Pressure Power Rankings: Mourinho's Chelsea seat gets even hotter

Friday October 30th, 2015

A fascinating weekend of European football is nearly upon us, but for some in positions of great power, it could be a Halloween horror show. "The Special One" Jose Mourinho faces "The Normal One" Jurgen Klopp after Chelsea's latest setback, a League Cup exit. Louis van Gaal is sick and tired of questions about Wayne Rooney, but the England striker remains in the crosshairs for Manchester United given his recent club form.

Out-of-form strikers outside of England, a title-winning manager and much more crack our top 10 of those facing the pressure across Europe as the winter nights draw in and another Champions League matchday looms on the horizon. Behold, our latest Pressure Power Rankings:

10
10IFK Norrkoping
Swedish club

 

10IFK Norrkoping
Swedish club

 

9
9Alexandre Lacazette
Lyon forward

 

9Alexandre Lacazette
Lyon forward

 

8
8Julian Nagelsmann
Hoffenheim U-19 manager

The man who Tim Weise nicknamed "Baby Mourinho" then coached Hoffenheim to the Under-19 league title in 2013, and to runner-up in 2015. It is second in the table eight games into this season. Bayern wanted to recruit him this summer, and sporting director Alexander Rosen’s succession planning seems like reward for his loyalty. Nagelsmann played down the obvious story that he will be the youngest Bundesliga coach in history and, like an old dog, said the most important game was the next one. That’s against Greuther Furth's U-19s.

7
7Tom Fox
Aston Villa CEO

 

7Tom Fox
Aston Villa CEO

 

6
6Diego Costa
Chelsea forward

Costa has only scored twice for the Blues in the league this season, and faces a fitness test but is expected to start against Skrtel with a broken rib. His bullying style is unplayable when he is on form, but when he is not, (i.e. this season) he comes across as a petulant child with no sense of fair play. Skrtel will be looking forward to the challenge.

5
5Nicolas Nkoulou
Marseille defender

He has played alongside three different center backs this season and was relegated to the bench in last week’s Europa League loss at Sporting Braga. He is 25, his contract is up next summer and his price is dropping fast.

4
4Nuno Espirito Santo
Valencia manager

Most of the summer budget was spent on making permanent the loans of Mendes players like Andre Gomes and Rodrigo Moreno, and last week’s loss at Atletico Madrid showed the gulf that Valencia has to make up to replicate fourth again. Fans have called for Nuno to leave, as he is their lightning-rod for the frustration at the Lim/Mendes partnership. A derby win will at least get them off his back, even if it is only temporarily.

3
3Wayne Rooney
Manchester United forward

“The hardest thing to coach is scoring goals and creativity,” he told the BBC. “I was at the derby on Sunday and Rooney’s movement was brilliant but when he’s playing in that team there’s no one prepared to pass to him. I think after 20 minutes you’d be tearing your hair out.”

3Wayne Rooney
Manchester United forward

“The hardest thing to coach is scoring goals and creativity,” he told the BBC. “I was at the derby on Sunday and Rooney’s movement was brilliant but when he’s playing in that team there’s no one prepared to pass to him. I think after 20 minutes you’d be tearing your hair out.”

2
2Massimiliano Allegri
Juventus manager

Allegri has kept Juventus ‘in retiro’–a training-camp–this week to focus on the Turin game. It’s the first for Juventus since the days of Luigi De Neri back in 2010. Allegri is being proactive in his efforts to improve results: he will revert to a 4-3-3 system. But will it be Mandzukic or Dybala who starts with Morata and Juan Cuadrado?

1
1Jose Mourinho
Chelsea manager

Chelsea has slightly improved performances in the last two games and after Saturday’s tie against Liverpool, Chelsea has a more comfortable run of games (including Norwich, Bournemouth, Leicester, Sunderland and Watford). Still, Liverpool will be desperate to push Mourinho over the edge; he has been a hate figure for the Reds ever since the 2005 Carling Cup final, and few have forgotten Chelsea’s role in Liverpool’s collapse in 2014, when a mostly reserve side won at Anfield to dent its title hopes.

GALLERY: The many faces of Jose Mourinho

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