Ugh. Tottenham Hotspur dominated Swansea City in every possible metric on Saturday except in one key stat: balls-in-net. Tottenham ground their way to a hugely frustrating 0-0 draw at Wembley against an opponent that was set up to frustrate, block, and prevent scoring opportunities. And hats off to them, it worked! Combine that with match official Mike Dean waving off three legitimate penalties, and you’ve got a match that I never want to watch again, ever.
So let’s go to a happy, yummy theme to help take some of the bad taste out of our mouths. Here are your Tottenham Hotspur player ratings to the theme of candy bars.
You might not know, but there was a time when salt wasn’t really an integral part of a candy bar. Take 5 redefined that, putting the saltiness of the pretzels and peanuts in perfect balance with the caramel, peanut butter, and chocolate. It has sweetness, salt, and crunch, all in perfect proportion. A candy bar lover’s candy bar.
No Tottenham Hotspur reached the giddy heights of a Take 5 candy bar.
The best candy bars are the ones that have some kind of defining textural component to it, and Twix has that in spades. It’s a simple candy bar, but the crunch of the cookie works very well with the soft caramel and the good quality chocolate. Even better: Peanut Butter Twix, which in my book is a clear 4.5 star candy bar.
Son Heung-Min: Tottenham’s best player on the day, in my opinion. The starting left back in name only, he was so high up the pitch that he was essentially in his usual role of wide forward (though he did track back and defend on occasion). Sonny ran his tail off and had a number of good chances on goal. Was subbed off, exhausted, somewhere around the 75th minute.
Milky Way is a pretty good candy bar on its own, but the addition of dark chocolate and a bone-white nougat elevates this bar even higher. High quality ingredients, but it still needs... something to push it over the “above average” category. Everything’s just too soft, though the chocolate is a little harder and gives it a toothsome quality.
Janbyson Sanchalderweirtongen: I really should rate all three central defenders individually, but I just wanted an excuse to pull out the new portmanteau name. Sanchez had a couple of oopsie-doopsie moments but was otherwise solid. Jan and Toby spent a lot of time pushed up into midfield as Spurs pushed for a goal. Swansea were never really a threat, but the pressure to score meant they weren’t as good as maybe they could’ve been.
Serge Aurier: Was a late substitute for Moussa Sissoko, who was deputizing at right back, and he added a burst of pace and, well, quality late in the match. Should’ve earned a penalty if Mike Dean weren’t an idiot. A pretty good shift, though he still looks a little out of sync with his new teammates.
Christian Eriksen: You can’t fault his effort, but Swansea’s defense was set up to disrupt movement and not let Eriksen find space in the channels, and to that end it worked perfectly. You can say Eriksen had an off game (and he did) but that was as much due to Swansea’s Pulis-ball tactics as it was Eriksen.
Eric Dier: Our one-time writer The Sleeper’s Sleep calls Eric Dier a “sentient maul.” That feels pretty apt to me. He ran around and tried to break stuff, and was a big reason why Swansea’s counter barely created any chances. Didn’t get booked but probably should have.
Controversy! Snickers is the perfect “whatever” candy bar. Sure, it’s good, but it’s not GREAT. The peanuts are usually stale, the nougat isn’t that special, and the chocolate feels sub-standard. I won’t turn one down, but there are a lot of candy bars that are better.
Harry Kane: Bless him, he tried. Sissoko found him in the box and Harry KNOWS he should’ve buried that blast, only to have his shot careen off the crossbar. Had a couple other opportunities, but couldn’t put it away. To be fair, he probably should’ve had a brace from the two Mike Dean penalties that were called in the alternate universe.
Hugo Lloris: If the baseline performance for a player is 3 stars, Hugo meets it. He had one dumb pass, one decent save, and probably could’ve gone out for pizza the rest of the match.
Moussa Sissoko: Started the match again in central midfield but moved all over the place, playing at attacking midfield and much of the second half as a right back. He was fine, I guess. Nothing special, but also not especially poor.
Look, I like coconut. I also like chocolate. So it kind of boggles my mind that you can take two things that I really enjoy and make a candy bar that is this bad. It’s a bit like eating molded, shredded plastic covered in solidified motor oil. How are these still a thing?
Dele Alli: Let’s just come out and say it: Dele had a baaaaaaaaaaaad game. He got fouled (a LOT) as soon as he touched the ball and was clearly frustrated, but his passing was off, he wasn’t finding good positions, and looked ready to bail at a few points. This was his worst performance in a season where he really hasn’t looked good once yet.
Kieran Trippier: Look, I have sympathy for Trippier as he spent the entire second half out of position as a left back. But even in the first half, he wasn’t especially great with his crossing, and he was utterly absent once he moved to the left. Yes, credit Swansea and their 10-0-0 formation but this is the exact kind of match you’d expect him to do well in, and, welp.
Fernando Llorente: Fernando needs space to operate. Swansea gave him none. I’m really not sure if he ever even touched the ball in his 16-minute cameo.
A candy bar with no chocolate? Bad peanuts and caramel over plain nougat? What is this madness? Who buys this? Who eats it? Why is it even a thing?
No Tottenham Hotspur players were as bad as a PayDay candy bar. Mike Dean, however, was.
This one is for the Brits, so they also feel included. Full disclosure: I love Cadbury chocolates, and both Aero and Flake are delicious and have unique textural components. But they’re also giant rip-offs, because Cadbury figured out how to charge full price for chocolate bars that are actually half air.
There weren’t any of these players either.