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Tottenham Hotspur vs. West Brom: player ratings to the theme of cake

Have your cake and kick Tony Pulis’ ass, too.

The Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Celebrates Diwali Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images

Ever since the pie rankings people have been asking me whether we’re also going to do cake. And my answer has been, well of course we’re going to do cake. Cake is awesome. (It’s just not better than pie.) And there’s no better time to celebrate the goodness cake than after a thorough obliteration of something that is bad, in this case Tony Pulis.

Of course, cake is a huge category, and there’s a 100% chance I’m going to make someone MAD ONLINE by leaving out a favorite cake. Or 10. To which I say: Have your cake. (Yes, and also all of you can eat it.)

Cake is for celebration. Cake IS celebration. After Saturday’s win, combined with Manchester City’s loss and Liverpool’s draw with United, Spurs are now second in the table. SECOND. IN. THE. TABLE. Let’s celebrate with cake! Here are the Tottenham Hotspur player ratings to the theme of cake.

5 stars: Chocolate cake

Whenever my wife or my mother has asked me what kind of cake I want for my birthday, I always answer “chocolate.” Every time. My favorite cake is a stupid easy chocolate “crazy cake” recipe, topped with a maple frosting. Mom would even shred some zucchini in there (seriously!) for added moisture and nutrition. Chocolate cake is a big category, but all chocolate cakes are good. German chocolate, flourless chocolate, double chocolate, molten chocolate... doesn’t matter. If you have a piece of chocolate cake in front of you, you have reached Peak Cake™.

Harry Kane: I’ve seen some amazing Harry Kane games, but this might have been the best performance I’ve seen from him to date. He could’ve scored six goals against West Brom, and his work rate on the pitch was scary good. We won’t get this kind of match from him every time out, but it’s nice to have a reminder every now and then that this is what Kane is capable of.

Christian Eriksen: If Kane is the Man of the Match, Eriksen is the Most Valuable Player. He was every bit the “brain” of the team, and it was evident in his on-pitch vision and his sublime passing. We don’t deserve this guy.

4.5 stars: Cheesecake

There’s a reason why The Cheesecake Factory charges $8 for a slice of cheesecake: it’s because cheesecake is friggin’ amazing. Impossibly creamy, sweet (but not too sweet!), slightly tangy, it encompasses everything that is good about cake, but is entirely distinct from all other kinds of cake. Plus, you can make a cheesecake whatever flavor you want and it’s still good! Just try not to think about your cholesterol count while you’re eating it.

Dele Alli: Technically held scoreless against West Brom, but only because that wonderful little dink into the net was called back for offside. In every other sense, however, this was the Dele Alli we’ve gotten used to seeing the past few matches. His interplay for Kane’s third goal was wonderful. It will suck when we sell him to Madrid in two years.

Kyle Walker: West Brom didn’t put up much in terms of actual defense, but it was a lot of fun watching Kyle absolutely abuse Chris Brunt in that first half. His cross that set up Kane’s second goal was inch perfect.

Danny Rose: Had a stormer up and down the left flank, putting in great crosses and keeping Nacer Chadli, Craig Dawson, and Gareth McAuley in his pocket the entire game.

Mousa Dembele: Is it possible to have a quiet 4.5 star match? Moose did. He so thoroughly dominated the midfield that it really didn’t look like he did much. But he was sublime in possession and passed his counterparts off the pitch.

4 stars: Pound cake

I confess to being torn between pound cake and red velvet cake for this category. Both are delicious but in entirely different ways. But while red velvet cake contains cream cheese frosting and an entire bottle of red dye #2, pound cake contains AN ENTIRE POUND OF BUTTER AND TEN EGGS. Anything with that much butter and eggs wins.

Janeriby Aldiertonghen: I wasn’t sure any other central midfield partnership could be as good as Vertonghen and Alderweireld. But adding Dier in a back three has been fantastic to watch, and they all did their parts to nullify any nascent West Brom attacking moves. Losing Jan will suck, but I have confidence in Kevin Wimmer.

Victor Wanyama: For the third consecutive match, he did what he does best: shielded the back four, didn’t try anything too ambitious, and wrecked s**t. Also had a nice pop at goal which was well saved by Ben Foster. A very good match.

3.5 stars: Carrot cake

I love carrot cake, but no other kind of cake on this list has a wider range between top and bottom. Carrot cake can be the best thing you’ve ever put in your mouth, or it can be unspeakably terrible. Which makes it pretty perfect for a just-above-average ranking category. Protip: if you’re going to make a truly sublime carrot cake, use the cream cheese frosting (not the lemon variety that some people insist on using) and skip both the walnuts AND the raisins.

Hugo Lloris: Figure he probably got a good 2-3 chapters of his book read during that match. Giving him an extra half star for that excellent stop on West Brom’s set piece, even though it was offside.

Ben Davies: Was called into action as Jan’s replacement after the injury, and was very effective in the role, one which he also plays admirably for Wales. I’d feel ok with either him or Wimmer in the back three, but I’d rather save him as Rose’s backup for now.

3 stars: Antonio Conte’s press conference cake / Yaya Toure’s birthday cake

I hate Chelsea, but Antonio Conte had a great moment after their win this week when he helped himself to a reporter’s piece of cake during a press conference. Conte’s a good manager and declared the cake good as well; I don’t know what kind of cake it was, but I’m willing to trust Conte that it was good cake. Close behind is Yaya Toure’s birthday cake, which I must assume was flavored with righteous indignation and the tears of Manuel Pellegrini.

Amazing fact: there were no Tottenham Hotspur players that were even this average. Everyone was good.

2 stars: the band Cake

Look, I’m no Cake aficionado, I just know what I hear on the radio. And what I hear most often are Cake’s two most popular songs: “The Distance,” which is a terrible song with terrible lyrics that is not sung so much as rhythmically squawked, Shatner-style, into a microphone; and “I Will Survive,” a fantastic song that Cake systematically and comprehensively murders. Maybe they have better songs? I don’t care to find out.

This is pretty much where you’d put every West Brom player not named Ben Foster.

1.5 stars: Grocery store sheet cake

You know the kind. These are the cakes you can pick up at the local Kroger’s in the Oh-Sh*t-I-Forgot-Their-Birthday section. They’re CALLED cakes, but they’re actually made from bleached sawdust and covered with a mixture of spackling paste and powdered sugar before having “HAPPY BRITHDAY NAME HERE” hastily scrawled on top in purple frosting. If your friends surprise you with one of these cakes, you have bad friends.


1 star: Fruitcake

Fruitcake is an abomination. There is nothing redeemable about it. It is not tasty, it is not interesting, and it will probably survive the forthcoming apocalypse. If you like it, or give fruitcake out to your friends or family members, as far as I’m concerned it is definitive proof that you are a misanthrope who kicks kittens, probably.

No Tottenham Hotspur players are as bad as fruitcake. But maybe Tony Pulis is.

Tom Carroll Memorial (*sob*) Non-rating: Harry Winks, Son Heung-Min