Sports Burst - Is "Zidane Out!" Really A Thing?

Reuters

 

by Tim Stannard

 

Raul and Mauricio Pochettino with vested interest in El Clasico result as rumors swirl over Zidane's credit running dry 

 

It's 2020, so nothing should ever really be ruled out. 

But the sacking of Coach Zizou from Real Madrid if El Clasico goes south for the league champions does seem a little bit of stretch, even for this particular dark timeline and the crisis-devouring Sports Burst. 

 

The "Zidane out!" rumors are the current rumblings drifting out of the Spanish capital. Apparently, the Real Madrid coach's job is on the line just seven matches after winning the LaLiga title, with the team in third place in the standings, one point off the top of the table with one less game played than Real Sociedad at the summit. 

The case for the prosecution of Coach Zizou centers on a lack of performance in the Champions League - an elimination by Manchester City in last year's competition and defeat to Shakhtar on Wednesday - on top of a limp home defeat against Cadiz last Saturday. 

In Zizou's defence, two LaLiga title wins and three Champions League victories. Having Luka Jovic in the squad. Not bad.

Despite this, the names of Mauricio Pochettino - as always - and Raul are being bandied about as potential replacements. Raul is currently the new Zidane, following in the Frenchman's footsteps by coaching the club's second team, Castilla and also ticking the box of the 'club legend comes home' narrative.  

However, there may be help coming in to save Zizou's shoes on Saturday with Sergio Ramos back in training and looking set for a start in the Camp Nou.

Coverage of El Clasico gets underway on Saturday at 9AM ET. 

 

 

Pique calls for Camp Nou to be renamed after Messi 

 

On the pitch, Barcelona are looking a little better than Real Madrid after a rousing 5-1 win over Ferencvaros in the Champions League. 

The team has some sprightly seventeen-year-old figures such as Ansu Fati and Pedri to get excited about and Jordi Alba could be returning to the team, having recovered from an injury, although that could be in place of American fullback, Sergino Dest. 

Meanwhile, Ronald Koeman appears to have solved the Antoine Griezmann problem by not playing him. 

 

The main juice for Barcelona, once again, is behind the scenes with stories of a locker room rift between those players unhappy at being asked to take another pay cut and those who have just signed up for new deals. 

Looking at you here, Gerard Pique, who claims in an interview with La Vanguardia that "the dressing room is united [even if] they say it's broken."

One player who definitely won't be signing up for more time with the current board is Lionel Messi and Pique was careful to bend the knee to the Argentinean, saying that Messi should have been allowed to leave last summer and that he should have a permanent legacy at the club.  "Leo deserves the lot. The new stadium should be named after him," declared Pique. 

The Sports Burst live show with our Ray Hudson will be live from Barcelona will the latest news from both camps, just one day away from El Clasico. Head to our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page and XTRA channel at 12PM ET to have your say too. 

 

 

Musical inspiration for Valencia ahead of Elche clash

 

For some, having a Mariachi band following them around as they go about their business would be fun. Maybe not for others. Certainly not those members of Valencia's board targeted by an opposition group this week to have shrill trumpets blasting their eardrums as they sipped on a cafe americano. 

 

Unhappy at the management of the group, some directors this week were trailed by a three-piece band at the behest of 'LibertadVCF' who would like to see the current ownership group leaving the club over a lack of investment in the team's squad to name just one of a million grievances. 

Sadly, there will be no Mariachi band on the pitch at Elche for Valencia in a match that is live today on beIN SPORTS Spanish at 3PM ET, with LaLiga announcing that Friday and Monday games are now here to stay. 

 

beIN SPORTS English has the CAF Champions League semifinal second leg between Al Ahly and Wydad Casablanca getting underway at 3PM ET. The Egyptian side takes a 2-0 lead into the game to book a spot in the final on November 6th.

Meanwhile, Rennes are looking to top off a week which saw a debut in the Champions League by moving to the summit of the Ligue 1 standings.  A win against Angers will do the trick for Eduardo Camavinga and co. That match is live on beIN SPORTS CONNECT at 3PM ET.