Tottenham Hotspur stole a point at the Etihad on Saturday, and there’s really no point in denying it. City played one of their better matches of the season against Spurs when their backs were up against the wall and probably should have gotten the win. But Spurs clawed a goal back from Dele after going down 2-0 in the second half, and then benefitted from Andre Marriner waving play on after Kyle Walker pushed Raheem Sterling in the back. Spurs equalized a minute later and escaped, like a thief in the night, with a draw.
It was, plainly and simply, a crime that Walker got away with that. I’ll still take the point though, thank you.
So with that in mind, I thought we should rank the Tottenham players to the theme of something stealthy and fun, namely the most amazing real-life robberies I could find on the internet. These may not be the BEST robberies, but they’re the ones I found the most interesting. Here are the player ratings for Spurs’ draw against Manchester City to the theme of heists.
Edit: To hold with the overall theme, I robbed Kevin Wimmer of a ranking. He’s now been added back in. Sorry, Big Kev.
5 stars: Societe Generale bank heist
In 1971, a Frenchman by the name of Albert Spaggiari made one of the most amazing bank robberies ever. Hiring a bunch of fellow career criminals, he spent two months tunneling underneath the Societe Generale Banke in Nice from the sewers. On Bastille Day, the thieves broke in from below (the vault didn’t have internal sensors because it was considered impregnable), ransacked all the safety deposit boxes, and made off with over 60m francs before leaving a note on the wall reading “sans armes, ni maine, ni violence” (“without arms, nor hatred, nor violence”). Spaggiari was ratted out, but escaped custody. He, and the money, were never found.
No Tottenham Hotspur players reached the heady heights of five stars in this match. Sorry.
4 stars: The Great Train Robbery
In 1963, a gang of 15 thieves including a man known only as “The Ulsterman” robbed a British mail train heading from Glasgow to London in a highly coordinated theft, making off with £2.6m, the equivalent of £40m today. It was a highly coordinated heist, involving inside information from the Royal Mail service and a retired train driver. They stopped the train by simulating a red light, clonked the driver over the head, and transferred the money to a waiting truck nearby. A trainman who managed to get off radioed for help with the phrase "A robbery has been committed and you'll never believe it – they've stolen the train!" Many of the thieves were eventually caught after an inquiry.
Dele Alli: His goal was very well executed, and it was a particularly difficult one considering the deflection Kyle Walker’s cross took on its way in. Dele was again one of the bright spots in a Spurs’ offense that was pretty much shut down for the majority of the match.
Kyle Walker: In so much as Tottenham had offense, it was Walker who was a big part of it, finding open space on the right side of the box. He also showed his firm command of the Dark Arts by executing that little shove on Sterling and immediately casting a Confundus charm on Andre Marriner.
Toby Alderweireld: Despite conceding two goals, Spurs’ defense wasn’t carved open THAT much, and that’s mostly due to Toby. With Jan already out, losing Toby to injury for any sustained length of time is terrifying. Thankfully it looks like his hamstring issue isn’t serious.
Danny Rose: Like Kyle Walker, so is Danny Rose. Danny spent a lot more time defending than what we usually see from him, and credit City for that. He had a couple of noteworthy tackles in defense on Saturday.
3.5 stars: French “Vacuum Gang” heists
This one is great. In 2010, a group of thieves went on a spree of robberies at local supermarkets in France, using a high-powered vacuum cleaner and a drill. Cashiers would send money to the vaults via a series of pneumatic tubes. These thieves would find the tubes, drill a hole into them, attach a shop-vac, and literally suck the money out before reaching the vaults. Brilliant. They made off with over a million dollars in four years. Simple and effective, it’s a great scheme. To my knowledge, no one was ever caught.
Son Heung-Min: Wasn’t as effective in attack as what we’ve seen from him in the past (again, credit City), but was in the right place at the right time for his equalizing goal and took it very well.
3 stars: Boston Art Museum heist
In 1990, two thieves dressed up as police officers, walked into the Isabella Stewart Gardiner museum, trussed up the guards after pretending to be responding to a call, and walked out with $500m in priceless works of art, including works by Rembrandt, Manet, and Degas. The crooks were never found, and there are still empty frames hanging in the galleries of the museums in hopes that some day the paintings will be returned. This is a brazen heist, but considering the museum apparently didn’t have any security beyond guards, it’s not as impressive because the museum was dumb.
Victor Wayama: Wanyama ended up in central defense for the last half hour of the match and while he did fine there and didn’t really screw up it terrified me and I never want to see that again. Overall, I have no real complaints about his game.
Mousa Dembele: Dembele didn’t have his usual impact on midfield, but part of that was Pochettino’s tactical salad, which resulted in Moose either playing on the wing or at the #10 role. Not really his fault.
Harry Winks: Was a solid, stabilizing presence in midfield when coming on for Alderweireld. Nothing flashy, just solid midfield possession and safe passing. He was fine.
Eric Dier: In a game like this one, it was nice to have a central defender who can shift into a defensive midfield role (and back!) like Eric did. Didn’t make any huge mistakes that I can recall, and coped decently well even if he wasn’t at his best.
2.5 stars: Millennium Dome Raid
In 2000, a gang of thieves attempted a well-planned smash-and-grab job on the newly-opened Millennium Dome exhibition center in London, which was hosting a large DeBeers diamond exhibition at the time. The idea was to run in, break stuff, steal a bunch of blue diamonds including the priceless Millennium Star, and escape on a waiting speed boat on the Thames. Unfortunately, the would-be thieves were already being watched by the cops for a series of other crimes and they were swiftly rounded up.
Harry Kane: A virtual non-factor for much of the match, he did have that lovely little back-heel flick to set up Son Heung-Min. Otherwise, a bad day for Harry.
Christian Eriksen: Eriksen was off his game in this match. He was significantly less involved and was uncharacteristically wayward with his passing. Considering how good City was, it’s not something I’m especially worried about, but he wasn’t great.
Kevin Wimmer: It’s a testament as to his overall performance in this game that I actually forgot to put him in an earlier version of these ratings. Wimmer was... OK, I guess, but not great against City. That doesn’t mean that he wouldn’t be fine against a not-fantastic team in a back three. His substitution at halftime probably had more to do with tactics than overall performance, but he wasn’t especially good in that opening 45.
2 stars: Thomas Blood and the Crown Jewels of England
This one is ridiculous. In 1671, a British Colonel named Thomas Blood hatched an audacious plot to steal the Crown Jewels of England through a combination of subterfuge, lying, costumes, and stabbing someone. He did get them, but in the process had to flatten the crown with a hammer, stuffed the orb into his pants, and tried to saw the sceptre in half so it would fit into a bag. He was caught, but instead of being imprisoned he was actually REWARDED by King Charles, who was impressed by his audacity, with lands in Ireland and a pension.
Hugo Lloris: Eeeeeeeeeeek. Everyone has a bad match now and then, and this one was especially horrid for Hugo, who had three decent saves in the first half. Those five minutes in the second half were so weirdly bad for Hugo -- a vaguely unlucky botched header and a spilled routine save lead to two City goals. Nobody’s immune to criticism when you have a bad game, including our Lord and Savior Saint Hugo the Brave.
1 star: This guy
But, on the other hand, it looks like he gets away.
No Tottenham Hotspur players were as bad as this Chinese guy who tried to break through bullet proof glass with an axe.