The Warm-Up: David Moyes sounds warning to West Ham players
Plus: Lee Dixon, Cristiano Ronaldo's son's jeans collection, Erik Pieters, Thomas Gravesen and Joe Cole's Matrix years...
THURSDAY’S BIG STORIES
Good news: West Ham have let David Moyes out of that weird little room with the purple curtains and steadily-diminishing oxygen supply. We know this because our underdog hero yesterday gave his first press conference at his new club and it was in a different room entirely – one that didn’t look like it had been ripped from the stabbing scene of a Scandi-noir show on BBC Four.
A very good press conference it was, too, with one key message to the underperforming Irons players really hammered home: DO SOME GODDAMN WORK. “There will be no favours,” said the man formerly known as the Moyesiah. “If they don’t do the running they won’t play.”
Not sure we quite caught that, Dave. Could you just… “Step it up or you won’t play. If you don’t run you won’t play. I’m in a hurry and they need to be in a hurry too. Probably in this job, I am going back to being David Moyes at Preston when players were probably crying at the work.”
Right, got it. Running. That actually makes quite a bit of sense, based on recent evidence. The Warm-Up is pretty sure Marko Arnautovic walks around Waitrose with more vim than he’s shown on the pitch this season.
Marko Arnautovic is having a 'slow' start to his West Ham career, Slaven Bilic saysPA Sport
What else? A nice bit of self-confidence, for a start, with Moyes apparently unbowed despite his struggles in recent years. “It’s good for us both,” he said of his arrival. “It’s good for me because I’m back in, it’s what I do and want to do well. I think it’s good for West Ham as well, they’ve got a good manager.
“It gives me a chance to see the east end of London, to see the players, and let West Ham see what David Moyes can do.” Things like talking about himself in the third person, apparently. Either way, The Warm-Up is a big fan of this newly bullish Moyes and wishes him all the best in the months ahead.
Dixon takes aim at the Arsenal Two
Another day, another spin on the Former Arsenal Player Opinion Roulette. Pull the big red lever and – KERCHUNGGG – it’s… Lee Dixon! On… contract rebels Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil! Take it away, LD: “We’d have just shown them the door. ‘If you don’t want to play, then go.’ That’s not changed.”
But Lee, is there some pertinent historical example we might evoke here? There is? Great!
" It happened with Michael Thomas 18 months after he scored [the title-winning goal against Liverpool] in ’89. He was in dispute with the club or George Graham about money. He ended up going in similar circumstances and signing with Liverpool. It’s no different. If a player doesn’t want to stay somewhere… then you will be ousted from the environment and dressing room pretty quickly. Players work out whether you want to be there or not, and certainly fans do when they see your performances on the pitch."
The problem for Arsenal supporters, of course, is that an I-don’t-want-to-be-here lacklustre performance isn’t all that texturally different to an I’m-playing-in-a-historically-frustrating-team lacklustre performance. Time to get the magnifying glasses out.
Alexis Sanchez, left, and Mesut Ozil could leave Arsenal for free next summerPA Sport
Important jeans news
Given the absolute state of the world, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that multi-millionaire athletes are trying to squeeze a little extra juice from their fame by using their offspring as model-ambassadors. Still, The Warm-Up was mildly surprised to learn that Cristiano Ronaldo Jr – you’ll never guess who his dad is – now has his own denim range.
Not being funny, but I hope the actual product fits a lot better than that, Cristiano. The poor little fella could use one of the legs as a sleeping bag and still have room for storage.
IN OTHER NEWS (II)
Apologies if this did the rounds a couple of days ago, but… that’s Stoke defender Erik Pieters! In a trashy reality show! Bemusing and really quite excellent.
HEROES AND ZEROES
Hero: Thomas Gravesen
" Jimmy Lumsden: he’s about 60 with white hair… Thomas used to throw him about. Over the physio table, everywhere. Once he brought a paintball gun in and started just shooting people. He brought fireworks in one day. The physio was one of the fittest guys at the club, he was in his 50s and used to play a bit. He was running with the injured players when Tommy comes out with a big rocket and fires it right at him"
Thomas GravesenGetty Images
The moral of the story: if you’re going to do training-ground weirdness, do it properly. Well done.
You’d think £200 million or so would buy you commitment as well as skill, but it’s looking increasingly like Paris Saint-Germain should have checked the small print on that one. For Neymar, who has already lined up rumbling disputes with both Edinson Cavani and Unai Emery, is now apparently “unmotivated” by the prospect of, erm, playing actual league games for his new club.
Catalan daily Sport claim that the forward skipped the weekend’s win over Angers to ensure that he would be fit for Brazil duty, with the “challenges” of Ligue 1 supposedly not quite to his taste. It’s going to be great fun when they get knocked out of the Champions League, isn’t it?
Twitter throws up some wonderfully random things sometimes and yesterday’s blast from the past definitely hit the spot. Here’s Mark Overmars, Joe Cole and – yes, really – Jody Morris, posing with some fresh Adidas Predators in a natty late-90s boot launch.
Overmars, The Warm-Up thinks, just about passes as a secret agent or whatever he’s meant to be. Morris is obviously just happy to be there, principally because HE’S JODY MORRIS. But our hearts go out to poor old Cole, who has been given a duff pair of sunglasses and looks the son of Agent Smith from The Matrix on bring-your-adolescent-kids-to-work day.
To Windsor Park, where the mighty Norn Iron – that’s Northern Ireland to you neophytes – continue their bid to book a place at World Cup 2018. Switzerland are their opponents over the two-legged play-off, the first leg of which kicks off at 7.45pm.
Now a lesser morning news round-up might use this opportunity to crack open the big jar marked ‘Low-Grade Swiss Puns’, talking about the holes in the defence or alluding to the possibility of them struggling to get out of neutral. Not here, though. The Warm-Up wasn’t Bern yesterday.