The Warm-Up: Tottenham on verge of Fewest Draws Cup
The Warm-Up fancied a mini vacation, so we took a trip to Tottenham v Brighton. As day trips go, it wasn’t the most exciting…
WEDNESDAY'S BIG STORIES
Tottenham keep (fictional) trophy dream alive
Christian Eriksen’s marvellous 88th minute winner saw Spurs’ Premier League record flick to 23W 1D 11L. And it’s that Harry Styles themed number-letter combo that we’re most interested in today.
Chelsea have twice navigated the Premier League season with just three draws to their name (1997-98, 2016-17) – the current record. However, Tottenham are now just three games away from marching into Stamford Bridge to seize their first trophy in the Mauricio Pochettino era.
But they can’t afford any slip-ups. Manchester City are also eyeing up the prize – claiming that it counts as part of the quadruple far more than the Champions League ever did – and have just two draws. Anything can happen.
Tottenham Hotspur's Christian Eriksen celebrates scoring his side's first goal during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Brighton & Hove Albion at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on April 23, 2019 in London, United KingdomGetty Images
The problem with Tottenham’s new stadium
‘The new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium: bringing your groans to the players like never before’. Straight from the brochure.
You see, a swanky 62,062 capacity stadium can sometimes be a curse. Sure, when Eriksen rifles home a late winner or the lesser-spotted Vincent Janssen makes his first appearance of the season, the fans will oblige with a deafening roar.
But when they're struggling to break down a relegation-haunted side? The dismay reverberates around, sapping the home side of confidence, filling the visitors with glee.
Sound matters. No longer are cramped fans dodging pillars to see the action at White Hart Lane, no longer are chants swallowed by the endless red seats of Wembley Stadium. If Spurs are going to be a big club – and they have the venue to do it – the fans have to realise their role and stay #positive.
Shane Long 007
The name’s Long, Shane Long.
He may be ranked #1 in Revealed: Most Frustrating Footballers, but he now has his own slice of history. The striker, who was previously cursed to only play well against Arsenal, has discovered a new lease of life under Ralph Hasenhuttl.
His FOURTH goal of 2019 (you read that correctly) saw him score against Watford after SEVEN SECONDS. Are we impressed? Not one bit. If he hadn’t farted about with a chipped finish, and just rifled a powerful shot home, he could have done it in six. Idiot.
Shane LongGetty Images
IN OTHER NEWS
Manchester United's BIG dilemma
Who would you rather win the Premier League: your neighbours (who no-one really cared about until they spent lots of money) or your old enemy (who constantly claim they’re a big club despite 29 years proving the opposite)?
That’s the question Manchester United fans are considering as they prepare to ‘welcome’ Manchester City to Old Trafford. Of course, their team has to try – not only in the spirit of fair play, but also to salvage their top-four hopes.
But could the fans be tempted to create a meek atmosphere if it meant Liverpool’s wait for a title went on? The Europa League isn’t that bad…
HEROES & ZEROES
Hero: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
How to get in Pep Guardiola’s head in two sentences, by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: "There will be fouls. They will snap at your ankles and heels and kick you."
Just look at these tears from the Spaniard…
"Did he say that? With 65% or 70% possession, how do we do that? I don't like it. My side is not built like that, not at all. In 10 seasons as a manager, I never prepared for a game thinking about these thing. Never. In football, you sometimes do that [foul] because the actions are so fast. But I never said we should do it to punish an opponent or cancel them. Maybe after the game you can ask him in the press conference."
United 1-0 City.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer of Manchester United speaks during a press conference at Aon Training Complex on April 23, 2019 in Manchester, England.Getty Images
Zero: Callum Hudson-Odoi
England’s dream of winning 2019’s answer to the World Cup, the UEFA Nations League, was dealt a blow when Callum Hudson-Odoi ruptured his Achilles against Burnley on Monday night.
Hopefully when he returns to full fitness, Chelsea will have a manager who sees his ability…
IN THE CHANNELS
Social media is full of spoilers, so until the Warm-Up has caught up with Game of Thrones Episode II, there will be no beautiful updates from Twitter and Friends.
"He finds it particularly frustrating that the empty-seat issue is framed in a way that suggests City's fans are staying away because they don't want to go, whereas in some cases, they simply can't. 'We're talking about people who can't afford to go to football,' Hay says. 'Poverty in Manchester is very bad. In the constituency that I live in, Manchester Gorton, child poverty is at nearly 50 percent. I'm poor but I can afford to go to football, luckily. For a lot of people, football's the furthest thing from their mind.'"
After Long's heroics, it's time to strap yourselves in for the final time and relive Ledley King’s screamer against Bradford City after an embarrassingly lengthy 10 seconds.
Solskjaer and Guardiola come to blows on the touchline in the Manchester derby while Arsenal lose away at Wolves.
Jack Lang once scored after seven seconds too, but that's a story we can't share due to his other half being a fan of the Warm-Up.