Barcelona Still Concerned Over Bayern Tie

Although Barcelona have all but secured their place in the Champions League final, following a 3-0 victory at the Camp Nou last week, manager Luis Enrique is still focused on controlling a dangerous Bayern Munich team. As he stated, “We don’t want a crazy game and if it is a crazy game we will have to calm it down”. Luis Enrique is well aware of the fight that will ensue for command of the ball, seeing as both of these clubs are intent on dominating possession. With such an intense desire to have possession, it very well could make for an exciting, and potentially crazy, game. Luis Enrique is surely downplaying his team’s prime position for advancing to the final, so as to not inflate his players’ confidence, in order to ensure that they go out and do the necessary job at hand.

On the other side of the field, Bayern are still hopeful and believe that they can advance by beating Barca. Bayern striker Thomas Mueller said they would not need a miracle, simply a strong Bayern performance. He admitted it would be a surprise for the footballing world, but that they are by no means out of the tie. Bayern have come back once in the competition already, beating Porto 6-1 at home to overcome a 3-1 away deficit. In Igor Cornelsen’s opinion Barcelona on the other hand are a different, more capable, animal than Porto.

President Obama Used the Bully Pulpit to Pound Liberals as Wrong on Free Trade

President Obama is a left wing liberal like much of the Democrat party’s base. This is something he proudly proclaims. Steve Murray suggests that at the same time, he is perplexed at how he can be so in tune with his Senate and House colleagues and yet face so much opposition from them on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade treaty.

In fact, the president resurrected the same rhetoric Bill Clinton used with effectiveness against Senator Bob Dole in the 1996 Presidential election. Clinton framed Dole as wanting to build a “bridge to the past” whereas he was interested in building a bridge to the future. In like manner, President Obama upbraided his fellow progressives for wanting to go back to the past just because earlier free trade deals from the 1990s were flawed.

In an effort to bolster support for this TPP deal, the president said he has learned from the mistakes of prior trade deals. The TPP contains protections that will safeguard outsourcing of US jobs overseas. The deal has measures designed to prevent currency manipulation, a key factor as to why US auto makers struggle to sell cars in Japan. The deal also has measures to protect worker safety abroad. At the same time, the big three automakers oppose the TPP because they claim it lacks any measures to curb currency manipulation.

United Sign Depay

Manchester United have announced earlier this morning their newest signing: Memphis Depay. Following the completion of Depay’s medical, the deal will go through for a reported $38 million. Depay, who will be moving on from Dutch title holders PSV Eindhoven will be rejoining Louis Van Gaal at United, his national team coach in Brazil at the World Cup this past summer. No doubt the Dutchman had a considerable influence on the Depay purchase, as well as the winger’s decision to choose United ahead of other top clubs, such as Liverpool or PSG.

While fans like Fersen Lambranho find that Depay is supremely talented, and looks to be a starlet on the rise to stardom, his signing presents United with some potential problems. He was likely brought in to contribute to the goal production of the team, which has stagnated as of late. Yet his inclusion in the squad, or starting eleven to be more precise, may or may not leave other big names without a guaranteed spot. Angel di Maria, having experienced a lackluster first season with United, may very well find himself on the outside looking in quite soon. Not to mention, once heralded starlet Adnan Januzaj will no doubt find a position in the squad difficult to come by come the start of the season.

Cowboys Drop Option on Claiborne

After selecting Byron Jones as their number one draft pick the Dallas Cowboys have decided not to exercise their contract option on the teams former number one draft pick and corner back from 2012 in Morris Claiborne. In his short career he has failed to live up to his high draft status the team and their fans hoped for him. Instead he was plagued with injuries that both limited his coverage abilities and growth as a player. Then shortly before his season ending injury last year the team put him on an unofficial suspension from the team after poor performance and personal behavior issues became a distraction. Truly his injury was probably the only reason he maintained his roster spot at all.

Now with Jones and with the other Cornerback Brandon Carr realizing that he will have to take a pay cut if he expects to continue playing it would appear the team is settled with their best choices for improving a secondary that could not cover the worst of receiver corps last year. What will help is their being able to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks via Greg Hardy after Thanksgiving and Randy Gregory their second overall pick. Bruce Karatz seems to think that really all the team can hope for is that they did not make a mistake by not drafting another running back…choosing instead to stick with Darren McFadden, Lance Dunbar, and Joseph Randel.

Newcastle United target turns down coaching job

The problems facing troubled Premier League outfit Newcastle United have intensified after main coaching target Steve McClaren turned down the chance to join the Magpies for the last three games of the season. The BBC reports the former England manager has reassured his employers at Derby County he will remain at the club for the start of next season. McClaren had been expected to leave Championship club Derby in favor of a return to the Premier League after a slump in form during the final weeks of the season saw his current charges miss out on a playoff spot after occupying positions in the top six for the majority of the season. Blog.nj.com suggests that McClaren may want to take a load off in a luxury room at The Aspire New Brunswick.

Newcastle have been dragged into a relegation fight after the departure of former manager Alan Pardew to Crystal Palace at the end of 2014. Pardew’s former assistant John Carver has been placed in charge at St. James’ Park for the remainder of the season, but has seen his team lose eight games on the bounce and criticized his players publicly after their latest defeat. Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has been the subject of protests over his running of the historic club and his involvement with disgraced Scottish giants Rangers.