Tottenham Hotspur won another game! That’s three, three straight matches, ah-ah-ah! [thunder] Spurs’ 3-2 win over Bournemouth featured some exceptional individual performances, but also two more late goals in what’s becoming a bit of a concerning thread in the league under Jose Mourinho. But boy, wasn’t Dele great?
I’ve been writing player ratings to themes for over five years now. In that time, I think I’ve only repeated myself a couple of times, and those repeats were probably either Star Wars or Star Trek related. And as time goes on it gets harder and harder to come up with viable themes that I haven’t already done.
So this time, why not go meta and rate the players according to player rating themes that I’ve already done? These are some of my favorite, or least favorite, player rating themes from my time as managing editor. All of the ratings are, of course, still 100% correct.
The meta starts now.
5 stars: Computer generated player ratings
I love all my player rating articles, but if I had to pick one singular one for the portfolio, this is the one I’d choose. Using a predictive text program trained on the Tottenham Hotspur writing of Barney Ronay was super fun, and it resulted in text that was bizarre, and somehow, still reminiscent of Barney Ronay. Sharp ends, friendly eliminators.
Dele (Community — 9.1): Dele’s statistics from this match are breathtaking — two goals, three shots on target (five overall), a key pass, and a perfect eight for eight in take-ons. It’s becoming more and more clear that as a player, Dele was made for a manager like Mourinho who puts him in his best possible position and tells him to just go do his thing. It’s like Harry Redknapp never left.
Son Heung-Min (Community — 7.7): Son absolutely tortured Bournemouth’s defense in this match on the counterattack. 25/27 passing, two assists, three big chances created. But buried in that were the five ball recoveries he made as a defensive winger. The only thing Sonny didn’t do was score.
4.5 stars: Short werewolves
Few ratings themes capture the absolute bonkers conversations we get into as a staff in the Carty Free Slack channel better than this theme. Werewolves would be a weird enough theme for a ratings article, but SHORT werewolves? Sure, why not. Why short werewolves? Hey, we’re rating werewolves by height on a soccer blog, stop asking questions. It elevated the theme from merely interesting to the absurd and made it much better. I don’t know if anyone really got what we were trying to do here, but we sure as hell enjoyed it.
Moussa Sissoko (Community — 8.0): The dude finally scores a goal — and it was a cracker, too. I’m thrilled for him. Even without the goal he had a very good match, probably one of his best in a Spurs shirt. However Moussa was also somewhat culpable for Bournemouth’s late comeback, so I’ll dock him half a star for a couple of bad passes and for occasionally falling asleep with his foot off the gas.
Toby Alderweireld (Community — 7.6): With Mourinho having Spurs play out of the back less, it’s opened up the passing game and allowed Toby to ping balls from deep more and more. He was 5/8 from deep, and contributed to two goals in the process. Also solid defensively though Spurs got worked a bit defensively at the end of the match.
4 stars: K-pop
The only ratings theme on here that I didn’t write, it’s also one of my favorites because Ray of Sonshine had SO MUCH enthusiasm for the subject and it was written with obvious knowledge, passion and eloquence. I love this community for this reason, and it’s why I’m still here putting digital words on a website for all of you.
Davinson Sanchez (Community — 6.7): Davinson continues to benefit from Mourinho’s deeper line and simpler defensive tactics. He wasn’t particularly expansive with his passing but his positioning was pretty great overall, and he had a great potentially goal saving tackle early when Spurs were struggling. Thought he scored only to have his goal ruled out for an accidental handball.
Tanguy Ndombele (Community — 6.2): Tottenham’s midfield looks so much better when he’s in it. I didn’t feel like this performance was even notable for Tanguy, but he still completed 90% of his passes and more importantly was 5/5 in take-ons, all in Bournemouth’s half. Also made three tackles and had two interceptions. He wasn’t the guy, but the guy behind the guy.
3.5 stars: Pets
Look, more than half the time people don’t really care how the players get rated, they just want to yell at me and tell me how bad my opinions are on the theme. I mean, my opinions are perfect and correct, but I understand the impulse. The comment sections can get a little heated at times, though and probably no more so than this one, a pets theme where I (correctly) rated cats above dogs. It was one of my first ratings theme as managing editor. Talk about a trial by fire.
Harry Kane (Community — 6.6): Harry didn’t create many chances, working more in as a creator role than a scoring role. Not as much of an impact as you’d expect, but he didn’t have to carry the team’s offensive burden this time. However, he did seem to regain some of the burst of speed that characterized his play in earlier years and was solid defensively.
Jose Mourinho (Community — 7.7): Tottenham continues to respond under Jose’s tender ministrations, and that’s mostly just Jose taking the shackles off and putting players in the correct positions to do what they do best. However, Spurs have conceded two goals in all three of Jose’s first three matches and have a tendency to concede late. Mou needs to do something about that.
3 stars: Thanksgiving side dishes
I’d say food is almost certainly the theme category we go to the most. People’s food takes are are varied and often bad, so it makes for a great category to either spark a good discussion or to distract people from ruminating too much on a bad loss. Plus people love talking about it, and yelling at other people about food, a lot. This one on Thanksgiving side dishes is a good example.
Jan Vertonghen (Community — 6.8): Deputizing for the injured Ben Davies and the rotated Danny Rose, Jan stayed mostly in his lane, sitting deeper and sliding over into a back three when not in possession. It was a good position. He was fine.
Eric Dier (Community — 5.5): Started off really poor (along with everyone else) but worked his way into the match and was an effective shield in front of the back line for much of the game. Still needs to work on his passing, though.
Serge Aurier (Community — 6.7 ): Not quite as dominant a match as against Olympiacos, but he was still decent as the sole offensive fullback. Two key passes, though some of his crosses were a little off and he fell asleep for Bournemouth’s second goal.
2.5 stars: Igneous rocks
A couple weeks before this ratings theme, I said something in the comments about how Carty Free readers would argue about igneous rocks. This ratings theme was boring, but 1) proved my point and 2) proved to myself that I could write about anything.
Paulo Gazzaniga (Community — 6.3 ): Spent the majority of the match getting whacked in various body parts and not getting fouls called. Spilled a couple of saves early, made a couple of stops. Distribution not especially great and was slightly out of position on Bournemouth’s free kick goal.
Lucas Moura (Community — 6.1): Came on late as a substitute for Ndombele in the 73rd minute and didn’t see much of the ball or have much of an impact.
2 stars: [no theme]
Look, sometimes Spurs get blitzed and I don’t want to write about it, or I’m super busy at work and don’t have time to put in a thoroughly researched, 100% correct ratings theme. So yeah, I phone it in. Sue me.
Harry Winks (Community — N/R): He came on, we conceded a goal. Ipso facto. (I’m kidding, no rating for Winksy, stop throwing things at me)
1 star: My Little Pony
Do I REGRET this ratings theme? Not really. It was fun. Do I never want to read the comment section of this article ever again? Definitely. (My pony ratings are still perfect, though.)
No Tottenham Hotspur players were as bad as the My Little Pony ratings theme.
Tom Carroll Memorial Non-Rating
Harry Winks, Giovani Lo Celso