Tottenham Hotspur went to the south coast of England yesterday and beat a pesky Southampton squad that hadn’t given up a goal at home since October. While the match was a weird one and perhaps not the best first half we’ll ever see, the bottom line is that Spurs got the job done and snagged all three points to maintain pace with the cluster of teams fighting for the top four positions.
It gets more difficult each time we do player ratings themes, so I figure we can go the easy route with the last one before the Sun sets on 2016 and enjoy some of our favorite Spurs gifs from years past. There isn’t much to argue about, everyone can contribute their own favorite gifs, and we can talk about the upcoming matches with Watford and Chelsea.
5 Stars - “Danny Rose on His Premier League Debut!”
Do I really need to say anything else? Danny Rose scored his beautiful screamer against our North London rivals.
Did you really expect me to put Rose anywhere else other than under his own gif? Danny was magnificent again yesterday, locking down his side of the pitch and rarely giving Southampton any kind of options. It will never get boring talking about just how good he’s been.
Dele’s brace was highlighted by his ability to adjust to a cross into the box that was deflected and still find the top corner that Forster had no chance of getting to. He was solid in the midfield and provided support seemingly wherever it was needed.
4 Stars - Crouch sends Spurs to the Champions League
Up to this point in Spurs’ history, this was their most important match in the Premier League era. A victory at the Etihad sent Spurs to the Champions League for the first time in club history. Peter Crouch did just that in a thrilling 1-0 victory.
In a match that was kind of derpy from the start, Moussa Sissoko put in a solid shift in the attacking band, assisting on Dele’s first goal. This is the fourth match in a row now where Sissoko has found good form and provided positive contributions, and we can only hope that he stays on this upward trend.
Sonny came on in the second half and did his job wonderfully, slotting in the third goal past Forster to put the match away. There really isn’t much else to say other than he did his job and got on the scoresheet.
3.5 Stars - Harry Kane heads it home against Arsenal
The legend of Harry Kane continues to build, and there may not be a more emotional goal than seeing our beloved English Jesus beat Arsenal with a wonderful header.
Moose’s day at the office was a weird one. The first thirty minutes he did not look his usual self, but after the equalizer and some settling in, he put in a decent shift. He wasn’t the only one out of sorts, but he didn’t make any crucial mistakes and bounced back from the slow start.
Another player with a strange day, but Eriksen still managed to contribute. Aside from his near-goal rocket off the crossbar, Eriksen’s managed to find several passes that led to shots that helped break up Southampton’s bunkered in defense. His start was rough, though, especially that bad touch on an early attack that should have at least been a shot. It wasn’t a brilliant day for the Great Dane, but the last 60 minutes made up for the poor 30 minutes at the start.
Harry was rather anonymous for much of the first half. The second half was a different story. His header off the set piece was a brilliant goal to give Spurs a lead the would not relinquish. Harry also managed to poke fun at himself after the match for his orbit shot of a penalty that killed a man in France. Stupid turf.
3 Stars - Siggy channels the power of Thor
I still miss Siggy, and I really hope that if Swansea goes down, a good club snatches him up so he stays in the Premier League. He certainly enjoy some classy moments during his time in North London, and there may not be a better way to sum up his shooting than with this rocket.
Jan Vertonghen / Eric Dier
This really isn’t saying that Verts or Dier were bad, but more that they really didn’t have much to do, especially in the last 45 minutes. The early goal that was conceded was probably on Jan, but when Virgil Van Dijk manages to jump 147 feet into the air (citation needed) for a header, it’s hard to put that blame on him. Besides that goal off the set piece, Verts and Dier did their job but it was nothing that stood out.
Kyle had a very un-Kyle like match. He was dispossessed multiple times throughout the match and got burned a couple of times early on, but he settled in and his second half was much better. I’ll give him some credit on that long pass to Son, but that deflection helped put the ball right at Son’s feet and, thus, Walker did not get an assist for that pass. Walker also picked up a yellow and misses the Watford match due to accumulation. At least it isn’t Chelsea that he’s missing.
Wanyama didn’t play terribly, but that awful tackle just a minute into the match led to Southampton’s early goal. He was erratic the first fifteen minutes, but like the rest of the squad, he seemed to settled down after the equalizer and joined Moose in keeping Southampton’s attack away form the back four.
I honestly don’t remember the time I actually didn’t gush about a Hugo performance, but our captain wasn’t exactly his world class self. There wasn’t much he could do about that early goal as Van Dijk put it in a spot that he just couldn’t reach. He had a bit of a scary moment in the second half when he came out to clear a ball and almost gifted Southampton a chance. His distribution wasn’t great either, but none of his decisions put Spurs in truly awful spots. It was an average performance, and he slots in a three stars.
2 Stars - Ade’s curler
Say what you want about Adebayor’s entire time in North London, but there’s no denying that the Togo International had some brilliant moments, and there may not be any better than this effort against Chelsea. Petr Cech basically stands there and just shrugs his shoulders.
There were no Tottenham Hotspur players who fell into the two star category.
1 Star - Bale’s “header”
Gareth Bale had so many amazing moments for Spurs. This was not one of them, though we can definitely look at it and still laugh at the reactions.
No Tottenham Hotspur players were as bad as the Bale “header.”
Tom Carroll Memorial Non-Rating: Bale’s Rocket
I think you’ve all figured out the theme by now.
NR: Harry Winks, Vincent Janssen
Authors’ Note: Please don’t fire us, Menno.