Saturday Night Takeaways: Pressure mounts on Van Gaal and Garde as Berahino nets for West Brom

There were 25 games on today as United sneak by a resolute Sheffield United and the pressure mounts on Remi Garde

BY Robbie Dunne 20:22 Saturday 9 January 2016, 20:22 9 Jan 2016

There were 25 games in the third round of the FA Cup today, and while there were no massive upsets, there is plenty to talk about following the day's action.

From the pressure on Remi Garde and Louis van Gaal to Saido Berahino getting on the scoresheet, here are your talking points from today's games.

Remi Garde must consider his future

Remi Garde and Aston Villa continued their lacklustre form by scraping a 1-1 away draw with Wycombe Wanderers in the first of the day's game. An early Micah Richards strike was cancelled out by a Joe Jacobson penalty and Wycombe might feel as though they could have taken more from the game.

Villa's last win came against Birmingham in the League Cup back in September of last year and they are now 16 games without a victory. That includes 11 losses in that time. 

Remi Garde agreed to become the captain of a sinking ship and the time is nigh that he starts to consider the damage he is doing to his reputation. As a young manager, presumably with aspirations to manage at the very top, he is doing more harm than good when the inevitability of Aston Villa's demise is already apparent. He left a competitive Lyon team to manage a group of players that seem to understand this inevitable outcome and have somewhat accepted it. While it might not be the most loyal thing to do, walking away could help both Villa and his career in what has become an impossible mission.

Louis van Gaal's side are boring

I suppose, it must be said, aside from being boring, Manchester United are very lucky to have escaped with a win against League One side Sheffield United on Saturday night. You know there is something wrong when there was talk of the clash between the mighty Manchester United and Sheffield United not being as cut and dry as you might think prior to kick-off.

There was a time when Manchester United would have put a third string team out to dispose of opposition from lower leagues. While we won't dwell too long on the nostalgic aspect of things, United are horrendously boring regardless of their history. Possession is the key for Van Gaal but it's utterly pointless when the result is not shots on target.

By the end of the game, the fans, the players and even Van Gaal himself looked bored at what was transpiring on the field. He may have lost his bottle for a fight and it appears only a matter of time before Ryan Giggs is given the reins as the manager of the club. 

Saido Berahino in the shop window

Saido Berahino has not started a game for West Brom since the end of October. His manager has stated that his mindset is all wrong following a failed move away from the Hawthorns last summer and it appears as though Berahino's career is heading down the wrong path. 

A January move was all but ruled out given his lack of game time and the likes of Spurs, who have been interested for a while, are reluctant to spend big money on a player who is not even starting for his club.

He showed a glimpse of how good he can be with a goal to break the deadlock between Pulis' side and Bristol City today in the second half having been sprung from the bench. There could be value in a deal for Berahino given how little West Brom are currently getting out of him and the fact that his stock is currently as high as it will probably get over the course of the next few months.

While Jeremy Peace has maintained his unwillingness to sell Berahino, he might see the futility of his endeavour to keep a player against his will who is not helping the team, the atmosphere or the manager in what could become a relegation embattled season.


Gardai to investigate Conor McGregor's Instagram image

14:28 Friday 8 January 2016 0 Minute Read

Klopp calls on Irish youngster for Liverpool's Exeter test

19:18 Friday 8 January 2016 0 Minute Read
Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week