Today’s player rating theme is all about room. Spurs put some additional room between themselves and Chelsea this weekend as they defeated Leicester 3-1, while the Blues lost 6-0 to Manchester City. Spurs also nixed what is probably the most important room in the whole of the new stadium on Monday, not only nixing the famous Cheese Room but even going as far as to deny that it was in the works to begin with.
That, of course, got all of us thinking. So here are your player ratings for Spurs’ win over the Foxes to the theme of rooms.
5 stars: Cheese Room
Could it be anything else? The Cheese Room was our Shangri-La, the symbol of everything the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium stood for. Where else in London, I ask you, can you stand in a one-way mirrored room and watch Tottenham’s players walk down the tunnel while enjoying a carefully chosen selection of fine cheeses? And now that dream has been snatched away! What is this, RUSSIA? #LevyOut
Hugo Lloris: My man of the match. Eight saves on the day, and a penalty save on Jamie Vardy’s first touch that was hilarious as it was schadenfreuden-tastic. Spurs’ defense and midfield struggled a bit against Lester. Hugo stepped up big in response.
4.5 stars: Kitchen
The kitchen is where the magic happens. It is the heart and perhaps the soul of any house — a place where friends and family can gather and socialize over the creation of an excellent meal. It’s also where you can heat up a can of Spaghetti-Os at 2 a.m. after you wake up with a nightmare. Kitchens are great.
Son Heung-Min: Another goal for Sonny — his third in three games — as he has ably filled the leadership and goal-scoring void left behind by Harry Kane and Dele Alli. Right now, he’s our player of the season. Unfairly booked for simulation when he should’ve had a penalty.
Christian Eriksen: He may or may not want to leave Spurs, but he’s certainly giving it his all on the pitch. A lovely assist to Davinson Sanchez’s head and a spectacular goal, but we must acknowledge that it took him a bit to get into the match.
4 stars: Porch
One of the best rooms in the house isn’t even inside the house. A good porch is a luxury. There’s little better than to sit on a shady front porch in a chair with a beer or a glass of bourbon late on a summer night. Porches are great for conversation, for greeting your neighbors, and for enjoying the breeze. If you’re gonna be outside, it might as well be on the porch.
Harry Winks: I’ve said it before, but our earlier criticisms of Winksy’s play are falling away the farther away he gets from his ankle injury. I still think his best role isn’t as the deepest of the midfielders, but he can play that position and isn’t terrible at it. He’s a safe outlet in midfield, and that can be invaluable. Probably the brightest star in a midfield that was frequently overrun.
3.5 stars: Living room with a TV
Living rooms are nice. They’re comfy, there are usually couches and comfortable chairs, and there’s a place to watch television. What more do you need? Take away the TV, however, and you have a room that nobody will ever use and what’s the point of that?
Danny Rose: Rose is quite clearly our best left back at the moment, and I say that knowing that Ben Davies will eventually come back from injury. Picked up a silly yellow card (as he does) and had a blocked shot. Tired late; Spurs will need to manage his fitness.
Davinson Sanchez: Struggled a bit with the pace of Leicester’s attackers, but got his first Spurs goal with a lovely header that was timed and executed perfectly.
Moussa Sissoko: He had his assist, and he had that one run late in the match. He also ran his butt off both covering for Kieran Tripper and making things happen in midfield. Those were good things! But the midfield, in general was pretty bad, and he was also part of the reason why. 3.5 stars for being an indefatigable try-hard.
3 stars: Bedrooms
Bedrooms are important in that they are there to give you a relaxed and comfortable place to sleep, but the fact remains that the majority of the time you spend in them is sleeping, and you’re not there pretty much any other time. Overall: meh.
Jan Vertonghen: A rare off-day. Picked up an early card which reduced his effectiveness somewhat, and also gave away a (yes, super soft) penalty to James Maddison. He was fine, just not up to the standards that we expect from Super Jan.
Toby Alderweireld: Let Vardy get a step on him for Leicester’s only goal, and looked a little out of sorts. A rare substitute appearance for the big Belgian.
2.5 stars: Escape Room
Escape rooms are one of those things that LOOK like they should be really cool. And then you step inside one and realize you’re stuck inside a room with a bunch of idiot strangers and have to do simple math puzzles in order to get out of there instead of, y’know, something actually interesting. Cool in theory, usually terrible in execution.
Fernando Llorente: Picked up an assist and had some decent hold up play early on, but was mostly a passenger in this match. Probably not suited for a Leicester team that was set up in a well-structured defensive position.
2 stars: Pay public toilets
True story: when I was in London two years ago for the Bournemouth match (thanks again y’all), I travelled with Earl of Shoop and he and I went up to White Hart Lane the day before to scope out the travel and to visit the Spurs Shop. What I failed to do before leaving was go to the bathroom, and it wasn’t until I was already on the Overground line back to Liverpool Street Station that I realized I had made a huge mistake. By the time the train made it back to the station, my back teeth were swimming and my primary concern was making it to a toilet before my bladder ruptured. Which I did, only to realize that it cost 25p to get in the doors, and I had no change. Fearing an emergency of the sort that would end up being a hilarious story on a blog some day, I cast a wild look at Shoop, who, stifling a grin, shoved a fistful of change into my hand and I made it, just in time.
tl;dr: pay toilets are demonic and cruel and they should not be a thing.
Oliver Skipp: Skippy was bad in midfield against Leicester. And that’s ok. The fact that Mauricio Pochettino felt like he was able to give an 18-year old midfielder a chance against a very good Tielemans-led Leicester midfield is encouraging, but most of the things that were wrong about the midfield were because Skippy was wayyyyy out of his depth. But young players need to play, and sometimes play badly, to improve. He’ll learn from this and will become better. But yeah, I’d have much rather seen Wanyama get the start.
Kieran Trippier: Whoooooof. Trips is usually a defensive millstone, but he was a catastrophe on defense in this match. And it wasn’t just that he wasn’t tracking back — that’s what Sissoko is for — it’s that even when he wasn’t pushed forward he was way out of position and leaving acres of space for Harvey Barnes — HARVEY BARNES! — to exploit. And the things he did going forward did very little to compensate for his shambolic defending. One on one he did some good defensive things, but on the whole it was pretty bad.
1 star: Carty Free Writer’s Room
You’ll never find a more wretched hive of scum and masthead groupthink.
No Tottenham Hotspur players were as bad as the Cartilage Free Captain writer’s room.
Tom Carroll Memorial Non-Rating
Victor Wanyama, Kyle Walker-Peters