Tottenham Hotspur battled Chelsea to a scoreless draw on Sunday, and let's face it, it wasn't the most exciting match of football we've watched this year. Because what's worse than a scoreless draw in football? A scoreless draw where one of the teams is a Mourinho-coached Chelsea who specifically set up his team to get a scoreless draw.
That, combined with the fact that the match was on at 7:00 a.m. ET on a Sunday morning, means that you'd be forgiven if you fell asleep halfway through the second half. Which got us thinking: let's rank the Tottenham Hotspur players' performances to the theme of kinds of sleep. After all, we all sleep, and almost all of us need more than what we get. All sleep matters, but some sleep is better than others.
Five stars: Regular Sleep
Usually some exotic variety is what is best in life, but not here. Regular, uninterrupted sleep is the pinnacle of living. We all have crap that demands our attention: jobs, kids, significant others, family, in laws, football teams that toy with our emotions. And life is never better when none of those things interfere with our sleep. Spurs are really, genuinely very actually good right now. Rest easy Spurs fans, you've earned it.
Toby Alderweireld: Toby was absolutely immense on Sunday. He marshalled the back line and effectively nullified the offensive threat of Hazard, Oscar, and Willian. This continues a string of impressive defensive performances in recent matches, and he's making a case as Spurs' best defensive player.
Four stars: Car Sleep
What's better than sleeping? Going to sleep in one place and waking up in another. Soothed by the gentle vibrations of the road, you recline your seat, ignoring your in-laws, this dinner you don't feel like going to, and the awful tasks at your job. Instead, you merge into the highway of sleepytime. Most of us dream about ending up in a better place, but by passing out in the car, you have actually done it. With the car ride and a nap behind you, you stand both refreshed for the task ahead and armed with an excuse for being slightly out of it. What a time to be alive.
Christian Eriksen: Again Christian was a creative dynamo that was set loose to do stuff without having the scoring burden put on him. He looked like Spurs' best creative player in the first half. Faded in the second, but the entire squad was gassed by that point, so I'll give him a pass.
Hugo Lloris: Hugo didn't have a whole lot to do on Sunday with Chelsea only putting one shot on goal, but came up huge when it counted, knocking away a furious blast from Eden Hazard. A bit of a weird game for Hugo, but he kept the clean sheet against a scary counterattacking team, and that's good enough for four stars in my book.
Mousa Dembele: Mousa continues his string of solid matches in the side. Not as dominant as in past matches, but showed great versatility and had a cracker of a shot on goal.
Jan Vertonghen: Jan was once again a big reason why Spurs didn't concede against Chelsea on Sunday. I noticed a bit of hesitation at times, especially in the second half. I'm a little sad Diego Costa didn't play, as watching those two go at it would've been popcorn-worthy.
Eric Dier: A stabilizing presence in front of the back line, he shielded his defense well and partnered well alongside Dembele and Mason in that weird lopsided 4-3-3 in the first half.
Three stars: Naps
85% of mammals are polyphasic sleepers, meaning they nap. All the time. Which means precisely two things: naps are good things, and humans are dumb for not taking them. Remember when you were a kid and you hated taking a nap? Naps were the devil, taking you away from life, play, and all things good, holy, and fun. Once you hit adulthood though, clarity of thought comes and you realize that naps not only help rejuvenate you in the middle of they day, they're actually linked with multiple health benefits. It's not as good as regular sleep, but it's certainly a better than trying to push through that 2:30 p.m. afternoon sleepy time.
Harry Kane: A little harsh maybe, but Kane didn't have a huge impact against a Chelsea side set up specifically to deny him opportunities. Kane's work-rate can't be faulted, and he did well enough with the few offensive opportunities he was allowed. His cross to Son for the header attempt was also very nice.
Kyle Walker: Kyle did well getting forward against Cesar Azpilicueta and kept "Dave" busy the entire match. Faded in the second half, but then again, so did everyone. Had a stupid scissor kick that on another day might have seen him sent off.
Son Heung-Min: On first watch I thought Son did better than three stars. He did, after all, provide one of Spurs' best scoring chances of the match, but on re-watch he probably should've done better with that chance. He was tireless in the press, but settled for too many long shots.
Ryan Mason: After Qarabag, I said I never wanted to see Ryan Mason in the pivot again. And we didn't... I guess? Mason was wide right in midfield in this weird 4-3-3ish formation and he was okay in that role. The problem is that he wasn't really that involved in his shift, only attempting 15 passes. Had a few defensive tackles and tracked runners well. Decent enough shift, I suppose.
Erik Lamela: Came in after Mason's injury and Spurs immediately shifted back to the 4-2-3-1 it's played all season. Lamela looked really rusty out there, which is to be expected as it's his first match back from injury, but did have that nice little chip into the box. He was trying things, at least.
Clinton N'Jie: A late substitute around the 80th minute intended to inject some pace into a match that had by that time devolved into an exhausted stalemate. Didn't really work, but it probably had more to do with everyone being exhausted by that point. We haven't yet seen the best out of Clinton, and I'm hoping that he's just a work in progress.
Two and a half stars: Drunk Sleep
Drunk sleep seems so great at the time, you guys. So, so great. What could be better than a well-deserved rest after a long night of sipping Fernet between overpriced and overhopped obscure brews? But what begins as a blissful journey into the land of dreams inevitably morphs into a hopelessly dark and dreamless gulf between great times and terrible, terrible times. As Luis Buñuel famously remarked, "Life without memory is no life at all." Just so, sleep without dreaming is no sleep at all. Drunk sleep is terrible, if at times unavoidable, and you will feel terrible for having had it.
Danny Rose: A scary match for Danny. Willian terrorized him the entire game, and he had a dumb tackle in the first half that put him on a yellow and hampered his defensive effectiveness. He wasn't actively damaging to the team, but this is a performance he'll probably want to put behind him and move on.
1 star: Sleep Living with a 2-month Old Baby
If you're a parent, then I can see you nodding your head immediately while reading this sentence. Babies are great, but they're parental sleep-sucking lampreys for the first six months of their lives. Going to sleep with a baby in the next room is the worst. You're so, so tired. All you want is three hours – THREE GODDAMN HOURS – of uninterrupted sleep, but will you get it? Hells no. You already know when your head hits the pillow that your child will wail its head off, probably 90 minutes from when you close your eyes. It's an indisputable fact. Which makes the sleep fitful, and devoid of anything resembling actual rest. Naps can't save you. Nothing can save you. Please, kid. I'm begging you. Just. Go. To. Sleep.
No Tottenham Hotspur players were as bad as trying to sleep with a two-month old baby.
No Rating: The Sleeper's Sleep
Naw, I'm joking, I love the Sleeper's Sleep. Originator of the Gary Rootbeer and "batcountry" memes and some astonishing pieces of writing on this site, Sleep is forever in our hearts and an integral part of this site's history. Real Life™ has taken him away from us for the past year, which is sad, but happens. Come back soon, Sleep!