Gareth Bale’s recent performances have “annoyed” Real Madrid fans and Predrag Mijatovic thinks Wednesday’s Copa del Rey Clasico against Barcelona could be his “last chance”.Wales international Bale missed three weeks at the start of the year with a calf injury but made a goalscoring return as a substitute in the 4-2 victory over Espanyol on January 27.He again featured from the bench in last week’s Copa triumph over Girona but was replaced after an underwhelming 63 minutes when he returned to the starting line-up for Sunday’s 3-0 win over Deportivo Alaves. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar 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? With teenage winger Vinicius Junior stringing together some strong performances – including a goal against Alaves – Mijatovic feels Bale could find himself out of favour under Santiago Solari, particularly if he fails to impress against Barca at Camp Nou in the semi-final first leg.”Somebody has to defend and Lucas [Vazquez] knows how to track back and help. On the left wing, Vinicius is playing well and Bale has his difficulties,” Mijatovic told Cadena SER .”If he [Solari] plays Bale, it’s the last chance he has. We’re all annoyed with his game. Vinicius plays better at the Bernabeu.”Barcelona have tremendous attacking power. They’re capable of scoring three goals in five minutes. They’re the leaders [in LaLiga], they’re in the Champions League and the Copa.”It’s a two-legged eliminator. We have to go out and make a good result and take it into account regardless of how it ends. If you get a good result, Barca can also win at the Bernabeu.”Lionel Messi has been included in Barca’s squad despite being hurt during their 2-2 draw against Valencia on Saturday, but Mijatovic doubts any risks will be taken with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.”He’s a key player and he knows himself. He’ll tell him [Ernesto Valverde] if he can start, and if there’s a risk he’ll be on the bench. With the experience Messi has, I don’t think he’s stupid enough to take the risk,” he added.Barca head into the game off the back of a 2-2 draw with Valencia that has seen the gap at the top of the Liga table extend to six points, following Atletico Madrid’s failure to beat Real Betis.Real Madrid, meanwhile, find themselves in third, eight points behind the Catalans, with Solari’s men currently on a run of four wins in a row in the league.
While The Mercy could afford Firth and Weisz, both Oscar winning actors, to play the sailor and his wife, Clare, Crowhurst called on the comparatively unknown Justin Salinger and Amy Loughton. The MercyCredit:Dean Rogers In November he wrote: “Looking forward to seeing Studiocanal capitalise on another fantastic review for Crowhurst.”Danny Perkins, chief executive of the UK arm of Studiocanal, insists that both films can be a success.“It’s not about scuppering the film Crowhurst,” he said. “The Mercy has been five years in the making. When we knew another film was around we thought that if we took the rights we could control the way they were released to work for both, rather than work in conflict.”He added that although Studiocanal has not yet registered a release date for Rumley’s film, it should be screened four to six weeks after The Mercy is released in February. Now, cast and crew from Crowhurst have taken the unusual step of insisting their depiction of the sailor’s tragic life is more realistic and gritty because it has not had millions of pounds pumped into it.Amy Loughton, who plays Mrs Crowhurst, the character also played by Rachel Weisz in the rival film fears their film could be left to sink without trace.“I don’t mind being a poor man’s Rachel Weisz,” she said. “Our film will be much more raw and real. When you don’t have millions of pounds the hope is that you internalise and portray the turmoil of the characters much more. In a low budget film the script, cinematography and costumes have to be very carefully considered. “It’s been tricky. We are worried that they are not doing any publicity for the film. We are literally at the mercy of The Mercy.”Andy Briggs, the scriptwriter, believes the British public always favours the underdog in a David and Goliath battle.“We are, like Donald Crowhurst, the underdog,” he said. “But in this instance it has worked in our favour. It was refreshing to make a low budget film because we had to cut needless scenes which helped make a more direct and raw story.“I wonder how a big budget movie can portray the madness of Crowhurst, his life imploding around him as he realised he was about to be found out for lying about his position in the race. We have a more primeval telling of his story.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Whereas Colin Firth shot some of the scenes aboard a trimaran in the Mediterranean Sea near Malta, Rumley had to make do with the Bristol Channel.And with both films due to be released this year to mark the 50th anniversary of the start of race, Studiocanal decided it had to act.Last summer, the company took the unusual step of buying the rights for Rumley’s film to release it after The Mercy hits the cinemas in February. Milton Kam, the director of photography, said that while a big budget production film crew has all the latest gear at their disposal, he used a single camera and for scenes set inside the boats cabin a single light bulb created a haunting effect.“It worked visually. It was wonderful what it does to the face and was what we were after,” he said. “Our film is psychological and more immediate. We didn’t want to make a romantic story – it’s about a person going through extremes. I imagine that The Mercy is much more Hollywood.” Still from the independent film Crowhurst With a star-studded cast including Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz, film bosses were in no doubt that the £20 million biopic The Mercy has the makings of a blockbuster movie.Telling the real life tragic story of Donald Crowhurst, a British underdog competing and then cheating in an around-the-world yacht race, certainly has all the ingredients of a box office hit.But in an example of life imitating art, Studiocanal, the French company bankrolling the production, had to deal first with an underdog of a very different kind.The movie company executives discovered Simon Rumley, an independent British filmmaker, was also making a film about the ill-fated weekend sailor.It meant his film Crowhurst, with a budget of just £500,000, was a direct and inconvenient rival to the big budget movie backed by Studiocanal and the BBC.Both recount how the broke British businessman signed up for the 1968 Golden Globe Race in the hope of winning the prize money before forging his navigation charts to appear in the lead and then probably throwing himself overboard as he realised he would be found out. Donald CrowhurstCredit: Topham/ Topham Picturepoint Although Rumley, has made nine feature films, was unavailable for comment, his posts on his Facebook page hint at his frustration with Studiocanal after they brokered the deal to buy the film from the executive producers.