Firing Squad: Hughton, Schneider Among Europe's Most Under-Fire Managers
Sacking the manager doesn't necessarily result in a climb up the table.
Already this season, the likes of Fulham, Cardiff, Real Betis, Catania, Valenciennes and Sochaux have made managerial changes.
However, some of them are currently in relegation places—either as low in the standings or even worse off than they were when they made the decision to pull the trigger.
That said, we could still see a handful of managers called out into the yard to face the firing squad between now and the end of the season.
Following are five of them.
5. David Moyes, Manchester United
It’s hard to see David Moyes being sacked—at least before the summer—but a prolonged run of defeats would surely put The Chosen One’s job in jeopardy at Manchester United.
Already Moyes’ side are seventh in the Premier League with just 11 rounds to play, and the Red Devils’ 2-0 loss away to Olympiakos in the Champions League means their European aspirations are just as groundless as their hopes for re-entering the competition next season.
United have the second leg against Olympiakos coming up later this month, and they’re soon to face both Liverpool and Manchester City as well.
Given that sort of schedule, United can expect a further decline over the next few weeks—something that was never said during the long and illustrious reign of Sir Alex Ferguson.
4. Paco Jemez, Rayo Vallecano
Rayo Vallecano crept closer to safety with a 1-0 win at home to Valencia on Sunday.
The result, which takes the Madrid side to within three points of Almeria in 17th, has likely earned embattled manager Paco Jemez at least a week’s reprieve. With that being said, Monday’s trip to Real Sociedad will hardly be a comfortable one.
Rayo finished eighth in La Liga last term and were not expecting a relegation scrap this time around.
While Jemez has held onto his job until now, things are bound to get rather difficult for him over the next few weeks.
3. Christian Streich, Freiburg
Like Rayo Vallecano, Freiburg finished in the top half of the table last season (in fifth spot, actually) but are currently fighting for survival—second from bottom in the Bundesliga.
Their scoreless draw against Hertha Berlin last time out extended their winless run to five matches, and they've claimed all three points on just two occasions since early November.
Sunday’s contest at home to Borussia Dortmund will hardly alleviate the pressure on manager Christian Streich, who will be expected to work miracles against Eintracht Frankfurt and Werder Bremen in upcoming matches.
2. Chris Hughton, Norwich City
Just when it looked as though Chris Hughton had saved his job with a 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur, the Norwich City manager oversaw an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Aston Villa.
That 4-1 loss, the Canaries’ 14th in 28 matches, left the side just four points above the relegation places. With upcoming matches against Stoke, Southampton and Sunderland (two of which will be at home), they’ll have a chance to work their way back up the table.
If they don’t take at least four points from the nine available, it’s quite possible the bell will finally toll for Hughton, who has been under enormous pressure since the autumn.
1. Thomas Schneider, Stuttgart
Last weekend, Thomas Schneider watched as his Stuttgart side experienced one of their most disheartening defeats of a troubled campaign.
Leading Eintracht Frankfurt by a goal as the match entered the final 10 minutes, Die Roten somehow found a way to throw away three points—conceding late to Jan Rosenthal and Alexander Meier.
The loss was Stuttgart’s eighth in a row—a run of futility that hasn’t delivered a single point in 2014.
DfB Pokal finalists last spring, Stuttgart were supposed to be a mid-table side at the very least, and their all-encompassing collapse will almost certainly cost Schneider his job sooner or later.