Wednesday’s big stories
Fans are everything
Barca to sacrifice Griezmann to afford Messi contract – Paper Round
10 HOURS AGO
There is a serious point amongst this fracas-lauding. Supporters contribute to the ebb and flow of matches, infuse them with tension, and they drive and drain momentum. For good and bad, fans set the tone for performances and seasons. For example, it is of no surprise that both West Ham and Tottenham enjoyed an up tick in results during their last season at Upton Park and White Hart Lane as feel-good nostalgia enveloped their home matches. And at the other end of the spectrum, there appears to be a fairly direct correlation between Arsenal’s success or lack thereof and a development of a toxic element to their fanbase.
The Premier League sells itself as the best, most passionate and competitive league in the world. Yet, often, fans, who are integral to – to use the league’s own term – the product represent an afterthought. The European Super League (ESL) gave the Premier League a PR win by disassociation but, truth be told, much more must be done to assuage fans. Glib decrees of fans’ importance were made in the wake of the ESL shambles, but now is the time for action. The game has been gradually taken away from the fans since the advent of the Premier League. This is the time to redress the balance.
Cavani is younger than fading Vardy but Iheanacho the future
If that pair are in the ‘edging towards the twilight of their careers’ category, Kelechi Iheanacho is yet to enter the prime of his. And what a player he is.
Changes are a coming at the point of the Leicester attack. Iheanacho is the future of this Leicester team. A Vardy succession plan – a concern for years – is in place.
Luke Shaw: Manchester United Players’ Player of the Year – a penny for Jose Mourinho’s thoughts
Jose Mourinho, April 5 2017
Manchester United players, May 18 2021
Now, Shaw is not without fault but if there were ever a more damning indictment of Jose Mourinho’s attritional man-management approach then the Warm-Up is yet to see it.
Shaw’s progression under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – hardly renowned for his tactical acumen – has been borderline exponential. Sometimes football is a simple game. And in this instance the simplicity was this: cajole a player whose confidence was shot following a near career-ending injury rather than chide him at every turn.
IN THE CHANNELS
All of Chelsea’s strikers by the looks of things because they are certainly nowhere near the box.
Absolutely shocking stat, that.
Boca fans should be given some form of award for this sort of behaviour.
For Levy, fighting fires on multiple levels and with uncertainty swirling, it was difficult to imagine a worse time for Harry Kane to take the pin out of a hand grenade that he had held for some time. The striker’s decision to push for a transfer this summer threatens so much at Spurs but not least Levy’s chairmanship. Because were he to sell a generational talent, one who connects so easily with the fans, it is easy to see the formation of a scar that will never heal.
Here tomorrow is Andi Thomas both a veteran and the future of the Warm-Up.
‘Next question’ – Pep Guardiola refuses to rule out Harry Kane bid
11 HOURS AGO
Mason claims he has no idea over Kane transfer request
17 HOURS AGO