The Warm-Up: No football, but Harry Kane's still rushing his return from injury
If Harry Kane isn’t putting his feet up now, when will he ever? Plus: the greatest Mike Dean video yet.
WEDNESDAY’S BIG STORIES
There is no football. Every human is struggling to exercise due to lockdown restrictions. Harry Kane continues to motor unopposed towards full fitness.
How can those things all be true? If there was one slither of joy from being locked inside all day, it’s that Kane could ease himself back to full fitness without worrying about Euro 2020.
But he’s not interested. Somewhere in London, Kane is crouched over, boot laces in hand, ready to tie them and charge back onto the pitch the moment the klaxon sounds.
"I’m not too far away, I’d normally hope to be back with the team in two or three weeks’ time," Kane told Tottenham’s official website. "I’m at a good stage, pretty much doing everything, now it’s about building up my fitness. So from my personal point of view, I’m in a good place."
It would be commendable, had it not proved a disastrous move in the past. His goalscoring instincts have survived the series of injuries, but his mobility has disappeared. He’s not the same player that once charged into the channels and ruffled up defenders, instead seeming content as a prolific goal hanger. Again, that would be commendable if he was in his 30s. He’s 26.
The first player to claim the golden boot at a World Cup from penalties and occasional strolls needs to take it easy. This is the first chance of his career – hell, anyone’s career – to have a proper rest. Take it, Harry.
Season is over (for ninth tier of English football)
We promise we’re not scraping the barrel… but we bring news from a level of football that is only a few rungs above a standard the Warm-Up once played (still clinging to that 14th tier dream).
The Football Association has demanded that football in the 9th and 10th tiers – bizarrely just those two – must stop immediately due to the threat of coronavirus. That encompasses 34 leagues in total.
What does it mean for promotion and relegation? You can bet Saffron Walden Town will be fuming if they are denied the lucrative step up from the Essex Senior League, while Sporting Bengal United look to have survived another year.
Above all, it's sparked a mini revolution in the leagues above, with their superior non-league cousins demanding the same outcome:
Has Willian played his last game in England?
With his contract due to expire on June 30, and little suggestion it could be renewed, Chelsea have allowed the Brazilian to return home to be with his wife and daughters during these sad times.
HEROES AND ZEROES
Heroes: Football people
There are a bundle of good gestures going on right now.
Unlikely healthcare double-act Cristiano Ronaldo and Jorge Mendes have joined forces to donate lifesaving equipment to Portuguese hospitals, Pep Guardiola has donated €1 million to help fight coronavirus in Spain and Bayern Munich’s first-team squad have agreed to take a 20% pay cut to keep on the club’s administrative staff.
Oh, and Jose Mourinho recently spent a day helping deliver essential goods to the elderly. Well played.
IN THE CHANNELS
The greatest Mike Dean video yet?
Plus: one kid's quest for a game of football reaches new levels of keenness:
One of the all-time great passages of football.
This Twitter thread from revered health correspondent Ashley Young really is worth a read.
Another day of breaking lampshades with a sponge football in our PJs. Oh, you mean what’s coming up for everyone? No idea. Fill your own time.
The 'how do I write a football story with no football' hot potato now passes to Andi Thomas for tomorrow's Warm-Up.