Tottenham are going places. Spurs put together what was probably the most comprehensive performance of the season against Watford, and although they only won the game 1-0, they completely dominated the Hornets in just about every category. Spurs are now up to second in the table and have a massive, massive match at the Etihad against Manchester City this weekend. If they win, and if Arsenal beats Leicester, it's chaos at the top of the table.
Since Spurs are going places this season, why not do a player rating theme on how to go places? Here are your Tottenham Hotspur vs. Watford player ratings to the theme of modes of transportation.
5 stars: Subway/inter-city train
Mass transit is fantastic. While I live in a small town with barely a public trolley service, much less a subway system, I've visited enough big cities to know how vital a good subway or train system can be for the health and vitality of a metropolis. It's cheaper and faster than owning a vehicle, reliable (most of the time), and allows you to do other things while commuting, unlike with a car. Even better is if you have a reliable inter-city train service that allows you to easily commute between population centers. Every city should have this. What's not to love?
Mousa Dembele: That was quite possibly a man of the match performance from our Belgian midfielder. In spite of Watford putting an extra man in the middle to deal with him, he once again used his strength to outmuscle Mario Suarez, Ben Watson, and Etienne Capoue and showed remarkable vision in his passing. This was no more evident than in his "hockey assist" in the buildup to Trippier's goal. Fantastic.
Dele Alli: The match changed as soon as he came on for Nacer Chadli. Suddenly Alli was making darting runs into the box, splitting defenders, and creating havoc. His cross to Trippier was beautiful. He is beautiful. He's a beautiful, beautiful man. All the hand-waving emojis go here.
Kieran Trippier: Trips absolutely dominated, especially in the second half when he was given free range to bomb forward. His crossing ability was put to good effect against Watford, and he very often got farther forward and more often than Chadli did on the right. His goal was easily placed and he took it well. He was fantastic, and full credit to him.
Ben Davies: What Trippier did in the second half, Davies did in the first half. I'm not sure why Watford played so narrow to allow him so much space on the left, but in what was a mostly frustrating first half offensively for Spurs, Davies created the best scoring opportunities.
Christian Eriksen: Stated the match well and never really let off the entire game. Eriksen was energetic and According to StatsZone he created eight chances with his passing and set pieces, which is pretty freakin' incredible. Play him in the center, play him on the left, I don't care. Just keep playing him.
Harry Kane: Was stymied for much of the first half as Watford packed men behind the ball, but he also had at two (and possibly three) legitimate penalty shouts waved off for, IDK, reasons. If Kane were the kind of petulant a**hole who complained to officials and embellished contact, he'd probably have had a hatty yesterday. He's not, so he didn't. But he was still great.
4 stars: Car
Cars are dangerous, expensive, bad for the environment, and difficult to keep in working order. But there's something about a long, scenic drive that is just part of the American experience (with apologies for those readers who are not American). If you've ever driven Route 66 across America's heartland, or down the California coast on Highway 1, or through Appalachia when summer is just turning into fall... I've done all three, and it's wonderful. Not everybody should have a car, but cars are still great.
Hugo Lloris: Hugo didn't have much to do, to be honest. Must be nice. Giving him a standard four-star rating because he's Hugo, and if Watford had managed any dangerous shots, I'm certain he would've dealt with them ably.
Tobin Alderweirmmer: Watford didn't generate a whole lot of offense, which is curious considering the usual efficacy of Deeney and Ighalo, but both Toby Alderweireld and Kevin Wimmer ably coped with whatever was thrown at them. They'll get a lot stiffer test next weekend at the Etihad. That's maybe the benchmark for how to properly evaluate this new defensive pairing.
Erik Lamela: Lamela gets knocked by some Spurs fans for not being as an incisive on offense as perhaps he should be, but that's no longer his role, and he's very good at what he does do: work hard, relentlessly press, and find open teammates. I thought he was very good against Watford and helped make the offense tick.
Eric Dier: Watford started the game by pulling Deeney for an extra midfielder, in part in order to pile more pressure on Dier. He still looks like he needs a rest, but his vision and ability to drop into defense as needed is a big reason why the fullbacks were able to cut loose as much as they were.
Son Heung-Min: Sonny was brought on as a late sub to run at a tired Watford defense, and it worked. He had two good opportunities to score, and he took it straight to Watford's defensive line. A good shift, if shorter than we might have liked.
Nacer Chadli: On first watch, I was frustrated with Chadli's disappearing act at the end of the first half and into the second. On second watch, he was much better than what I thought. He had a very bright opening half hour for Spurs, but strangely it was Ben Davies who was pushing forward into the final third most of the time instead of Chadli. His sub came at the right time, but he had a good match overall.
3 stars: Bicycle
I love bicycling, but it's not for everyone. People in large urban areas should carefully discern whether riding a two-wheeled death trap amidst idiots in multi-ton pieces of metal is worth risking life and limb. But for the suburbanites or those in small towns (like me), biking is a great, inexpensive, and health-conscious way of getting around. Up until a year ago, we were a one-car family, and my wife had the car. I would bike to work (1 mile away) almost every day, in all weather conditions. Thunderstorms sucked, but it could be done.
Everybody was so good for Tottenham, I can't think of anyone who deserves a three-star rating.
2 stars: Walking
Walking is good for you, and we should all do more of it. But it sure isn't what anyone would call FUN. Walking may keep you healthier, but it doesn't account or weather conditions, or the extra time it takes to get there from wherever it is you're starting from. If the place you're going is farther than a mile from your point of origin, good grief. Just call Uber.
1 star: Air travel
Air travel is the worst. What was supposed to be a fast and convenient method of flying across long distances has devolved into interminable waits in terrible airports and even worse airport security, all for the "privilege" of paying way too much money to be crammed cattle-like into a flying Tylenol capsule. Flying is the worst. It's too bad that it's the only way to get to some places.
No Tottenham Hotspur players were as poor as air travel.