The Warm-Up: VAR is a clear and obvious error...
...so launch it in the nearest bin as quickly and aggressively as is physically possible. Plus, Jürgen Klopp the moaner is back, Real Madrid are just randomly lobbing money at their problems while Barcelona *appear* to have some logic to their transfer dealings.
MONDAY’S BIG STORIES
VAR does not work
Does VAR have a cooling off period? If so, can we just get our money back as this crock of guff does not work.
Was there a foul on Divock Origi in the build-up to Marcus Rashford's opening goal on Sunday? If there was, was it within VAR's jurisdiction, or was it too many phases back for the VAR bucks sitting in Stockley Park in full kit to adjudicate on? Did Sadio Mane foul Victor Lindelof or handle the ball in build up to his disallowed goal? Did Tottenham Hotspur actually score a goal against Watford or was it ruled out? Cards on table time here: no idea! And, by the looks of things, no one has any idea. No one.
VAR might be great. In theory it should have brought clear and obvious errors to an end. However, reality and theory are two wildly different situations. Part of the problem is that VAR is being used to officiate decisions that are subjective - for example, the Origi situation looked on one viewing a foul or on another simulation.
The problem is that VAR is an attempt to eradicate human error via the use of, well, humans, who will, by definition, make errors.
The return of moany Klopp
" When we come here, the last two years, the year before, they just defend. That's no criticism, just a fact."
Klopp seems an affable fella; cracking laugh, always game for a joke. Lovely stuff. Until, of course, he stops winning. Then he moans, sometimes about the wind, sometimes about the grass and sometimes about teams defending during a game of association football as if that isn't a wholly reasonable tactic to employ against a superior team.
What does Klopp expect? United to just roll over and allow Liverpool to wade through them at will? United are a rabble, put together with little thought of how expensive individual players might coexist inside the structure of a football team. Dealt that hand, it probably makes sense to take a pragmatic approach and just set them up to defend. And that tactic bore fruit on Sunday with United bringing Liverpool's 17-game winning run to and end.
Real problems with Madrid's transfer policy
Luka Jovic is obviously a fine footballer. However, did Real Madrid really need him this summer? Did Zinedine Zidane even want him? The answer to both is probably no. They have a forward to lead their line in Karim Benzema so the €60-odd million signing of Jovic was unnecessary and the fact Zidane has no real idea how to use the Serbian forward suggests he probably didn't ask the club to sign him. Probably.
Also, the €60-odd million splurged on a striker who has yet to strike the back of the next in eight outings for Madrid probably could have been directed towards Manchester United and Paul Pogba because Los Blancos still having a gaping hole in the midfield that Pogba would fill fairly nicely.
Frenkie de Jong avec le FC Barcelone, 2019Getty Images
That hole has grown as the weariness of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos' legs has grown. Contrast Real's inability to deal with that growing weakness with Barcelona's decision to address the wane in Sergio Busquets' performances with the acquisition of Frenkie de Jong. Both clubs have lobbed a load of money around as elite super clubs do but Barca have done in with a modicum of sense and sit top of Liga in a weekend that saw Real Madrid lose to relegation-threatened Mallorca.
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Roy Keane does not care what you think of him.
HEROES AND ZEROS
Take heed people; power to the people.
There was talk of this being a watershed moment. It might be. It shouldn't be though. The watershed moment should have come years ago when teams were actually punished by the powers that be when their fans engaged in racist behaviour. That hasn't happened so it has been left to players to make a stand. Fair play but it shouldn't be like this.
The Warm-Up is an unabashed, unashamed luddite but it is a doff of and tip of a hat to whoever came up with this use of this technology.