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West Brom 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur: player ratings to the theme of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors

Watching this match was painful. Eating ice cream is decidedly less so.

Stephen Colbert Celebrates AmeriCone Dream Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Photo by Scott Wintrow/Getty Images

Who doesn’t love ice cream? Well, my wife for starters, but she’s lactose intolerant, so that doesn’t count. Ben & Jerry’s has been at the pinnacle of the commercially-available ice cream business for decades now, and while they’ve sold out to The Man™, they’re one of the few brands that has been able to maintain the core ethical beliefs that defined the company in the early days, as well as their rabid consumer following.

Tottenham Hotspur got a late goal from Dele Alli to salvage a draw at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday. It did make me consider hate-eating a pint of B&Js though by the end of it. So what the heck, let’s rank the player performances to the theme of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream pint flavors.

IMPORTANT CAVEAT: I, deadlocked as I am in northern Indiana, do not have the privilege of living close to a Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop which I’m told is where they keep the REALLY good flavors. So this ranking will be using only the pint flavors that you can (presumably) get at your local supermarket. I’m sure the Bourbon Brown Butter ice cream is amazing (want!) but we’re not including it here. Also, there are over 40 pint flavors, and yes I’m sure I’m an awful person for leaving out your favorite flavor but nobody’s reading this paragraph anyway so it doesn’t matter purple monkey dishwasher

5 Stars – Half-Baked

Did you know that Ben & Jerry’s actually INVENTED cookie dough ice cream? I didn’t either. That’s how good this flavor is: B&J actually created what is now an iconic ice cream flavor. And this version is so good: the creamy real vanilla ice cream melds perfectly with the textural cookie dough with the snap of the cold mini chocolate chips. So what’s better than cookie dough? Mixing it with Chocolate Fudge Brownie. That’s Half-Baked. This is one of those times where 1 + 1 = OMG IMMA EAT THE WHOLE PINT

Victor Wanyama: Continued his recent run of very impressive form from a defensive midfield position, and while I’m not entirely convinced he’s keeping Eric Dier out of the side, he’s definitely proven to be at least be Dier’s equal. Most impressive was his passing rate from deep, something that we don’t usually associate with him.

Dele Alli: Alli was very good on Saturday, operating high up the pitch and serving in an almost support striker role while Vincent Janssen held up the ball. Got into dangerous positions and coolly slotted home the goal that salvaged a result for Spurs. Well done, Dele.

4 Stars: Cherry Garcia

This might be a controversial choice to some. Cherry ice cream at four stars? It’s true. It’s a fruit ice cream that avoids tasting like Robitussin precisely because they use actual cherries that taste fantastic when combined with the chunk chocolate blended throughout. It’s also really, really gorgeous looking coming out of the pint. This is one of my go-to B&J pints, because no matter what the new pint hotness is right now, I KNOW I’m getting something I like with Cherry Garcia.

Toby Alderweireld: Imperious at the back and never really let West Brom get much on goal. His injury hurts, but it sounds like he’ll be back much sooner than we all thought, which is a relief.

Jan Vertonghen: A solid outing from Jan, who easily picked up the defensive slack after Toby went down injured.

Kyle Walker: It’s hard for a player like Walker to be effective going forward against West Brom, but he defened well, effectively neutralized the attack down his flank and didn’t manage to get injured by James McClean. Bonus.

Eric Dier: Even though we’d all rather see him in midfield, isn’t it nice to know we have a player like Eric Dier who can easily slot back into defense when needed? He’s not Toby, but he’ll be fine alongside Jan in Germany.

Christian Eriksen: Apart from Dele Alli, Eriksen probably provoked more saves from Ben Foster than anyone else on the team. He continues to play well in a more centralized role, which suits him better than drifting in from the flanks.

3 Stars: Phish Food / Late Night Snack

Here’s the thing: Phish Food is a really, really nice pint of ice cream. But the combination of the chocolate ice cream, the caramel, the marshmallow, and the fudge fish — it’s too much. It’s sugar overload and pushes it just over the edge from “delectable treat” to “diabeetus-maker.” I love ice cream and I usually can’t handle more than 1-2 spoonfuls of this at a time. As for Late Night Snack, I absolutely love the idea of mixing ice cream with potato chips, but the end result loses the crispness of the chips. Great idea, but it’s one that just doesn’t work in execution.

Erik Lamela: I thought Lamela’s game was mostly fine, but this is another example of a player just not matching up well against a well structured defensive system. Lamela’s flair wasn’t ever going to be very effective against Pulisball.

Vincent Janssen: Janssen’s hold-up play was spectacular. His ability to create his own shot... not so much. Probably deserved at least one assist in this match, but I’d like to see him try and exploit the channels a little more. He’s got goals in him.

Ben Davies: Having Davies in for Danny Rose meant that the flanks were a little less progressive than usual, but then Spurs spent most of the match trying to pick locks centrally because they had the ball for essentially 34 of the game. Davies didn’t do anything particularly bad in this match, but nor was he spectacular. A capable, if not exceptional, match.

Hugo Lloris: Didn’t have much to do, but performed well when called upon. Had one uncharacteristic spill, but that happens. Still wish I could figure out what’s been in his head which makes him so weird when the ball’s at his feet. His throwing distribution has been fine this season. His kicking decidedly less so.

2 Stars: Everything But The...

Look, I get what they’re trying to do here, but someone should’ve probably taken whoever decided to mix every single ice cream in the Ben & Jerry’s catalog together by the neck and quietly gotten them to re-evaluate their life choices. There’s too much going on and the result is... confusing and not especially fun.

Moussa Sissoko: Moussa was not good on Saturday, but it wasn’t really his fault. This was not a game that suited his strengths as a player, and throwing him into the wing against a bunkered Tony Pulis defense that won’t let him run at people was always setting him up for failure. That said, Sonny needed a rest so he’d be fresh for the Leverkusen match, and this was probably the best way of achieving that goal. All that said, yeeesh: ineffectual, wasteful, and that one shot attempt...

1 Star: Chunky Monkey

Ben & Jerry’s is an amazing ice cream company, and I know people for whom Chunky Monkey is their favorite ice cream. “Only B&J,” they say, “can make banana ice cream taste so good.” Which is fine, but discounts the truism that banana ice cream is still trash. I also don’t like walnuts, and these are my rankings. dealwithit.gif

No Tottenham Hotspur players were as bad as Chunky Monkey.

No Rating: Son Heung-Min, Mousa Dembele