shining Latest Football News “We’re all just passing through in this profession, everything goes very quickly. The important thing is the day-to-day, and the excitement we approach it with.”Santiago Solari’s words at his debut press conference in charge of the Real Madrid first team suggest he has no illusions about his position. The interim coach of Los Blancos is not Florentino Perez’s choice for the long-term and, unless something unexpected happens, his stay in the Santiago Bernabéu hotseat will be a temporary one. Always in the background are murmurs of Jose Mourinho, still a favourite of president Perez, but the Manchester United boss won’t walk away from the payday he would be owed at Old Trafford should they decide to relieve him of his duties at some point down the line. And who is to say they will do so anyway?Then there is Mauricio Pochettino. Rumours linking the Argentine with Madrid continue to surface, though they tend to originate in England. Regardless, it is no secret the Spanish giants have long coveted his services, and for good reason: the Spurs man ticks more boxes than any other coach linked with the job. Unlike Conte, he would be welcomed by the dressing room, a stumbling block for the Italian which is an even bigger problem for Mourinho, who fell out with senior players by the time of his departure in 2013. 3 REPLY Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars RANKED Pochettino, a former Argentine international, shows off his skills on the touchline. 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The dust had barely settled on the 5-1 thumping Barcelona dished out to Los Blancos on Thursday when the word started to go around the Camp Nou that Antonio Conte would arrive in the morning.By the time Julen Lopetegui left his final media conference in the Catalan ground, sullen-looking in defeat, several well-positioned Spanish journalists were reporting that Conte would replace him the next day. Word travelled so quick that it arrived on time to be put to Sergio Ramos in the post-match mixed zone.The Madrid captain’s response wasn’t exactly a glowing endorsement. “Respect is won, not imposed.” Whether his thinly veiled message was enough to divert Florentino Perez’s hand is not clear, but in any case, Conte has yet to arrive, four days later, and now Madrid are reportedly unprepared to meet his contract demands. Which leaves the European giants in search of a new option. The big problem is that there aren’t many available. huge blow 3 3 The problem, however, is the timing. Madrid need a coach now, not next year, and as testing as things have been for Pochettino at Spurs as of late, it is hard to imagine him walking away mid-season from a job into which he has poured so much energy.Football is a ruthless game but we have seen enough consistency to afford him the benefit of the doubt: if he wanted to go to Madrid last summer he could have. Instead, he penned a new deal in north London. Murmurs in Spain that Perez may have to look for a stop-gap alternative until next year suggest there isn’t a great deal of optimism the Tottenham man will have a drastic change of heart.Which brings us back to Solari, the only coach Los Blancos are certain to have on the books at the moment, regardless of who they desire. The former Real Madrid player started off by delivering what was expected of him on Wednesday, comfortably winning a Copa del Rey fixture against third division UD Melilla.Next up, a much tougher test: Valladolid, owned by his former teammate Ronaldo, who are currently placed three positions above Madrid in the Liga table. If he can win that and start to turn things around, perhaps Solari’s stay in charge of the seniors will be longer than planned. Or at least long enough to buy Perez the time he needs. Pochettino’s natural ability to inject energy into a squad is another factor the other two cannot summon, and one that is not without importance considering the flagging, aged-looking performances several key Madrid players have produced this season. Potentially, he could help entice Harry Kane, a player who not only fits the bill as a Galactico-style signing that Madrid have lacked for some years now, but would also provide new talent in the desperately sparse centre forward position.The cherry on top? The Tottenham coach also happens to detest Barcelona more than most, and has never hidden his admiration for Real Madrid – “one of the best teams in the history of football,” as he described them. The fit couldn’t be better. Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won
Two Rivers musher Aliy Zirkle reached the Yukon River checkpoint of Galena Friday morning. (Photo by Zach Hughes/KSKA)Iditarod veteran Aliy Zirkle was the second musher out of Ruby early this morning, but she overtook Brent Sass a short ways down the trail.Both are on the move toward Galena – a 50-mile run down the Yukon River – with 15 dogs in harness.Jeff King was the first musher to reach Ruby, but is in the midst of his mandatory 24-hour layover.A handful of other mushers – led by Dallas Seavey, Nicolas Petit and Wade Marrs – also reached Ruby early Friday morning, but remain in the checkpoint as of 8:00 a.m.Illinois musher and Iditarod veteran Charley Benja scratched yesterday in McGrath.He made the call at 11:50 a.m. due to concern for his race team. He had 11 dogs on his team when he made the decision.