I will be looking at which European club managers in my opinion have the potential to be sacked first in the upcoming season. These are in no particular order;

1)      Tito Vilanova (Barcelona); being Pep Guardiola’s assistant during his massively successful reign in charge at the Camp Nou, the  pressure is on for Vilanova to prove he can make the transition from successful assistant to winning manager. During his time in charge Guardiola won 14 trophies in 4 seasons, including 2 Champions League titles which some will argue make him the most successful coach in Barcelona’s history. No pressure for Tito Vilanova then? His primary objective must be to win back the La Liga title from Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid. If the Catalan giants have a poor start to the season or are lagging behind half way through, it is possible that they may look for a manager with a proven track record and show Vilanova the door.

2)      Steven Clark (West Bromwich Albion); Clarke has a big job on his hands as Roy Hodgson had appeared to have done the impossible, by making West Brom a Premier League rather than a yo-yo club. Steve Clarke has enjoyed varied degrees of success as an assistant at Chelsea, West Ham, Newcastle and Liverpool but he has yet to prove himself as a manager. The Baggies are the first club that the Scotsman has managed, and fans will not expect a drop in standard which could cause their team to be pulled into a relegation dogfight. Moreover, Hodgson did well to build a decent squad, and supporters will be looking for Clarke to keep this successful squad together and even add to it. There have been rumours that he has already had a fall out with star striker Peter Odemwingie. This is something that will not have a positive impact on his tenure as boss. However, sealing a permanent deal for Ben Foster and signing Argentinean international Claudio Yacob are both great additions to an already solid squad. However, it is important that Clarke makes a strong start to the season and dismisses any suggestions that he may not be suitable for the role of manager; otherwise the club could make a swift decision in order to maintain their all important Premier League status.

3)      Andrea Stramaccioni (Inter Milan); although he managed to guide Inter to 6th in Serie A and defeat rivals AC Milan that cost them the title, supporters will be expecting a Champions League place and a push for the title at the very least. Remember it was only two years ago when Inter Milan won the Champions League under Jose Mourinho and since then they have not lost all of their world class players. They still have Wesley Sneijder, Javier Zanetti, Christian Chivu, Julio Cesar, Diego Milito and Esteban Cambiasso amongst others. Stramaccioni has never coached another club apart from Roma Youth and won’t have a UEFA coaching license until June 2013. If Inter do not make a strong start to the season and stake an early claim for the Serie A title then he may face the sack before then.

4)      Carlo Ancelotti (Paris Saint-Germain); after splashing the cash this summer on big named players such as Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, PSG will expect manager Carlo Ancelotti to deliver immediate and noticeable success to the French Club. With players of high quality and of proven European pedigree the club and their fans will be hoping Ancelotti can lead them on a successful run in Europe. Similarly, they will be hoping that the money spent will allow them to progress from being runners up to Ligue 1 champions. An early European exit or a run of poor league form, twinned with high expectations, big named players and large amounts of cash spent could lead to a negative situation for Ancelotti. If this were to happen we could see the large amounts of money being used to find Ancelotti’s replacement rather than adding to his current squad.

5)      Jupp Heynckes (Bayern Munich); this is Heynckes third stint in charge of Bayern Munich after he won 2 Bundesliga titles during his 1987-1991 reign and returned in 2009 as caretaker manager after the sacking of Jurgen Klinsmann. Heynckes will be hoping and expected to reclaim another Bundesliga title, especially after a hat trick of runners up medals last season. For a club of Bayern stature this is not viewed as being good enough. They lost the Bundesliga and German cup to Borussia Dortmund and of course the Champions League Final to Chelsea in their own stadium. There will be high expectations placed on the manager and his talented squad. Bayern will be hurting after not winning anything last season and in particular losing their dream final in the Allianz Arena to Chelsea. This is why Heynckes will be expected to get the club back to winning ways and turn those runners up medals into winners medals. Bayern Munich and its fans demand success, and if it appears that this is not going to be given to them Heynckes position could well be in jeopardy. You only have to look at Jurgen Kilnsmann who finished 3 points behind Wolfsburg in the 2008/09 season and was sacked.

 

Of course all 5 men may have very successful seasons, but all have the potential to lose their jobs if things do not go their way, especially as 4 out of the 5 mentioned are from massive European Clubs (no disrespect to West Brom).

What do you think? Do you disagree with me? If so feel free to comment below.

 

By Niall Murray (@evaporatedc)

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