Top Teams Who are Falling Far below Expectations
In most leagues like the Ligue 1 and the EPL, teams plays 38 matches each in the course of a season. With all the drama of a season – wins, losses, draws, injuries, morale fluctuations, personnel changes – it’s never predictable whether a team can maintain good form.
When a team is performing poorly it could be for a variety of reasons. This can be poor morale, lack of coach-team harmony, not capitalizing on high-profile signings made over the summer, and so forth.
It’s a trend common across all European leagues, and we have identified one poorly-performing. Otherwise promising team from each of the following leagues: the French Ligue 1, the German Bundesliga, the Italian Serie A, the Spanish La Liga, and the English Premier League.
AS Monaco FC in Ligue 1
The 2018-2019 season is AS Monaco’s 6th consecutive season in Ligue 1 since being promoted from Ligue 2 in 2013. Monaco has had a good couple of seasons before the current one: the champions in the 2016-2017 season of Ligue 1 and coming in at second position in the 2017-2018 season.
Since the 2016-2017 season win, they have lost several players including the outstanding Kylian Mbappe who shone at the 2018 World Cup, Benjamin Mendy, Tieoue Bakayoko, Bernado Silva, Valere Germain, Allan Saint-Maxamin, and others. This high player turnover has clearly had an impact, if the current position of the team is anything to go by.
As of this writing, Monaco is 18th out of 20 in Ligue 1, and the club management has noticed. Leonado Jardim is set to leave the team after 4 years as Monaco’s manager. Thierry Henry being touted as the most likely replacement. Having played nine games, the team has won only 1, drawn 3, and lost 5.
FC Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga
The 2018-2019 season is Schalke’s 28th consecutive one since getting promoted from the 2.Bundesliga (2nd division) in 1991. The team is currently passing through a trying period, and in 2017 the then coach Markus Weinzieri was replaced with Italian Domenico Tedesco.
Players that Schalke has lost recently include Thilo Kehrer, Benedikt Höwedes, Coke, Max Meyer, and Leon Goretzka. To plug the talent drain, the club recently acquired Bayern Munich midfielder Sebastian Rudy for €16m. However, this has not started to pay off yet.
Tedesco has many admirers, and the club has demonstrated a show of faith by extending his contract to 2022. This is in spite of the bad start the club has had. So far, they are at 15th out of 18 in the Bundesliga. Out of the 7 games they have played, they have won 2, drawn 0, and lost 5.
A.S. Roma in Serie A
The 2018/2019 season is the second where coach Eusebio Di fransisco is in charge of A.S. Roma. The club has extended his contract until 2020, and may be justified if the team’s recent performance is anything to go by.
While the team had a poor start in the season, its fortunes have begun to change and it is now at position 6 in the league. So far they played 8 games, with 4 wins, 2 draws, and 2 losses.
That said, the team, which completed at third place in the previous season with a 14-point gap between them and second-place Napoli, has suffered the loss of some of its players during the summer. The players include Radja Nainggolan, Alisson Becker, and Kevin Strootman.
Valencia in La Liga
Valencia is going through a long drought as far as titles are concerned. The team has not won the La Liga since 2004 when manager Rafa Benitez was at the helm. The team has had a terrible couple of years, during which they have flirted a bit too closely to relegation for their fans’ comfort.
They have also had a high coach turnover. At present all eyes are on new management team led by sporting director Mateu Alemany and coach Marcelina de Toral to deliver a win for Valencia.
Their performance in the 2017/2018 season was cheering for Valencia fans, who have had their hopes dashed for far too long. The team clinched the fourth place position. Which is not a joke when the teams ahead of you are Barcelona, Atlético Madrid, and Real Madrid.
However, they seem to be having a poor start in the 2018/2019 season. At present, the Spanish team is 14th of 20 teams in the league. Having played 8 games in total at the moment, it has had only 1 win, 6 draws, and 1 loss, an uninspiring performance.
Manchester United in the Premier League
It’s no secret that Manchester United has not been at their best since “the Chosen One” Sir Alex Ferguson retired. During that time, they have had uninspiring performances under coaches David Moyes, Louis Van Gaal, and now José Mourinho.
Granted, Mourinho did take the club to a second place finish last season. However, results this season have been uninspired: besting Leicester on opening day but losing to Brighton in their second fixture. Manchester, which used to be considered one of the EPL’s Big 4, is currently in 8th position. Have played 8 games, with 4 wins, 1 draw, and 3 losses.
Matters at Old Trafford haven’t been helped by the disagreement between coach Mourinho and midfielder Paul Pogba. The root cause of this trouble in paradise is reported to be the “carrot and stick” approach to player management that Mourinho uses to get the best out of his team. This approach is not working too well, especially with Pogba who is now a World cup final winner.
It is feared that Pogba’s frustration could be representative of other Man U players. The player has indicated that he wants to leave Old Trafford for Barcelona.