Europe's Biggest Underachieving Clubs: Man United Not out of the Woods Yet

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterMarch 12, 2014

Europe's Biggest Underachieving Clubs: Man United Not out of the Woods Yet

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    Malte Christians/Associated Press

    Welcome to the latest edition of our underachieving list—arguably one of the worst top fives you can feature in football.

    Manchester United have enjoyed a few decent weeks, but that doesn't detract from a horror season so far, while the Bundesliga offers us two suggestions we simply weren't able to ignore.

    Find out who joins the Red Devils and company by reading on! 

Manchester United

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    Rui Vieira/Associated Press

    Manchester United's mini-renaissance is not enough to haul them from our underachieving list.

    Successive 2-0 and 3-0 victories have been superb, and not only is the team firing again, it's also managed to keep a much sought-after clean sheet as well. The Red Devils' lead at half-time against West Bromwich Albion was their first going into the break since December at Villa Park.

    David Moyes will point to those results—and the improved midfield display to boot—as proof he can get results, but it was only WBA and Palace. 

    Come on, David. Let's beat the big boys, too. 


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    Paul White/Associated Press

    Milan still have a big-club mentality, but at some point the reality of their situation needs to hit home.

    The bravado from the board ahead of their Champions League second leg against Atletico Madrid was admirable but misplaced. It places pressure on a side not fit to represent the famous Rossoneri colours to perform wonders—and they can't.

    It's three losses in a row in all competitions, with the most disappointing coming to Udinese. They're out of the Champions League and won't be back for a while. 

FC Porto

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    Paulo Duarte/Associated Press

    FC Porto are supposed to be contenders in Europe, a force at home and a challenger for every trophy going.

    Unfortunately, Paulo Fonseca's dismal reign ensured the club is nowhere near to challenging the Champions League latter stages or Liga Sagres title this season.

    With the season well into its final stretch, the Dragoes are nine points off the league pace set by Benfica and have only the Taca de Portugal semifinals to look forward to.

    Unfortunately, that's against Benfica as well! 


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    Sebastian Kahnert/Associated Press

    Huub Stevens, the new man in charge, has a lot of work to do before his "rescue mission" comes to fruition at Stuttgart.

    He's inherited a beleaguered crop from Thomas Schneider, having lost an astonishing 14 games in the Bundesliga already. With five losses and a draw to Eintracht Braunschweig in their last six, the Swabians know they face no small task to stay up.

    Stevens has swapped qualifying for the Champions League with Schalke to battling relegation: Can he handle the change? 

Hamburg SV

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    Malte Christians/Associated Press

    Even worse off than Stuttgart, though only by one goal, is Hamburg SV.

    They're languishing in the relegation play-off place (16th) thanks to Bert van Marwijk's questionable work this season, leaving Mirko Slomka one hell of a job to do to turn this ship around.

    HSV can field Rafael van der Vaart, Hakan Calhanoglu, Milan Badelj and Ola John—what are they doing in such a poor Bundesliga position?

    They've taken four points from their last possible nine and beat Borussia Dortmund 3-0 a few weeks ago. Perhaps Slomka is the man for the job after all, or perhaps they really are just too good to go down?

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