It was far from a house of horrors at Anfield on Sunday, but Tottenham Hotspur did confirm the fears of its fanbase, falling 2-1 to Liverpool thanks to a dumb strike from noted Liverpool scorer Jordan Henderson and a dubious penalty put away by Mo Salah.
There are certainly positives that can be taken away from this match! A loss to Liverpool isn’t unexpected, after all, but Spurs held their own and were frankly a tad unlucky to not come away with a result.
For today’s theme, we’re close to Halloween and I’m back on my computer generated bullshit. I fed a list of every English-language horror movie title ever made into my recurrent neural network and had it generate a character-based list of fictional movies based on that source material. THEN, just for fun, I took the best titles from that list and ran the list through ANOTHER AI-based predictive text program, this one available online, called GPT-2. I then hand-selected my favorites from both lists for the final. This is the result.
So here goes nothing. These are the masthead’s player ratings for Tottenham Hotspur in their match against Liverpool, to the theme of recurrently generated horror movie titles. Eeeeeeeek!
5 stars: The House is Always On Fire
You think the housing market in Washington DC is bad now? Imagine buying one, going through the mortgage, inspection, and closing process, and moving in only to find out that OH MY GOD THE HOUSE IS LITERALLY ALWAYS ON FIRE AND BURNING. And homeowner’s insurance won’t cover it! The horror!
Paulo Gazzaniga (Community 8.6): I’m not sure what more he could’ve done. Eleven saves is... a lot of saves against a very good Liverpool offense. Now, most of them were stops from distance and/or low xG shots, but he had a number of acrobatic and reflex saves as well. One of the best Spurs GK performances I’ve seen in a long time.
4.5 stars: It Takes a Lot to Run a Farm
When you’re dealing with AI, you often receive surprising results. Like this one, which sprung out of the program like Athena from the skull of Zeus. It doesn’t SOUND like a horror movie title, but dig a little and this could easily be the title of a horror film where eldritch monsters and supernatural terror lurk just under the surface of a carefully constructed, isolated pastoral community. It takes a LOT to run a farm... OF YOG-SOTHOTH.
Toby Alderweireld (Community 6.5): We’ve been dragging Toby the past couple of matches in which he’s played, but I’m not certain he could’ve played any better than he did against Liverpool. I mean, I guess he could’ve scored, but y’know. Defensively he was outstanding.
4 stars: Scarecrow, the Killer Cannibal Wolf
Scarecrows are scary. They’re supposed to be! But what if — and stay with me here — that same scarecrow was not only animated, but could turn into a killer wolf that ate other wolves and maybe also humans? Or other scarecrows? It’s not clear what constitutes cannibalism with wolf scarecrows but never mind that. The point is, this is horror B-movie genius and I can’t believe it hasn’t been made — who wouldn’t watch it?
Son Heung-Min (Community 7.1) You can say that Sonny’s finishing was off after doinking off the post twice, or you could say he was a bit selfish. But he WAS good, and he displayed a heretofore unseen ability to shithouse as well, preventing Liverpool from quickly restarting indirect free kicks. He must be taking lessons from Danny.
Moussa Sissoko (Community 6.1): This was a match that seemed to be made for Sissoko’s unique skill set, and he was very good on Sunday, driving forward with the ball and passing surprisingly well. Sissoko’s new incarnation seems primed to excel in the biggest of games. I’m okay with that.
Davinson Sanchez (Community 6.2): His central defense partner was sublime, but Davinson was “merely” very good in this match. I’d like to see him do less of the shoulder-barge thing in the box, but it was effective.
Tanguy Ndombele (Community 6.9): Changed complexion of the midfield when he came on for Winks, again displaying a progressive flair with the ball. Could’ve done without that 40 yard shot that went straight at Alisson, though.
3.5 stars: Man of the Moonbitcher
What is the Moonbitcher? Is it a space station? A dragon? An unearthly horror? Or just a grumpy old man who yells at the moon? And why is his man so fearsome? We must know the answers to these questions.
Dele Alli (Community 5.0): I see Dele catching a lot of crap on Twitter for his performance on Sunday. These people are wrong. He was very effective on the side of the midfield 3 in a more withdrawn role and was one of the big reasons why Salah had such a quiet match.
Harry Kane (Community 6.9): Did well to be in the right place to head home Son’s rebound off the post, and did pretty well with the few opportunities he had afterwards. Hard to get good service when you’re defending for your lives most of the match.
3 stars: The Dead Man on the Rooftop with the Woman in a Mummy Costume V
Stop for a moment and think about, in this hypothetical AI-generated world, how AMAZING the Dead Man on the Rooftop with the Woman in a Mummy Costume franchise must be to spawn not just one, but four sequels.
Mauricio Pochettino (Community: 4.7): Look, Pochettino DID have a tactical plan and in a lot of ways it worked pretty well. Liverpool are a very good team that takes a lot to beat, and Spurs came within inches of snatching a point at Anfield. However, the starting XI and the delayed substitutions in the second half are incredibly frustrating.
2.5 stars: The Haunting of Bong
Otherwise known as “Dude, Where’s My Corpse?”
Serge Aurier (Community 4.1): “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?” For much of the match Aurier was pretty okay, actually. And then he was involved in the play that led to the match-winning penalty for Liverpool. Argue about whether it was a penalty or whether it was his fault, but he still kicked Mane and lost the match for us and that sucks.
Danny Rose (Community 4.2): Pretty sure Danny is crocked. His shithousery was A+, but much of the rest of his match wasn’t especially great. Tended to drift inward which left tons of space in his wake, and he also picked up his fifth yellow card.
2 stars: Wee Beach Bae
You know the premise. You’re on a date with the short, cute person you met under an umbrella at the beach-side cabana and everything seems to be going well, until (s)he pulls out a butcher’s knife while you’re on your stomach sunbathing.
Harry Winks (Community 4.5): It was baffling to see Winks on the team sheet at the start of the game, and it was completely unsurprising to see Spurs’ midfield play improve once Ndombele came on in his place. Defensively suspect and didn’t offer much with the ball at his feet.
Christian Eriksen (Community 3.3): Watching Andy Robertson blow by him time and time again during this match was maddening. Watching Eriksen sleepwalk through his offensive responsibilities (with the exception of one good pass) was even more so. Sell him on January 1 for £10 and a bag of balls.
1 star: Torture Spiders
I literally can’t think of anything more terrifying than large spiders with the intelligence to know how to waterboard.
No Tottenham Hotspur players were as scary as the idea of a movie called Torture Spiders.
Wes Craven Memorial Non-Rating
Giovani Lo Celso, Lucas Moura
There were SO MANY other good movie titles that didn’t make the cut, but I thought I’d place them here. Enjoy.
- The Ghost VII: The Werewolf in Lace
- Slime Changed Terror
- She Dark, Dark
- The Dark Sucking Dead: The Curse of the Devil’s Day
- Carnosaur of the Devil
- The Plague of Half the Devil
- Death Bad, Now the Darkness
- The Apping of the Bling Wall
- The Boy Who killed Santa Barbara Bouncer
- Lizard-Shedding Beast
- Dice of Doom
- Moonhead Is Coming (In the Form of a Man with a Horned Face)
- The Dead and the Dumped Corpse
- Death By The Lamps
- Penguin’s Bawl
- The Devil Is Dead Now
- The Bride of the Demon Moth
- The Lost Chutes of Venice
- It Was You That Sled It