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Stoke 1-2 Tottenham: player ratings to the theme of Spurs bromances


AFC Bournemouth v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur got the three points on the road at Stoke City on Saturday, but it wasn’t always pretty. Spurs went up through Christian Eriksen only to concede an equalizer minutes later, but eventually got the winner through Harry Kane Eriksen again.

You wouldn’t exactly call it a vintage Tottenham performance, but it was a win against an uncharacteristically stubborn Stoke side.

For today’s theme, we’re going to be looking at bromances within the Tottenham Hotspur club. There are plenty to choose from! Spurs are a team noteworthy for everybody getting along — Mauricio Pochettino has been adept in weeding out the “dressing room cancers,” and while everyone likes everyone else, there are a number of closer friendships that have developed over the past months and years that are particularly noteworthy

Here are your Tottenham Hotspur player ratings to the theme of Spurs bromances.

I can’t confirm that this is actually a bromance that exists, but if it doesn’t it should. It’s obvious that these two share the same dark, twisted, murderous soul, and if they ever did figure it out, God help the world. They would be the ultimate super-villain team.

Alas, no Tottenham players quite reached this level.

This wasn’t the pairing you thought I’d go with, is it? Moose and Jan have history — a lot of history, and they’ve been playing either with each other or in the same circles since they were kids growing up in Belgium. Jan knows Moose’s strengths on the pitch, and Moose knows he can talk to Jan about Bitcoin without him ever getting tired of it. It’s a match made in heaven. Or, at least, Brussels.

Christian Eriksen: He scored two one a non-zero number of goals and passed the ball well on a day when Spurs weren’t really at their best.

Dele Alli: Dele was everywhere on the pitch against Stoke, and while he didn’t score he put in another workmanlike effort, and his assist to Eriksen was absolutely lovely. He may not be scoring as much, but he’s a better all-around player.

The original Pochettino-era bromance, these two were inseparable the season Dele broke into the first team. For some reason you don’t hear as much about Dele-Dier this season as you used to. Maybe the bloom is off the rose, or maybe they’re more like an old married couple — comfortable, if no longer crackling with tension and energy. Still, it’s a relationship that’s built to last, at least until Dele goes to Madrid and Dier to United <self-bans>.

Jan Vertonghen: Jan did well to keep Xherdan Shaqiri in check but got split in Diouf’s near goal. Not a perfect performance, but a quite solid one.

Serge Aurier: The superglue that kept Aurier’s brain from falling out held for much of the Stoke match. Had one bad tackle, but looked pretty good going forward an no super-glaring mistakes, or foul throws.

Mousa Dembele: Some will point out that Moose looked unsettled in this match, particularly early, but I thought he settled in nicely as the match went on. Looked slightly uncomfortable beside Wanyama.

It’s so nice to see Lucas adapting so quickly to life in England and making friends.

Danny Rose: Danny finally started showing glimpses of the Rose that we remember pre-injury. Not as effective with the ball, but showed that he’s still one of the best in the Premier League at getting fouled and winding up opponents. Was booed by Stoke fans because reasons.

Ever since Sonny lost Kevin Wimmer, he seems to have taken a new tack: be besties with everyone. First it looked like it was Ben Davies, but now Sonny is casting smiley-eyes at just about everyone on the team. And it’s fine, because he’s totes adorbs, but it smacks just a little of desperation. Sonny needs to decide on a new best friend or risk becoming north London’s Pagliacci.

Davinson Sanchez: Got caught out a couple of times on the break and this time didn’t always make the recovery run to cut out attacks. Was lucky Stoke didn’t score after getting torched on the play that led to the Stoke 4 on 1 attack. That said, he was pretty solid against a trash Stoke offense otherwise.

Erik Lamela: Was thrown in as a sub ostensibly to be the counter-murder to Stoke’s murdery midfield, and did fine. Probably should’ve scored with a curling effort. I really want him to score again.

Son Heung-Min: Sonny was out there doing Sonny things and did them... fine, I guess. Probably should’ve scored on the breakaway but showed a touch of that indecisiveness in one-on-one situations that we’ve needled him about before. Also got clattered in the box with no call.

Poch and Levy are the ultimate odd couple: the uptight, reserved, skinflint businessman and the Malbec-drinking, passionate Argentine. Somehow they make it work, but I suspect there’s as much Stockholm Syndrome going on as genuine mutual interest. It seems a little one-sided, though — Levy bought Poch a Bentley after last season’s second place finish, and Poch can’t even get Levy a piece of silverware, FFS.

Hugo Lloris: I’m not going to sit here and say that Stoke’s goal was 100% Hugo’s fault — it wasn’t. It was a pretty flukey goal. But there is the perception that Hugo’s making more stupid mistakes than he has in the past. Do I want to get rid of him? Hells no. But it is worth noting.

Harry Kane: Kane is clearly not yet 100% fit, and had much less of an influence than you’d expect from him in a match against a nearly-relegated squad. “Goalgate” is a bit of a fiasco, but if “stealing” a goal from Christian gets him scoring again at will and back in the hunt for the Golden Boot, then I’m fine with it.

Victor Wanyama: Big Vic just doesn’t do as well in a two-man midfield as he does in a 3 when he can sit back and just break shit. He didn’t do anything especially wrong but he had very little actual impact in the match. He was just kind of... there.

The trio of French speakers in Spurs’ squad naturally gravitate towards each other, but while Hugo seems to take the role of mentor, Sissoko and Aurier seem to have made an actual bond, even if that bond is based on lies and trickery. Aurier said a while back that Sissoko has been lying to him while translating Pochettino’s instructions. Hmm, if Sissoko is relaying instructions it might explain Aurier’s occasional brain-fall-out syndrome.

Eric Dier: Normally we wouldn’t give Dier a rating for his short cameo, but holy Gods was he bad against Stoke. His first significant action was to gift Stoke a breakaway, and he had a number of other poor passes in his brief appearance. A bad day at the office, for sure, but yikes.

Tottenham are supposedly majority-owned by billionaire Joe Lewis, but you wouldn’t know it by the level of his involvement. What good is a billionaire owner if he decides to purchase extremely large boats with his money instead of investing it into the football club that he ostensibly owns through ENIC? That yacht is lovely, I’m sure, but it won’t be lifting the FA Cup at the end of May, Joe.

No Tottenham Hotspur players are as bad as the bromance between Joe Lewis and his yacht.

Moussa Sissoko (he was fine)