I guess I could have picked a different character for each player, but that seems like a lot of work. I picked five instead. These ones:
5 stars - Homer
Come on, try and argue with that one. I dare you. Homer isn't simply a five star character, he's the only five star character. The reason the show is as popular and long running as it is. The Simpsons is perfectly capable of being funny without him but deep down you know you're a bit annoyed when an episode revolves around one of the other family members. It took a couple of seasons for the writers to figure this out but it was only once they did that The Simpsons became the show it did.
Christian Eriksen - He was playing on the left of midfield again, which he did brilliantly with two inch perfect crosses to set up our first two goals and cutting in to score the third himself. If you have a look at his heat map though you'd have no idea he was supposed to be on the left. He was everywhere. He was absolutely outstanding in his designated position but he's too good a player to be content with that and so was excellent in everyone else's positions too. Off the back of last night's game I'm now thinking De Boer might be my preferred choice of manager, purely because he'll already know he needs to build the team around this guy.
4 stars - Mr Burns
Excellent... Not as good as Homer obviously, but still, excellent.
Emmanuel Adebayor - Scored two and worked his socks off for the team. Perhaps a little selfish once or twice but not to Defoe levels. I hope he can keep these performances up next season but do suspect the pre-match rumours may have been his key driving force, he made a point of going over to celebrate with Sherwood after his second. Fair dues though, whatever his motivation is, a motivated Ade is easily our best striker.
Harry Kane - Scored on his debut, probably should have had a penalty and generally showed more promise than I've ever seen from him before. He was strong, he repeatedly got into good positions and he had more shots in a single match than anyone bar Townsend has had for us this season. My main gripe about the performance is that so few of those shots looked like going in. I know all the talk of him not being a pure striker, and perhaps that explains the lack of killer instinct, but I've yet to see any really great passes from him either. In many ways it was kind of a Soldado-esque performance. But with a goal.
Nacer Chadli - A surprise central midfielder for the night in a tactical switch that had a lot of people kindling their dumpsters in expectation. He played well however, performing the deeper role with an aplomb no one expected at kick off. Hustled and harried, kept possession cleanly and was involved in a lot of our best play. In truth I'm not sure he did much more than we should expect from any central midfielder but the reduced expectations and his unfamiliarity at the role mean this performance definitely seemed better than average.
Aaron Lennon - Perhaps not back to his best but this was a definite step in the right direction. Tormented their left back, getting past him time and again to deliver dangerous balls into the box. Some of these were more dangerous than others it's true but they weren't aimless punts to the far post, and Kane probably should have done better with one zipped right to his feet. He also tried a few shots and even got power behind them for once. I actually thought he was going to get a goal this game, he didn't in the end but was much more involved than he has been recently and looked genuinely threatening again.
3 stars - Professor Frink
There has never been a 'Professor Frink episode', he's purely a supporting cast member, and a perfectly acceptable one at that. No one has ever watched The Simpsons and thought "Awww, I wish Profressor Frink had been in that one" but likewise I'm never disappointed to see him. He makes me laugh, although the pretty much the only joke is the way he speaks, with the hoyvin and the glayvin and the hey hey hey. He is totally and utterly average.
Paulinho - It's sad that I'd count this as one of his better games and yet he still doesn't rate above average. He didn't do anything wrong, he was pretty good in fact, but probably not as good as Chadli, and he was playing in his natural position.
Hugo Lloris - Slightly responsible for the goal but obviously the majority of the blame lies elsewhere. He made a few good saves but no more than you'd expect.
Kyle Naughton - Solid defensively, reasonable offensively. Almost hit a gorgeous long shot in after being teed up from a free kick, but didn't, it went wide.
Younes Kaboul - If this were against anyone but Sunderland he might have had a chance to get a different rating. He didn't have anything much to do though and I barely remember seeing him.
2 stars - Marge
I can think of two funny lines that Marge has ever said, and she's in every episode. She's basically there as an annoying straight man to Homer's clown, and he tends to be funnier when she's not holding him back. It's only because she doesn't go in for as much moralising as Lisa that she gets elevated above one star level, and because any episodes focussed on her at least need the others to get up to a significant amount of tomfoolery before she'll go "mmmmm" and save the day/see the error of her ways. Even the woman who does Marge's voice has said she prefers Patty and Selma. That's bad.
Danny Rose - Poor, poor Danny Rose, watching on as other players now make their Premier League debuts and remembering the elation of scoring a goal, or even playing well. Didn't have anything to do defensively and so broke down the left pretty regularly. His crossing however suggested he may be blind in one eye, with no depth perception or inherent knowledge about pitch sizes.
Vlad Chiriches - Oh Vlad. Well, statistically we now have a player derping the opposition a goal in every second game this season. This time it was your turn. Best just leave it there.
1 star - Foreign Locations
Not strictly a character but hey, you can slag Lisa off below the line without needing help from me. The worst Simpsons episodes of all are the ones where they go abroad. Apparently a bunch of highly paid, liberal, intelligent and extremely amusing writers still think stereotypes are funny. More than that in fact, they think laughing at other cultures is hilarious enough that no other plot or jokes are required - Let's just do 30 seconds of exposition about why the family are going to this country and then spend the entire rest of the episode cramming in as many racist cliches as we possibly can. No, actually, let's not.
None of our players were as bad or as offensive as the episodes where the Simpsons go abroad.