By Tim Stannard
Mourinho issues exile announcement to underperforming players
Well, Jose Mourinho is now working his way through half of the items in the ‘taking names and kicking some butt’ checklist.
The first part is well underway in reaction to Sunday’s woeful home defeat to bottom-of-the-table West Bromwich Albion, a result that gave the league title to Manchester City, with the Special One warning that any footballer who does not deliver in Wednesday’s league clash at Bournemouth can consider themselves out of the reckoning for the weekend’s FA Cup semi-final at Spurs - "the way you play is the only way I can select players," announced the Portuguese coach.
“Do you want me to go for the price they cost, or their salary, or their beautiful face? The only way is to go with performance,” when talking about an Old Trafford reckoning for some underperforming players.
The English media are indicating that Paul Pogba remains in Mourinho’s cross hairs after being taken off midway through the second half of the home defeat having done the sum total of zip-all, just one week after leading a comeback to beat Manchester City in the Etihad.
United’s FA Cup opponents, Spurs, are in EPL action on Tuesday and have the chance to move to just one point behind second-placed United in the table with an away trip to Brighton, a team looking for just a few more points to secure safety in the top-flight.
Barca looking for Invincibles title
Barcelona have broken a brand-new record and no-one seems to either have noticed or cared, such was the damage done by the limp Champions League exit to Roma.
That and the fact that picking up league titles these days seems to afford the same prestige as winning the long-redundant Intertoto Cup. Just ask poor Unai Emery. But more on him in a second.
Holding an eleven-point advantage over Atletico Madrid at the top of the table, the new challenge for Barcelona is to remain undefeated for the whole of the La Liga season and try to put a few smiles on some weirdly glum Barcelona faces. "It is a motivation, of course, but winning two titles is a motivation,” noted Coach Ernesto Valverde, referencing this weekend’s Copa del Rey final against Sevilla.
That record attempt is under serious threat on Tuesday with Barca making the trip to take on Celta Vigo, a team that have defeated the league leaders twice on their own turf over the last three encounters. That clash is live on beIN SPORTS and beIN SPORTS CONNECT from 2:50PM ET / 11:50AM PT.
There is a big game between relegation-threatened Deportivo and Europa League chasing Sevilla live on beIN SPORTS CONNECT 4 at 1:15PM ET / 10:15AM PT while Villarreal host Leganes on beIN SPORTS CONNECT 4 at 3:30PM ET / 12:30PM PT.
Tune into the XTRA at 7PM ET / 4PM PT for all the best action from around Europe.
Unai on borrowed time on PSG hot seat
Indeed, some of that action will come from France with the semi-finals of the Coupe de France.
Tuesday’s action is hipster’s paradise with lower league Les Herbiers taking on FC Chambly on beIN SPORTS CONNECT 6 at 2:45PM ET / 11:45AM PT. The winner of that tie is expected to lose in the final to PSG who are facing Caen on Wednesday.
That loss would see Unai Emery picking up the domestic treble but that is not going to be enough to keep the Spaniard’s job at PSG with reports on Tuesday indicating that talks are now ongoing with former Borussia Dortmund boss, Thomas Tuchel, with an eye to taking over at the end of the season.
But do not fear for the future of our Unai. He is expected to be making a return to Sevilla, after the Andalusians ditch Vincenzo Montella after a flagging league performance for the Southern Spanish side.
A quick shout out for a Serie A sizzler on Tuesday as well. Inter Milan are hoping to stop being completely rubbish with a home victory against Cagliari on beIN CONNECT 5 at 2:30PM ET / 11:30AM PT to keep up their Champions League places push.
Neymar in ‘spitting on PSG’ accusation
Who’s that barging his way through to the Sport Burst news shake-up? On crutches.
Why it’s Neymar, proving that the PSG news squeeze is not done and dusted yet. The Brazilian has been BLASTED by former France international Christophe Dugarry for failing to make the effort to return to France in time to celebrate PSG winning the league title. Instead, Neymar posted a picture of himself playing online poker with his buddies back in Brazil. And probably getting a ton of endorsement money at the same time.
"He's spitting on the club. I think it is outrageous. If he was at Barcelona, he would have returned with no problem. "I can't stand those players who are only worried about themselves because it is the collective which wins games," added Dugarry for good measure.
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