European Pressure Power Rankings: Blatter, Liverpool feeling most heat
The pattern is the same across European football: one bad month of results can put enormous pressure on all but the most successful of coaches. After examining who was under the most pressure in England last week, we've opened up our Pressure Power Rankings to all of Europe, and in this short-term, what-have-you-done-lately environment, this week's rankings look at who goes into this weekend’s matches needing things to go their way.
Thanks to some recent extenuating circumstances, the face on the top has little to do with the domestic club scene. His problems are far more wide-ranging and grand in scope, the implications of which could be felt all throughout the soccer world.
Here are the latest Pressure Power Rankings:
So is Gracia worried? Actually, not really. He proved last season why he is so highly rated, his side finishing ninth and taking four points from Barcelona, more than any other team. Gracia is following in the footsteps of Manuel Pellegrini: he was youth-team coach under the Chilean at Villarreal, and is now at Malaga, whom Pellegrini took to the Champions League quarterfinal in 2013. That seems a long way off now, but scoring a single goal would be a good place to start.
Fournier perhaps gave a more realistic summary: “You can multiply a salary by four, but sadly the player doesn't become four times as good.”
The challenge for manager Luis Enrique is to remind ter Stegen of that and to keep him confident. It would also help if the form of the players in front of him improved.
Blatter's right-hand man Jerome Valcke was suspended by FIFA last week after allegations, which he has denied, that he had profited from World Cup tickets sold above face value. Whether Blatter suffers the same fate will be down to FIFA's Ethics Committee. How this latest investigation implicates Platini, who was favorite to replace the Swiss as FIFA president next February, remains to be seen.