Sports Burst - Valverde: The Barca-loner


By Tim Stannard


Backlash in Barcelona after goalless draw against Slavia Prague draws catcalls in Camp Nou against Valverde


When even Arsene Wenger hints that a team is in crisis, then it's time to sit up and take notice. 

This was a manager who spent his last decade of his two-century spell in charge of Arsenal insisting that everything was just tickety boo at the now dormant London club. 

Wenger was talking to beIN SPORTS on Tuesday - before potentially moving on to another gig, but more on that later - and reflecting on Barcelona's rather hopeless goalless draw against Slavia Prague in the Champions League.

"They are playing like a team in crisis. Their game is too's too individual...they cannot deal with pace." 

Basically, Arsenal 2012 to...present day really. 

Previously, the narrative around Barca was that Ernesto Valverde would make it through to next summer, maybe win LaLiga in the process and the Camp Nou baton would be passed with some dignity to Ronald Koeman. 

However, boos from the home crowd and the local press hitting the panic button on Wednesday suggests that Valverde may not even make to El Clasico in December if some footballing frowns don't turn around by then. 

"Very little Barca," sighed the front cover of Mundo Deportivo on Wednesday. 

"We have to respond," admitted Valverde with the same intensity and passion as noting that his AC coils might need a good scrub some time soon. 

Barcelona are back at the Camp Nou on Saturday at 3PM ET - live on beIN SPORTS - in a match against a Celta Vigo side with a brand new coach. 

Might Barcelona be in the same position after the upcoming international break?


Wenger now favorite to take over Bayern Munich


Going to stay with Arsene Wenger for a little longer as the Frenchman might well be on his way to Munich, Germany right about now. 

Two faces are on the front page of the sport section of 'Bild' on Wednesday. The first is a figure who has turned down the chance to take over the vacant role of Bayern Munich coach after Niko Kovac left his post on Sunday. The second is the man who is now the front runner. 

Sorry Jose. It isn't you. 

Ralf Rangnick, head of sport and development group at Red Bull - and former boss of RB Leipzig - was the first pick for Bayern but has declined the role, according to his agent anyway. 

This leaves Arsene Wenger set to take over until the end of the season, when a more permanent solution will be found. 

Thomas Tuchel, currently at PSG but formerly at Borussia Dortmund, has already ruled himself out of the running to be the head honcho at the Allianz Arena. 

"I can't think of another club for one minute," said the German dutifully ahead of PSG's Champions League home encounter against Club Brugge. A win and a clean sheet could see PSG with four victories from four without a goal being conceded. 

Bayern Munich are at home to Olympiakos today and Sports Burst suspects that Thomas Muller is probably in charge of team affairs until Wenger is fitted for his ceremonial Lederhosen. 


Zidane asked 1000th Gareth Bale question of the season 


Keeping with the whole club in crisis vein on Wednesday and it's time to pivot to Real Madrid. 

Coach Zizou's men are back in the Santiago Bernabeu today, where they failed to beat Betis on Saturday, and are hosting Galatasaray in the Champions League. 

Despite picking up just one win in three in the competition so far, an expected win for PSG against Brugge and a victory against a visiting Galatasaray should be enough to all but secure second spot in the group with two games to go after this week's matchday is completed. 

Once again, a player who is not featured in Real Madrid's squad for today's game was the talk of the town. Questions regarding the present and future of Gareth Bale were hurled at Zinedine Zidane as the Madrid boss confirmed that "he's not ready to play for us," even if Bale has been picked for Wales in the upcoming international break. 

Despite rumors of Bale wanting a Madrid exit in January, Zidane confirmed that "I want Gareth to stay here until the end of the season." 

The Frenchman also revealed the most important fact surrounding everything Gareth Bale. "We say 'Good morning' to each other every day."

"You look for things that aren't there," noted a weary Zidane. 

Sports Burst will also be looking for things that aren't there at Real Madrid as well as Barcelona's latest issues in a special double live show at 12PM ET and 5PM ET

Head to our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page to join in with some carefully considered, thoughtful points. Or mad rants. It's up to you.