The Warm-Up: Harry Kane's impossible job; Sergio Ramos is innocent (this time)
Plus: Liverpool being Liverpool, Timo Werner's odd night and some rampant paranoia.
WEDNESDAY'S BIG STORIES
Harry Kane does goals, gets told to do hundreds more goals
Harry Kane has scored reliably and prolifically since breaking into the Tottenham team back in 2014. So much so that not only has he shaken off the one-season wonder tag, he’s also got past the ironic jokes about him being a one-season wonder.
OK, maybe not. Give it another six years and 200 goals eh, Harry.
Kane being English, he’s constantly reminded about his place in history and judged against impossible standards. BT Sport’s interviewer solemnly invited him to speculate whether he will become Tottenham’s greatest ever striker – be better than Jimmy Greaves or you’re nothing to us!
Thankfully Kane greets such enquiries with a sublime obliviousness that made a colleague of the Warm-Up conclude he must either be exceedingly smart or exceedingly stupid.
What’s between his ears matters not – if he keeps whatever formula allows him to block out the fatuous historical comparisons and focus on the job in hand, he’ll surely be better than Alan Shearer.
Liverpool: doing everything right except the winning matches bit
Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool looks on prior to the UEFA Champions League group E match between Spartak Moskva and Liverpool FCGetty Images
In fairness, it’s kind of a good news/bad news situation. A bit like: good news, the guy publicly backed by Trump has lost a senate runoff election! Bad news, the guy who beat him pulled a gun out on stage at a rally.
In this case: good news, Liverpool started with the hardest possible pair of fixtures, home to the best opponent in the group and away to the second best – they’re unbeaten and have easier games to come.
Bad news, they can’t defend, can’t finish off games they dominate and can’t win a match.
Fake news dept.
You may well have seen outrage last night about Sergio Ramos handballing on the line.
But roll the tape and what’s this? The ball wasn’t actually going in, and came at Ramos via a deflection off the gloves of Keylor Navas roughly six nanometres away.
Ramos gets away with so many genuine transgressions – let’s not fixate on an incident where his only crime was to have hands. It's like hating Kim Jong-Un because of his dress sense.
IN OTHER NEWS
We wouldn’t mind betting there’s more to Werner’s condition than just ‘it was too loud for him’ – but still fairly remarkable.
We can all act cynical about knowingly wacky football club social posts – but tell us this isn’t funny.
HEROES AND ZEROES
Hero: Gareth Bale
BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-oh, nice finish-OOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
Zero: Football fan paranoia
Represented in this case by Cornish Blue – though it could really be any fan from any club. He's chosen to be offended that a graphic showing Arsenal in seventh doesn't also show Manchester City in first. #AGENDA
A word of advice, Sir: your team is top of the league, top of their European group, playing scintillating football and scoring shedloads of goals. Maybe it’s time to stop feeling slighted and just enjoy life?
To mark the sad news of Freddy Shepherd’s passing, here’s possibly the high point of his chairmanship of Newcastle: the Faustino Asprilla-inspired 3-2 win over Barcelona on the club’s Champions League group stage debut back in 1997.
Nice soundtrack, too.
Thursday's Warm-Up comes from Jack Lang, who swears he has never brandished his weapon in public