Tottenham Hotspur faced a tough Premier League test with a visit to Wales. Cardiff City played well for most of the match despite facing a crazy number of shots managed to actually give a pretty good accounting of themselves. In the end, Paulinho's goal gave Spurs the victory, but there weren't a lot of great performances in this match.
If you're new to these posts, we set player ratings to a different theme after each game. This edition of player ratings is set to the theme of ... Clue characters! Everyone remembers Clue, the classic Whodunit? board game. Less people probably remember the 1985 movie with Tim Curry, Christopher Lloyd and Martin Mull, but it totally exists and it's decidedly awful. Sure it has a cult following, but we all know that you think of the board game first.
5 Stars - Colonel Mustard
Look, if I asked you to name a character in the board game Clue, 8/10 of you would have thought of Colonel Mustard first. He's probably the second most famous colonel ever, right behind Colonel Sanders. Plus, the dude had a sweet mustache.
Paulinho - When you score a 92nd minute winner with a cheeky little backheel you definitely get at least four stars. When you support that moment of glory with a solid all around performance then you're a stone cold lock for top honors.
Mousa Dembele - His midfield partner scored the goal, but in the second half Dembele was everywhere. When Spurs turned up the pressure on Cardiff, Dembele turned up his game and as a result earns himself five stars.
4 Stars - Miss Scarlet
Miss Scarlet was a saucy little harlot wasn't she? Even for a a plastic game piece she exuded sex. Look at the curves on this piece. Besides, who doesn't love a good femme fatale.
Kyle Walker - The fullbacks in this system are supposed to provide width to the formation and that's what Kyle does. His attacks down the right, overlapping with Andros Townsend were excellent. This was one of his less stellar defensive performances, as I think Kim got the better of him on a few occasions, but Walker did well enough to help Spurs keep a clean sheet.
3 stars - Professor Plum
You know who I always thought looked like Professor Plum? The bad guy in Ocean's 12 played by Vincent Cassel. Professor Plum is kind of a boring character. He's a bookish scholar and I always had difficulty actually deciphering any real motive he might have for killing Mr. Boddy and none of the weapons seemed to fit him either. All in all, very average.
Harry Kane, Erik Lamela, and Lewis Holtby - AVB made three attacking substitutions in the final 20 minutes. Lamela had the most time to impose himself on the game, but he didn't do much until he moved to the right when Kane came on. All thee played pretty well. Lamela got an assist, Holtby was everywhere, and Kane played well on the left. None of the three got enough time on the pitch to get anything more than three stars though.
Roberto Soldado - Some folks might be down on Soldado for not scoring, but he's still the club's best striker and I find it encouraging that we're figuring out ways to feed him the ball in dangerous positions. Finishing is a random stat and I have no doubt that Soldado will start heading towards the mean and start finishing all the big chances he's getting.
Michael Dawson - I don't know what to say about Dawson. Some moments he looks unbelievably shit and then others he makes a brilliant pass or a nice tackle and you think to yourself, "Ok. Maybe he's still got it." He doesn't though. He's the club captain, so he plays. He played ok.
Andros Townsend - In his last two matches Townsend has take 15 shots and put 5 on target. Those five that were on target were, if memory serves, all pretty comfortable saves for the opposition keeper. STOP SHOOTING! The difference in the team with Lamela on the pitch is evident and Townsend needs to start getting his teammates involved or start scoring in order to keep his place.
Gylfi Sigurdsson - It wasn't the heights of last weeks match, but it wasn't as poor as some of Gylfi's performances in the past were. Gylfi is still winning his own personal crossbar challenge as he hit the woodwork yet again. He had some dangerous shots and looked ok. His positioning still leaves a lot to be desired though.
Christian Eriksen - Anyone that expected him to perform on the level that he did against Norwich every week is dumb. Eriksen wasn't bad this week he just wasn't transcendent. Nothing wrong with that though. He put in some dangerous shots and passes and all in all looked fine.
2 Stars - Mrs. Peacock
Anyone ever heard of the color "peacock"? Me either. Peacocks are multiple colors, so how is this chick just blue? Plus, as an 8 year-old boy I had so many fraught moments deciding whether or not I should be Blue, my favorite color, or be a boy character. Also, where is Mr. Peacock? Is he really just letting his wife go to strange parties at the home of a guy named Boddy? Mr. Peacock needs to get his act together.
Hugo Lloris - I'm thinking Gomes and Hugo got into some weird body swapping hijinks between Thursday and Sunday. Lloris' first half was a horror show and he is incredibly lucky that he wasn't sent off. He pulled it together in the second half, but that first half was too bad to ignore.
Kyle Naughton - As I mentioned with Walker, this formation is predicated on fullbacks providing width. Naughton, as a natural right-footer, doesn't do that. He also made a couple of errors that could have very well led to goals. Did you notice that most of Cardiff's meaningful attacks came down our left? That's not a coincidence. Please get healthy soon, Danny Rose.
Jan Vertonghen - Mr. Consistency had an oddly off match. Let's just put it behind us and move on.
1 Star - Mrs. White
No one ever wanted to be Mrs. White. Mrs. White is who you made your mother be so that she wouldn't take any of the cool characters. Never tell her that though because after a few gimlets she might take offense and start telling you about how you robbed her of her youth. You should have just let her be Ms. Scarlet.
Despite a pretty poor performance, none of our players were as lame as having to play as Mrs. White.