I've put this off long enough. Spurs endured (and I choose this word carefully) a hard fought (likewise) and painful (ibid) 2-2 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday. In the process, they lost Mousa Dembele to suspension, the Premier League title to Leicester, and all hope and goodness in the world.
Is it any wonder why I've been dreading writing this article?
So there's no theme this week, at least not ostensibly. These are hard and I'm creatively drained. Instead, to celebrate Spurs' Premier League record nine yellow cards (and no reds!) in this match, let's rate the Tottenham Hotspur players to the theme of... well, yellow cards.
Harry Kane: Clearly the brightest performers on Spurs's side. His goal came from a fantastic pass, and he showed an incredible bit of individual skill to round the keeper. Also knows how to put a good tackle in. Harry's the best.
Son Heung-Min: Not sure why Sonny only lasted 60 minutes in this match, but he looked very good in his shift. Scored a nice goal, might have scored a second. This was the Sonny we wanted all season.
Christian Eriksen: Was very involved in Spurs' attack the entire game, and did well to get the ball into good positions. Helped set up a goal, too. Good shift.
Mousa Dembele: If not for the eye gouge, he might be ranked higher. A solid showing in midfield tainted by one supreme act of petulant stupidity. We're gonna miss him a lot the next two matches.
Erik Lamela: Lamela's penchant for reckless abandon has never suited him more in a match than on Monday. Got an assist and created three chances. And he got in Cesc Fabregas' head while he stepped on his hand.
Jan Vertonghen: Solid defensive display, though he was no doubt skirting the line for much of the match, especially in his battles with Diego Costa. Thought he was the better of the two central defenders on the day.
Eric Dier: I guess this rating is a bit of a Rorschach test for Dier. He was thoroughly "stuck in" for the entirety of the match, but he could've been sent off at least once, possibly twice. Seemed to lose Cahill on Chelsea's first goal, but that's maybe unfair. Love his drive, but he was out of control.
Danny Rose: Poche has done a great job of reining Rose in this season, but he was off the chain on Monday. Good going forward, but scrapped frequently with Willian.
Kyle Walker: Very good going forward, creating two chances on the day, but his passing was wayward, and Pedro seemed to give him trouble on the right flank.
Toby Alderweireld: Not the best of matches for Toby. Hazard left him wrong-footed a couple of times, including on the goal (which was, I know, a worldy), and he definitely lost Cahill on Chelsea's first. He definitely had his moments, though, and is a big part of why Hugo wasn't called into service all too often.
Hugo Lloris: I do love the fact that we have a world-class player in goal and our defense is usually so good that he doesn't have to do too much. Not at fault for either goal, nor could he do anything about it. Otherwise solid when he was called into action.
Ryan Mason: Yes, we ALL cringed when he came on for Son, but he was fine as an attacking midfielder, if not fantastic. But oh, Ryan – that chance on goal!
No Tottenham Hotspur players really played this poorly. And anyway, that'd be a red card, and we don't want that.
Mark Clattenburg: That was some of the worst refereeing I've seen in a very long time. The failure to control a London derby that everyone knew was going to be heated, combined with the LOOK AT ME I'M MARK CLATTENBURG theatrics in the verbal warning to Danny Rose made for an absolute s**tshow by the end. He better be reffing in League 2 this weekend.
Diego Costa's Eye: Look, Mousa deserved the suspension that he got, no question. But Diego Costa was doing Diego Costa Things™ the entire match. And Moose was clearly just trying to adjust his contact lens, right?