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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Monday, December 10

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Harry Redknapp is so much better at living in the jungle than I gave him credit for.

Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Hello, everyone!

I have a confession to make. I have not seen the last two episodes to end I’m a Celebrity series 18. To those hoping for the break, I am sorry. To those who are lucky and have seen the whole thing: NO SPOILERS, PLEASE.

Ramble of the Day

As I’m a Celebrity inches closer to its conclusion, it’s clear that Harry Redknapp’s trip to the jungle is a success. Before you think this sounds like a sentence building up to his elimination in episodes 19 or 20, it isn’t; as far as I know, he’s still got a chance at the title and may even be the favorite. That said, the man is doing much better than I could’ve ever expected, and he knows how to work to make sure everyone else in the United Kingdom — and the world, I suppose — knows it. He can play the game without at all being despicable as the phrase might imply, and do so very well.

The real headliner of the recap is his Bushtucker trial in episode 20, but let’s jump back to episode 19 first. For most of the episode, Redknapp’s biggest contributions were breaking into Rod Stewart’s “That’s What Friends Are For” and believing the female lead of Doctor Zhivago would be 95 by now. (Note: Julie Christie is 78 and only seven years older than Redknapp.) After a Redknapp-approved dinner of duck, he was tasked with going into a doll’s house with Emily Atack and John Barrowman to earn a luxury breakfast for the group. After sorting through 20-plus creepy dolls (Redundant? Perhaps.) and easily working around the bugs dropped on them periodically, the job was done.

He enjoyed his breakfast and then volunteered for his first solo Bushtucker trial, likely with the idea that he needed to prove that he could do things on his own to the audience. (Of course, he had no clue that he’d become as popular as he could while on the show.) “I ain’t bothered” by the animals he might meet during the trial, he said, and went on his way. He had to crawl through tanks full of lizards, snakes (which he told host Holly Willoughby he had experience with because “there are one or two in football”), a crocodile to whom he said, “I’m friendly,” and a perentie that reminded him of getting whipped in school. He “smashed it,” as has become the catchphrase of the group, grabbing all five stars up for grabs with minutes to spare.

Perhaps the best part of the series, though, came afterwards. Each of the five remaining contestants were surprised with a visiting loved one, meaning everyone got to meet the woman Redknapp hasn’t stopped thinking about since meeting her at age 17, Sandra. Their reunion was as sweet as could be expected; both were in tears and almost always in embrace, just asking how the other was holding up. Redknapp, too, inquired about the dogs and their children in that order before everyone else met each other. The group, Fleur East in particular, was incredibly excited to meet Sandra, and eventually everyone taught her how to floss. She was ultimately better than her husband (and me, for what it’s worth), but could use a little practice.

Once the loved ones left, crocodile tail was on the menu, and Redknapp actually enjoyed it. To close out the night, the group played a game of superlatives in order to earn hot chocolate, which they did. The audience voted Redknapp funniest, most famous (which didn’t surprise him), least sexy, laziest, and fourth loudest.

Nick Knowles was eliminated in episode 19, predicting Redknapp or East might win the whole thing. In episode 20, it was James McVey’s time to leave not long after a one-on-one was aired in which he called Redknapp, his shower buddy, sexy. Redknapp was also his pick to win it, as McVey essentially expressed the sentiment of a nation, or at least of your rambler: “I love that man so much.”

tl;dr: The reliable and lovable Harry Redknapp.

Links of the Day

Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling has said the media “helps to fuel racism” after he was racially abused by a fan in City’s 2-0 loss against Chelsea on Saturday.

Afghanistan attorney general Farid Hamidi has suspended six members of the football federation for sexual misconduct.

Romelu Lukaku said that he had to “lose muscle” that he gained at the World Cup in order to improve his club form.

Today’s longer read: Hannah Beech on Hakeem Al-Araibi, the Bahraini footballer who is being detained in Thailand after leaving the nation of his birth and obtaining refugee status in Australia for The New York Times