Firing Squad: Barca's Martino, Inter's Mazzarri Facing Uncertain Summers
The European football season is drawing to a close, with many of the UEFA region’s top leagues set to reach their conclusions within the next month.
By this point the majority of clubs will have resigned themselves to closing out their schedules with their current managers, although uncertain summers and uncomfortable conversations are likely in store for many of them.
The next five slides will reveal those managers most in danger of facing a summer Firing Squad.
5. David Moyes, Manchester United
Manchester United may have made an impressive stand against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, but a likely seventh-place finish in the English top flight isn’t going down all that well at Old Trafford, especially as the club won the Premier League only 11 months ago.
David Moyes, who was appointed after longtime manager Sir Alex Ferguson retired last spring, will probably face some tough questions over the next few weeks and months. The Red Devils have already been linked with a pair of high-profile coaches who could potentially replace him.
Although they’ve denied it, United officials are thought to have already made contact with Louis van Gaal, per Richard Jolly of ESPN FC, while Jurgen Klopp is also a target for the three-time European champions, according to Darren Lewis and Martin Lipton of the Mirror.
4. Gus Poyet, Sunderland
Sunderland’s impressive draw away to Manchester City on Wednesday earned the club a vital point in their bid to escape relegation, but going into their 34th match of the season the Black Cats are still bottom of the Premier League and six points from safety.
Playing Chelsea this weekend, Sunderland are winless in nine and will also have to pay a visit to Old Trafford before the end of the season.
Embattled manager Guy Poyet, who replaced the controversial Paolo Di Canio back in October, has yet to really impress at the Stadium of Light.
Granted, his side has occasionally played some nice football, but at this point it’s fair to say Poyet's fate is tied to Sunderland’s Premier League survival.
3. Walter Mazzarri, Inter Milan
Inter Milan’s 4-0 win away to Sampdoria on Sunday arrested a four-match winless skid and reinvigorated the struggling club’s bid for Europa League football going into next season.
The thing is, without any sort of any European commitment in the current campaign, Inter were expected to contend for a Champions League place at the very least, and manager Walter Mazzarri could well pay the price for the disappointment.
Rumours have already surfaced that former Nerazzurri boss and current Galatasaray manager Roberto Mancini could return to the San Siro next season, per Ben Gladwell of ESPN FC, and pressure on Mazzarri will only increase if his side drops out of the Europa League places.
Presently fifth in Serie A, Inter are just two points clear of sixth and five above seventh.
2. Tata Martino, Barcelona
Tata Martino’s brief tenure at Barcelona is almost certainly coming to an end.
The Argentine has already lost the dressing room at Camp Nou, according to Luis F. Rojo of Marca, and Wednesday’s Copa del Rey defeat at the hands of Real Madrid won’t have helped his cause.
Popular Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp is a target for the Catalans, per Liam Prenderville of the Mirror, and Ajax boss Frank de Boer told Sport 1 (h/t Goal.com) that he “would consider” filling a Barcelona vacancy.
1. Tim Sherwood, Tottenham Hotspur
Tim Sherwood will almost certainly be sacked at season’s end, as Tottenham Hotspur look to get more out of a group of players for which they paid big money last summer.
At present Spurs sit sixth in the Premier League with six matches remaining, but Manchester United’s game in hand could mean Tottenham might miss out on a European place going into next season.
Needless to say, expectations have not been met at White Hart Lane, and according to Goal.com the club have made Louis van Gaal their No. 1 choice to replace Sherwood after the World Cup.