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European football: Top 5 underperforming teams

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After previously looking at teams who have overperformed this season, I thought only fair to now focus on five who have underperformed in Europe so far during the 2013/14 campaign...

PSV

After a Summer of selling key players to balance the books - Dries Mertens to Napoli and Jermain Lens to Dynamo Kyiv, amongst other players - it was expected PSV would bring suitable replacements in.

Adam Maher especially stand out while Stijn Schaars and Ji-Sung-Park were seen as able players to support these losses, while Karim Rekik was a interesting prospect. In January, Bryan Ruiz was added on loan.

Philip Cocu took charge after Dick Advocaat had led them to second in the Eredivisie behind Ajax and runners-up in the cup to AZ Alkmaar.

From the get-go this season they have struggled, with the team hovering in the bottom half and fans shouting for Cocu to be sacked. The board have kept strong and they have been proven right so far with PSV winning eight of their last ten games with two losses putting them up to fifth only five points behind Feyenord and Twente on 48 and 49 points respectively.

Could PSV sneak into second after one of their worst starts> It would turn an under-performing half season into a great spectacle.

Montpellier

This season Montpellier had hopes of improving on their ninth placed finish of last season, potentially sneak into the top five or six teams. However, this season they have become the draw experts, with a whopping 15 draws so far this season.

Their half-season of indifferent form had them as potential relegation candidates but since the new year they have picked up well, but it's the draws which have concerned the fans and board with the sacking of Jean Fernandez in December.

Since Rolland Courbis returned for a second spell, the team have since improved. However, they still sit only 13th and a considerable amount of work is still required for the season to be deemed a success.

Werder Bremen

In recent seasons Werder Bremen have under-performed with a talented squad and the talk around the stands has been, could they go down? Currently they sit six points above Hamburg - who they beat in a six-pointer last week - but have struggled to score and can't keep the goals out with only Stuttgart and Hamburg with poorer defensive records.

Despite the numerous internationals in their team - plus respectable players such as Nils Petersen, Eljero Elia and Franco Di Santo to name a few - this season has been a poor showing from Werder Bremen.

Stuttgart

There's a trend developing here, with Stuttgart two positions worse off than Werder Bremen but the bigger difference is that Stuttgart are in free-fall big time with only one win in 11 games and only goal difference is keeping them from the relegation places.

With talented players such as Martin Harnik, Vevad Ibisevic, Marco Rojas and Cacau - that's just the attacking element of this team - it makes it strange what is happening at Stuttgart.

Last weekend, they faced Eintracht Braunschweig. The match finished 2-2 after Stuttgart had ledfor over 50 minutes before conceding an 82nd minute goal. It still leaves the bottom end of the table in a topsy-turvy situation no-one is truly looking safe

On current form, Stuttgart should be panicking slightly, especially as they have made a managerial change in bringing Huub Stevens to try and get the team to pick up some form urgently.

Hopefully a large attendance in the 60,441 Mercedes-Benz Arena for future games can convince the fans and the team that they do not want to be relegated plus if Stevens can get the ball rolling quickly, they could kick on from there.

Hamburg

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, Hamburg are in an equally bad position. While they have scored a good amount of goals this season - 39 with only six teams scoring more - the problem is too many goals conceded, with 53 the highest in the league.

With defenders such as Johan Djourou, Heiko Westermann and Michael Mancienne plus a world-class goalkeeper in Rene Adler, it begs to wonder how they are so bad defensively, plus with talent such as Rafael van der Vaart and Hakan Çalhanoğlu in attack, something is clearly amiss here.

To make the mind wonder further, on February 22 they destroyed Borussia Dortmund 3-0. This was no fluke and Dortmund are easily the second best team in Germany in terms of talent and standing.

A week later in a six-pointer against Werder Bremen, Hamburg lost 1-0. The weekend just gone, they played Eintracht Frankfurt - another team who performed well last season and have not shown to be the same this season - and the result was 1-1, which did not help Hamburg.

For a team who finished seventh last season and haven't ever been relegated, could this season be the season that a former European powerhouse drop out of the top tier of German football? It would be a shock to say the least.

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Topics:
Eredivisie
Ligue 1
Germany Football
Football
Bundesliga

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DISCLAIMER

This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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