Why Barça's dressing room is like Las Vegas
Fortunately for Manolo JimÃÂ©nez, La Liga LocaÃ¢ÂÂs opinion holds very little sway with SevillaÃ¢ÂÂs big-wigs - or the big-wigs of any organisation you care to name - so the blogÃ¢ÂÂs urgings for time to be called on their trainerÃ¢ÂÂs tenure probably went unheard.
However, the same does not apply to the Sevilla home support, who jeered and hankie-waved their manager off the pitch on Tuesday night as their feckless football team Ã¢ÂÂdid a Real MadridÃ¢ÂÂ by being ejected from the Champions League before the party has really started.
The 2-1 defeat to CSKA Moscow that was provoked by Sevilla starting with just one striker and suffering an absolute howler from the normally dependable goalkeeper AndrÃÂ©s Palop sees JimÃÂ©nez hanging onto his job by his goolies.
Whilst the Sevilla manager may well keep his car park space at the SÃÂ¡nchez PizjuÃÂ¡n until the end of the season, the time has surely come for a replacement to be found Ã¢ÂÂ although club president JosÃÂ© Maria del Nido claimed that he was still standing by his man. Until June, at least.
Ã¢ÂÂJimÃÂ©nez will continue until end of season because he has a contract and because he has our confidence,Ã¢ÂÂ quoth Del Nido, without confidence.
Kanoute & Co. KOd
SevillaÃ¢ÂÂs sorry slip-up now leaves Barcelona as the last man standing from la LigaÃ¢ÂÂs Champions League contingent. So the pressure is definitely on the holders with Stuttgart more than fancying their chances of grabbing a goal in the Camp Nou and Pep Guardiola showing yet more signs of cracking up.
Having aged 15 years in 15 months, the Dream Boys trainer has allowed his inner self to fall apart too with his uncharacteristic weekend rant over his sending-off during the AlmerÃÂa clash for dissent.
Ã¢ÂÂThe referee knows that he lied in the report,Ã¢ÂÂ said a stern-faced Pep, denying any wrongdoing. Ã¢ÂÂHe knows it. The assistant as well.Ã¢ÂÂ
The leagueÃ¢ÂÂs competition committee are now thought to be opening an investigation on the affair, although Guardiola should not be too worried considering Ã¢ÂÂopening an investigationÃ¢ÂÂ in la Liga means burying the problem and hoping that it goes away - a favoured approach to dealing with match-fixing allegations.
Because of the staggered staging of this last 16 round of the Champions League, which has been been robbed of all footballing narrative by UEFA, there has been very little opportunity for pee-taking at Real MadridÃ¢ÂÂs expense in the Barcelona ranks due to their unfinished business against Stuttgart. And if there has been, the players certainly arenÃ¢ÂÂt telling.
Ã¢ÂÂWhat happens in the dressing room stays in the dressing room,Ã¢ÂÂ said Rafa MarquÃÂ©z when quizzed on the post-Lyon reaction in the BarÃÂ§a boot-room. Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs like Las Vegas.Ã¢ÂÂ
Smugness is the theme of the day. Sport are up in their ivory tower of morality, with WednesdayÃ¢ÂÂs front page mocking MarcaÃ¢ÂÂs Lyon-baiting approach to last weekÃ¢ÂÂs Champions League clash.
Ã¢ÂÂWe are not demanding a big score,Ã¢ÂÂ announces the paper. Ã¢ÂÂWe are not demanding that every title is won and we are not demanding that the side plays their final in the Bernabeu before the quartersÃ¢ÂÂ - all with front pages from their Madridista rival calling for the complete opposite.
Ã¢ÂÂMadrid believed that the Olympique game was a done deal and in the end they cried blood,Ã¢ÂÂ writes the slightly over-stimulated Josep MarÃÂa Casanavos.
The message from Catalunya ahead of WednesdayÃ¢ÂÂs game, which should see Barcelona comfortably passing through to the quarter-finals, is Ã¢ÂÂCareful NowÃ¢ÂÂ.
Any other approach could see a very sorry situation for the Spanish league, indeed, with Ã¢ÂÂdoing a Real MadridÃ¢ÂÂ becoming a nation-wide craze.
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