Firing Squad: Summer Sack Looms for Seedorf, Mazzarri, Sherwood and Others
We’re changing tack in this installment of the Firing Squad.
Between now and the end of the season, we’ll be using this space to highlight those managers who could well lose their jobs if results aren’t improved over the next few weeks.
While a few clubs could still pull the trigger on their current gaffers, it’s unlikely that any big names will be called out into the yard until next month, and they’re the ones we want to focus on.
Over the next five slides, we’ll examine those managers most likely to be cut loose if the wins don’t pile up before the middle of May.
5. Clarence Seedorf, AC Milan
It was less than a month ago that Corriere dello Sport (via Football Italia) reported Clarence Seedorf had been handed a Europa League ultimatum.
AC Milan have hardly improved since the Dutchman took over at the San Siro in January, and with seven rounds to play, they sit 11th in Serie A—five points back of their Europa League target.
It’s been a difficult, even embarrassing season for the Rossoneri, and a summer of upheaval is expected at the seven-time European champions.
The question club owner Silvio Berlusconi has to answer is whether or not he wants Seedorf in charge when the changes take place.
4. David Moyes, Manchester United
That a section of Manchester United supporters would like to see David Moyes ushered out of the club was made obvious when a plane flying a banner reading “Wrong one – Moyes out” was flown over Old Trafford during a recent match against Aston Villa.
The stunt was met with boos inside the ground, however, and a subsequent 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich seems to have strengthened Moyes’ position even further.
However, the United boss remains a flashpoint of contention.
Between now and the summer, the board will have to decide whether or not to entrust a sizable transfer kitty to a manager who as recently as last week was reported to be facing a player revolt, according to ESPN FC.
3. Walter Mazzarri, Inter Milan
Like Seedorf, Inter Milan manager Walter Mazzarri faces a "no Europe, no job" scenario at the San Siro, according to both Gazzetta dello Sport and Corriere dello Sport (via Football Italia).
Monday’s draw away to relegation-threatened Livorno left the struggling Nerazzurri just three points above seventh-place Atalanta and outside of the European places.
In fact, since the schedule resumed following the winter break, they’ve won just three of 14 matches.
Mazzarri’s Inter simply can’t find the back of the net. Since December 15, they’ve scored more than a single goal in a match on just three occasions.
2. Juan Antonio Pizzi, Valencia
There were high hopes for Miroslav Dukic when the Serb replaced Ernesto Valverde as Valencia manager last June.
However, the 48-year-old lasted only six months at the Mestalla before being sacked, and his own replacement—Juan Antonio Pizzi—hasn’t done much better.
Los Che have won just five La Liga matches in 2014, and while the Europa League has served as a bit of reprieve for the Spanish giants, they’re unlikely to return to European football next season given their eighth-place position in the table.
1. Tim Sherwood, Tottenham Hotspur
Former Netherlands international Ruud Gullit has told BBC Radio 5 live that Louis Van Gaal’s move to Tottenham Hotspur is a “done deal,” according to ESPN FC, and nothing from the Premier League outfit’s recent performances would seem to suggest they won’t be looking to change managers in the spring.
Current boss Tim Sherwood has rankled fans and observers with his heart-on-the-sleeve approach, and his team selections often leave the impression he picked the names out of a hat.
The 45-year-old, who had no experience in first-team management when he replaced Andre Villas-Boas in October, almost certainly won’t be back next season.
A strong run to finish the schedule would give club chairman Daniel Levy pause for thought, though.