Running out of time?
Guillem Balague assesses the futures of Manuel Pellegrini, Manolo Jimenez and Thierry Henry.
Last Updated: 27/02/10 2:47pm
We're set for another week of cracking action in La Liga, so who better to look ahead to the four live games on Sky Sports than our Spanish football expert Guillem Balague.
If you've got a question for Guillem, send it in here.
Tenerife v Real Madrid
7.00pm, Sat, Sky Sports 4
This will be an emotional return for Real Madrid to Tenerife, where they lost two leads in the final game of last season. The hosts are a team that respect how football should be played: they pass the ball well but unfortunately for them they don't pose much of a threat up front. Meanwhile, the current campaign against Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini is fascinating but also disappointing. I had a chat with Florentino Perez, the club's chairman, this week and his view is that this whole episode is simply people trying to make a name for themselves, especially in newspapers, by claiming Pellegrini's head. They can say 'we got rid of the last chairman, now we've got rid of the manager'. Also, what's happening with Kaka? We saw the way he celebrated against Villarreal and I think it's fair to say he is not happy! It appears as though he is putting himself under too much pressure psychologically. He takes things too seriously and doesn't seem to be enjoying himself as much as Ronaldo is.
Barcelona v Malaga
9.00pm, Sat, Sky Sports 4
It's interesting to follow the form of Malaga, who have lost just once in 14 games - that defeat coming at the hands of Real Madrid in January. Luck was on their side as they beat Espanyol 2-1 but that's the way football can go and overall they doing much more than was expected of them this season - and certainly more than I was expecting! The quality of Duda has been a key factor as has the fact that they signed 10 players from the lower sides, because it suggests that there is a great deal of love for the club even if they are not very well paid in comparison to their peers - they probably have the lowest average wage in the division. On the other hand with have Barcelona's stars and it will be interesting to see follow the fortunes of Ibrahimovic and Thierry Henry. It is fascinating how Henry has disappeared from the line up for three consecutive games and then appeared for 76 minutes against Racing. I think there is a break in trust between Henry and Guardiola; the manager is demanding more from his striker and I don't know whether Henry can't give it physically or mentally is focusing on other things like the World Cup. Whatever the reason, there is a huge difference between the Henry who has scored two goals this season and last year's when he netted 19 times in the league alone. I think this will be his last year at Barcelona.
Sevilla v Athletic Bilbao
6.00pm, Sun, Sky Sports HD3 & SS3
Despite the fantastic season that Manolo Jimenez is having - his side is still alive in three competitions - the rumour is that Mallorca's Gregorio Manzano will be given his job next season. Mostly, it seems, that's because fans don't want Jimenez there - they just don't like him. They think that he is too conservative, hasn't achieved enough with the squad that he has got - but the fact is that he hasn't chosen all of the players and he is restricted by a lack of creative midfielders. That's not his fault! Some of the decisions that he took at the weekend when his team was playing with 10-men against Mallorca, such as taking off a defensive midfielder and putting on a striker in Luis Fabiano, suggest that this situation is more about what people want to believe than what is inside his tactical head.
Atletico Madrid v Valencia
8.00pm, Sun, Sky Sports HD3 & SS3
Atletico Madrid remain a 'Jekyll and Hyde side'; they lost to Almeria after beating Barcelona, in part because of tiredness and some wrong choices by Quique Sanchez Flores who didn't rotate the squad as much as he should have. The key for Atletico has been the form of Tiago, Quique's insistence that the team returns to basics and cut down on the number of mistakes they were making. This should be a fascinating game because Valencia have players returning to form like Juan Mata and Éver Banega, who is having a great season and should take the place of Gago in central midfield for Argentina.
Guillem answers your questions...
Got a question for Guillem? Then send it in here or use the feedback form below, and then look out for his answer next week.
ROOM FOR RIBERY?
Hello Guillem! Is the agreement between Real Madrid and Bayern still in place regarding Ribery? Now that Real have found a balanced system with 3 forwards (Cristiano and Kaka being two of them) there surely is no place in the team for Ribery (unless of course he and Cristiano could form some kind of modern, new age partnership upfront with Kaka playing behind them or if they would have a new manager... ) Bill Newton
GUILLEM SAYS: Ribery does have a place in the line-up because he will be the only specialist on the wing: he can play on the right and on the left. Certainly he will be a regular because Real Madrid's problem is that they don't have natural width; the width has to be found instead by the players where they can. Ribery can ease that problem. If there is an agreement it will be between the player and Real Madrid, not the clubs. Negotiations have not started yet.
SERG IN INTEREST
Hello big fan of yours. Wondered if Sergio Aguero would be on the move to Chelsea? Is their any chance of that happening? Dan Tank
GUILLEM SAYS: Chelsea made a very small offer of about 16m GBP and Atletico Madrid want about 50m Euros. That's not going to happen because Chelsea don't want to spend that amount of money on him. Atletico Madrid are not in a rush to sell him anyway. They want to build a team around him and youngsters such as David de Gea the goalkeeper, Ibrahima, Borja Gonzalez etc
NOT RON THE MOVE
Hi, Forget all the talk about Benzema. What about Ronaldo coming back to United? He seems to really miss Manchester and the Club, the players, the manager. But will Fergie take him back, now that Rooney has found his ideal position and moving forward the team will be shaped around him. Can Ronaldo fit in as a pure winger like Valencia or Park or even Nani? Do you see it happening in the future? Joe Cardoza
GUILLEM SAYS: I've got two words for you Joe - no chance! I don't see him returning to Manchester United. He was outstanding against Villarreal and is growing as a player but he is also happy because he hasn't got the same restrictions on him that he had as a player at Manchester United. He does whatever he likes at Real. He can play as a second forward and that seems to make him happy.