The Warm-Up: Kaneocalpyse Now, as Messi slams 'childish' Barcelona
It's a miserable morning for Tottenham fans after news of Harry Kane's injury, while Barcelona's defending has not impressed Lionel Messi.
FRIDAY’S BIG HEADLINES
Tottenham hit by Kaneocalypse
It’s not that Spurs haven’t managed to cope without Kane for extended spells before. It’s more that the man asked to manage these extended spells was Mauricio Pochettino, not Jose Mourinho, a manager who, it was said during his time at Real Madrid, paid about as much attention to attacking coaching as Boris Johnson does to combing his hair. Having a fully fit Kane could have disguised a lack of attacking finesse, but now there’s no hiding place.
Mourinho already said after drawing against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup at the weekend that neither Lucas Moura nor Son Heung-min could be considered strikers, and so it seems inevitable that Spurs will now enter the market for a type of player which more readily fits Mourinho’s conception of what a striker should look like: namely, a tall lad who is good in the air and can hold the ball up well.
The name on everyone’s lips at the moment is AC Milan’s Krzysztof Piatek. Now, The Warm-Up has to confess that prior to this week, the last it had heard on Piatek was that he was very good. But apparently he isn’t any more - which you can be sure of because Aston Villa have been linked with him too. The fact Milan have signed a 45-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic impersonator in January suggests they don’t have a huge amount of confidence in the Pole, who has only scored four goals this season.
Luckily, Tottenham’s track record of panic buying Polish strikers is very good indeed *coughs* Grzegorz Rasiak *coughs* and there should be nothing to worry about at all if they do end up paying £30m for a striker in January who come April won’t be starting any more games ever again.
Messi slams ‘childish’ Barca
Lionel MessiGetty Images
Last night, Barcelona were beating Atletico Madrid 2-1 in the Spanish Super Cup semi-final with nine minutes to go. At that point, their defence apparently staged a noble protest against the fact that the game was being held in the human rights vacuum of Saudi Arabia and promptly downed tools, with an Alvaro Morata penalty and an 86th-minute winner from Angel Correa sending Atletico into the final.
Captain Lionel Messi didn’t see it that way though.
Having scored another ridiculous goal to add to his collection - driving between two Atleti players like a nail through plasterboard and burying a firm effort - the best player in the world was evidently irked at the standard of the players playing behind him.
“It is a shame, we played a great game, after so long we felt good again, we were in control, dominated and attacked all the time," Messi said. “We let it slip through certain mistakes when [Atletico] were already almost dead, in less than 10 minutes they turned round a game that we should have seen out.
“It hurts because it is a title and we wanted to be in the final and win it, we showed a different side to what we have been showing recently against Espanyol and at the end of last year, we played a good game but sadly we couldn't get the victory. We have taken a step forward today despite the defeat but we are aware that we have not been doing things the way we want, we do not want to make these childish mistakes again."
IN OTHER NEWS
Just checking everyone is aware of this?
IN THE CHANNELS
ESPNFC kindly bring us a brief segment of Joao Felix getting eggy with various Barcelona players during the Spanish Super Cup semi-final last night. Only just 20 and he’s squaring up to Messi and Luis Suarez. You could almost hear Diego Simeone purring on the touchline.
It’s the Carlos Tevez Grudge March tonight as Sheffield United take on West Ham. To mark the occasion let’s revisit the goal Tevez scored against Manchester United on the final day of the 2006-07 season to keep the Hammers up at Sheffield United’s expense. Tevez was playing despite the Premier League having fined West Ham over third-party ownership - and in a civil case brought by Sheffield United, West Ham settled for £20m two years later. Absolute. Scenes.
West Ham v Sheffield United is the pick of the Friday football.