Hi, anyone who had a moment to check!
Shall we point out a totally serious problem this Christmas?
Ramble of the Day
Every year, Tottenham share a series of interviews with players on the first teams that are new to the club and will be celebrating Christmas for the first time as a Spurs player. I rambled about Juan Foyth’s answers a couple of years ago; I must’ve felt they were entertaining enough. I checked out this year’s selection, featuring Giovani Lo Celso, Tanguy Ndombele, and Ryan Sessegnon, and came to a conclusion: the people asking the questions need to change their approach a bit.
Let’s take Giovani Lo Celso’s question and answer session as an example. As often as possible, he answers with his family or football. It makes him sound like a pretty boring person (and perhaps he is!) but as I started reading another, I quickly realized that it’s not the answers that are the problem: it’s the questions.
They ask every player these questions:
- What will you do on Christmas Day?
- How does this differ from past Christmases for you?
- What is traditional at Christmas in [country player is from]?
- What is your favourite festive meal?
- What do you wish for at Christmas?
- What was your most memorable gift as a child?
Questions four and six are pretty good, simple but should be informative. The rest, though? They are as standard as they come, and you’ll almost always get the same answers from anyone: One: presents, family, training; two, if the player’s new to the Premier League: I have to work this year; three: family, presents, eating (most people don’t celebrate Christmas that differently); five: wins throughout the festive period.
You’ll get some variance occasionally: Ndombele wished to be fit, and Sessegnon said his Christmas will be different because he now lives on his own, but for the most part, these are pretty boring features. The interesting thing is that Tottenham also asked women’s teams players Hannah Godfrey, Ria Percival, and Siri Worm the same questions, and got a wide variety of answers that made for a fun read. One could theorize that the male players selected are just less interesting compared to the female players selected, which could be true, but I think the problem is that the men work during the holidays and that the women don’t.
Because the men work, they can’t do much with their holiday — they have to go to work, and that’s only so interesting. If you get a break, you can do things that aren’t work, and that’s fun. Working isn’t, so maybe they could change things to a Christmas questionnaire similar to questions four and six, ones that have to have interesting answers. (It’s just a suggestion.)
tl;dr: Spurs should do a more interesting Christmas questionnaire.
Links of the Day
Seven Eritrean footballers have disappeared after a regional tournament.
Liverpool’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will not play during the festive period because of an ankle injury.
Mario Mandžukić left Juventus for Qatari side Al Duhail.
Dutch side ADO Den Haag hired Alan Pardew as the team’s manager.
David Squires recaps 2019 in his latest cartoon.
Today’s longer read: Rodger Sherman recaps 2019 for the USWNT, a year in which the team battled on multiple fields and impacted public discourse for The Ringer