When I was in grade school, every day I’d run — literally run — the two blocks home from my elementary school to make sure I’d get home by 3:30 in time to watch Scooby-Doo. I loved this show. It was the early 1980s, and though time has not been kind to Hanna-Barbara’s seminal dog-focused detective show, I still have fond memories of watching this team of misfits drive around in a shaggin’ wagon and solve mysteries because, idk, reasons.
Even better than the regular episodes were the team-ups, when random B-list celebrities like Don Knotts, Phyllis Diller, or the Harlem Globetrotters would randomly be staying at the same middle-of-nowhere haunted Bates motel as the Scooby gang. And every time the (captured) villain would monologue about his motivations and end the episode by saying “And I would’ve gotten away with it, if it weren’t for these meddling kids. :cue laugh track:
So let’s dive right in. Here are the player ratings for Tottenham’s big 4-1 win over Watford at Vicarage Road to the theme of Scooby-Doo characters.
5 stars: Shaggy
Of all the Scooby gang, Shaggy is by far the best. Shaggy doesn’t care about solving mysteries. He doesn’t really give a crap about ghosts, or missing items, or any of that. Shaggy cares about getting high, avoiding any kind of work, eating sandwiches, getting high, his dog, shouting “ZOINKS!” and getting high. I often wonder how he can afford that much doob, but then I remember he’s probably the town dealer. I bet he actually owns the Mystery Machine but forgot he actually bought it and just lets Fred drive because, like, whatever man, I’m hungry. Shaggy forever.
Harry Kane: That’s more like it. Harry Kane was magnificent against Watford, scoring a brace, adding an assist to Dele, and looking every bit like the in-form striker he was most of last season. He’s now scored 12 goals in an injury-shortened first half of the season, and you have to think that 25-30 goals in all competitions isn’t out of the question if he stays healthy.
Dele Alli: Dele has now scored in three consecutive matches for Spurs, the first time that’s ever happened. He was magnificent again today, especially on his second goal, and appears to be hitting a purple patch of form. Hopefully that form carries over to Wednesday against Chelsea.
4.5 stars: Velma
Why the hell is Velma not leading this team? She’s really the only character with even an ounce of goddamn sense in this franchise. The character itself is a product of the 1970s so she’s very much an “ugly, unpopular but very smart for a girl” archetype. That sucks, but she’s usually the one who makes the breakthrough that actually solves the mystery (even when she loses her glasses, which is like in every third episode), and she’s a natural foil for Shaggy. But seriously, wouldn’t you love to see Velma get high with Shaggy and Scoobs and watch what happens? Actually, I bet I know what happens. Bawm-chikka-bawm-bawm. Jinkies!
Kieran Trippier: We’ve been highly critical of Trips all season, and mostly for good cause: he’s been pretty spectacularly bad in a lot of his early season outings. And if we’re being honest, early on he had some really infuriating defensive possessions. But Trips came through with two excellent assists and some wonderful crosses and was at his best on Sunday. He was great against Watford, who were very, very bad, and I give Trippi-yay full credit for a very good match.
Danny Rose: Spurs’ decision to play three at the back against a bad Watford team meant that both Trips and Rose had acres of space to work with on the flanks, and Danny took full advantage, pushing forward to great effect and abusing Watford’s wingbacks. Best thing about his performance is he got a good rest ahead of the Chelsea match.
Christian Eriksen: Had another highly influential match in a slightly more withdrawn position in Spurs’ midfield. He created five chances for Spurs and was super progressive with his passing. He’s just so, so good you guys, and I love him.
Four stars: Scooby-Dum
Forget Scooby-Doo. His backwoods cousin with the red hat and buck teeth is superior to him in almost every way. He’s a dim-witted dolt, but that same stupidity can lend itself from time to time to acts of astounding bravery, and he actually cares about solving mysteries. Say the word “clue” and Dum’s got his magnifying glass out and humming Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Why didn’t they make a show about Scooby-Dum, Ma & Pa Skillett, and the Scooby-Doobies, anyway?
Kevin Wimmer: Playing as part of a back three, Wimmer was a solid presence in defense, and it sure was nice to see. He partners well with Toby in Jan Vertonghen’s absence, and I was also pleased with his ability to push forward and put in a good pass every so often. A very solid match.
Eric Dier: It still feels weird to me that we’ve seen more of Dier back at center back (what we initially thought was his preferred position) than at defensive midfield (what we now think is his best position) this season. I think Dier is better as a CB in a back three than a back four, and his positional versatility is an asset, but I still want him in Wanyama’s spot. This season is making me wonder if his evolved Pokemon form is really Phillip Lahm.
Toby Alderweireld: Damn, he’s good. That’s all I got today. :fire_emoji:
Three stars: Scooby-Doo
Scooby is the most average character on the show He’s a Great Dane who’s obviously an extension of Shaggy’s psyche. I’m half convinced that his ability to talk is a figment of Shaggy’s imagination, or perhaps a shared hallucination between all the Scooby Gang brought about by constant exposure to second hand marijuana smoke. (That doesn’t explain the existence of Scooby-Dum, but whatever.) He also doesn’t actually do anything and is constantly missing (hence: Scooby-Doo, where are you?). But, y’know, the show’s named after him, not any of the humans, and the remaining characters are all demonstrably worse, so what do I know?
Hugo Lloris: Barely had to do anything. Spilled one catch under extreme pressure that nearly led to one goal, lost his clean sheet on a stupid scrum in front of goal. Neither was his fault.
Victor Wanyama: Bossed midfield and broke up play well. Also did well against Etienne Capoue, mitigating his offensive threat. He didn’t really stand out in this match, but he wasn’t at all poor.
Ben Davies: Came in for Danny Rose to give him a rest before Chelsea and was fine in what was essentially mop-up time.
Harry Winks: A late match substitute. Wasn’t amazing, but didn’t have to be. Played stable and uncomplicated football, which is fine when you’re up 4-0.
Two stars: Daphne
I want to like Daphne, I really do. After all, having a 1970s children’s cartoon where two of the main characters are independent women is pretty neat, and she makes some astute observations from time to time. But Daphne was written as “the pretty rich girl” and is almost always merely arm-candy for Fred with poor fashion sense and dubious decision-making. Ever notice that Fred almost always goes with Daphne when the teams split up? The only “mysteries” those two are solving on these excursions can’t really be addressed on a children’s TV show.
Son Heung-Min: Whoof. Not a great day for Sonny. FourFourTwo tells me that he created two chances with his passing, but he was profligate in front of goal and looked lost with the ball. On another day he might have been subbed off, but Poche was obviously resting Sissoko and (maybe) Lamlea, and when you’re up big like this, why not let your underperforming player play through whatever that was? This was a day to forget.
One star: Fred
Ugh, Fred. The “leader” of the Scooby Gang, is an empty white shirt with an ascot. All hat, no cowboy, as they say. In the earlier cartoons, Fred is just... there, only to give directions and say things like “Well gang, that looks like a clue,” or “Let’s split up.” In the later reboots of the series, his character is “expanded” to be a idiot savant who is good at traps but completely clueless to Daphne throwing her panties at him. It’s a sad fact of the 1970s that the “leadership” of the group was given to the dumb white guy instead of the smart woman who deserves the job title (Velma). F**k Fred forever.
No Tottenham Hotspur players were as bad as Fred.
Zero stars: Scrappy-Doo
This one’s easy. By virtue of showing up, Scrappy turns every episode of Scooby-Doo into the worst episode ever. If you see Scrappy-Doo, just turn the episode off. Every time Scrappy tries to fight a monster I wish Scooby and Shaggy would just let him get his ass kicked. Every time I’m disappointed. “Ta ta ta ta da DAAAAA! PUPPY POWER!” Die.
Even Watford were better than Scrappy-Doo.