Our United Kingdom brethren and those who read Cartilage Free Captain from another country may not know this, but there’s a total solar eclipse in the United States tomorrow, the first time it’s happened in 38 years. Predictably, everyone’s going eclipse crazy. My hometown isn’t anywhere near the path of totality, but the sun should be about 88% eclipsed where I am, which should still provide a pretty good show. Assuming it isn’t cloudy, which isn’t a given, since this is Indiana.
So for our player ratings theme for Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-1 loss to Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, I thought I’d take advantage of this and do a theme that coincides with this celestial event. Is it corny? Yeah, you bet. But I promise I’ll never mention the eclipse again after this.
Here are your Tottenham Hotspur player ratings to the theme of solar eclipse-themed food items. Put on your eclipse glasses and try not to burn your retinas today.
While looking for eclipse-related food items for the player ratings, I came across this beauty from Wiz Bang Bar in Portland’s Pine Street Market. An ice cream cone made with coconut ash, “rimmed with edible gold, filled with spiced marshmallow fluff, golden yellow coconut, and turmeric soft serve ice cream, and topped with a black sesame shell.” I’ve never had it, probably never will. It looks AMAZING. If you live in Portland, get one and tell me what it’s like.
Alas, no Tottenham players were as good as Wiz Bang Bars.
You know these cookies. They’re the sugar cookies with the white and chocolate frosted tops. Most people make them halfsies or turn them into yin-yang symbols, but they are the perfect way to capture the eclipse in confectionary terms. Plus, they’re delicious.
Mousa Dembele: My man of the match. Chelsea’s three man midfield of Tiemoue Bakayoko, N’Golo Kante, and David Luiz was powerful, and Dembele’s play was exceptional against them in difficult circumstances. He got dispossessed a few times against Kante (which is okay, because, y’know, it’s Kante) but was overall great with his distribution and his strength on the ball. Unlucky not to score.
Harry Kane: The August Curse may still be a thing, but Kane sure tried for it not to be. Smacked the post, had a couple of other nice shots saved. Also was fouled twice in one play with no penalty called. He was fine, and Spurs will be fine.
Christian Eriksen: Another very strong performance from Eriksen. Chelsea was very effective in marking him out of the match, but that didn’t stop his delivery from creating some of Spurs’ best chances of the game. His free kick to Michy Batshuayi’s head for Spurs’ only goal was magnificent.
Toby Alderweireld: Toby had a little problem with Alvaro Morata’s pace but overall was very solid in defense and snuffed out numerous Chelsea chances before they had an opportunity to become dangerous ones.
I have a soft spot in my heart for the MoonPie. For those who don’t know, it’s a uniquely American dessert that is basically marshmallow filling between two graham cracker cookies, covered in chocolate. They’re processed and corporate, but delicious, and while I don’t have them often, I am instantly transported back to my childhood when I do.
Dele Alli: Dele was missing for the majority of the match and didn’t register a shot on target, but he won a couple of crucial free kicks and was enough of a threat that Chelsea felt like they needed to key in on him. You get the feeling that he’s just not quite back from vacation yet.
Jan Vertonghen: I don’t have a whole lot to say about Jan. He was solid, but not spectacular. Had one good sliding challenge on Morata, but I didn’t feel he distinguished himself all that much. Probably should’ve been red carded for a dumb challenge and was lucky.
Eric Dier: Dier had to carry a lot of water in this match, and he wasn’t at all bad at it. His passing was pretty good, he had a number of good tackles, and he worked his tail off. He also was a red card waiting to happen, and probably should’ve been sent off. A mixed bag.
Son Heung-Min: I didn’t like the Sonny-for-Dier substitution when it happened, but it’s not really Son’s fault. The consequence was that Chelsea started to push forward when given the midfield advantage and Son wasn’t really able to make much of an impact because he didn’t see much of the ball. We know his quality. Hopefully he’ll be able to show it next weekend against Burnley.
It’s gum. It has an eclipse on the label because, IDK, reasons. I’m not a gum chewer but people tell me it’s pretty good I guess?
Victor Wanyama: I was very harsh on Victor in the initial match thread, but it was in watching him on replay that I started to revise my opinion. Yes, he gave the ball away a lot, and yes he was complicit in Chelsea’s match winner, but he was also strong in midfield, harrying Chelsea midfielders and progressing the ball. He was both quite good and pretty bad. 2.5 stars feels about right.
Ben Davies: Ben wasn’t a tire-fire by any means on the left side. He actually looked decent going forward at the end of the first half and had three good cracks at goal, but also didn’t really contribute a whole lot, misplaying a number of passes and crosses. The problem is less that he wasn’t especially good, and more that as a wingback he was playing a role that didn’t really suit him.
I’m not sure why the makers of Luna Bars felt the need to market an energy bar specifically at women when there are much better (and gender neutral) options in the marketplace. Luna Bars, however, have more sugar than most energy bars and a crap-load of soy, something I try to avoid whenever possible. The first ingredient in the lemon zest bar my wife has in the kitchen is “soy rice crisps” which doesn’t inspire confidence. I’ll stick to Clif or Lara bars, thanks.
Hugo Lloris: It pains me to say it, but this was a poor performance from Tottenham’s captain. Alonso’s first was a worldy, but Hugo’s positioning wasn’t great. But his throw to Wanyama just before time was inexcusable, as was the way that he let Alonso’s shot squirm under his arm. Not a good day.
Kieran Trippier: Accuse me of perpetuating a masthead-driven narrative all you want, but Trippier underperformed in almost every metric in this match. His crossing was woeful, he slowed down Tottenham’s attack against a rigidly structured defense, and he was bailed out consistently on the defensive end by Eric Dier who spent much of his time on the right side of midfield. He had zero tackles and zero interceptions. If you’re charitable, you can say that he had one big chance creation, and it was his first match back. He might need time to shake off the rust. Mauricio Pochettino’s offense relies on fullbacks with pace to help drag defenders out of position and set up attacks. Trippier was, at best, a passenger in this match. To succeed, Spurs need better.
Get it? Mexican style beers are perfectly valid and a lot of people like them. But while a beer like Tecate can be decent, if not spectacular, straight from the bottle, Corona almost requires a slice of lime down the neck in order not to taste like cat piss. It’s bad beer. I’d rather drink Bud Light.
No Tottenham Hotspur players were as bad as Corona beer.
Moussa Sissoko, Vincent Janssen.