10 Soccer Managers on the Hot Seat in 2013
Who needs to up their game?
With the 2012-13 season now half way through, which managers have their work cut out, and necks on the line as we begin the new year? The modern day club owners have incredibly short patience with their managers, and combine that with fans getting fed up, and yes, it's another man through the managerial trap door. There's plenty to play for this year, with World Cup 2014 qualification on the line and various clubs underachieving. Come the end of this year, half these guys could easily have had a very successful and pleasant year but for now some need to just be a bit careful and focus on stability and results.
Take a look at who and why needs to keep the results coming among other things if they are going to stay in the job at their current clubs, and countries.By Stowe Gregory @stowegregory
10 - Rafael Benitez
Having been appointed following Roberto Di Matteo's sacking early in the season, Benitez is still struggling to win over the Chelsea supporters. If results don't start to come consistently, then his future will be in doubt, with owner Roman Abramovic known for his quick managerial changes. Benitez isn't expected to stay beyond this season anyway, but the fans already hate him.
9 - Michael Appleton
Championship struggling Blackburn Rovers have appointed Michael Appleton after spending a shorter time at Blackpool than most Brits spend on holiday there. But it's the bonkers Indian owners, Venkys who mean Appleton is already under pressure. Who knows what they could do, but Appleton has the tough task of helping steer Rovers back towards the Premier League, and soon.
8 - Arsene Wenger
I didn't want to put Wenger in this, honest. But I feel like he is still under pressure, despite having turned Arsenal's fortunes around in recent weeks. The Arsenal legend since 1996 really needs a year that will keep his fans happy. Silverware is still believable, but a top 4 finish and pleasing transfer work will keep Gunners going for at least another year.
7 - Martin O'Neil
Sunderland boss O'Neil has a decent squad, and if his side don't start to pick up the wins, and end up in a relegation battle then the fans, and board in the North East may feel it's time for a change.
6 - Paul Lambert
Having been appointed Aston Villa's boss in the summer, Lambert has been given the tough task of keeping a fairly big club in the Premier League, with a naff and very young squad - albeit full of potential. But it's the embarrassing results which are now worrying, such as an 8-0 loss away at Chelsea, followed by Spurs and Wigan tearing them apart at home; then too top it off, a 3-1 defeat in the Capital One Cup to League 2 Bradford City. If things get much worse, then pressure will build. But for now the fans understand the tough challenge, and hope he can turn things around in both the League and Cup.
5 - Roy Hodgson
Again, didn't really want to put one of England's seemingly most sensible and experienced managers in recent times on this, but he really doesn't have room for error this year. World Cup qualification for Brazil 2014 will be decided this year, and if Hodgson fails to achieve this, it's likely he'll be on the way out. Furthermore, The FA's 150th Year celebrations are full of 'prestigious' friendlies. In Roy we trust!
4 - Roberto Mancini
The Manchester City manager (left in image) will go down in City history, having won their first Premier League title. But now the wheels seem to be slipping, rather than falling off. The situation at City is clearly unstable, neighbours Manchester United are rocketing away in the League race, whilst man management is becoming a costly weakness for Mancini. Having failed in Europe, again, he really needs his side to go all the way in both the FA Cup, and put up a better challenge in the League. The time for his departure has been discussed time and time again.
3 - Alan Pardew
Newcastle United gave boss Pardew an 8 year contract following their impressive 5th place finish last season. Yes, EIGHT years. But now his side are way down beside the relegation zone, and things are looking very worrying for Geordies. Captain Fabricio Coloccini has declared he wants to leave, whilst they've already sold main man Demba Ba to Chelsea. Newcastle fans expect, and they don't expect this, things need to change, and quickly.
2 - Massimiliano Allegri
AC Milan sit in a disappointing 7th place in Italy's Serie A. That's simply not good enough for the 7 times European Champions. Their President has said that his future will be decided on results, which are not good enough currently. If things don't turn around in the League then only Champions League success may save his bacon. Nervy times for Allegri.
1 - Jose Mourinho
Yes, one of the World's greatest managers, at one of the World's greatest clubs tops this list. His side are 3rd in the Spanish La Liga, 16 points behind leaders Barcelona, and 5 behind rivals Atletico Madrid. The League is long gone, to be frank, so all that can really make this season a success is a Champions League trophy. Manchester United are the next hurdle up and Sir Alex Ferguson is more determined than ever. This will probably be his last season at the club, but whether or not it'll be his choice, or the Real Madrid board's remains to be seen. Cristiano Ronaldo's not happy, the fans are getting more and more unhappy, and he's unhappy.