WEDNESDAY’S BIG STORIES
The newest yo-yo in town
The joy of watching the conclusion of a 46-game-plus-playoff season is the prospect of seeing a new team earn their shot in the Premier League. Instead, we get Fulham, whose win over Brentford ensured they would yo-yo with Norwich City for eternity.
And it’s left The Warm-Up feeling a bit sour. We’ve seen Fulham in the Premier League recently. It’s the same with West Brom. We know how their stories unravel – relegation, parachute payment, immediate return, repeat.
A reported £170m jackpot at Wembley boiled down to one opportunistic free-kick from Joe Bryan, forcing Bees stopper David Raya into a humiliating comedy dive. Aside from that? It was a bit naff.
It’s why we’re campaigning for teams to be banned from winning promotion to the Premier League a year after relegation. Either that, or scrap parachute payments in the first season. Otherwise we face the serious risk of having a revolving Premier League of just 23 teams.
At least we have Leeds, glorious Leeds. Put aside your hatred, a feeling that has been indoctrinated into a country, and look forward to another villain gracing the top-flight…
For a goalkeeper who always looked 5’10”, Iker Casillas has had an extraordinary career. The Real Madrid legend (pre-Mourinho) departs with five Liga titles, three Champions Leagues, back-to-back European Championships and that moment in South Africa.
His save from Arjen Robben in the 2010 World Cup final was the montage-ender, adding his name to a list of greats that produced their biggest moment on the biggest stage. The cameras may have been locked on Andreas Iniesta's vest, but it was Casillas who starred in Spain’s finest hour.
Casillas signed off by plagiarising the ending of every feel-good movie with a 6.0 rating on IMDB:
The important thing is the path you travel and the people who accompany you, not the destination to which it takes you. I think I can say, without hesitation, that it has been the path and the dream destination.
Manchester City are celebrating winning their appeal with CAS and are throwing money around again. Ferran Torres has arrived from Valencia to replace Leroy Sane, while Nathan Ake is poised to complete a £40 move from potential yo-yoers Bournemouth.
Meanwhile, the Jadon Sancho to Manchester United saga continues as tabloids rotate headlines between ‘fears grow’, ‘stumbling block’, ‘progress made’ and ‘deal done’.
Tottenham have also had a £15m bid accepted for Southampton midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, while Leicester City have emerged as the ‘secret’ Premier League team hoping to prise Francisco Trincao away from Barcelona.
Oh, and this guy is now available too…
The Warm-Up LOVES a montage and Real Madrid have produced a beauty for Casillas.
Many of these YouTubers may be racking up hundreds of thousands of views, and millions in some cases, but how relevant are they really? Very, is the answer. Sky Sports’ new show Saturday Social has featured Youtubers such as WillNE and Spencer Owen and rappers including Kamakaze, Yizzy, Capo Lee and Youngs Teflon all debating football’s major talking points each week. Although traditionalists are likely to be very critical of this type of football coverage, it makes sense to balance traditional coverage with content that engages young people, is slightly less serious than in-depth tactical analysis and embraces black culture’s influence on football in this country - something that is largely ignored by mainstream media outlets.
Look, we know we’re technically not meant to promote our own stuff in this section, but this piece from James Truscott on black culture's influence on football is worth your time.
European nights are upon us! You’re treated to four matches in the Europa League last 16, the pick of the bunch seeing Manchester United forced to welcome LASK to Old Trafford despite holding a 5-0 advantage. Meanwhile, Inter Milan face Getafe in a one-off showdown. You can follow both matches live with us tonight.
Andi Thomas will bring you all the fall-out from Manchester United 1-6 LASK tomorrow.