FRIDAY’S BIG HEADLINES
A big night for Spurs
Last night, Harry Kane achieved the remarkable feat of reaching 200 goals for Tottenham in their 3-1 win over Ludogorets in the Europa League. For fans of round numbers, he rather pleasingly achieved this in his 300th game.
"It's a great milestone to reach and hopefully there are a few more to come," Kane said. “Time goes so quick it feels like yesterday I scored my first for Spurs. It's a great achievement but let's keep them coming."
A brilliant moment for a thoroughly likable player, who is now just 66 goals off the club record set by Jimmy Greaves. The Warm-Up has run the numbers and we can confidently predict that Kane will take this record, well, most likely before Donald Trump concedes the election.
So to mark this incredible achievement, and to recognise a great career, The Warm-Up will now… spend some time asking just what on earth is going on with Jose Mourinho’s Instagram account??
It was only two weeks ago that the Friday Warm-Up remarked on the fact that during his prolonged period of inactivity Mesut Ozil had become the world’s best paid social media manager. (Thanks for the endorsement, Mesut).
But an even more incredible transformation is happening in front of our eyes. Jose Mourinho has somehow become a social influencer, and he genuinely might have the best Instagram account in the known universe. There’s just something about his deadpan, overbearingly normal but inexplicably funny posts that gets us.
The first sign was when Spurs complained that the crossbar was too low for their Europa League match against Shkendija, prompting Mourinho to post an (intentionally?) hilarious visual demonstration.
Clearly there is something about the Europa League that gets his creative juices flowing, as last week for the trip to face Antwerp we had the post which launched a thousand memes:
And then the post which launched a thousand more as he sat stonyfaced on the bus following the 1-0 defeat. (By the way, just bear in mind with this one that he has very deliberately sat in that position and asked someone to take a picture of him looking p****d off – just fantastic).
Mourinho was at it again following last night’s Europa League action – with a post which almost could have been created by a tame banter account – ‘RealJoseMemeinho’. "When you win but you don’t play especially well," he posted.
It truly is a sight to behold. A man and manager who, according to his critics, has become an anachronism in the modern game, has totally mastered Instagram. Maybe this old dog can learn a few more tricks.
Based entirely on his ‘Gram game, The Warm-Up is backing Spurs for the title this season.
No Average Joe
Joe Willock celebrates scoring the 4th Arsenal goal with (R) Bukayo Saka
Image credit: Getty Images
Arsenal have had their issues with fluency so far this season, with Mikel Arteta seeming to prefer a team knitted as tightly together as one of the jumpers worn by his mentor, Pep Guardiola.
Actually, at this point can we please quickly mention the attire of Arteta last night during Arsenal’s win over Molde in the Europa League? Say what you like about big Arsene but he always had the good mind to turn up to work looking smart in official club gear, even if he could never quite master the concept of a zip. Arteta looked like he had draped himself in a bin bag.
Anyway, The Warm-Up digresses. The point here is that there hasn’t been a great deal of room for creativity at Arsenal, who have only scored more than twice in one Premier League game, and have a cumulative total of one in their past three games.
The Europa League, however, is a different story. After slotting three past Dundalk last week, last night it was four against Molde, and once again, one of the stars of the show was Joe Willock, who rounded off the scoring and had a hand in a couple of other goals.
The really nice thing about Willock is that he’s not afraid to have a go. He likes to break the lines with the ball at his feet, or have a shot. He’s always thinking about scoring, or helping someone else score. The impetus he brings from midfield is not what you get from Granit Xhaka or Dani Ceballos.
It does feel like Arsenal are crying out for a little Willock action in the Premier League, where he is yet to play this season. Judging by Mikel Arteta’s post-match comments, he may not be far off.
“Yeah, I think he was really strong in his performance. I think the way he's approaching every opportunity, also how mature he is,” said Arteta. “I saw his press conference as well and I was impressed by the way he's communicating as well.
“He is developing the right way, he is a player that I really like, he has some very special qualities. He deserves every minute he's been playing and he's showing it with performances, with goals and with his attitude.”
Leicester stay perfect
It was a good night for the English clubs all round in Europe as Leicester recorded a 4-0 win over Braga to make it three wins from three in their group.
Kelechi Iheanacho scored twice with Dennis Praet and James Maddison also on target.
IN OTHER NEWS
Villarreal’s game with Maccabi Tel Aviv was delayed last night due to a massive storm in Spain which resulted in the kind of rainfall last reported when Moses had just finished piling the last Zebra onto his boat.
Incredibly, the game went ahead after a delay and Villarreal won 4-0. All in all a memorable evening’s work for Unai Emery.
IN THE CHANNELS
This time last year, what would you have thought if someone showed you a video of title-winning manager Jurgen Klopp urging Scousers to support a mass-testing programme in the city, in order to fight a deadly pandemic and try and lift Liverpool out of tier three (no, not League One)?
Remember the time when Manchester United inexplicably left Demba Ba free to score from a one-man counter-attack? What do you mean it only happened on Wednesday? How can it be possible to have watched a goal which is only two days old approximately 200 times already?
Ah well, one more won’t do any harm…
There’s a Premier League double header this evening and we’ve got live text commentary on both Brighton v Burnley (17:30) and Southampton v Newcastle (20:00).
There may be a few more ballots outstanding in Nevada but we are now in a position to call the Monday Warm-Up for Andi Thomas.