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Tottenham 1-0 Arsenal: player ratings to the theme of basic things that are actually good

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Basic doesn’t mean bad! It just means basic.

Tottenham Hotspur v Stoke City - Premier League Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur defeated Arsenal at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 1-0 in the North London Derby, a win that catapulted Spurs (temporarily) into third place and stretched their lead over the Gunners to seven points. It was a wonderful match with some really outstanding performances from Tottenham players.

We were having a conversation in the writer’s Slack earlier in the week about things that are basic, and it merged into a discussion about how not all basic things are bad. And they’re not! If “basic” is defined as liking things that are mainstream and popular, that doesn’t necessarily mean that those things are things that should be avoided or culturally toxic.

So we started a list, and then expanded it out to cover today’s ratings theme. Here are your Tottenham Hotspur player ratings in the North London Derby to the theme of basic things that are #actually good.


We love Winksy, with our heart and soul. And he’s sooooooooo delightfully basic in the best possible way. We’ve already devoted a player ratings theme to his best tweets, so we’ll let that do the talking here. He’s the best, and I hope he never changes. And adopts a dog. Hopefully a black lab.

Mousa Dembele: For a little while there we thought Moose was broken. I no longer believe that to be so. He absolutely dominated Arsenal’s midfield, despite starting three games in a week and a half, and still completed 96% of his passes. Never leave us.

Erik Lamela: No, he didn’t start. Nope, he didn’t even score. What he DID do was come on, pick up a dirty yellow card, get into a fight, and call Jack Wilshire a p—y. He gets five stars for the rest of the season.


Chicken wings bring all the basic bros to the yard. This isn’t complicated food by any means, but if you’re hosting a party and you want something that you know is going to make everyone from your neighbor to your idiot college roommate happy, it’s wings.

Jan Vertonghen: Rarely made a misstep in defense against an Arsenal attack that knows how to score goals. It’s rare that he makes a mistake in defense this season, and he put in another imperious display at the back on Saturday.

Ben Davies: Arsenal doesn’t really play with wide attackers and Son Heung-Min kept Hector Bellerin occupied for much of the match. That left Davies with a lot less defensive responsibility and he turned it into an absolutely stellar performance, including the cross to Kane’s head for the game’s only goal. He was fantastic.


“Pumpkin Spice” doesn’t really have anything to do with pumpkins at all. It’s a mixture of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. It might be annoyingly ubiquitous and in the Starbucks cups of half the human populace every fall, but it’s also pretty darned tasty. It’s okay to admit it.

Hugo Lloris: Didn’t have to do much, but made one fantastic save, swept up balls nicely, and distributed the ball well without making any real mistakes.

Christian Eriksen: Another extremely solid game from Tottenham’s playmaker. Passed well, had a couple of good looks at goal, and even pinged in several nice crosses from wide.

Dele Alli: Missed a fairly easy toe-poke at goal early on, but worked relentlessly in the press and kept harassing Arsenal’s midfielders. I think he led the team in tackles.

Harry Kane: Death. Taxes. Scoring in the North London Derby. Kane’s goal was a lovely “striker’s header” and while I’ve seen him perform better in past NLDs, his work rate was outstanding and you just knew he was good for at least one goal.

Kieran Trippier: A very nice match. His crossing was pretty on point and he worked hard to track back on defense, helping to negate a lot of Arsenal’s attacks up the left hand side.


Trader Joe’s is fine. Honest! The closest one to me is over two hours away so it still feels like a special occasion when I can stock up on cheap wine and jars of cookie butter. But it’s 90% marketing, not some upscale food emporium. And everybody. Shops. There. Now.

Son Heung-Min: Kept Arsenal’s defenders awfully busy with his directness and pace. His final touch and shot were a little off, but he made a lot of space for other Spurs players.

Eric Dier: Eric didn’t have to shoulder the burden of being a deep lying playmaker with Dembele marauding in front of him, which left him to mop up balls in front of defense and play a safe, basic game. That suited Tottenham just fine, and he did it well.


North Face makes some pretty good jackets at reasonable prices that keep you warm in cold temperatures. They are also apparently required apparel if you are an upper middle class college student in a cold weather climate. I work at a college. If a student jacket gets turned in to lost and found, it’s usually a North Face.

Davinson Sanchez: Not a terrible game by any stretch, and it’s a lot of pressure playing in a derby. Did pretty well, aside from losing Lacazette for that shot that drifted just wide of the post at the end.


From a sitcom standpoint, Friends was entertaining and funny. It gave us some of the defining cultural moments of the 1990s, but it is still a product of its time, and its time trended towards casual homophobia and sexism. Also, I still don’t understand how they afforded that apartment.

There were no Tottenham players who were this basic.


I really don’t have to explain this, do I? Sorry, Harry Kane.

No Tottenham Hotspur players were as bad (or as basic) as being a fan of the New England Patriots.


Victor Wanyama