, they played one of their worst matches of the season in a 2-0 loss to Olympiacos in the Champions League on Tuesday.

    Robin van Persie slammed Moyes’ tactics as “difficult” in his post-match comments, as per the Evening Standard, while The Guardian has reported the Dutchman could depart Old Trafford in the summer if things don’t improve.

    As things stand, they show no signs of doing so.

    Ahead of their March 8 trip to West Bromwich Albion, United are sixth in the Premier League—five points back of Tottenham and the division’s Europa League berth and a whopping 11 adrift of Liverpool and the Champions League places. 

3. Robin Dutt, Werder Bremen

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    Martin Meissner/Associated Press

    Bundesliga champions in 2004 and DfB Pokal winners in 2009, Werder Bremen now face the very real spectre of relegation with only 12 matches to play in their Bundesliga campaign.

    Following Sunday’s scoreless draw with Eintracht Frankfurt, Bremen are winless in 2014 and have posted just a single victory since the first week of November.

    Embattled manager Robin Dutt boasts the worst defensive record in the division—something hardly made easier by the fact that his side are averaging just over a goal per game.

    The 49-year-old was appointed following the exit of Thomas Schaaf last spring, but it looks as though his tenure at the club will be considerably shorter than that of his illustrious predecessor. 

2. Paco Jemez, Rayo Vallecano

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    Paco Jemez is La Liga’s "Teflon man."

    The popular 43-year-old guided Rayo Vallecano to an unlikely eighth-place finish in La Liga last season, but instead of building on the success, he has struggled just to keep the Madrid side’s head above water this term.

    With 13 matches to play, Vallecano are second from bottom in the Spanish top flight—five points from safety and leaking goals for fun.

    That they've only scored 25 times in 25 matches hardly bodes well for them, either, and chairman Raul Martin Presa could well decide to pull the plug on Jemez in a desperate attempt to stave off relegation.

    Rayo have won just twice since the second week of November and face difficult opposition in the next two weeks in the forms of Valencia and Real Sociedad. 

1. Thomas Schneider, Stuttgart

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    Daniel Bockwoldt/Associated Press

    Thomas Schneider’s Stuttgart return has been an unmitigated disaster.

    Appointed to replace the dismissed Bruno Labbadia in late August, the former defender (he played 12 seasons at the club) has so far delivered just five wins from 19 matches. He will go into Sunday’s game away to Eintracht Frankfurt without a victory since early December—a run of seven matches.

    His side have also conceded 10 goals in their last three outings and have struggled to find the supplementary goalscoring to support striker Vedad Ibisevic.

    Level on points with Hamburg, who sit in the relegation playoff place, Stuttgart are just a single point above the automatic drop and only four clear of last-place Eintracht Braunschweig.