MONDAY’S BIG STORIES
Arsene Wenger went a whole top-flight campaign unbeaten
The magnitude of that achievement appeared to lose some of its sheen during the latter - admittedly more difficult - years of his tenure.
Perhaps Manchester City's loss to Chelsea this weekend will serve as a reminder of Wenger's greatness. For the world’s best manager with unlimited resources came unstuck 16 games into his own quest for invincibility.
Granted Liverpool remain unbeaten, but The Warm-Up is going to go out on a limb here and say that no team will ever go a 38-game Premier League season unbeaten again.
It is, in The Warm-Up's humble, yet always correct opinion, the greatest achievement in modern English football history*. It is better than Manchester United's 1999 treble, greater than Leicester City's remarkable league win in 2016 and more impressive than Liverpool's barely-believable 2005 come-from-behind Champions League win against AC Milan.
After Wenger brought the curtain down on his 22-year tenure at Arsenal, his achievements were lauded but The Warm-Up posits that his legacy remains tarnished by the 15-minute-of-fame clowns who lined up to call him a "ham roll" all under the guise of loving their club. You see the man who took a Premier League club through a whole campaign unbeaten was a fraud.
Now, in a world of any sort of intellectual equilibrium such nonsense would be dismissed as nonsense but, alas, The Warm-Up finds itself in a world where a reality TV star leads the free word and for some reason the UK could be about to leave the EU without a deal. So, in short, nonsense is the new sense.
So just to repeat, Aresne Wenger went a whole Premier League season unbeaten. A whole season.
Put some respect on that man's name.
*No football did not start in 1992 (yawn) but it probably makes sense to compare Wenger's achievement with contemporaries as it would probably be unfair to compare the 2004 Invincibles with say William Sudell's Preston North End side of 1889.
The end of the one-season wonder?
Harry Kane? Nope. Jamie Vardy? Nope. Mohamed Salah? Nope. Alas, none of these appear to be a one-season wonder.
It seems to The Warm-Up that the concept of a one-season wonder may now be well and truly over.
For example, Salah was looking a prime candidate to reintroduce the term to the football lexicon after he followed a sluggish World Cup with a sluggish start to the Premier League season.
Turns out he was probably recovering from the injury sustained in last season's Champions League final, for his hat-trick against Bournemouth put him on 10 league goals - and joint leading scorer with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
If anyone wants to point The Warm-Up in the direction of a genuine one-season wonder, then please do as we would like to once again look down on someone infinitely more talented than us.
The Copa Libertadores is over (possibly)
Players of River Plate celebrate with the trophy after winning the second leg match of the all-Argentine Copa Libertadores final against Boca Juniors, at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, on December 9, 2018.
Image credit: Getty Images
The final to end all finals finally came to an end maybe (more on that in a bit), not before a bout of extra time, of course - and perhaps an appeal.
River Plate won a fourth Copa Libertadores after a pulsating game against Boca Juniors that was ultimately settled by a moment of genuine class from Juan Fernando Quintero.
Los Millonarios won 3-1 on the night and 5-3 on aggregate after Boca took the lead but finished the game with nine men after Wilmar Barrios was dismissed for a second yellow and Fernando Gago left the field of play injured.
The final will always have an asterisk next to it after the ongoings of the last few weeks, with Boca set to again take their case to get the game annulled and awarded to them to CAS.
The Warm-Up feels this one might drag, and drag.
IN THE CHANNELS
Erin Cuthbert has skills for days, as evidenced below.
The 20-year-old produced the above filth during the Women's Super League encounter between Chelsea and Brighton and Hove Albion Women - a game Chelsea won 4-0 to make it seven wins on the spin in all competitions.
This a day after Cuthbert found out her Scotland side would face England in next year's World Cup, having been drawn in Group D alongside Japan and Argentina.
It is a tough group but should be a hugely exciting one considering 2015 runners up Japan, who knocked England out at the semi-final stage, are also in there.
Expect Cuthbert to light it up.
HEROES AND ZEROS
HERO - Lionel Messi
There are cats and then there are cats. Then there is Lionel Messi, who appears to be some sort of all-in-one cat, lion and tiger supercat. Following? You're not?
Ah, look, Lionel Messi is the best footballer to touch a football. Ever. Bar. None. The things he was doing against Espanyol over the weekend were absolute dirt.
ZERO - Pele
We get it, you were the best ever. 'Were' being the operative word. Now, once in a generation, a player might come along who challenges that greatness, say a Johan Cruyff or a Diego Maradona. The Warm-Up will give you that it is debatable whether the aforementioned were better than Pele but not Messi. Nope. Infinitely better. Sorry pal.
No shame in that mind.
There is shame in not accepting that fact and more or less calling the greatest there has ever been a bum, presumably in an attempt to protect one's only legacy. A shocker.
The Warm-Up is nothing if not fair, so here is a reminder of the greatness of Pele.
What a player.
Nick Miller is on duty tomorrow, whose appeal to CAS to have Tuesday's column annulled has been thrown out.