Tottenham Hotspur vs. Everton: Player ratings to the theme of Conversation Hearts messages

Shaun Botterill

Tottenham Hotspur won an evenly contested match against Everton this weekend. Here's how we rate the players.

Spurs and Everton played out a match yesterday that probably ends in a draw 9 times out of 10. But one moment of brilliance separated the two sides, and Spurs moved three points closer to catching Arsenal on their inevitable collapse out of the top four.

The performances yesterday ranged from very good to meh, but three points is three points. Since Valentine's Day is coming up, we're going to do something a little different today and stratify the ratings beyond the normal 5 stars. Nobody wants to get the same Valentine as someone else. That's super embarrassing. So today each player will get their own crappy chalk-flavored candy heart with a personalized message.

(Please note that these ratings are comparative, not superlative, so 11 stars just means better than most of their teammates on the day, it doesn't mean they were so awesome you need one of Spinal Tap's amps to capture their glory.)

13 Stars - Kiss Me

Bold and aggressive. If you're giving someone a candy heart with a message on it, and you're really hoping it's going to get you somewhere, this is the way to do it. It's direct and it gets straight to the point. It says you know what you want and you're not screwing around. Here's some candy, let's do this thing.

Jan Vertonghen: His return to the heart of defense is a huge boost to the squad. He was an absolute rock. Nothing got past him, and he covered Dawson's mistakes excellently. If he's not there to track Kevin Mirallas's run early in the first half after Dawson needlessly lunged in, Mirallas is one-on-one with the best chance of the game. Please don't get hurt again, Jan.

12 Stars - Cutie Pie

Is it going to open the floodgates of love when you give it to your crush? No, it's a candy heart you big dummy. But it still lets them know you think they're cute, and you're ready to play the game. If she's not into it, no big deal, it's just a harmless candy heart, but if she is, just play it cool and the sky's the limit. Safe and flirty.

Hugo Lloris: The frenchman was a safe pair of hands in goal and came up big to deny Osman's onslaught in the first ten minutes, one spectacular diving save in particular kept us from going behind early. Everton didn't put a shot on target in the second half, but his first half performance kept us in the match long enough to nick the winner.

11 Stars - Why Not

Much like Kiss Me, this candy heart cuts straight to the point. I'm here, you're here, and the next level's on its way. But unlike kiss me, it's also a little insulting. A heart that says Why Not tells him you're ready to rock 'n' roll, but it also can say "you're the only one here I might have a chance with, so I'll settle." You must be careful to deliver this heart with the proper attitude, lest he take it the wrong way.

Mousa Dembele: The Belgian midfielder did ok early on when asked to play out of position as the furthest forward midfielder. But once he was moved back to his natural role in the center of midfield he excelled, and alongside Bentaleb he shut down the middle of the park. Everton created nothing of note in the second half, in large part due to Dembele's performance.

10 Stars - URA10

Tech savvy and forward thinking. You're hip to the lingo and comfortable in this modern world, and you  probably sext like a pro. But if the other party's not down with the internet speak, she just might confuse URA10 with RU489 and things will take a turn for the creepy real fast.

Emmanuel Adebayor: Often uninvolved, but through one moment of brilliance managed to win us all three points. Wonderful control and an incredible finish.

9 Stars - Be My Icon

What does this possibly mean? Are you giving this to Hillary Clinton? What are you trying to accomplish here? Don't give this heart to anyone. It will get you nowhere. But on the plus side, it's not quite creepy and weird enough that it will ruin everything forever. Maybe she'll think you're being ironic or something. Chicks dig irony.

Kyle Walker: Put in a very good defensive shift, but was incredibly wasteful going forward. Most of his crosses failed to beat the first man and he squandered a lot of good attacking opportunities. But then one moment of intelligent heads-up play changed the game, and his perfect quickly taken free-kick caught Everton totally unawares and helped win the game.

8 Stars - For You

If you give someone a candy heart that says For You you're not really doing anything at all, are you? They know it's for them. You just gave it to them. If it was for someone else you'd be doing it wrong. Get it together.

Danny Rose: Created the best chance with a cross that Ade just failed to get on the end of, but otherwise had a fairly quiet afternoon. Put in a solid shift at both ends of the pitch, without doing anything too right or too wrong.

7 Stars - Miss You

You're literally standing right next to them, why are you saying Miss You? Are you incredibly co-dependent and clingy? Stop that. Or maybe you're mailing this to someone you haven't seen in a while? That's maybe worse. If you miss someone you haven't seen in a while, don't mail them candy hearts that say so. That's super weird.

Christian Eriksen: Put in a decent shift coming in from the left wing. He's our most creative outlet and typically as he goes so go Tottenham Hotspur. His lack of real impact saw him (perhaps unfairly) withdrawn early.

6 Stars - Hug Me

The friend zone in candy heart form. Nothing says, "I love you but I'm never going to man up and do anything about it, so I'll settle for a hug that you think is friendly but for me represents years of late night phone conversations while you complain about your boyfriend finally paying off in a moment of glorious splendor." You seriously need to get it together, bro. Don't treat women like that. If you like them, do something about it. Don't passive aggressively pretend to be their friend for a chance at awkward moments of minor physical contact.

Nabil Bentaleb: Struggled early on to come to grips with his role as the deepest midfield, and Osman could have made the team pay for his defensive negligence. But after that early spell he grew into the game and took control. His heart's message is way harsh for a guy who had a middle of the road game, but if anyone genuinely needs a hug these days, it's Nabil. Be nice, Spurs fans.

5 Stars - And

You're babbling. This says nothing. Why are you giving someone a conjunction? Get out.

Etienne Capoue: Came in and helped lock up the midfield and showed Sherwood that sometimes defensive midfielders are good things. And then gave away what should have been a penalty for Everton to equalizer and showed Sherwood why he hates defensive midfielders.

4 Stars - All Mine

Unless you're giving this to a significant other, this screams "I'm going to lock you in my basement and turn your skin into a jaunty hat". You creepy, creepy, monster.

Paulinho: Sherwood weirdly played him deeper than Dembele, instead of the other way around, and got the worst out of both of them. But whereas Dembele still managed a mostly good performance, Paulinho was kind of a mess, completing around 50% of his passes for the first half. That's not ok. Do better. We know you have it in you.

3 Stars - Fax Me

It's 2014. No. This is not ironic, this is embarrassing. It's not only outdated, but completely inappropriate for conveying romantic feelings. At no point in history has anyone wooed anyone through a series of romantic faxes. You're really bad at this.

Michael Dawson: Rough day at the back for Captain Hotspur. Committed himself to tackles way too quickly and left a lot of room for Everton to exploit. If Vertonghen hadn't been there to clean up, things could have gotten real bad.

2 Stars - www.cupid

Do you even website, bro? This is somehow even more technologically backwards than the Fax Me thing. This shows that you are aware of the concept of the internet, but still haven't quite come to grips with how it works. The only reason anyone would want to impress someone by trying to show that they've heard of the internet is if an 85 year old is trying to seduce a teenager. Gross, illegal, and also really gross.

Aaron Lennon: I love you, but you're really struggling. He made some nice runs that nobody spotted, but never imposed himself on the game. He was totally invisible. Get well soon.

1 Star - Marry Me

Whoa, pump the breaks kid. You're skipping a few steps. You can't go from flirting with candy hearts to marriage proposal. It doesn't work that way. She knows you're not really proposing here, and so do you, so what's your end game?

"Ha! Let's get married! Haha! Just joking! But if you did want to get married, I'd totally marry you. Please marry me. Let's just start calling caterers, just for laughs. Band or DJ? Haha. But seriously. I've already booked someone."

Nobody was as bad as proposing to someone via candy heart.

Honorable Mention - Love You

Don't give this to just anyone, because that's weird. But if you really love them and they love you too, fly your candy heart flag with pride. Love is great.

Jermain Defoe: I love you Jermain Defoe. I'll miss you forever. Yiddo.

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