Tottenham Hotspur didn’t play especially well on Tuesday against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. Listless and without the cutting edge that you normally associate with Spurs of late, they practically disappeared and came away with a bore 0-0 draw against a team that is currently bottom of the table.
It was, you could say, a disappearing act. They were like ghosts. Which got us thinking!
Here are your Tottenham Hotspur player ratings for their match against Sunderland, to the theme of ghosts.
Why do all ghosts have to be scary, or evil? Some ghosts can be agents of good. And also staggeringly handsome. Patrick Swayze’s ghost in “Ghost” just comes along, helps Demi Moore solve his murder, engages in some ghostly sexytime, helps with her arts and crafts, and then moves on. If only all ghosts could be as helpful and amazing as Patrick Swayze. And also as handsome.
Such as in life, no Tottenham players were as good as Patrick Swayze.
There was an argument in the writer’s room over whether Beetlejuice is or is not a ghost — he’s described as a “bio-exorcist” and an “agent of the underworld,” but he also calls himself the “ghost with the most.” So we’re going with that. And he’s awesome. He’s a manic, hyperactive, head-spinning, undead prankster archetype, and Michael Keaton completely sells it. I desperately want Beetlejuice 2 to become a reality.
Mousa Dembele: Strong on the ball, effectively controlled midfield again. His dribbling and passing were very good throughout, despite being chopped down by a red card-worthy tackle.
Toby Alderweireld: Sunderland didn’t muster a whole lot of offense, but Jermain Defoe was definitely a threat on the counter. Full credit should go to Toby Alderweireld for his role in preventing him (or any other Sunderland player, really) from ever getting a clear look at goal.
I’ll just leave this here. (Photoshop by Earl of Shoop)
Victor Wanyama: I’ve had my doubts about Vic playing in the pivot in a 4-2-3-1 before, but I thought he played pretty well in a deeper position against Sunderland. Had a stinging shot from the top of the box that was well saved, and should’ve scored late with a header that went high.
Eric Dier: Had slightly more trouble containing Defoe and Sunderland’s attackers than Alderweireld did, but on the whole a solid effort. Spurs’ defense wasn’t really the problem on Tuesday.
Danny Rose: An injury-shortened day for Danny, who looked very lively pushing forward in the early stages. Spurs missed his directness when he went off.
Kyle Walker: Walker’s influence faded in the second half and he had a few suspect moments defensively, but for most of the first half he was very lively on the ball. End product was a little lacking, but I don’t have too many complaints about Kyle after Tuesday.
Anyone remember 3-2-1 Contact? Hell, of course you don’t, unless you were born before 1980. It was a PBS children’s program back in the early 80s, and the best part was the Bloodhound Gang videos at the end, featuring a trio of kid sleuths that owned their own detective agency (and had an African-American female leader, which was super progressive in 1980). I remember the Case of the Cackling Ghost well, because it scared the living crap out of me when I was a young boy. Just listen to that cackle. Even today, it still gives me gersberms, ehrmagerd. SPOILERS: it’s not ACTUALLY a ghost, but an elaborate scheme. Part I is embedded below.
Christian Eriksen: I was puzzled by how often Christian played corners short, when Spurs had Toby and Kane in the box to aim for. Seemed a little off his game creatively. Still, it’s not like he was BAD.
Michel Vorm: Didn’t have much to do, and he dealt with Sunderland’s few attacks admirably. You can knock him for his distribution, which was a little shaky at times. He was fine.
Let’s face it, the Pac-Man ghosts are more or less the same, but Clyde stands out because of his name. As a kid I was convinced that Clyde was just a smidge slower than the other ghosts. That’s probably not true, but that perception is borne out by the marketing materials, which frequently displays “hick-named” Clyde, who is murky orange and not a bright primary color, as being not very intelligent, socially awkward, and submissive. Interviews with Toru Iwatani revealed that Clyde’s movements were supposed to be more “random.” Come on, Atari, that’s so ghostist.
Son Heung-Min: In fairness, Sonny was one of Spurs’ brightest offensive players on Tuesday, but he had the touch of a marble column and showed some hesitancy in his decision making, often taking one too many touches or making a back pass instead of looking to shoot. I think in retrospect he’d probably want this match to do over again.
Dele: More or less completely absent from any sort of match influence against Sunderland. Not sure what happened with Dele. He’s normally much better than this.
Harry Kane: Continued to work his tail off, but was often left stymied by Sunderland putting bodies behind the ball. Credit to Sunderland, who kept their shape well and denied Kane really any good looks at goal.
Ben Davies: I like Davies, but this match was crying out for Rose’s dynamism going forward in the second half when Spurs enjoyed the bulk of possession, and Ben did not provide that offensive spark at all. Also, stop shooting from 25 yards out, please.
Mad props for Obi-Wan Kenobi for being the second guy to meld his life essence with the Force and become a Force ghost. That’s pretty sweet, and solidifies him as one of the greatest Jedi to have ever lived. Too bad Obi-Wan Kenobi is kind of a dick. He could’ve spent much of Luke’s childhood raising him to be the secret weapon of the Resistance, knowing the truth about his evil-ass father from the get-go. Instead, Kenobi trains Luke for two days aboard the Milennium Falcon, gets himself killed, lies to his face about Vader, and then tries to weasel out of it by saying “#WellActually, if you look at it this way...” His help as a ghost comes only in the form of him saying “USE THE FORCE, LUKE” in a disembodied voice and showing up to tell Yoda “Yo, I was a bad student too.” No wonder Luke is a basket case.
Moussa Sissoko: Look, I’m a patient guy. I’m one who wants to give players every opportunity to succeed in Spurs’ system. But this just isn’t working out. Let’s sell Sissoko to China this summer.
Bruce Willis is the worst ghost ever. He has a tragic back-story (as many ghosts do) but spends the entire movie moping about feeling so sorry for himself that he doesn’t even realize that he’s a ghost. What a self-absorbed, narcissistic, non-corporeal spiritual entity. Even I saw that coming a mile away.
No Tottenham players were as bad as...
Vincent Janssen: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯