Well, that didn’t go according to plan. Tottenham Hotspur welcomed the worst team in the league, winless Watford, to North London, and nearly capitulated, relying on a late Dele goal to earn a ridiculous 1-1 draw. It’s bad enough that we drew at home to a side that still hasn’t picked up a win, but even more terrible was the fact that this felt like a step in the right direction.
It’s not much fun watching Tottenham at the moment, so let’s look at some activities that you can do that DON’T involve watching Spurs play. Here are your player ratings for the Watford match to the theme of things to do instead of watching Spurs.
5 stars: Take a walk
Look, the weather is gorgeous right now. We’ve already determined that autumn is the best season, and mid-October is usually the best time of the best season. The leaves are changing, and while the weather is crisp it’s usually not freakishly cold yet. Go outside. Enjoy the color. (Southern hemisphere readers should just mentally change everything in this paragraph to “spring”)
No Tottenham players played this well, alas.
4 stars: Watch Spurs Women
I don’t know how many of you have actually tuned in to see Spurs Women play in their inaugural season in England’s top flight, but right now they’re the team to watch if you want inspirational football featuring a team that likes each other and has a sense of team togetherness. They’re not an outstanding side and have a long way to go to be competitive with the clubs at the top of the table, but they compete in every match and they’re a lot more fun at the moment.
Dele (Community: 6.2): If there’s a bright spot in Saturday’s match, it’s the play of Dele, who looked as close as we’ve seen to the “old Dele” as I can remember in the past year. He looked like a player who was trying to put this team on his back. Probably, he was.
Son Heung-Min (Community: 6.5): Sonny was a reserve after returning late from the Korean peninsula, but he looked lively in his relief effort. His production isn’t there yet, but he’s always been a bit of a streaky scorer. I have no problem leaning on him as our top striker option for a while here.
3 stars: Renovate your house
I watched the match on Saturday, but only as a break while I was renovating the downstairs bathroom in my house last week. When sports are making you mad, it’s nice to channel that frustration into something that will make your life better. In my case, I could easily curse at the plumbing underneath my new vanity instead of at Spurs.
Serge Aurier (Community: 4.3): It feels weird to type this but Aurier was pretty clearly the best player in Spurs’ back line on Saturday. Not that he was outstanding, but considering how wildly inconsistent he is this match was on the good end of the spectrum, if only barely.
Paulo Gazzaniga (Community: 4.7): Nothing he could’ve done for the opening goal as he was let down by the defensive line allowing Doucoure to waltz past them. Had one pretty poor giveaway. Otherwise... he was ok? IDK.
Erik Lamela (Community: 5.6): Provided a spark of energy in a relief role, and a touch of aggression that was badly needed. Wish he could find his scoring boots, though.
Tanguy Ndombele (Community: 4.9): Was an instant upgrade to Harry Winks who was struggling at that point in the match. He was at least trying to be progressive with his passing, even though it didn’t always come off. He needs to play more.
2.5 stars: Play FIFA, rage-sell all of Spurs’ players
This is pure digital catharsis and I highly recommend it. If you’re not a FIFA player, try Football Manager — it feels just as good, even if you know this would never happen in real life because Daniel Levy.
Lucas Moura (Community: 4.2): Ran around a lot, but was extremely ineffective. The problem may be as simple as he just doesn’t work well with this version of Harry Kane
Harry Winks (Community: 4.5): Looked somewhat decent in the first half but fell off a cliff in the second, misplacing passes and looking like his usual defensive liability. Rightfully hooked off for Tanguy Ndombele.
Mauricio Pochettino (Community: 3.6): It’s hard to rate Poch. He tried something new, and it didn’t work. He made adjustments, and those didn’t work either. But he tried stuff! It’s difficult to know how much of this anemic performance was on Poch and how much was on the players.
2 stars: Watch a team better than Tottenham
Look, we’re not telling you to abandon your fandom, and we’d certainly never tell you to start liking Liverpool. But my goodness, distancing yourself from the fact that they’re Liverpool, that’s a really fun football team to watch. The only downside is that it’ll remind you that Spurs used to play that way and don’t anymore and ok now I’m crying that didn’t help sorry y’all
Harry Kane (Community: 4.4): There’s something wrong with Harry. He just doesn’t run anymore, which is weird because he seems to run just fine when he’s playing for England. But holy moly, he was not good, and he sucked the goodness out of the rest of the forward line like a giant sponge. He’s not going to be benched because he’s Harry Kane, but honestly, he needs to be benched.
Danny Rose (Community: 3.5): No player perhaps better depicts the current state of this Tottenham team than Danny Rose, who looks not just like he’s lost a step but has maybe had both of his feet lopped off at the ankle. He hasn’t just dropped off a cliff, he’s fallen halfway down towards the ground. Pretty sure he’s done, and it makes me sad.
Moussa Sissoko (Community: 4.9): Ran around a lot, did Moussa Sissoko things, and was a complete non-factor. It’s not that he doesn’t work hard, it’s that he’s just not very good and Spurs’ system no longer is adjusted to make his skill set work.
Jan Vertonghen (Community: 4.3): I didn’t think the end would come this quickly, but Jan hasn’t been good for a few matches now. He’s lost at least a step, and his positioning is way off to the point where he’s not keeping up with even bottom-half Premier League strikers. Maybe the failure to extend his contract this summer makes sense now.
Toby Alderweireld (Community: 4.3): Out of all the players in Spurs’ back line, Toby is the one who to me is the most baffling when he’s bad. There’s still a good player in there but based on the quality of his long balls from deep on Saturday and his wayward positioning he sure didn’t show it.
Davinson Sanchez (Community: 4.1): This makes me sad, because any overhaul of Spurs’ defense is going to rely on Davinson, and he still looks way off the pace. I would’ve preferred one of Jan or Toby get hooked at halftime instead of Sanchez, but regardless he’s going to have to up his game in short order if he is to have a future in this team.
1 star: Go on Twitter
Don’t do this. Please, for the love of God, don’t do this. You know the arguments about how the comments at Carty Free have been overly negative this season? Twitter is 1000x worse. Trust me. Don’t do it. Do anything else other than this. In fact, delete your Twitter account, it’s extremely bad.
No Tottenham Hotspur players were as bad as Spurs Twitter. And never will be.