Tottenham Hotspur lost to Manchester City on Saturday at Wembley Stadium, Spurs’ first loss in 2018. It wasn’t exactly an unexpected outcome, even though you could certainly say that Spurs weren’t really at their best against the Citizens. But hey, at least they didn’t lose to West Bromwich Albion, right?
For today’s theme, I’m going back to the well. A while ago, looking for more things to computer generate via my trusty recurrent neural network (what I used to make the Recurrently Generated Football League), I wondered what might happen if I fed it a whole bunch of movie titles.
So, I scraped the entire Internet Movie Database (IMDB), every American film ever made, into a text file, and fed the whole thing into my Mac. The results were, well, pretty hilarious. And I thought I’d better share this on a day when we might need a little cheering up.
So here are the Tottenham Hotspur player ratings to the theme of Recurrently Generated Movie Titles.
For some reason, the program seemed to have a fixation on post-apocalyptic film titles. ItThis one was the best of the lot, not least of which because it seems like it could be either a Tim Burton stop-motion animated film or a some sort of dark comedy. Or is Apocalypse some sort of named character? So many options!
We are not giving any Tottenham Hotspur players five star ratings in this match.
In the writer’s chat, we talked a lot about The Crime Shark, a big budget action movie with a lovable anti-hero, and how it might relate to Spurs. In the end, we decided that there was no better candidate for the role of the titular role than one Erik Lamela, who would no doubt throw himself into playing the Crime Shark with the same energy that he throws himself into two-footed challenges. Lamela is a method actor, you see. Also, if you like The Crime Shark (1984), you’ll also love the recurrently generated sequel, The Country Without Shark After (1992).
Jan Vertonghen: One of the few bright spots in an otherwise unimpressive team performance. Jan was mighty in defense, and did his best to make up for a lackluster performance from Davinson Sanchez.
Christian Eriksen: Got Spurs’ only goal and was one of the bright spots in an otherwise anemic Tottenham offense. With Kane on the wane (sorry) it’s gratifying to see him continue to pick up the scoring slack.
With a title like “West to the Ashes,” it’s either another post-apocalyptic drama about survival after the bombs drop (seriously, the neural network wants us all dead), or a BBC documentary-drama about the 2005 test cricket series between England and Australia.
Mousa Dembele: Had a bit of a shocker (along with the rest of the squad) in the opening 20 minutes, allowing David Silva to waltz through midfield unimpeded. Turned things around and had a pretty solid performance, especially in the second half.
Erik Lamela: We know why Erik started this match: to run around breaking ankles and providing defensive cover. And he did it well! The disadvantage is that apart from the odd defense-splitting through ball Lamela no longer brings the kind of direct offense that this game needed. His one-footedness also prevented at least one chance.
Lucas Moura: A very bright cameo from Lucas, who was one of the few Spurs players to really try and take the game to City. It didn’t always pull off, but you could certainly see what he was trying to do, and the possibilities continue to excite me.
After years of amnesia and espionage, Jason Bourne falls in love, gives up spying, and retires to the English countryside to become manager of the Bourne family estate in Lancashire and its quaint village full of eccentric peasants. Co-starring Naomi Watts as a deep-undercover Russian agent who becomes an antagonist-turned-love-interest-turned-provincial-pub-owner.
Dele Alli: Others on the writing staff rate Dele higher in this match. I thought he was... fine. He looked like he was stifled by City’s outstanding defense and never really got going. He only attempted 31 passes, and looked at times to be played out of influence, but still worked his socks off while getting the crap beat out of him.
Kieran Trippier: A surprisingly decent game from Trips against a scary offense, though he had the advantage of Erik Lamela helping out in front of him. Got forward decently well and apart from losing Jesus on City’s first was okay defensively.
The question isn’t “what the hell is Pooth Voice,” the question is “who managed to convince a studio to remake a movie titled Pooth Voice seven times in 50 years.” Obviously it’s a classic of modern cinema.
Harry Kane: He’s still not fit, and though he had the lovely assist to Eriksen he was pretty much otherwise a non-factor against City in a match where we really needed him to dominate. At this point I don’t have confidence that he can regain his form to make a push for the Golden Boot, but I’d love to be proven wrong.
Hugo Lloris: “Hugo is crocked” is now a take that isn’t exactly lava-hot, though I still think it’s a bit unfair. The PK was wrongly given, and the parry of Jesus’ shot felt like a reaction stop to me. While he undoubtedly wasn’t at his best against City, he was also hung out to dry by the defense a couple of times. This feels more like #narrative than actual shambolic play. (That said, he wasn’t great)
Eric Dier: Dier did ok in the attacking third, producing the third highest number of passes in City’s half, but was complicit in City’s midfield dominance early in the half and struggled with containing City’s attackers. Helped shore up the back line when he dropped into defense, but this wasn’t one of his better games.
Son Heung-Min: I don’t know if he would’ve had more of an impact if he had started the match over Erik Lamela, but he had very little impact when he replaced him in the second half. Was mostly just present.
A true-life documentary film on the life and opinions of Skip Bayless over the course of his long career as a broadcaster at ESPN and Fox Sports. Featuring interviews with Shannon Sharpe, Stephen A. Smith, and Max Kellerman.
Davinson Sanchez: I’ve seen a lot of split opinion on Davi. As I put in the comments of the post-match thread, Sanchez undoubtedly had a bad game, regularly getting lost up the pitch, and this time he didn’t have the pace to always get back in time to recover against City’s speedy attackers. He played like a 21-year old central defender going up against the best club team in world football. We should expect inconsistency from him. We should also expect growth, and games like this will make him a better defender. Hopefully.
Ben Davies: It’s almost not fair to Ben to put him in this situation: playing him Kyle Walker and Leroy Sane is difficult even for the best fullbacks, and Davies’ positional and pace deficiencies are well known. But he’s all we had, and we got a predictable game out of him: slow defensively, and not able to get forward where he’s more effective. I will say that he had a couple of flying last-ditch blocks.
BURN IT TO THE GROUND AND SALT THE ASHES.
No Tottenham Hotspur players were as bad as a computer-generated movie named “The Beer Chan.” This is an idea that should never see the light of day.
There were a bunch of movie titles that just didn’t make the cut for this list, but it’d be a shame not to share them.
- The Good Bong (2008)
- The Hands of the Movie: Den in Paradise (1958)
- Love of the Ek V: Jane Long Angeles (1986)
- The Girl Wolf and Citizen Time (2010)
- Love & Frankenstein (1979)
- The Dead Never Steel (1972)
- Lolloween (1959, 1987, 1993, 2016)
- Indiana Empire (1962)
Moussa Sissoko (he was fine)