Patience: 7 Managers Who Deserve More Time in the Wake of Julen Lopetegui’s Sacking From Real Madrid

14 games was all Julen Lopetegui was given at Real Madrid before being relieved of his duties after the club’s poor start to the season. 

Following a run of one win in their last seven games, including an embarrassing 5-1 defeat at the hands of bitter rivals Barcelona, Lopetegui paid the price with his job as the powers that be at Los Blancos lost patience with the 52-year-old. 

While the sacking of managers by clubs who fail to show positive results upon their arrival is hardly new, sometimes the best way turn the fortunes of a club around is to show support and back the current manager, and trust they’ll be able to come through the difficulties.

With that being said, here are seven managers who should be given more time around Europe: 

1. David Wagner – Huddersfield Town

While failing to win any of your first 11 games of a new season would see most managers on the verge of the sack, David Wagner’s time at Huddersfield stands him in good stead to remain at the Yorkshire. 

Following his appointment in 2015, the 47-year-old steered the Terriers to the Premier League in 2016/17 via the playoffs, before going one better the following season and kept Huddersfield up despite being favourites for relegation. 

Upcoming games against Fulham and West Ham could prove vital for Wagner as he looks to pull off another miracle this season, and certainly deserves the chance to do so. 

2. Domenico Tedesco – Schalke

After guiding Schalke to second place in the Bundesliga last season, Domenico Tedesco is finding his second season at the Veltins Arena to be far more difficult.

Schalke lost five of their first seven games of the season – their only win coming in the DFB-Pokal against FC Schweinfurt of the German fourth tier – as pressure began to mount on the 33-year-old, after impressing the previous season for his measured approach with Die Knappen.

Tedesco has managed to stabilise the club in recent weeks however, earning seven points from their last four Bundesliga games, and currently sit second in their Champions League group, as the young manager looks to kick on. 

3. Eusebio Di Francesco – AS Roma

It was always going to be difficult for Eusebio Di Francesco to match or improve on last season, after guiding AS Roma to an unlikely Champions League semi-final and third place in Serie A . 

While the Italian side are joint-top alongside Real Madrid in their Champions League group, and are only three points off the Champions League places domestically in eighth, pressure is reportedly mounting on the 40-year-old following a 2-0 defeat to Spal. 

With his future apparently riding on the next four games after the Spal defeat, Roma soundly beat CSKA Moscow 3-0 in the Champions League, before drawing 1-1 with Napoli in their most recent fixture, with games against Fiorentina and the aforementioned Russian side to come, although Di Francesco should be safe to see out this season. 

4. Heiko Herrlich – Bayer Leverkusen

Bayer Leverkusen missed out on securing Champions League football last season on goal difference in what was Heiko Herrlich’s first season in charge, yet it hasn’t been plain sailing this campaign. 

Four consecutive Bundesliga defeats wasn’t the ideal start to the season, although things have somewhat improved, winning three and drawing two of their next league games, while Herrlich’s side sit second in their Europa League group.

The 46-year-old will hope a 6-2 win against a high-flying Werder Bremen side will prove to be a catalyst for his side’s season, who has one of the most exciting young squads in Europe at his disposal, including the talents of Julian Brandt and Leon Bailey. 

5. Javier Calleja – Villarreal

Javier Calleja inherited a Villarreal side in September 2017, just six games into the league season, who were 14th in La Liga, before helping them to fifth-place come May, earning Europa League football for this season. 

The 40-year-old however has found life tough during his second season in charge at the Estadio de la Ceramica, with the club 17th in the table after accumulating nine points fro their first ten games, and are joint-top of their Europa League group alongside Glasgow Rangers. 

Far from the ideal start, Calleja wowed onlookers last season for implementing an exciting brand of football during his first season in charge, which perhaps justifies giving the Spaniard the opportunity to turn things around. 

6. Marcelino – Valencia

Valencia have an extraordinary record this season, drawing ten of their 13 games so far as they’ve failed to convert those games into wins.

While it means Los Che have only lost twice this season, it also means they’ve won only once, away to Real Sociedad, as the pressure begins to mount on Marcelino, although his achievements last season should see the 53-year-old be given more time.

In his first at the Mestalla Stadium, Marcelino guided Valencia to fourth in La Liga, seeing them return to the Champions League for the first time since the 2015/16 campaign, which will see the Spaniard earn a reprieve, for now at least. 

7. Rafael Benitez – Newcastle United

It’s hard to think of a manager who could’ve done a better job than Rafael Benitez since becoming Newcastle manager. 

Despite failing to keep the club in the Premier League during limited games in the 2015/16 season, the Spaniard oversaw Newcastle’s return to England’s top tier the following season, by winning the 2016/17 Championship season, before steering them to tenth place upon their return to the Premier League. 

All this has been achieved with limited funds, as owner Mike Ashley tightens the purse strings amid talk of a possible sale, meaning Benitez had very little to spend over the summer. 

As a result, Newcastle are 19th in the table, and without a win all season, although talk of potential funds in January could help Benitez prove his worth at Newcastle once again.  

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