After scaring out a draw against Hull City, Tim Sherwood has left more questions than answers after eight games. The 16 points after six games look like a distant memory compared to 17 in eight and the baffling lack of subs against a mid-table side. Tottenham Hotspur had the most sanitary 62% of possession I've seen combined with poor shot selection and defensive mishaps. However, a point gained is better than the train wreck against Manchester City.
When a team or player wins their respective title, I feel that the trophy they win should somehow match the accomplishment of their journey. Today's player rankings will encompass that feeling by ranking player performance against the trophies in the world of sports. Note: we are only going to rank league/title trophies. I am not about to diminish the quality of rivalry trophies in college football or the like because I don't want to damage the intrinsic meaning behind people's feelings for them. That, and some of them are just weird.
5 STARS - THE STANLEY CUP
The Stanley Cup is the greatest trophy in all of sports. It's big, it looks fantastic, and it can double as a hell of a champagne glass. If you say it isn't you're wrong. Bonus points for getting to skate around the ice with it and spend a day with it when and where-ever you would like to.
Paulinho - In his first game back from injury, Paulinho was the Man of the Match for Spurs. He was seemingly everywhere when Spurs worked their way forward, scored a great goal, and was in great position in the first half when he unfortunately blazed a shot into Row Z. Still, a great performance by our second favorite Brazilian.
4 STARS - THE JULES RIMET TROPHY
Note: this is not the current World Cup trophy. The Jules Rimet trophy was retired after Brazil won their third World Cup in 1970 and refused to give it back. I'd keep it, too. It looks great.
Christian Eriksen - Eriksen has flourished in his expanded role since Sherwood took over. Set pieces have become much more dangerous instead of something to dread, and he is playing a very technically astute role, developing attack very well. He is getting a little frazzled in the final third, but still continues to work hard, even out of position.
Emmanuel Adebayor - Along with Eriksen, Adebayor has experienced a pleasing resurgence under Sherwood. His hold up play was once again great against Hull, and he even was the most threatening to "Journeyman English Keeper" Steve Harper's goal in the first half. If he had Dimitar Berbatov's first touch, he could easily score 20 goals a season.
3 STARS - THE BORG-WARNER TROPHY
Aside from a glass of milk and a jaunty wreath, the winner of the Indianapolis 500 gets their likeness permanently affixed to this behemoth of a trophy. Unfortunately, you need a team of oxen to lift it, and some of the likenesses do leave a bit to be desired, but a big-ass trophy is still pretty damn cool.
Kyle Walker - Walker had one of his poorer games of the season, but he still has the ability to be the best player on the pitch when he wants to be. For someone as fast as he is, he did not seem to get back on defense as quickly as he needed to, and he was actually outpaced on the goal by Shane Long.
Michael Dawson - What age and speed slowly rob from him, technical acumen can only make up for so much. This is a really nice way of saying that Dawson is a great captain, but a less-than-gifted footballer. He still busts his ass on defense and more times than not does a great job, but he can easily be blown by if he's even just fractionally out of position.
Jan Vertonghen - Vertonghen himself even thought he had a poor game in his first effort back from injury. Was almost solely responsible for the Hull goal and was uncharacteristically bad on the ball most of the match. However, he did improve throughout the game and will help immeasurably in defense since Daniel Levy did not buy a left back.
Danny Rose - Spurs got lucky that Rose's red card against Manchester City was overturned. Rose was able to slot back into the side at his usual left back position. He was not really at fault for the goal, but he just seemed "meh" the whole game.
Nabil Bentaleb - Against Hull, Bentaleb seemed much less out of his depth than against Man City. However, he still has moments of skittishness that prove he's still not ready for first team Premier League football, such as nearly allowing another Hull goal purely through lack of effort.
2 STARS - THE VINCE LOMBARDI TROPHY
As much as I love 'Murrican football, the Lombardi trophy is just kinda...not good. It looks like it was designed by a third grader in art class who got a B on a project called "Design a Trophy for Football." That, plus it always looks kinda dingy given the silver surface always making it look like it has fingerprints and dust all over it.
Aaron Lennon - The elephant in the room is getting more and more obvious: Aaron Lennon is just not a good player for this team. His speed and elusiveness with the ball make him a nightmare for the counterattacking that the international game (and the occasional Spurs game) employs, but against a team that parks a bus, he seems really out of his depth. He offered very little going forward, and his patent desire to not shoot causes him to be easily driven to the byline and shut down. This spot should be given to any of Nacer Chadli, Gylfi Sigurdsson, or Andros Townsend when healthy.
Roberto Soldado - Soldado is going through a very poor stretch at the moment only exacerbated by the fact that Adebayor is doing quite well finding the back of the net. In my opinion, 90% of being a striker is confidence/cockiness. This is what makes a player like Jermain Defoe or Olivier Giroud (/ducks lightning bolt) so dangerous: they feel that no matter where they are on the pitch, they can and do score. Soldado needs to sacrifice a bowl of paella to a bat to get his scoring touch back. He is not a bad footballer; he just is in a spell where he cannot do anything right at the moment.
1 STAR - THE LIGUE 1 TROPHY
If there ever was a trophy designed by committee, it would be this one. It looks like someone wanted to start with a platter trophy from Wimbledon then add in a soccer ball until another person said "Hey, soccer balls have hexagons, let's put one in" and then another person wanted to add a square bit to look like a big 1 and then they put a hole in it to make it see thru and then it just became a big mess.
Fortunately, none of our players were so bad they deserved to be compared to a trophy that probably should go to the second place team.
NO RATING: Harry Kane - Kane appeared as a late injury substitute for Adebayor after Sherwood woke him up on the bench when Les Ferdinand reminded him that he could make a substitute due to the injury.