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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Wednesday, January 16

Athletes can’t stop competing.

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Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

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Ramble of the Day

Let’s watch a video of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min discovering how much they know about their teammates in competition format! (Apologies if you’ve seen this already because it’s a few days old, but it was 9:30p and I didn’t have a ramble topic.)

To the surprise of absolutely no one, these two are incredibly competitive. There’s a bit of friendly banter when both gloat about their first points on the board, and when they both seemingly hit the buzzer at the same time early on, Son makes a VAR joke. It becomes pretty clear a few rounds in, though, that this is Kane’s game to lose.

Kane tells Son to “wake up,” and at 4-1 Kane, Son begins trying to put a finger on why he might be losing. “Oh, my God,” he said. “My fingers [are] not working.” Kane seems to agree, says so when he’s up 6-2. “You’re too slow on this,” he said. “You’re fast in real life, but your fingers are slower.”

As they play, Kane hardly struggles. Lucas Moura proves to be the hardest player to guess, though Son eventually gets that one right. It takes two clues to guess Christian Eriksen correctly, and after he gets the point, Kane sighed to himself that he should’ve known that Eriksen was born on Valentine’s Day. They are friends, but after several years of playing for Tottenham, I’ve forgotten that Kane has been a lifelong Tottenham fan, and that probably means knowing a lot of random facts about his favorite team’s players.

That said, he didn’t know about a teammate with the middle name Bert. In perhaps the funniest exchange of the video not just between them two and presenter Laura Woods, everyone seems really amused by this fact:

Woods, reading a clue: “One of my middle names is Bert.”
Kane: “Oh wow.”
Son: “Bert.”
All begin laughing. Son leans on Kane and rests his hands on Kane’s thigh.
Kane: “We’ve got some good dirt on the player now.”
After several clues, Kane correctly guesses Jan Vertonghen.
Kane: “Bert.”
All begin laughing again.
Kane: “I’m going to call him Bert for the rest of his life.”
Woods: “Call him Bertie.”
Kane: “Bertie.”

Son can never overcome his deficit, something he accepts before the final whistle. When Kane insists Son must be embarrassed, Son says, “I feel good because I let Harry win to play with him.” Kane worries that Son won’t assist him anymore, but Son has no problem continuing. Kane later tries to control the rules of the game he’s played for the first time when Woods suggests finishing a clue for Son, who does eventually guess Danny Rose correctly.

At the end, the score is 9-5 in favor of Kane, but Son isn’t upset. He says he’s proud of himself and that the battery on the buzzer wasn’t working. Ultimately, none of this matters: “My fingers [are] not important for my fitness,” Son says, and he’s not wrong.

tl;dr: Competition never ends.

Links of the Day

Arsenal’s Petr Cech will retire at the end of the season after a 20 year career.

Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold will miss up to a month with a knee injury.

Austin officially has an MLS team, and it will begin play in 2021.

David Squires takes on the Leeds-Derby spying incident in his latest cartoon.

Transfer roundup: Fulham have signed Ryan Babel from Besiktas on a six-month deal

Today’s longer read: Daniel Harris with an oral history of the unlikely U.S. defeat of England in the 1950 World Cup for The Ringer