Philippe Coutinho is the player Bayern Munich “needed” according to Schalke’s Omar Mascarell, who thinks the on-loan Barcelona midfielder will pair well with Thiago and Robert Lewandowski.Coutinho made the move to the Allainz Arena for a season-long loan to the Bundesliga champions, with Bayern reportedly holding a potential purchase option.The Brazilian is looking to put a difficult 2018-19 campaign behind him and has earned rave reviews from his new head coach, Niko Kovac, and others since his arrival. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? He made his debut for Bayern off the bench in a 3-0 win over Schalke this weekend, and the former Real Madrid midfielder Mascarell believes Coutinho will make the Bavarians’ attack even more potent this season.“It’s great news that Coutinho plays in the Bundesliga,” Mascarell told Goal and Spox. “He was certainly the player that Bayern needed – one who provides danger between the lines with his power of shooting and combination.“He will definitely harmonize perfectly with Thiago and Robert Lewandowski.”Bayern coach Kovac heads into his second year with the Bundesliga giants, having won a domestic double in his debut season.Despite his success, which saw him equal or surprass the work of his predecessors in recent years, stumbles at points during the campaign as well as elimination in the Champions League saw him come in for criticism.But Mascarell, who played for Kovac at Eintracht Frankfurt and won the DFB-Pokal over Bayern Munich in 2018 alongside him, believes the coach has been underserving of such harsh critiques.“Niko has not only made me a better footballer, but has also developed me as a human being,” Mascarell said. “I do not understand those who question him and his footballing expertise.“It has been seen with us that he pursues a clear game philosophy, can play many tactical systems and cope with his players.“He is the type of coach who criticizes you if you have not given everything. Then it’s time to roll up your sleeves and do it fast.“Niko can get very loud in the dressing room, but he’s also very fair and praises you when you’ve done your job.”
The Tigers OC feels Clemson has been more impressive than the Crimson Tide so far this season.“I think somebody told me yesterday that we’ve won five games by 31 points or more and you look at Bama, who’s No. 1, and they’ve won three, and two of them were vs. Group of 5,” Scott said, via 247Sports. “It’s not really the rhetoric that we are seeing out there.”Looks like the Alabama-Clemson animosity is starting a bit early this season. The two elite programs have gone head-to-head in four straight College Football Playoff games, splitting the series at two a piece.The Tigers have the latest bragging rights, winning the 2018-19 national title with a 44-16 blowout of the Tide. There’s still a lot of football left to be played this season, but there’s a good chance both teams once again make the CFP.As for now, all Clemson can control is what’s in front of them. As long as the Tigers keep winning, the rankings will sort itself out. SANTA CLARA, CA – JANUARY 07: Patrick Phibbs #58 of the Clemson Tigers snaps the ball against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Levi’s Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)Most national analysts feel Clemson has played below its standard so far this season. As a result, the Tigers have seen their AP Top 25 ranking drop from No. 1 to No. 4 in a matter of weeks.Clemson still hasn’t lost a game this season. But a a close win over North Carolina and sub-par performance vs. Louisville was rather uninspiring. And the Tigers paid the price for several lackluster performances.Alabama is still No. 1 in the AP Top 25 poll but there was a shake-up in the Top 5 as Ohio State jumped Clemson to move to No. 3.See the full poll: https://t.co/DWCBw9xytPMore AP college football: https://t.co/lyS9Elfx0c pic.twitter.com/rdm1AzO5dx— AP Top 25 (@AP_Top25) October 21, 2019Clemson offensive coordinator Jeff Scott thinks the team’s drop in the rankings is unwarranted. But rather than just pointing out the Tigers’ success, Scott called out Alabama.