By Tim Stannard
Another setback in Real Madrid’s managerial hunt
Florentino Perez probably had a very pleasant few weeks planned once the European soccer season was wrapped up.
After watching his team win a third Champions League title in the row, the Real Madrid president was perhaps going to thumb through his Panini album to catch up with the latest big names in the game before settling in for the World Cup and ‘pull-a-James’ by signing the shiniest breakout player from the tournament based on a couple of good performances.
But thanks to ex-Coach Zizou heading for the exit door last week, Florentino and his team are working overtime on trying to find a coach who can manage his club next season. In theory, that should be an easy task. But the reality is that the Real Madrid job is as perilous as hunting flies with a blowtorch. Basically, the requirements for the new campaign are to win the Champions League again, clinch La Liga, and soothe the nerves of a gaggle of superstars who all feel they should be playing every day.
Zinedine Zidane quit Real Madrid after a row over signing Eden Hazard and David De Gea. (Source: Sun Sport) pic.twitter.com/Hb056i5xfo— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) June 5, 2018
One target has reportedly been ruled out on Tuesday with Juve boss, Massimo Allegri, apparently turning down the role, preferring instead to aim for an eighth Italian title for the Old Lady. Last Friday, Mauricio Pochettino gave some hints of being tempted by the Madrid job, but dragging the Argentinean out of Tottenham could be expensive. Arsene Wenger is in deep thought somewhere, Joachim Low has said ‘nein’, to leave few options on the Real Madrid table for the most glamorous yet challenging job in club football.
Bielsa set for return with Leeds United
Staying on a managerial tip and this could be a happy day for those of you who have always wanted to see legendary Argentinean boss Marcelo ‘El Loco’ Bielsa coaching in the English second tier. To be fair, that’s probably a niche group.
Championship side, Leeds United, is reportedly in talks with Bielsa who was last seen falling out completely with French team, Lille, before being ditched. The signs are not great though for any kind of long-lasting relationship between the pair. Bielsa is basically a brilliant theoretical physician of football but not all that great with human beings. Think Sheldon from Big Bang Theory but without the ability to speak English. Leeds United is a madcap entity that has a habit of giving its managers no time at all on the job. This may not go well.
Internet to rethink approach to concussed Karius
The lovely, comforting world of cyberspace may well have to make a formal apology to Liverpool goalkeeper, Loris Karius, after more details emerged on Tuesday on the story that the footballer may have been concussed during the Champions League final against Real Madrid, leading to the player’s now infamous errors.
The German keeper was on vacation in the US and visited hospital five days after the Champions League final. Karius was then diagnosed with concussion at the Massachusetts General Hospital.
Haven’t really slept until now... the scenes are still running through my head again and again... I'm infinitely sorry to my teammates, for you fans, and for all the staff. I know that I messed it up with the two mistakes and let you all down... pic.twitter.com/w9GixPiQDC— Loris Karius (@LorisKarius) May 27, 2018
A leading head injuries expert for the NFL, Dr Ross Zafonte said it was "possible" the injury "would affect performance." A collision with Sergio Ramos at the start of the second half was followed by the error for the first goal which saw Karius apparently oblivious to the presence of Karim Benzema when throwing the ball out.
During the game, Karius did not show signs of a head injury nor request any treatment.
Double American duty at French Open
The late withdrawal of Serena Williams from her French Open clash with Maria Sharapova through injury on Monday may have been a little bit of a let-down, but there is no reason to despair as there are two more Americans in action in the quarterfinals at Roland-Garros.
At time of writing, Madison Keys is in action against Yulia Putintseva with Sloane Stephens waiting in the wings to take on Daria Kasatkina.
The big draw in the men’s bracket for Tuesday is Novak Djokovic looking to book a spot in the semifinals with a tussle against Marco Cecchinato.
Going back a few hours to the world of hockey and the Washington Capitals are on the brink of a Stanley Cup win after another victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday night to give the DC outfit a 3-1 lead.
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