Carlo Ancelotti is no doubt one of the greatest football managers alive, but that fact didn't prevent him from being sacked from Real Madrid last spring. Jose Mourinho is another living legend, but his clout and legacy hasn't diminished the speculation that he's on the chopping block at Chelsea. The point is, even coaches who most everyone expects can't always keep their jobs in the high-turnover field of professional football club management. So, we ask are Manchester United supporters growing impatient with Louis van Gaal and could his job be at risk?
Carlos Tevez left Juventus in the lurch this summer, opting to return to his former club, Argentina's Boca Juniors, rather than stay in Italy for another contract cycle. Tevez was Juve's top scorer during the 2014 2015 campaign, tallying 20 goals in league play and 29 across all competitions. He led the football club to titles it both the Serie A and the Coppa Italia, the runner-up finishes in both the UEFA Champions League and the Supercoppa Italia. Fast-forward to this season and Juventus are struggling to earn a spot in the upper half of the Serie A table, and the lack of Tevez is a big part of the reason why. But Boca Juniors fans can rejoice in Tevez's skill as Boca Juniors win Argentine League title for the 25th time.
A Triumphant Return for Tevez
If Juventus are hurting without Carlos on the soccer pitch, though, the 31-year-old Argentine forward is doing just fine without his old Italian club. His
ACF Fiorentina are making a strong impression in the 2015 2016 season. In addition to leading the way in the Italian Serie A after 12 weeks of competition, the Lilies seem like safe bets to progress to the knockout stage in the 2015 2016 UEFA Europa League. Fiorentina have been heading in this direction for awhile now: last season, they reached the semifinals of the Europa League (ultimately losing to eventual champions Sevilla) and fourth place in the Serie A. Could this be the year where the Lilies finally return to the top of the Serie A, or clinch their first-ever Europa League title?
At Soccer Box, we think that, when all is said and done, the 2015 2016 season could easily go down in history as Fiorentina's finest. With that thought in mind, we are now carrying the Fiorentina football shirts 2015/16, from new kit manufacturer Le Coq Sportif.
Manchester City and Arsenal may be the football clubs at the top following week 12 of 2015/16 Premier League play, and Chelsea may be grabbing more headlines than just about any English team, thanks to their disastrous season so far. However, arguably no soccer club in the league has enjoyed more of a renaissance this season than Leicester City.
Indeed, the Foxes are sitting third in the Premier League after 12 weeks of competition, just one point behind both Manchester City and Arsenal. They've won seven of their games and have only lost one, making them the least beaten club in the league right now, alongside Tottenham Hotspur. Add the fact that Leicester currently have the top two scorers in the EPL, and the Foxes are beginning to look like legitimate title contenders.
After having their chances of a historic fifth consecutive Eredivisie title dashed last season, AFC Ajax is back on top for the Dutch Eredivisie 2015/16 season. The Lancers had an opportunity last weekend to expand their lead in the league even further, in a high-profile match against top title competitors Feyenoord. Ajax managed to retain their lead drawing the match 1-1. However, the draw did open up the door for PSV Eindhoven-whose season started out slowly, following their 2014 2015 title win-to worm their way back into the title conversation.
One of the most immediately identifiable scenes at any major international tournament on the world football stage is the brightly clad group of raucous orange supporters cheering on Netherlands-but it's a sight and a sound that Euro 2016 will have to do without.
Having finished up as the third-best team in the world barely 18 months ago at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Netherlands endured a shocking qualification campaign for next summer's tournament in France and, having failed to qualify, have to begin again under new boss Danny Blind. With Guus Hiddink masterminding a shambolic run of five defeats 10 games over his nine months in charge, he was quickly jettisoned from the national team set-up-with Blind stepping up from assistant to head coach, a year earlier than originally intended.
When Tim Sherwood was sacked from Aston Villa and Remi Garde was appointed in his place, even the most adamant believers in the Claret and Blue were skeptical about just how much the new manager could change. Remi Garde did well in his three seasons at France's Olympique Lyonnais, but he was also arriving at Aston Villa with the football club in virtual tatters. How could he fix things when so much was broken? However, in his first game as manager he oversaw a strong performance from Aston Villa against Manchester City, is this the beginning of new found fortunes for the Claret and Blue?
Aston Villa's Tough Situation
Indeed, while Sherwood helped Aston Villa to avoid relegation last season, that's just about the only positive thing that could be said about the soccer club's last 12 to 18 months. The Lions lost their biggest talents over
Already, it looks as if Paris Saint Germain will be unstoppable in their campaign to win a fourth straight title in France's Ligue 1. The Parisians have now won seven in a row in the league, following an entertaining 5-0 home win against Toulouse this past weekend. They remain the only undefeated football club on the standings table, having managed 11 wins, two draws, 31 goals, and 35 points in the first 13 weeks of the 2015/16 French Ligue 1 season.
In the context of PSG's dominance, the remainder of the 2015/16 Ligue 1 has already turned into a race for second place. The current runners-up, Olympique Lyonnais, are 10 points back in the standings despite the season being just a third of the way finished. In all likelihood, Lyon and their other close challengers (Saint Etienne, Caen, and Angers) will be fighting for second place in the 2015/16 Ligue 1.
Serie A 2015/16 week 12 saw Fiorentina maintaining their top slot, Inter Milan retaining a strong second-place position, and Juventus continuing their climb up the table, among other things. All of the "major contenders" in Italy won their matches this past weekend, ratcheting up the competitive tension at the top of the table even further. Now, with a break this coming weekend for Euro 2016 play, each of these clubs will have a chance to take a deep breath and reassess their plan of attack for the remainder of the calendar year.
Fiorentina continue to impress in the 2015/16 Serie A. Though they've lost three of their 12 games so far, the Lilies have also won nine-more than any other soccer team in the league. The football club's win this past weekend-a 2-0 away game triumph against Sampdoria-kicked their goal difference up to +15 and served as insurance to protect their leading position.
If anyone still had any doubts about Manuel Neuer's talents as a goalkeeper, they need look no further than the 2015 - 2016 German Bundesliga standings table to put those doubts to rest. Twelve weeks into the new season, Neuer has kept clean sheets in eight of Bayern's Bundesliga matches and has only allowed four goals across the remaining four matches.
That impressive "goals against" tally is singlehandedly keeping Bayern Munich in the frontrunner slot for the 2015 2016 season-even as Thomas Tuchel's impressive new Borussia Dortmund squad has kept within five points of the defending champions. No other football club is even close to catching either of these outstanding teams.
Bayern Munich are shooting for a fourth straight Bundesliga title this season. So far, they've certainly looked like champions. More than a third of the way into the new season, the Bavarians are still undefeated in league play.