Sports Burst - First World Problems At Real Madrid, Barcelona And Manchester United

REUTERS/Scott Heppell

By Tim Stannard/beIN SPORTS

Courtois or Areola? Griezmann or Dembele? Ole in or Ole out?

 

Arguably the three biggest soccer clubs in the world have three very big decisions to make over the next ten days as another international break calls a halt to proceedings.

Two of those decisions really are first world problems though.

While some clubs are battling relegation or simply trying to stay afloat financially, Barcelona now has the tough call on which $125 million player is the best fit for the team to partner Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi up front.

Ousmane Dembele or Antoine Griezmann?

The line-up looks better with Dembele as shown in the 4-0 win over Sevilla, but the footballer is injury-prone and not always entirely reliable. Dembele was sent off in the final minutes of the victory in the Camp Nou for some potty-mouthed activity against the referee.

That will at least afford a chance for Griezmann to return after being an unused substitute on Sunday and prove that he is not an expensive square peg to Barcelona's round hole.

Real Madrid now has to choose between two wobbly goalkeepers - Alphonse Areola and Thibaut Courtois, neither of whom are on the right side of the headlines at the moment.

And Manchester United has to make an existential decision on what exactly the club is doing under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. A 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United on Sunday sees United experiencing the worst start to the season in 30 years and sitting just two points above the relegation zone.

"We need to step up," admitted David De Gea.

 

 

The Sports Burst live show will be all over these topics and so much more at 12PM ET. Just head to our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page.

USA's gold rush and another title for Marquez

 

Biggest weekend winners in the wide, wide, world of sport? Well, that would be 'Merica. Of course. As every weekend.

The track and field IAAF World Championships wrapped up in Doha, Qatar in front of a few hardy followers and some enthusiastic locals given free tickets. Team USA came out on top with 14 golds and a total of 29 medails.

Marc Marquez had been champion-elect in Moto GP for months, but the Spaniard won the title in style with a victory in the Thailand GP over the weekend. There are still four races to go in the championship which has been won by Marquez for a sixth time in seven years.

In the NFL weekend, the New England Patriots kept on keeping on with a 33-7 victory over the rather pitiful Washington Redskins who are now 0-5 for the season. Meanwhile, the Oakland Raiders won on the road in London in a 24-21 victory over the Chicago Bears. Raiders QB, Derek Carr, even got to meet Harry Kane, a treat indeed - "I told him, 'I play as you on FIFA'."

Soccer's Weekend Winners returns at 7PM ET today with Hope Solo and Jeremy St. Louis going through the game's movers and shakers. Harry Kane probably won't make it.

That is followed by Magisterial - the Ray Hudson Show and Monday Night Soccer for a full shiny line-up of entertainment on beIN SPORTS.

NBA reaches limits on freedom of expression

 

The NBA has a delicate and somewhat uncomfortable situation on its hands.

In contrast to the NFL, the organization has largely permitted commentary from players on social issues in the US and allowed freedom of expression. However, there appears to be a limit. That limit is when that commentary mixes with the organization's business interests.

That clash came this weekend when the GM of the Houston Rockets, Daryl Morey, tweeted support for the pro-democracy efforts in Hong Kong at a time when the NBA is expanding into the Chinese market.

Morey has since come under attack from the Chinese government with pressure on the GM to step down. On Monday, the Rockets who are currently in Japan in pre-season pushed James Harden in front of the media to try and appease the Chinese government.

"We apologize. You know, we love China," said Harden as the NBA put out a statement calling for forgiveness lest the bottom line be impacted - "we have great respect for the history and culture of China."

This story is going to get frosty.