Wednesday's match wasn't fun, by any means. Tottenham got rolled by a driven West Ham side at Upton Park, preventing Spurs from going top of the table. It was one of Spurs' worst performances in any match this season, and it came at absolutely the worst possible time.
The silver lining is that, although Spurs remain three points behind Leicester, they're still in second thanks to both Arsenal and Manchester City also losing on Wednesday. So that's good, at least. Spurs can also give themselves an additional cushion over their North London rivals with a big win over Arsenal at home on Saturday.
5 stars: Chocolate chip
Chocolate chip cookies are just about the most perfect cookie you can make. The balance between the wheatiness of the dough and the sweetness of the chips perfectly balance each other. You can make them crispy or chewy. Throw in some whole wheat flour for a nuttier taste. Like chocolate? Add cocoa powder and make double-chocolate chip. Or add dried cherries for a chewy tartness. Or just follow the instructions on the back of the Toll House package. Either way, you're making a damn good cookie that everyone loves.
Unfortunately, no Tottenham players get a chocolate chip cookie. And now I'm crying because they're the best.
4 stars: Shortbread
Nothing could be simpler: flour, sugar, butter, salt. Mix until it barely forms a dough, spread into a pan, and bake. It turns out sweet, crispy, and exceptional in its utter austerity. And since it's a "mother dough" it can be then jazzed up by adding all sorts of spices, chocolates, candies, herbs, or whatever you want to mix in there. Anybody can make this, and it's hard to improve upon it.
Christian Eriksen: If this match has a Tottenham MVP, and I'm not sure it does, it's probably Eriksen. He was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dour performance, doing what he normally does. The only difference is that nobody else was on the same wavelength that he was.
Hugo Lloris: Faultless on the goal, and came up with some HUGE saves over the course of the match. Without Hugo, Spurs lose by two or three.
3.5 stars: Snickerdoodles
The name sounds just slightly dirty, but snickerdoodles waltz right out of my family Christmas celebrations and into the
cockles doodles of my heart. Sure, you have to chill the dough slightly, and roll into balls, and mash them into form with the bottom of a glass, but it's totally worth it. Spiced cookies can be hit or miss sometimes, but the cinnamon and nutmeg in a good snickerdoodle takes me right back to the time when I got literally got my arm stuck in the ceramic cow-shaped cookie jar trying to snitch a cookie from my grandmother's kitchen. (Ow.)
Kevby Alderweimmer: Thanks to the shambles that was Spurs' midfield in this match, both Kevin Wimmer and Toby Alderweireld were under siege for most of the match. Both of them picked up tactical yellow cards that might have otherwise resulted in a big chance for West Brom. Both of them had some scary moments. And both of them were quite good and held on in the end, if only barely.
Dele Alli: I'm glad Alli got a bit of a rest during this match, because we're going to need him in a big way against Arsenal if Moose can't go. Alli instantly improved the side the moment he came on for Nacer Chadli. Had another micro-petulance incident with Adrian and I've certainly seen him play better, but he was the catalyst for Spurs' best sequences of play.
3 stars: Peanut butter blossoms
I confess, I really do love these cookies, but they confuse me. Is it a peanut butter cookie that really wants to be a chocolate chip cookie? Why not just make chocolate chip peanut butter cookies? Or just peanut butter cookies? I suspect these cookies are nothing more than the Hershey's Kiss lobby trying to impress their #brand into our collective subconscious.
Erik Lamela: If I had to sum up Lamela's performance in one word, it'd be "fine." Not "great," "bad," or "terrible," but adequate. Also, he bleeds for the club, though his blood isn't Tottenham blue, so I now question his commitment.
Son Heung-Min: Was a substitute ostensibly because he's going to be starting on Saturday against Arsenal. He showed some glimpses of trickery and continued his usual yeoman's effort out there, but his effectiveness was also limited somewhat by West Ham playing three at the back.
2.5 stars: Frosted sugar cookies
As a kid, I used to love to make sugar cookies, and then decorate them with various colored frostings. Great fun for a cooking and baking-prone child. But here's the thing: as much as I loved MAKING and DECORATING sugar cookies, I never enjoyed actually EATING them as much. That's the thing with sugar cookies: they're never great, and they're only sometimes good. It's the cookie equivalent of style over substance.
Ben Davies: Antonio more or less took his lunch money on Wednesday. He got a yellow for impeding Payet, which was probably smart, since he was beaten on the play. Overall, he looked out of sync, and I'm sure this is a performance that he wants back.
Eric Dier: Dier was, well, kind of shockingly bad out there, and I'm not sure exactly why. Was he tired? Was he not used to playing with Mason? I dunno, but I hope it's not a trend, because as good as Spurs' central defenders are, they're that much better when Dier is playing well in front of them.
Harry Kane: Let's get this out of the way: Kane hasn't been especially great out there lately. This was another somewhat sub-par outing from our masked crusader. I suspect we'd all be singing a different tune if Kane had managed to tap in that second chance shot in the first half, but the fact is that he was a wasteful with the few chances he had against the Hammers.
2 stars: Oatmeal raisin
Oatmeal raisin cookies are a brazen attempt by moms everywhere to essentially try and turn a healthy granola bar into something their children will eat. It's the cookie equivalent of that time when your mom used to put tofu in your fruit smoothies when she thought you wouldn't notice. (I did, mom!) If you get a cookie assortment, the oatmeal raisin cookies are always the last ones to go. That said, if there's nothing else available I'll still eat one because any cookie is better than no cookie.
Kieran Trippier: Trippier had the difficult task of trying to mark Dmitri Payet, which is tough, but he was also more or less contained by Aaron Cresswell going forward. There have been some good comments that Trippier's poor performance had as much to do with the midfield trash fire as it did with his own ability. There's probably some truth to that, but Lordy, this was not a good game for Trips. He was wasteful with the ball, not particularly great defensively, and didn't cross especially well. Which is, y'know, what he's in the match to do.
Ryan Mason: Cue the "anti-Mason masthead agenda" comments. But seriously, yo, this was a pretty poor effort from him. He tried, and wasn't as positionally deficient as we've seen from him, but looked a step off the pace, wasn't putting in forward runs (though in fairness he didn't get much of an opportunity), and was out-muscled in the center of the park. I honestly did expect more from him, because he's been quite useful lately.
Nacer Chadli: Directly responsible for West Ham's goal, and was completely ineffective from the beginning of the match to his substitution at the hour mark. Spurs were a much better team the moment Dele Alli came in. Bad dolphin. Very bad! No cookie!
1 star: Fortune cookies
I don't care how much you looked forward to the fortune cookie at the end of your meal at the Chinese restaurant down the block as a kid, unless you somehow lucked into a place that makes their own, fortune cookies suck. They're cheap, usually arrive to you broken, and taste like plastic dipped in an egg wash. Once you do manage to open it up, they contain the worst proverbs and losing PowerBall numbers known to mankind. My last fortune cookie actually insulted me. Chinese wisdom my ass.
My fortune cookie is a bit of an asshole. pic.twitter.com/48B8ZHtARR— Dustin Menno (@dustingm) February 16, 2016
No Tottenham Hotspur players were as bad as a fortune cookie.