Five Football Teams Who Are Falling Far Below Expectations

Poor starts to the season in all of Europe's major leagues

Regardless of where you're playing football, the season is long and full of fluctuations, with injuries, poor form and an excessive number of fixtures all making it harder to win every single game. The drama and shocks make football even more exciting, but some of the teams who've started in a poor way this season have been playing far below the expectation set before the campaign kicked off.

It's a trend throughout Europe to be failing to capitalise on the number of high-profile signings made over the summer, being unsuccessful in replacing key outgoing players, and simply not being able to see out wins or even draws. As we always keep tabs on all of the football that's played throughout Europe every week, we've singled out a team from French Ligue 1, the German Bundesliga, the Italian Serie A, Spanish La Liga and the English Premier League who are all stuck in a threatening decline.

Monaco in Ligue 1

It's hard to forget the incredible season that Monaco had back in 2017, where they defied the odds to win Ligue 1, finished as semi-finalists in the Champions League, and came close to wins in both of France's domestic cup competitions. Since that point, they've lost Benjamin Mendy, Bernardo Silva, Kylian Mbappe, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Valere Germain, Allan Saint-Maxamin, Thomas Lemar, Fabinho, Rachid Ghezzal, Adama Diakhaby, Joao Moutinho, Balde Keita Diao and Ruben Vinagre in the transfer window, with it clearly having a serious knock-on effect.

Even through the departures of some big figures in the run-up to last season, Monaco still managed a second place finish, but Leonardo Jardim is now tasked with moving his side away from sixteenth in the table, where just one point separates them from the dropzone. They've only managed one win from seven games, equating to a total of six points out of a possible twenty-one. Their home form has been especially poor, failing to win in all games at home in defeats to Marseille, Atletico Madrid and Angers, as well as draws with Lille and Nimes.

Monaco Radamel Falcao Colombia Porto Atletico Madrid
Unlike his usual form, Radamel Falcao has only scored once in Monaco's last three games, where they lost every encounter.

Schalke in the Bundesliga

After a disappointing season under Markus Weinzierl in 2017, promising Italian coach Domenico Tedesco took on the job last season at just thirty-two years of age, where he sealed an incredible second place finish in his first attempt, beating Hoffenheim, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig to the runner-up position. It's no surprise that they currently aren't playing to a similar standard -especially after the departure of midfield duo Leon Goretzka and Max Meyer in the summer - but their current bottom place position in the Bundesliga is unacceptable.

Defensive trio Thilo Kehrer, Benedikt Howedes and Coke also made their respective exits but even the arrival of Sebastian Rudy from Bayern Munich couldn't assure any stability, as The Royal Blues have lost all of their league games so far. This means that if they lose two more games, Schalke will have equalled the number of league defeats they suffered all throughout last season.

Domenico Tedesco Schalke Bundesliga
Domenico Tedesco guided Schalke to an incredible second place finish last season but now looks far from reaching the same heights.

Roma in Serie A

Although you don't tend to hear as much about Roma these days, they burst back onto the scene last season with their Champions League campaign, which saw them defeating Barcelona over two legs. It was uncertain whether Eusebio Di Francesco could be as ruthless as former boss Luciano Spalletti, especially with their third place finish in the table actually seeing a fourteen point gap between them and second place Napoli.

Allowing Alisson Becker, Radja Nainggolan and Kevin Strootman to leave the side over the summer seriously damaged the spine of the team, and it's been clear to see how many goals they're now leaking and how much weaker they are in midfield. Roma are currently fourteenth with one win and two draws from five games, with just one point preventing them from slipping into the dropzone, so Di Francesco's place as manager is rumoured to be up for question.

Edin Dzeko Roma Bosnia Manchester City Serie A
Edin Dzeko scored fourteen goals in Serie A last season but is now without a goal in his last six games for Roma.

Valencia in La Liga

Ever since Rafa Benitez guided Valencia to the La Liga title in 2004, they've been unable to take any silverware in Spain, not only falling behind Real Madrid and Barcelona at the top, but also teams like Atletico Madrid who are able to challenge the top two. Last season's fourth place finish showed a lot of promise, leading to an estimated £110 million spent over the summer in hope of vastly improving their squad.

The main signings they made were Goncalo Guedes, Geoffrey Kondogbia and Jeison Murillo, who they had on loan last season but were crucial to tie to permanent deals as they proved to be influential in their first term at the Mestalla. Marcelino was also able to seal deals for Atletico Madrid striker Kevin Gameiro, Celta Vigo midfielder Daniel Wass, Lyon defender Mouctar Diakhaby, and loan deals for Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi and World Cup star Denis Cheryshev. Despite the clever acquisitions over the summer - and right-backs Joao Cancelo and Martin Montoya being the only key figures to leave the club - Valencia sit with the same amount of points as teams in the relegation zone and they're yet to win after five games.

Geoffrey Kondogbia Valencia La Liga
Valencia were expected to be a force in La Liga after spending over £100 million in the summer but now hover above the relegation zone.

Manchester United in the Premier League

There were murmurs that Manchester United weren't playing to their fullest potential with far too many draws and some unconvincing victories but they've hit a new low this season, losing to Brighton in their second Premier League fixture, effectively falling out of contention for the title through the home defeat to Spurs which followed, drawing at home to Wolves, and being left humiliated in an early Carabao Cup exit at the hands of Derby County.

Despite some criticism over the playing style instilled by Jose Mourinho, United still finished at second in the table last season, but they now find themselves stuck at seventh, with an eight point gap between them and top place Liverpool. A recent dispute between Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba only adds fuel to the fire that the United manager and France midfielder are at war with one another, so things really couldn't look much worse at Old Trafford right now. The fight between Pogba and Mourinho has become such a large part of the issues at Manchester United that a lot of fans have chosen to pick a side between the two, but it's hard to blame anyone but the manager at this point.

Jose Mourinho Manchester United Premier League
Manchester United didn't keep up with the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool in the transfer window last summer, but their problems appear to be more than just skin deep.

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