THURSDAY’S TOP STORIES
Kai Havertz is here and he’s perfect
Football thrives on great partnerships. Bergkamp & Henry. Phillips & Quinn. Yorke & Cole. And now, apparently, Kai Havertz and Tammy Abraham.
Chelsea’s most expensive summer signing picked up his first goal for the club last night, then his second and third as well. And his strike partner Abraham was intimately involved in all three: stepping over the pass for the first, providing a neat no-look layoff for the second, then chipping over the defence for the third. All that came after Abraham had scored the opener. Looks like Timo Werner might have to settle for a place on the bench …
No, you’re right, probably not. But though Barnsley were obliging opponents, we can take this as a warning from Chelsea: their depth in attack is ridiculous. Abraham isn’t taking the competition for places lightly. Frank Lampard seems quite pleased.
It was a great exercise for [Havertz], another game to see how we want to work off the ball, but also have freedom on the ball and combinations with Tammy [Abraham]. It’s the first of many great nights for him.
And not a bad one for Chelsea, with Ben Chilwell making his debut and Edouard Mendy reportedly completing his medical. That announcement should be coming today. If Chelsea don’t get close to the title this season, it won’t be for want of spending.
Tottenham swoop for €60m-rated Skriniar – Euro Papers
Pickford that one out. And that one.
Being a goalkeeper is a miserable business. Even when you win, you can’t win. Even when your side strolls to victory in the Carabao Cup, all people want to talk about are your mistakes. It’s just not fair.
Oof. Still, at least that’s pretty out of character for Jordan Pickford, widely admired for his ability with the ball at his feet. At least this time, he didn’t flap weakly at a shot he should have saved. That’s been happening too much recently. That—
Wait, he did that too? Oh dear.
In all, Fleetwood’s two goals came from three shots on target. One a gift from Pickford before the fact; one poked limply into the net. Luckily for Everton’s keeper the goals were meaningless on the night, as his forwards scored five up the other end to eliminate Fleetwood Town. Sorry, Joey Barton’s Fleetwood Town.
But all things considered, it was a dangerously unpredictable performance from England’s no. 1. And while unpredictable danger is a good thing in a playmaker, and occasionally useful in a defender, it’s more or less exactly what you don’t want from a goalkeeper. Fair? No. But them’s the breaks. An interesting goalkeeper ends up, more often than not, a dropped goalkeeper.
The Football Deadpools
At times, it can feel as though the world’s news is being generated more or less at random. Spin the wheel … Wrexham! Spin the wheel again … Ryan Reynolds! And why the hell not, give it another spin … Rob McElhenney! There we go.
And why shouldn’t Deadpool and him out of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia want to buy north Wales’ and the National League’s finest? It’s 2020! The news doesn’t have to make sense any more, it just has to happen. Loudly. Constantly.
Anyway, Wrexham Supporters’ Trust, who currently control the club, have voted overwhelmingly in favour of allowing the cinema man and the television man to make their case:
As confirmed this morning, 97.5% of voters (1,223 members) voted in favour of the resolution. As a result, talks with the proposed bidders will now continue and we are in a position to confirm the two people interested in investing in Wrexham AFC. In due course, Mr McElhenney and Mr Reynolds will put forward their vision for Wrexham AFC and proposal for members to vote on at a second special general meeting.
The Warm-Up has been unable to find any pictures of the pair in Wrexham, or indeed any evidence that they have ever been to Wrexham, but we can confirm that Detective Pikachu has been to at least one football game.
IN OTHER NEWS
Sneaking in a cheeky extra bit of retro fun here: 25 years and a day since “Oh, look at that. Oh, look at that!”
Since Wrexham are in the news, let’s rewind to 1985 and enjoy that time Wales turned over Spain at the Racecourse. Two classic Ian Rush goals, either side of the classic Mark Hughes goal.
An epic worthy of La Scala from The Athletic (£) today, as James Horncastle talks to Paolo Maldini, Ivan Gazidis, and approximately a million other people about the resurgence of AC Milan.
It is helpful that Zlatan is around to take up so much of the attention. Turning 39 in a few weeks’ time, the Swede’s return to the club and the manner in which the team flourished in the second half of last season is generating cautious optimism … “We would have won the Scudetto if I’d got here at the start of the season,” the Swede said with typical bravado in July.
Spoilt for choice tonight. Three Carabao Cup games, including Liverpool away at Lincoln City. Spurs, Rangers, and Celtic all trying to escape the third qualifying round of the Europa League. And Bayern Munich play Sevilla in the Super Cup. Delicious.
Tom Adams will be here tomorrow, hopped up on Carabao and bouncing off the walls.