TUESDAY’S BIG STORIES
Poch watch: Manchester bound?
Well ain’t Twitter’s trending bar the most distracting thing. (See also: Twitter in general, and the beautiful chaos that was Sing Your Dialect as mentioned a few scrolls down).
'The biggest challenge for me' - Conte on his toughest job with struggling Spurs
At varying points throughout Monday, Steve Bruce and Poch were trending, likewise Allegri, Simeone, Big Sam, Ten Hag and, of course, #CarrickOut.
We’ll assume JK Rowling, Kermit and Eddie Redmayne were trending for other reasons, while after the Picasso-like hairdryer that is Peppa Pig got an unlikely mention in Boris Johnson’s bumbling speech, let’s just say a very unproductive first day of the week followed and ended with an impromptu karaoke night.
But alas, distractions aside, it looks as though Manchester United’s managerial search may not last six months after all.
Steve Bruce… It’s not you. Sam Allardyce… It’s not you. Mauricio Pochettino… It might be you.
Yes, Pochettino could well put himself forward for the vacancy at United, which much like a Bushtucker Trial will have you handling stars, spending long periods in a dark room, and may make you realise it wasn’t worth the fee you were initially signed up for.
- Poch in Man Utd talks, could cost £10m in compensation to PSG – Paper Round
- It would be ‘a mess’ if Pochettino swaps PSG for Man Utd now – Inside Europe
It would also arguably see Pochettino move from one of the most difficult jobs in football to the other. Thomas Tuchel likened the PSG role to being a “minister for sports”, and while it would appear Pochettino is not entirely happy in Paris either, there are no guarantees he’ll be beaming at Old Trafford given the size of the task that awaits whoever eventually takes over.
For now, though, it isn’t Poch – and may not be until the end of the season – and though that could gain traction in the coming days for now the focus will be on Michael Carrick’s United at Villarreal tonight.
We can see it now, March 2022, after reaching the Champions League quarters… “Get the contract out, put it on the table.” Carrick’s at the wheel.
Carrick reflects on 'sad day' of Solskjaer's departure
Who’s The Best?
You’re the best. But asides from you, probably Lionel Messi and Alexia Putellas will be deemed The Best by FIFA? Or perhaps Robert Lewandowski and Jenni Hermoso?
The Warm-Up doesn’t have a say, which is most likely – pardon the pun – for The Best, and those names mentioned are just four of many up for the two main awards announced January 17.
Of course, you have the men’s and women’s coaching awards too, and naturally not a forward award, not a midfield award, not a defence award, but of course a men’s and women’s goalkeeper award up for grabs as well. Take your pick.
A Jose promise is a Jose promise
"I had promised to buy Felix the boots he really likes, which are really expensive, they cost €800 [£671], so he ran over and told me not to forget. Tomorrow morning, the first thing I do is buy him the boots.”
And indeed, Roma boss Jose Mourinho lived up to his promise, rewarding 18-year-old Felix Afena-Gyan with a fresh pair of sneakers/trainers/creps (do the kids even say any of those still?!) after his goalscoring contribution in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Genoa.
IN OTHER NEWS
There is not entirely a lot to say on this matter. The man who was going to be in charge of England until after the 2022 World Cup will now remain until after Euro 2024 - that is of course unless the 2022 World Cup doesn’t go to plan and it’s deemed he isn’t right to lead the team towards Euro 2024 after all.
What is clear is that the powers that be truly trust in Gareth Southgate to lead this exciting era, which for the nation’s demanding set of supporters, must have something shiny come the end of it.
IN THE CHANNELS
If you know, you know. If you don't, tune in tonight at 7pm!
IN THE CHANNELS II
This feels like a day where the Warm-Up could have just made an In The Channels special, but rather than flooding your feed we’ll add just a second – Ronaldinho’s hug with Samuel Eto’o. That’s love right there.
It is now 25 years since Ali Dia made his Southampton debut. Some player, was George Weah's cousin. Ahem.
The Chaaampions. We’ll have four live text commentaries for you right here this evening. For starters there is Manchester United’s trip to Villarreal and Dynamo Kiev vs Bayern Munich from 5.45pm, and then you can tuck into Barcelona vs Benfica and Chelsea vs Juventus from 8pm. Tasty.
Leonardo: ‘Ridiculous’ to suggest PSG held meeting with Zidane
Opinion: Mauricio Pochettino is the wrong manager for 'Project PSG'