The Warm-Up: Celtic flop out of the Champions League

Plus a hugely undignified scrap between Jurgen Klopp and Sergio Ramos continues, which we can only encourage…

WEDNESDAY’S BIG STORIES

Oh, Brendan…

Losing in the qualifying rounds of a competition is always doubly demoralising: if you’d actually managed to get there, you might still have a little satisfaction in the achievement, but being bundled out before the thing has even started…bad news.

AEK were 1-0 up after six minutes through Rodrigo Galo, then made the tie pretty much safe just after half-time.Scott Sinclair’s header wasn’t enough, and Celtic were toast. Done. Out. Gone. Eliminated.

Celtic's Callum McGregor and team mates applaud fans after the match

Celtic’s Callum McGregor and team mates applaud fans after the matchReuters

Defending seems to be the problem. Which does tend to be a pretty big problem. “We conceded a soft goal against Livingston and Alashkert and against Hearts we gave away a goal,”Brendan Rodgerssaid after the game. “We are not getting opened up and fantastic goals scored against us, it is concentration and basic defending. But we will go away and work with the players we have, try to improve and make them better.”

But not in the Champions League.

Read more >>Arsenal need tactical work to bridge Man City divide, says Emery

An undignified spat continues, and we are delighted

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits tougher tests await his side after an opening 4-0 win.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits tougher tests await his side after an opening 4-0 win.PA Sport

The Champions League final was three months ago, but the arguments continue. Sergio Ramos was asked about The MoSalahIncident and Jurgen Klopp’s response to it once again, and in fairness to him answered in a way that is likely to dampen down arguments and really cool the whole situation.

“I’m not going to highlight this again. I’ve given my view before of what happened, it was not intentional. [Salah] pulled my arm first. It’s not the first final [Klopp] has lost, he should stick to his own business. Some of us have been operating at a very high level for many years, I’m not sure he can say the same.””

Oh. Still, the Warm-Up is all for things like this. Footballers are generally too diplomatic, not wanting to start any arguments and so forth, so any time they can whip up another controversy for no real reason, we encourage it.

Bordeaux want…hang on…it says ‘Lee Cattermole’ here…

You watch football for years and think that, after all this time, it can’t surprise you. And then a story comes along and kicks you right in the pants. It is reported that, with European clubs breezily free to sign players until the end of the month, Bordeaux have cast their eyes across the continent, their bank account fat from the sale of Malcom to Barcelona, as they prep themselves for a season in the Europa League, and decided thatSunderland’s Lee Cattermole is the man they want.

There is an amount of logic here: Bordeaux are managed by GusPoyet, under whom Cattermole did pretty well at Sunderland. Perhaps they need a scrappy midfielder with a penchant for high-waisted shorts. Maybe someone to shout at the other players is just what they’re after.

This is perhaps slightly unfair, because Cattermole is a better footballer than his reputation suggests. But let’s get down to brass tacks here: this is weird, and our lives would be much enriched if this does actually happen.

IN OTHER NEWS

Sometimes the early rounds of the Carabao Cup can get a little tedious, so someone at Bristol Rovers decided to spice things up just a little bit by switching the televisions in the bars and concourses away from Sky Sports to Babestation.

Now, if there are any young innocents out there unaware of Babestation, let’s just say it’s a TV channel that features a collection of very open-minded young ladies…expressing themselves. It’s all fairly depressing really, as the idea is that chaps call them up and suggest ways to express themselves (apparently, someone told us this, we wouldn’t know ourselves obviously…), but on this occasion it is quite funny.

HEROES AND ZEROS

Hero: Richarlison

 

After an Everton fan dislocated his elbow celebrating one of Richarlison’s goals at the weekend (side note: bleurgh), he was invited along to Everton’s training ground to say hello. Which is always nice.

Zero: The bloke who punched Martin Tyler

It’s always one of those slightly surprising facts that Martin Tyler, learned veteran of the commentary box, is a coach in his spare time. In fact, he’s Woking’s assistant manager, but on Saturday a Wealdstone fan, for reasons passing understanding, punched him in the back of the head.

“It was a minor incident but it was still unexpected and I’m disappointed,” Tyler said. “It was a bit of an affront and people should know better. I’m sure Wealdstone will deal with the offender.” We should hope so. Who punches Martin Tyler? What sort of unreconstructed tool does that? To the stocks with them.

HAT TIP

“‘Growing up, I was always the shy one in the room,’ Howe admits. ‘I was the one in the corner, I never wanted to be the centre of attention and that didn’t change when I became a footballer. I didn’t really chase the limelight so that’s why I felt football management probably wouldn’t be for me, because I think you have to put yourself in positions that do make you the focal point. You can’t be an introvert in the role.’ “

RETRO CORNER

It’sChelseav Arsenal at the weekend, and for a while that meant only one thing: Didier Drogba would bully Arsenal like a jock taking a dweeb’s lunch money. Here’s a quick compilation of all his goals for Chelsea, against Arsenal.

COMING UP

The good thing about European competition is that it throws up unusual match-ups, teams that might not ordinarily play each other get to face off, with potentially interesting and surprising results. Anyway, it’s the European Super Cup tonight, whereReal Madridplay Atletico Madrid.

Tomorrow’s Warm-Up will be brought to you by Jack Lang, always interesting and surprising.

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