The post of a football manager is arguably the most precarious job in the beautiful game at the moment. Several legends of the sport have tried their hand at managing a high-profile football club and have come up short over the past decade.
Football clubs across Europe generally set expectations of their managerial appointments at the start of the season and are often ruthless with their assessments of the team's results. A host of big names including Thomas Tuchel and Lucien Favre have already taken the fall this season for failing to get the best out of their charges.
While Tuchel and Favre have already been served the short end of the stick, there are a few managers across Europe who are hanging on to their posts by a thread and a few others who have managed to make a few improvements to largely disappointing campaigns.
With football in a distinct transitional period at the moment, managers in the sport have experimented with young players and fresh tactics over the past year. There have been a few big names that have not enjoyed the most positive of campaigns this season and will need to take it up the notch in the business end of the season.
#5 Mikel Arteta (Arsenal)
Mikel Arteta had a particularly topsy-turvy 2020 at the helm of an Arsenal side that is now a shadow of the great Gunners teams of the past. The Spanish manager took charge of the club after Unai Emery's sacking and has suffered difficult periods with the North London giants.
Arsenal are currently in 11th place in the Premier League standings and while relegation is not a threat for the Gunners, a top-four finish still seems like a distant dream. Arsenal's squad needs plenty of work in the coming months and Mikel Arteta has his work cut out for him.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel, however, for Mikel Arteta. Arsenal have several young prodigies in their ranks and have witnessed an uptick in fortunes since the start of the new year. The Premier League is an unforgiving competition, however, and Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and his troops will need something special to satiate their fanbase by the end of the season.
#4 Andrea Pirlo (Juventus)
Juventus' domination of the Serie A in recent years has often painted Italian football in a rather predictable light. Over the past decade, Juventus have won an astonishing nine consecutive Scudettos and have reduced a historically competitive league to a one-horse race.
The 2020-21 campaign, however, has witnessed the resurgence of AC Milan and a fair share of impressive performances from Inter Milan and AS Roma. Juventus have done themselves no favours with a series of underwhelming performances in the Serie A and Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo will have to cop some of the blame.
Juventus have recovered over the past few weeks with a crucial victory over AC Milan and impressive performances against Sassuolo and Udinese. The Bianconeri remain seven points behind AC Milan, however, and need to pull their socks up ahead of an important set of fixtures.