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TOP 10 Failures of 2023

Chelsea Stadium, Stamford Bridge
"Chelsea flag in the crowd at Stamford Bridge" by Ben Sutherland is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Reflecting on the Top 10 Failures of 2023: Revisiting the disappointing performances and setbacks that marked the footballing landscape. Examine the instances where players and teams fell short of expectations on the pitch.

The Troubles of Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba has faced numerous challenges in 2023. Playing for Juventus, he has suffered from persistent injuries and a dip in form. His situation worsened with a positive test for a banned substance, potentially leading to a ban from professional football. This poses a threat to his once shining career, now overshadowed by the scandal.

Napoli’s Swift Decline after Championship Glory

After Luciano Spalletti parted ways with Napoli and Rudy Garcia unsuccessfully filled the role, the club struggled with internal conflicts and instability, resulting in a sharp drop in their performance and undermining their previous success.

Manchester United’s Ongoing Tribulations

The transition of Manchester United from a historic winning side to one marred by crises continued in 2023. Despite securing a place in the Champions League, manager Erik ten Hag fell short in correcting persisting issues of performance inconsistency and internal turmoil, leading to a lackluster season.

The Unexpected Dismissal of Hansi Flick

Hansi Flick’s surprise departure from the German national team caught fans and analysts off guard. His management methods, successful with Bayern Munich, did not translate effectively to the national team, resulting in underwhelming outcomes and his subsequent dismissal before an important Euro tournament.

The Fall of Benchmarks: FC Basel and Sevilla’s Struggles

Known for their history in European competitions, FC Basel and Sevilla fell into decline. Basel saw continuous managerial changes, whereas Sevilla struggled with administrative chaos after director Monchi’s exit, which negatively impacted financial health and performances.

Ajax’s Decline from European Heights

Ajax, once a leading force in European football, has plunged back into mediocrity following the loss of influential figures like Erik ten Hag, Marc Overmars, and Edwin van der Sar, along with key players from their notable 18-19 season, leaving them as a mid-level European club.

The Tragic Downfall of Neymar

Neymar’s trajectory has taken a sad turn, with a decline in form exacerbated by injuries, culminating in a significant ankle injury that sidelined him during pivotal matches. Opting for a high-paying contract with Al-Ahli, he has distanced himself from the top tiers of European football.

Borussia Dortmund’s Title Slipping Away

Borussia Dortmund’s failure to secure the championship after a passive performance against Mainz poses serious questions about the club’s ambition. With a strategy focusing on moderate transfers and retaining an underperforming manager, the club now faces an uncertain future.

Chelsea’s Mystifying Reconstruction

Chelsea’s massive spending post-takeover has not corresponded with improved results. Incurring nearly 800 million euros in transfer fees, the team’s present standing in the Premier League does not align with the investment. The strategy has failed to provide a clearly defined competitive advantage and has attracted scrutiny regarding financial fair play regulations.