Europe's Biggest Underachieving Clubs: United & Milan Sides Play out the String
Welcome back to the most inauspicious list in the business: the biggest underachieving clubs in European football.
PSV Eindhoven are back with us after finishing a disappointing fourth in the Eredivisie, and Manchester United and the two Milan giants keep their places as well.
There’s also space for German and Spanish representation, so without further adieu, let’s have a look at the six clubs that have most underperformed as the club season reaches its conclusion.
They may be coming off a 4-2 win over Lyon, but Marseille’s form in 2013-14 has been mostly disappointing.
With two matches remaining in their Ligue 1 campaign (they’ll face Bordeaux away and Guingamp at home) L’OM are sixth in the French top flight, two points back of the final Europa League spot.
No doubt the summer will see plenty of changes at Stade Velodrome, including the appointment of a new manager.
Valencia’s surprising run to the semi-finals of the Europa League was a welcome reprieve from the tribulations of La Liga for one of Spain’s biggest clubs.
Ahead of the city derby away to Levante on Saturday, Los Che have won just one of their previous seven matches in the Spanish top flight and sit a disappointing eighth in the standings.
They can’t move up, although both Levante and Celta Vigo could still pass them.
4. PSV Eindhoven
It was a strange, streaky season at PSV Eindhoven.
At times, it seemed the Dutch giants couldn't win a match to save their lives. At others, they looked well near unbeatable.
But despite concluding their Eredivisie campaign with back-to-back wins over PEC Zwolle and NAC Breda, they finished a disappointing fourth in the standings and narrowly avoided the European play-off round.
3. AC Milan
Wouldn't it be something if AC Milan nicked a Europa League spot and Inter Milan dropped out of the top six?
But that’s exactly what could happen over the final two matchdays in Serie A, as the Rossoneri look to build on Sunday’s derby win over Inter when they face Atalanta and Sassuolo.
Milan are presently on 54 points—level with Parma and just one back of sixth-place Torino and the Europa League spots.
And just a point higher? Inter. And they’re dropping like a rock.
2. Inter Milan
A derby loss to AC Milan was precisely what Inter Milan didn't need in the first week of May.
As it stands, the Nerazzurri are still fifth in Serie A, although upcoming matches against Lazio and Chievo will test their mettle.
Lose them, and they could well drop out of the Europa League places—something that would have been unfathomable back in the autumn when they were near the top of the standings.
1. Manchester United
David Moyes has been sacked and now the brief tenure of Ryan Giggs is about to come to an end as well.
Manchester United will face Southampton at St Mary’s on Sunday, and so will end the club’s most difficult campaign of the Premier League era.
Presently seventh in the Premier League, the Red Devils could still snatch a Europa League place in the event Tottenham lose at home to Aston Villa.
But do they even want it?