Four big European clubs face significant problems to combine great performances with satisfactory results. Remarkably, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich perform very poorly while they cannot win games consecutively. Various disappointing results in the last weeks have led their managers to a possible exit. Football World investigates the current situation on these clubs as well as the ‘manager – club’ relationship.

Mourinho: One step from the exit of Manchester United

Mourinho and Manchester United are both in a mess. The Portuguese called the journalists for an interview at 8 o’clock on Saturday morning to talk three minutes. Such behaviours indicate the panic that Special One faces. However, the problem is bigger. The club is losing its identity, as Gary Neville argued:

“If this is true and it’s broken the day before it’s going to happen and he’s sacked after the game or over the weekend then it’s an absolute disgrace. Where are the values and principles of Manchester United?”


United’s performances have not been improved in the last weeks, and the future seems more pessimistic than ever. The exit of Special One is one solution, however, if there is no Plan B for United’s bench, then the club will continue faces troubles on and off the pitch. The club lacks strategic planning and integration of young players. Manchester United will continue exists after Mourinho, but the major issue is how.

Manchester United fans prefer Zinedine Zidane as their new manager. In that case, there are two questions: Firstly, will Zizou undertake United’s bench in the middle of the season with chaotic dressing rooms? And secondly is Zidane suitable to replace Jose Mourinho?

Lopetegui: The ghost of Zinedine Zidane overshadows the Santiago Bernabeu

Real Madrid is in a new era. The departure of Zinedine Zidane has influenced the club immensely. Julen Lopetegui tries to keep Real Madrid at the top level, but his mission is tough. The absence of a qualitative bench is crucial for the so-far unsuccessful results. Remarkably, Lopetegui has already lost four matches out of 11 games, while Zidane lost his 4th match after 58 games. Real Madrid lacks goals and creativity, and the injuries are increasing weeks by weeks.

According to, Antonio Conte and Solari are the two names on Los Blancos’ list. Florentino Perez gave a deadline to the Spanish coach to reverse the current situation of the club. The ‘El Clasico’ on the 28th of October at Camp Nou is crucial for Julen Lopetegui. Although Real Madrid is underperforming under the instructions of Lopetegui, a change on Blanco’s bench may be a hasty decision. Sergio Ramos expressed his doubts about a possible replacement of Lopetegui:


“It would be crazy; the team is fighting for the top spots. We must keep our feet on the ground, be calmer, and try and turns things around.”




Even if Real Madrid will sack Lopetegui, the club needs transfers and world-class players in the attacking line. The season is long, but the current situation seems pessimistic for Merengues.

Valverde: From the successful double to the criticism

Ernesto Valverde is another manager who has linked with a possible exit by his club. The unsatisfactory results along with the disappointing performances have led the club to think about the replacement of Valverde. Against Valencia, Barcelona failed to win for 4th consecutive La Liga game in a row. Football World considers that the ‘Messi-dependence’ situation is the principal factor for this issue.

The departure of Andres Iniesta weakened the fantasy and the creativity of Barcelona’s midfield extremely. Thus, Sergio Busquets seems unsheltered and many times unable to cover his mistakes. Players like Busquets or Pique from Guardiola’s era have lost their abilities significantly. Lionel Messi is the only leader on the pitch, and without him, Barcelona is just a good team. The ‘Messi-dependence’ effect is more evident than ever, and Valverde seems unable to find a formula about it.

The replacement of Ernesto Valverde is one solution. But what about the alternatives? The names of Zinedine Zidane and Jose Mourinho are prohibited at Camp Nou, while Conte does not match with the club’s philosophy. Additionally, although Arsene Wenger is a respectable alternative, he is old-fashioned and outdated. Xavi Hernandez is the future of Barcelona’s bench. He is a legend, one of the most successful players in Barcelona’s history and he was a maestro of football. He knows the club’s core values entirely, and he learned the football philosophy of La Masia. However, as he claimed recently, he is not ready to become Barcelona’s coach.


“I think people expect things from me prematurely, like when they told me I was going to be the new Guardiola. I’m not ready to train Barcelona yet, I have to be ready soon, and  I must be patient “.


The future of Ernesto Valverde is controversial. The style of Barcelona’s football now has changed, and the club’s fans are not satisfied at all. The upcoming fixtures will decide if Valverde will stay in the Catalans or not.

Kovac: Many expectations, disappointing results

The bet for Bayern Munich to trust the inexperienced Niko Kovac is ineffective. The Croatian coach fails to manage his squad and control the dressing rooms successfully. For instance, James Rodriguez exclaimed against his coach to consider which club he is coaching.


“We are not Frankfurt here.”





Bayern Munich has not been refreshed, especially in the attacking line. Robben, Ribery, Lewandowski and Muller compose the Bavarians for more than five years. Nevertheless, the years go by, and their career is on a downward trend. Niko Kovac does not have the personality to control and enforce the dressing rooms of Bayern Munich. Thus, motivation is the fundamental aspect to gain trophies with the same players for years. This is what Niko Kovac fails to achieve in Munich. That’s why rumours in Germany reported a shortlist of potential managers for the Bavarians’ bench.

Although the primary goal for Bayern Munich is to win the Champions League title (read here), the 6th consecutive Bundesliga title is in danger as well. Jupp Heynckes is a positive solution who knows and understands the requirements of Bayern Munich. However, the club may need new, modern and well-experienced managers to return on the top of Europe. The question is if the club can find such a manager in the middle of the season. Sooner or later, we will know the answer.

What should these clubs do?

The question is clear. What exactly do these clubs need? A new manager or new transfers? Even if the cases are different, the critical point is the same. All these four clubs need a radical change in systematic strategic planning. Hurried decisions usually lead to failure. Thus, the international break now is the best time to reorganise and prioritise goals and resolutions. The next weeks are crucial for these clubs.

What do you think about these managers?

Feel free to share your thoughts and comments.


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