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Tottenham 4-0 Stoke City: player ratings to the theme of modern Doctor Who incarnations

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We’re going back to the nerd well with this one.

Summer TCA Tour - Day 2
“Allons-y!”
Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur played a football match where pretty much everyone was good. That’s fantastic, because that gives me an opportunity to use a theme where there are really no bad categories, and one that allows me to flex my nerd cred muscles.

I’m talking, of course, about Doctor Who incarnations.

To be fair, there are SO MANY incarnations that ranking them is both hard and a bit anachronistic to non-superfans, so I’m limiting them to the so-called “New Who” Doctors from the 2005 reboot. Yes, this also includes John Hurt’s War Doctor.

Get your geek on! Here are the Tottenham Hotspur player ratings to the theme of New Who Doctor incarnations.


Christopher Eccleston may have brought Doctor Who back to television, but it was David Tennant who made the show utterly fantastic and a must-watch for sci-fi fans. Tennant’s Doctor is the most popular in the show’s history, and it’s because Tennant brought an affable assuredness to the role that was approachable, but also relatable for the viewer. Tennant had gravitas for some seriously somber episodes, but also had the charisma to carry through and enhance his filler episodes. For many people he is THE Doctor in the same way that Tom Baker was. I didn’t want Tennant’s Doctor to go either.

Harry Kane: Spectacular. Harry’s always been a good finisher, but holy smokes, the three goals he scored on Sunday were spectacular, and easily outperformed xG. Hey, did you all know that Kane now has more Premier League hat tricks than Didier Drogba? Facts only.


Capaldi’s Doctor is grumpier, older, and darker than his predecessors, but I have warmed more and more to his performances. His Doctor is a dramatic switch from Matt Smith’s, and to me represents what Colin Baker’s Doctor could have been with better writing and support — unpredictable, a little scary, and definitely alien. It’s a mark of Capaldi’s acting that his new personality made the Doctor a much better foil to companion Clara, and he’s given us a glimpse of just how old the Doctor really is. Plus, FINALLY, a Doctor who’s not in love with his companion.

Kyle Walker: Walker was a menace on the right flank on Sunday. As good of a fullback as he is, he absolutely blossoms when asked to attack more as a wingback. If not for Harry Kane, he’d have the Man of the Match award locked down cold.

Christian Eriksen: A lovely match from Eriksen today, who looked comfortable, creative, and happy. Two assists on the day, and could’ve been more. Imagine thinking he’s NOT one of the five best midfielders in the Premier League.


Matt Smith was my first Doctor, and I still love him. He’s young, slightly befuddled, and sometimes silly, but possessed a self assurance that was captivating and had a wonderful connection with companions Amy and Rory. Smith played the Doctor with a maturity and gravitas that lingered under the surface, even as he wore silly hats & bow ties and acted aloof. “The Eleventh Hour” is still one of my all-time favorite Who episodes, and Smith plays it perfectly.

Janby Alderweirtonghen: All the heart emojis! God, I love these two. Again solid in defense, and again both took turns getting forward into a Stoke midfield that bizarrely decided not to press. Both limped off with (hopefully) minor injuries, and I hope they’re okay because we’re screwed if they’re not.

Dele Alli: Alli looked like a guy who was desperate to prove to his teammates (and Spurs supporters) that he’s not a total knob. And he did it. Played with authority, panache, and dare I say it, a touch of humility. Took his goal well.

Mousa Dembele: Moose does really well when opposition defenses try and press him. He does even better when opposition defenses sit back and cede the midfield. At times it almost seemed like he was surprised that he wasn’t put under more pressure.


Eccleston’s tenure as The Doctor was hampered by some awful writing, and a companion (Rose) that never meshed with him in the way she did with Tennant. That said, there’s a lot to like about how Eccleston played the character as a shell-shocked Doctor suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder brought about from a (unnamed, unseen) intergalactic war. In retrospect, Eccleston’s Doctor is a lot better than he comes across the first time you watch his season. I would like to have seen what he could’ve done with another year or so in the role.

Hugo Lloris: Yawn. Didn’t have to do much, but was able to step up a few times to make some relatively easy stops. Boring Hugo is good, because that means our defense is working.

Harry Winks: Again was Dembele’s understudy and put in a solid, if unspectacular shift. The amazing thing about Winks is that, for the most part, he hasn’t made the kind of dumb mistakes that we generally associate with young central midfielders. He’s just reliably solid, with a huge ceiling. That’s amazing in itself.


Look, there really aren’t any bad New Who Doctors, and that includes the War Doctor, even if he was ret-conned into the series by virtue of Eccleston turning down the invitation to reprise his character. John Hurt is a phenomenal actor, too. His time on screen was simply too short to be able to put him above any of the other, more prominent Doctors.

Eric Dier: He was fine. Solid enough in the back three alongside Janby, and was never really put into a position where he could potentially make a poor decision or make a mistake. Can we move him back to the midfield now?

Kevin Wimmer: This was super encouraging from Big Kev, who got an extended shift after Toby went out. And he was fine in the back three! That’s a good thing.

Ben Davies: Still suffering from an acute case of Not-Rose, and had a couple of bad passes, but he was okay in a position that doesn’t really suit him all that much. Wish he’d gotten forward more, though.

Victor Wanyama: The Wanbele midfield was cromulent against a Stoke team that probably wasn’t as bad as what the scoreline indicated, but Vic had a couple of really poor passes that killed plays.


Bookies are already listing Tilda Swinton as the odds-on favorite to take over for Capaldi after his final season in the Tardis, and she’s been linked as a possible Doctor since before Tennant left. I have no issues with a female Doctor, and think there should be one (after all, we already have Missy). But while Swinton has the weird alien look about her, she’s almost too high profile. I’d almost rather give someone like Haley Atwell or Olivia Coleman a shot in the big blue box, or a person of color like Richard Ayoade. But hey, I was unconvinced by the selection of Matt Smith, and he proved me wrong.

No Tottenham Hotspur players were as annoying as the possibility of Tilda Swinton being the next Doctor Who.


Son Heung-Min