Ranking 20 Incoming Managers Most Likely to Fail This Season

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterJuly 25, 2014

Ranking 20 Incoming Managers Most Likely to Fail This Season

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    Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

    Across Europe's Top 5 leagues (measured by Opta), there were 27 managerial switches this summer as clubs sought new direction and flavour in their approach.

    We've taken the list and cut out the seven most likely to succeed, then ranked the rest in order of their likelihood of, well, failing.

    Football management's a tough job, and there are some projects you just can't fix. Whether it's standing still, relegation or a firing, all 20 of these men should be on alert.

The Other Seven

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    Dino Panato/Getty Images

    Here are the seven other new managers in Europe's Top 5 leagues:

    Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham Hotspur

    Luis Enrique, Barcelona

    Roger Schmidt, Bayer Leverkusen

    Claude Makelele, Bastia

    Marcelo Bielsa, Marseille

    Nuno Espirito Santo, Valencia

    Thomas Schaaf, Eintracht Frankfurt

20. Ronald Koeman, Southampton

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    Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    Ronald Koeman's stock going into the season is still yet to be determined, as the squad situation at Southampton is firmly up in the air.

    If he loses two more key peripherals and fails to sign anyone to replace them he's in trouble, but so far he's been swift and impressive in securing Eredivisie replacements for his lost comrades.

19. Sylvain Ripoll, Lorient

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    Lorient is a well-run club who have a project and plan in place. Christian Gourcuff's resignation after 11 years at the helm is a big blow, but Sylvain Ripoll—his former assistant—is primed to take the reins and continue.

    Assistants taking over is never a sure bet, but continuity at a club like Lorient is paramount and Ripoll provides this.

18. Sergio Gonzalez, Espanyol

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    Sergio Gonzalez in action for Espanyol as a player (2001).
    Sergio Gonzalez in action for Espanyol as a player (2001).Getty Images/Getty Images

    Sergio Gonzalez is an inexperienced coach, but he has Espanyol on his side after working with the reserve teams under Javier Aguirre over the past few years.

    The club love his personality and training methods, per Sky Sports, and he's also a former player. An all-round low-risk appointment.

17. Zdenek Zeman, Cagliari

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    With Zdenek Zeman, rich success is just as likely as a complete circus; the Czech manager is high-profile, high-risk but also high-reward.

    That makes him very tough to place, but if things go his way and the entertaining football begins to flow, Cagliari can recover from a dismal 15th-placed season with ease.

    Zeman could be at either end of this list, but we're tipping another success story.

16. Andrea Stramaccioni, Udinese

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    Claudio Villa/Getty Images

    The return of the lawyer!

    Udinese have a squad ripe with potential, and Andrea Stramaccioni has a challenging job on his hand to extract its very best.

    Things at the Zebrette are never settled due to the multiple co-ownership deals and loans between themselves, Granada and Watford. Roberto Pereyra seems like he's off to Juventus, Luis Muriel needs a bounce-back season and Antonio Di Natale is declining.

15. Eduardo Berizzo, Celta Vigo

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    Luis Hidalgo/Associated Press

    Eduardo Berizzo crosses the ocean for his first European managerial job, and what does he get? The Celta Vigo job at one of its rare high-points in football.

    Replacing Luis Enrique, who worked wonders with Os Celticos last season on the way to a ninth-placed finish in La Liga, is near-impossible.

    Lucky for him, the pressure of expectation will be somewhat diminished.

14. Armin Veh, Stuttgart

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    Martin Meissner/Associated Press

    Stuttgart were really quite poor last season and were saved only by the fact that Hamburg and Nurnberg were actually a tad worse.

    The roster is stronger than many of the Bundesliga's other teams with the likes of Vedad Ibisevic, Moritz Leitner and Gotoku Sakai in tow, but it's a change of culture and mindset that's needed here.

    Armin Veh has a wealth of experience behind him, though, and will be optimistic about righting the ship.

13. Hubert Fournier, Lyon

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    A very old photo of Hubert Fournier in his playing days tackling Paul Merson.
    A very old photo of Hubert Fournier in his playing days tackling Paul Merson.Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Hubert Fournier did a fantastic job with Stade de Reims, returning them to Ligue 1 and establishing them as a strong contender in mid-table last season.

    But the pressure of taking on a sleeping giant in Lyon is sizable, we're still one year away from the removal of Yoann Gourcuff's massive contract and Gueida Fofana is facing six months out.

    There's talent there in Alexandre Lacazette and Co., but this job is no walk in the park.

12. Massimiliano Allegri, Juventus

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    Claudio Villa/Getty Images

    Massimiliano Allegri was confirmed as Juventus manager just a day after Antonio Conte decided to resign, and while most managers would relish taking on the task at the Bianconeri, this one's a toughie.

    It's expected that the Old Lady will lose a key player—likely Arturo Vidal—this summer and his traditional 4-3-1-2 formation barely fits the current team.

    While Juve are by no means slouches, Roma could well knock them off their perch this season, and that would spell failure for Serie A's most successful side ever.

11. Jean-Luc Vasseur, Reims

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    With Hubert Fournier at Lyon, Stade de Reims wasted no time in appointing promising young manager Jean-Luc Vasseur as his replacement.

    He led Creteil to an 11th-placed finish in Ligue 2 last season but that's the extent of his coaching career. Despite obvious potential leading to French football critics' excitement over this show of faith, Reims are losing key players and look highly unlikely to repeat last season's heroics.

10. Willy Sagnol, Bordeaux

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    Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images

    Willy Sagnol is the latest young coach to be given a shot at the managerial big time, but this is a big risk for Bordeaux.

    Once a powerhouse of Ligue 1, Les Girondins are slipping away in Ligue 1 and don't have the financial clout to claw their way back.

    Sagnol is either a tactical genius and the team rise to the fore, or they sit still in anonymity.

9. Victor Fernandez, Deportivo La Coruna

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    Victor Fernandez has been instated as the man to keep Deportivo La Coruna—a storied, traditional European club—in La Liga this season.

    Fernando Vazquez led them to promotion but was sacked following some outspoken, negative comments on the club's signing policy, and Fernandez must now find a way to recruit enough talent to survive.

    Isaac Cuenca on a one-year deal is a good start.

8. Filippo Inzaghi, Milan

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    Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

    The managerial job at Milan has not been kind to recent incumbents, and early signs aren't exactly encouraging for returning legend Filippo Inzaghi either.

    Mario Balotelli's future is, as usual, up in the air, and preseason results aren't exactly swinging the Rossoneri's way. Inzaghi is an unknown quantity at management level, but he requires better players if he has any hopes of succeeding.

7. Javi Gracia, Malaga

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    Malaga are a club stuck in limbo: Just a few short years removed from challenging Borussia Dortmund for a place in the UEFA Champions League semi-final, yet also, seemingly, a few bad years from relegation to the Segunda Division.

    They placed 11th last season in La Liga, which is perfectly respectable, but lost arguably their best player in Willy Caballero this summer to Manchester City.

    For Javi Gracia, who recently got relegated with Osasuna, this may well be another bridge too far.

6. Stefano Pioli, Lazio

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    Stefano Pioli has made a living out of hopping from club to club, so he's a strange choice for Lazio considering their promising status in Italian football.

    They weren't far off the hunt for European football last season despite losing talismanic midfielder Hernanes in January, and they could well have picked up a stronger name when appointing.

5. Kasper Hjulmand, Mainz

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    Jens Dresling/Associated Press

    Kasper Hjulmand has made some nice signings so far, with Chile's FIFA World Cup 2014 star Gonzalo Jara and Benfica's Filip Djuricic already confirmed and in the fold.

    However, he'll be managing under the shadow of club legend Thomas Tuchel, who this summer departed the club after five great years at the helm.

    A tough ask.

4. Jose Luis Mendilibar, Levante

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    Levante enjoyed a bit of a fairytale 2013-14 season, but a key figure in their showings—Keylor Navas—looks certain to depart the club.

    Jose Luis Mendilibar will need to work the market wisely to replace him and keep the strong team spirit intact if the club are to repeat a 10th-placed finish.

    Unfortunately, his track record isn't particularly strong.

3. Joaquin Caparros, Granada

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    Joaquin Caparros can boast sporadic success throughout his managerial experience, but nothing to suggest he can grab Granada by the scruff of the neck and carry them forward.

    His predecessor, Lucas Alcaraz, secured El Grana's La Liga survival on the final day of last season and resigned, leaving Caparros with a rebuilding project sans key midfield man Yacine Brahimi.

    This is one of the toughest jobs in Europe without doubt.

2. Leonardo Jardim, Monaco

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    Lionel Cironneau/Associated Press

    Leonardo Jardim may have enjoyed remarkable success with a young and promising Sporting team in Portugal last season, but the battle at Monaco will be even harder.

    Finishing anywhere below second will be a failure despite the club's ridiculous offseason moves so far. James Rodriguez and Emmanuel Riviere have gone and no replacements have been signed, and while that could change, the ASM project hardly looks healthy right now.

1. Alan Irvine, West Bromwich Albion

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    West Bromwich Albion have taken another seismic gamble in appointing a relatively inexperienced manager. With Alan Irvine, you feel shades of Steve Clarke in 2012.

    But whereas Clarke was an assistant to some of the finest managerial figureheads in football before being appointed, Irvine has been tucked away in the lower leagues or as an academy manager.

    This could go one of two very distinct ways.