📉 The biggest underachievers in Europe's top five leagues


Lewis Ambrose

Article image: 📉 The biggest underachievers in Europe's top five leagues

We’re now almost a third of the way through the league season. So how long can a blip be considered a blip?

When does a disappointing start to the campaign just become the season you’re having?

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Here are the biggest underachievers so far in 2019/20 from each of Europe’s biggest leagues.

Premier League


Where to begin? Just months on from a Champions League final, Tottenham find themselves 11th in the Premier League.

The uncertainty surrounding Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Christian Eriksen saw the season get off to a spluttering start and the team is yet to recover.

Since the 7-2 humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich, Mauricio Pochettino’s men have gone four league games without a win.

They aren’t scoring freely and they don’t look solid at the back.

With just three wins on the board in 11 Premier League games, you start to wonder when they’ll turn things around.



Last season saw Marcelino lead Valencia to a top four finish, a Europa League semi-final, and Copa del Rey success.

By September 11 this year, three games into the LaLiga season, he was gone. Marcelino had been critical of the squad and Valencia’s transfer business, and it cost him his job.

Two months on and Valencia have conceded the 17th most goals in LaLiga … last season they boasted the league’s second best defensive record.

They sit 11th in a packed mid-table and Champions League football next season seems a long way away right now.

Serie A


Another who have already changed managers. The difference at San Siro is that Marco Giampaolo only took over in the summer.

The former Sampdoria boss lasted seven games at Milan before he was sacked and replaced by Stefano Pioli.

After another summer of decent investment (the club have now spent €286m on players in the last 18 months) a drive to finally return to the Champions League was expected.

Yet Milan sit 12th in Serie A right now, have scored just 11 times in as many games, and lost over half their matches this season.


Bayer Leverkusen

Tipped as a title race dark horse in the summer, Leverkusen have been very disappointing.

Julian Brandt departed in the summer but Kai Havertz remained and, along with new signings Kerem Demirbay and Nadiem Amiri, that should mean more than their current inconsistency.

But that’s just never the case with Leverkusen. After ending last season so strongly under Peter Bosz, optimism in the summer wasn’t at all misplaced.

After a strong start, though, they’re winless in four and sit 10th in the table.

Ligue 1


Here we are again. It seems an age ago that Monaco competed for the Champions League and won Ligue 1.

This is, of course, an entirely brand new team from that one in 2017. But Leonardo Jardim is back and their defensive frailties are, frankly, a mystery.

An astonishing 22 goals conceded in 12 matches is the most in Ligue 1 and the effective strike pairing of Islam Slimani and Wissam Ben-Yedder can only do so much.

They have, in fact, helped Monaco to the second best attacking record in the league, behind only PSG. But the openness at the back means the team are in 15th almost a third of the way through the season.