This season, we've decided to assign player ratings according to different themes. This week's theme will probably spark a heated debate among everyone and possibly get the Americans in the community to rip each other's heads off. For that I am sorry.
Player ratings are set to the theme of ... styles of barbecue!
Five stars - Kansas City-style
Have you ever had bad KC-style BBQ? This is the winner simply because there are so many great places and iterations of it in different cities. It helps to get a good recommendation, but you don't really *need* to know where to go. Someone's figured out how to simplify the process and has spread it far and wide. And sometimes, you just feel like messy, molasses-based sauce.
Sandro - Can a player really get five stars in a 45-minute outing? You're damn right they can. But only if they're Sandro, who is the best non-forward footballer on earth.
Four stars - Carolina-style
Don't like vinegar-based BBQ? Too bad. You're a cretin. It balances out the meat perfectly.
Jan Vertonghen - Got beat for pace once, still looks sort of awkward on the left, still has more of an impact on the game than the vast majority of our team. For the most part, he shut down his flank.
Christian Eriksen - We're not scoring goals, but he sure as heck isn't the problem. He's still our most creative player and the reason we have enough chances to have such a crappy SiBoT conversion rate.
Kyle Walker - I think he's been pretty dang good, but not quite spectacular in every game this year. He's much different than 2011-12 Kyle Walker.
Three stars - Memphis-style
When done right, it's actually my favorite. But it's really easy to screw up and end with dry, flavorless meat. On a player ratings note, there are a lot of guys in this category.
Younes Kaboul - A generally uneventful, but decent enough 45 minutes without any horrible errors.
Michael Dawson - Probably could have done a little better on the goal, but it wasn't his fault.
Vlad Chiriches - Was actually sort of shaky in all of his pre-broken nose minutes, I'm sorry to say, but no glaring errors.
Brad Friedel - Kinda slow on the goal, but I'm not sure a healthy Hugo Lloris makes a stop. Also, not his fault.
Andros Townsend - Count me in the "give two wingers who are not Andros Townsend a run-out" camp. Any two. Gets three stars instead of two because he was occasionally dangerous-looking, but his lack of awareness of space and his teammates' movement is unreal.
Gylfi Sigurdsson - Blah.
Mousa Dembele - Did nothing, but did nothing while making no mistakes, because this is what he's reduced to while playing next to Paulinho.
Two stars - West Texas-style
I just don't care much for the mesquite wood/no sauce combo. Sorry.
Roberto Soldado - I feel bad for him, because players who are not Christian Eriksen are not helping him out at all, but he definitely appears to stop moving sometimes. If you get 35 touches in 90 minutes as a center forward, there's no way that's just on you or just on your teammates. That has to be partially everyone's fault. He needs some help from Paulinho, Townsend and Sigurdsson, but he needs to help them help him too.
Jermain Defoe - Touched the ball five times in his 20-plus minutes on the pitch. He was caught offside once and turned the ball over twice.
Paulinho - His giveaway for the goal was unforgivable. I don't care how good his second half was. If a guy on my pub team made that giveaway, I'd probably stop talking to him. I never want to see the Paulinho-Dembele partnership ever again. It's a dumpster fire. I'd rather see Sigurdsson at CM. I'm not joking.
One star - Living in a place that does not have good barbecue
Haha you need to move.
None of our players suck as much as living in a place where there is no good barbecue.