Well, that wasn't a whole lot of fun, was it? Tottenham Hotspur looked to have the game in hand against Newcastle United yesterday, but mental errors and lackadaisical defending did them in and Spurs handed Alan Pardew and his Magpies three desperately needed points. The way we conceded the first goal was horrible and embarrassing, kind of like the myriad ways we all found to die while playing the popular computer game Oregon Trail, which, not coincidentally, is the theme of this week's player rankings.
5 Stars - Died fording the river
Why is this five stars? Because it's literally the only way you can die that the player has some control over. Here's everyone's thought process when they come to any river in Oregon Trail: "Wow, that doesn't look good. How much to Ferry across? Oh, f*** that guy. What a ridiculous price. I need all that money to buy ammo so I can hunt buffalo to near extinction. That river is probably not that deep. Let's just ford it. (Twenty seconds later) GOD****T!
Danny Rose: I maintain that he was at least partially at fault for the second goal, but other than that the left back looked about like he has all season, consistently the team's best player. On balance, he should be our worst player and the fact that he keeps outshining everyone else is a little worrisome.
Ryan Mason: I still hate you, Ryan. Don't think I'm going to let four straight good performances cloud my judgment. Someday soon you'll have to ford a river, and when you do Nabil Bentaleb will be ready to take up your mantle. Seriously though, Mason was great. He made plenty of good passes, made some excellent forward runs and broke up play pretty well. His development into a viable Premier League player might be the second best thing about this season.
4 Stars - Died of dysentery
Let's take a moment and discuss naming the people in your party. There were two ways I went about this as a child. One, was to use my friends. This always made me sad because, invariably, that girl you had a crush on, or your best friend, ended up dying. That's depressing for an 8 year-old. The other option was to just give the people random names or names of people you hated and see how quickly you could kill them. Now, at that age I had no idea what dysentery was, but now that I'm older and understand, the fact that it was included in a game for kids is horrifying.
Younes Kaboul: Pretty good match for Younes. Not directly at fault for either goal, so that's a plus. He tried hard to martial his teammates and get them motivated, but for whatever reason that sucker punch to start the second half really deflated the team. It wasn't for lack of effort on Younes' part though. If you want stats, here's this: 4 tackles, 5 interceptions, 8 clearances. Pretty good day at the office, right?
Hugo Lloris: It's pretty hard to award Lloris anything other than four stars in any match. I don't know what he could have done different or better on either of the goals. He's still the best player we have.
3 Stars - Died of Measles
When I was young I thought that measles were "mutant weasels," which when you consider it sounds like the most horrible thing ever. You'd get that message that says "Billy has caught measles" I always wanted to yell, "Get rid of those mutant weasels! Why would you want to catch them." Then my mother explained that measles are like chicken pox and I immiately assumed all my elementary school friends might somehow contract measles. I'm not sure which scenario was worse.
Harry Kane: The only substitute that was given a small chance to impact the game was Kane. He almost made the most of his chance, but the cross that came in to him, was a little bit behind him and he couldn't get any power on his shot. Still, looked threatening for most of his time on the pitch and looks like he should be starting every week.
2 Stars - Died of a snake bite.
OK, sure. Snake bites were probably very likely to kill someone actually traveling on the Oregon Trail. But the most maddening thing about them, was there was no rhyme or reason to them. You could be traveling along through a snowstorm and someone could get bitten by a snake. That's not how snakes work, everyone knows that. In winter they're hiding beneath the ground, contemplating all of the stupid settlers they're going to bite in the spring. Snake bites suck.
Emmanuel Adebayor: In the writer's room this morning, Skipjack said that he contributed only slightly less to Tottenham's game than Adebayor. I disagree. Adebayor scored a goal. What did you do Skip? Did you write something snarky about the #illuminati? I think both of you are equally useless.
Christian Eriksen: He played in this game, I'm almost certain of it. His passing wasn't very good, but he looked pretty lively for most of the match. He connected on 3/5 long balls, but only 2/8 crosses. He also didn't attempt a single through ball, which makes sense when you consider that he was playing with Emmanuel Adebayor.
Etienne Capoue: Two straight bad games in the league for Capoue. Was the early season an aberration? Is he not used to playing with Mason? Is it time to drop him for Stambouli? I have literally no idea what to make of Capoue now. He looked amazing the first month or so of the season. Now he looks lost.
Eric Dier: Look, I know he's not a right back and that he's new to the league and all that, but he's been directly at fault for like 11 straight goals. I don't even think that's hyperbole. The kind of mental error he had on the first Newcastle goal is downright inexcusable and he probably should have been hauled off then and there and replaced with anyone. No, literally anyone. Lennon, Chiriches, Vorm, anyone at all.
Nacer Chadli: When Chadli doesn't score, he doesn't contribute much to the team. Sometimes he makes some decent runs or gets of a half decent shot, but he didn't do any of that this week.
Erik Lamela: Lamela is yet another enigma. He's clearly good and talented, but when you throw him out there with Chadli and Eriksen he looks lost.
Jan Vertonghen: At least partially at fault for the second goal because he was nowhere near Perez when the cross came in. Also, Jan has officially entered the Rex Grossman phase of his career at Tottenham Hotspur. Anytime Jan picks up the ball in the opposition half, he's clearly thinking "F**k it, I'm going deep." 35 yard shots from defenders are not going to help this team win.
One Star - Died of a broken leg
I get it, this is the 1800s and medicine isn't that advanced, but how do you die of a broken leg? If the game told me that you broke your leg then it had to be amputated, then it got infected, and then you died, I would believe it. The way the game explained it though, 8 year-old me thought people just broke their legs and died, inexplicably, weeks later. I was terrified of breaking my own leg and then dying. It's probably what prevented me from being amazing at soccer when I was young. Regardless, dying of a broken leg is utter nonsense and is the absolute worst.
No one on our team was as bad and stupid as dying of a broken leg in Oregon Trail, but it was kinda close.