Tottenham Hotspur are in the midst of a three week break from match action. That’s weird, considering how compressed Spurs’ schedule has been the past few months. The international break plus Spurs dropping out of the FA Cup has left us with a huge gap of time with no games to speak of. What’s a football blog to do?
Well, here’s what we did: we went back to the computer-generated well. After the success of the Recurrently Generated Football League last season (don’t forget to buy your merch!), we thought there’s probably more blood we can squeeze out of that particular stone. Let’s make some #content around players, not teams.
With that in mind, I fed the recurrent neural network on my MacBook Pro a list of all 993 players, past and present, who have ever played for Tottenham Hotspur, and asked it to generate a list of fictional names based on that data set. We figured, Tottenham haven’t signed anyone for a full year. What if they just fired everyone and started over from scratch?
The following team is a fictional list of player names recurrently generated by my computer. All of them are generated — we didn’t futz with them at all. The bios were also made up, but by us, not the machine. Sean will eventually generate all of these players in FIFA 19 and see how they do in the Premier League. Why? Because we’re bored.
This may or may not be the result of the hilarious transfer saga (or something that resembles one) of one Julio Cesar Torres, Paraguayan midfielder playing in the Bolivian league, who apparently signed for Tottenham’s reserve team on loan last week.
#1 — Charlie Farlie (England)
A surefire England #1 in the immediate future, 22-year-old Charlie Farlie is blessed with great size and fantastic reaction time. He may not be the best distributor of the ball, but that’s nothing new for Tottenham fans. The Southampton native is fully content in north London and is known for his demonstrative celebrations with every Spurs goal.
Rating: 88 overall
#17 — Telly Freeminch (England)
To explain Telly Freeminch to people is like trying to describe a Picasso to a blind person. You have to experience him yourself, who is the only man known to be trapped in the 80s even though he was just a kid during them. His parents let him listen to the Grateful Dead when he was 11 and adopted the very cheerful and carefree attitude of the psychedelic group. The only time he shows intensity is when he’s on the pitch, where he’s a completely different person. Just don’t play Casey Jones when he’s on the pitch or he may start tripping.
Rating: 80 overall (99 aggression)
#29 — David Peeterong (Belgium)
Tottenham’s third keeper, Peeterong has yet to play a match this season. In fact, nobody’s even really sure who he is, or if he even exists. He’d prefer it that way: he’s perfectly content earning a paycheck for training a few times a week and playing FIFA in the Hotspur Way break room.
Rating: 64 overall
#4 — Georges Dopes (England)
What’s in a name? Probably nothing if you’re Georges Dopes, but listen: this towering center back is 6’7”, 285 lbs, and built like a marble column. Imperious at the back, if you ask him he’ll say yes, it’s his real name, not a statement of fact. He has passed every drug test and will threaten your very existence if you suggest otherwise.
Rating: 82 overall (99 strength, 99 aggression)
#5 — Wackdchougand Bungon (England)
“Wacky” to his teammates, Bungon was born in Barnet to Senegalese immigrants and excelled with Leeds before signing with Spurs as a 22-year old. Now 27, Bungon has a fierce left foot and a tendency to attempt Cruyff turns inside his own area. It’s why he’s been mostly stuck with rotation and spot duty the past couple of seasons. Part Vlad Chiriches, part Ledley King — that’s Wacky Bungon.
Rating: 80 overall (99 ball control, 99 shot power, 0 long shot)
#21 — Ernie Hunker (Scotland)
Not the most mobile of central defenders, Hunker is probably the closest thing to an Italian libero in English football right now. That’s probably due to his prosthetic leg. Don’t let that fool you into thinking that he’s a pushover. ...Well, okay, technically he is literally a pushover as that leg can screw with his equilibrium — “Hunker down” is less a idiom and more what the coaching staff says when he gets shoulder-barged by Romelu Lukaku. But give him a little space and he can pick the pocket of any striker in the league.
Rating: 79 overall (99 standing tackle, 50 speed/acceleration)
#34 — Ray Allen (USA)
The former ten-time NBA All-Star and two-time NBA Champion has come out of retirement at the age of 43. Instead of going back to the hardwood, he’s crossing the pond to join Spurs’ quest for a title. His superior height at 6’5” (1,96m) will give him an advantage in the air as will his unreal 37” vertical. The question is can his knees hold up after eighteen years in the NBA?
Rating: 78 overall (99 jumping)
#2 — Fred Bong (RB, Netherlands)
Fred Bong was born in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and he has heard every possible joke about him being from a city where you can’t throw a rock without hitting a place that lets you get high. The speedy fullback might be short at just 5’6” but what he lacks in size he makes up for with incredible dribbling skill. He can’t hit a shot to save his life but he has above average passing to compliment his blistering pace.
Rating: 80 overall (0 finishing, 95 acceleration/sprint speed)
#3 — Steek Booger (LB, England)
Steek Booger took an unusual path to Premier League football. As a young player in his early 20s he received a serious leg injury that kept him out of action for more than a year. While he convalesced, he managed to land a lucrative (if temporary) gig on BBC 5-Live hosting a late night football call-in show named “Booger Nights.” He lost most of his pace, but his miraculous recovery is matched only by his knack for firing in crosses from the flanks with his left foot.
Rating: 81 overall (99 crossing)
#25 — Dark Morin-Berton (RB, New Zealand)
If Dark Morin-Berton had his way, he’d be playing rugby for the All Blacks. Not quite good enough for rugby but still terrifying to look at with his 5’9” (1,75m) 235 pound frame, Morin-Berton is a rock at fullback blessed with great pace but not the best agility. His footwork still needs some training time, but the 20-year-old New Zealand international is showing tons of promise behind Bong. He sometimes forgets he’s playing football and tries running over anything in his path, though there may be no better free kick taker at his age.
Rating: 76 overall (90 acceleration/sprint speed, 50 agility, 96 free kick accuracy)
#13 — Stounie Pacbromel (LB, Australia)
Born in the Australian village of Humpybong, young Stounie was a schoolboy with Queensland Lions before his family relocated to the London area at the age of 12. Now an Australian U21 international, He joined Tottenham’s academy at 14 and worked his way up into the first team. Colloquially known around the Spurs locker room as “the Australian Boring James Milner.”
Rating: 77 overall
#6 — Carl Ax (Scotland)
Described by one anonymous assistant coach as “like Charlie Adam with a migrane,” Aberdeen native Carl Ax is well named as he cleaves through the midfield with little regard to public safety and is as likely to hurt himself as set up a teammate. Currently the league leader in both yellow cards accumulated and injuries inflicted, Ax has only played in 1⁄3 of Spurs’ available matches as he’s been on the trainer’s table or suspended for the remainder.
Rating: 82 overall (99 aggression)
#8 — Alan Killer (England)
Afflicted with crippling shyness as a youth, Killer nearly washed out of football at a young age before intensive therapy and positive reinforcement cassettes got his confidence back up. Now an intelligent box-to-box midfielder, he is most known for his incisive through-balls, and for delivering fruit baskets to opposition locker rooms after every match. José Mourinho once called him “a sweetheart.”
Rating: 82 overall (99 long passes, 0 aggression)
#15 — Tommy Buster (Republic of Ireland)
Billed as the next Roy Keane from his early playing days, Tommy Buster’s career has been described as having a rocket strapped to his back to reach for the stars. The 18-year-old was signed by Tottenham in 2016 and quickly rose through the academy ranks....until Fortnite came out. Buster still attended training sessions, but soon found himself making more money streaming on Twitch as “Spinebuster” to pay homage to his favorite old school wrestler, Arn Anderson. Tottenham eventually cut off internet access to his home to keep him from playing until his career gets back on track.
Rating: 72 overall
#30 — Chuck Steak (USA)
While he was born in Providence Hospital in Mobile, Chuck Steak was conceived in the break room one night at The Meat Block slaughterhouse in Eight Mile, Alabama. He didn’t have the hand-eye coordination to play American football but realized he could kick the holy hell out of anything. Has a minor problem with too much physicality and aggression from his days in Pop Warner and thinks yellow cards are a good thing to have.
Rating: 81 overall (99 aggression)
#10 — Oderay Jokes (Croatia)
Upon his signing, the media immediately dubbed Jokes with the nickname “The Hashtag.” But look — he’s Croatian, it’s pronounced “Yo-KESH,” and he thinks all the bits are getting extremely stale, thank you very much.
Rating: 83 overall (99 vision)
#24 — Hondy Chavish (England)
Hondy Chavish received his rather unique name due to his parents’ unusual love for the band Hondy and their only hit “No Access” that they played on repeat in the late 90s. The 21-year-old is a mainstay in England’s U23 side and is looking to take the next step in his career. He can play almost any midfield position except the six, showing fantastic ball control and creativity but still lacks that final product that makes him a truly lethal #10.
(Seriously, watch that video. Sean found it on Tuesday and hasn’t been the same since.)
Rating: 79 overall
#22 — Ðsziethan Nadrburgh (Republic of Iceland)
His mother was Icelandic, his father Romanian. They were both very drunk and thought Ðsziethan rolled right off the tongue when they came up with it. The Icelandic international is noted for having the most powerful shot in Premier League history. He also averages four shots a match ending up in Hartington Park south of the stadium. Daniel Levy has asked the training staff to work on his accuracy after breaking several windows in the Lilywhite House. He idolizes Roman Pavlychenko, naturally.
Rating: 80 overall (99 shot power, 40 long shots)
#32 — Julio Cesar Torres (Paraguay)
Julio Cesar Torres is absolutely a real person that plays football somewhere in Bolivia, we’ve been told. There’s video of him saying he signed on for Tottenham and, much to our surprise, he showed up with nothing but a sack tossed over his shoulder and a pair of boots in his hands at Hotspur Way. Turns out that a guy who can’t break into the first team in Bolivia may not be very good at all.
Rating: 55 overall
#11 — Shay Buddle (Republic of Ireland)
Created in an underground laboratory in Cork, Ireland, Shay Buddle is what happens when you mix the DNA of Shay Given and Edson Buddle as if the DBZ fusion dance were a real thing. The result? A cromulent attacker with, ironically, good hands.
Rating: 83 overall (99 GK handling)
#7 — Allon N’uesfusko (Luxembourg)
He’s young, fast, dribbly, good with the ball at his feet, loves to cut inside from wide areas, and there are questions about his end product. But you guessed this by his last name, didn’t you?
Rating: 83 overall (93 acceleration/sprint speed, 90 dribbling, 60 finishing)
#13 — Wallim McSees (Scotland)
Born in Kilmarnock, Scotland, Wallim McSees never thought he’d get any higher than Scottish Premiership football after settling on football. Standing just 5’4”, McSees is one of the fastest wingers you’ll ever see. A regular at the Ayrshire Athletics Arena, people there called him the Scottish Jim Thorpe as he could partake in nearly every sport offered. His dream of being in the Olympics died, though, when he once hit himself in the head during a hammer throw.
Rating: 81 overall
#43 — Jimmy Greesfickett (Wales)
Born in Llandysul, Ceredigion, Wales, Jimmy Greesfickett escaped the family business of working in the Wool Museum as an assistant by being good at both football and cricket growing up. His decision to take up footballing on a full-time basis came from an unfortunate shot to his groin while taking up the silly point position in the field. From that point on, he felt that kicking footballs was better than getting hit in the balls.
Rating: 84 overall
#9 — Bill (Brazil)
A teenage star at Fluminese where he set a club record for goals scored in a season by a player under the age of 20, speedy poacher Bill was Tottenham’s most expensive signing. He has rewarded Spurs by leading the club in goals the past two seasons and has been an instant sensation in north London, recognized by north London locals as much off of the pitch as on it. Has a reserved stool at the Antwerp Arms. Frequently seen ordering take-out at Chick-King. Takes the tube to matches. Wears a trilby.
Rating: 86 overall (92 acceleration/sprint speed, 90 finishing)
#21 — Dede Dingley (England)
The son of a Kenyan of Masai heritage and a Shepard’s Bush shop-worker, Dingley might be the only 7’ striker in the history of English top flight football. He doesn’t get to the ball all that often, but he’s deadly on set pieces and has... say it together now: pretty good feet for a big man.
Rating: 77 overall (95 heading accuracy)
#38 — Johnny Johne (England)
Poacher, rake, international man of mystery. Johnny Johne isn’t one for rivalries. In fact, his best friend is Arsenal defender Neville Neville, and they are frequently seen in London’s hottest clubs on off-nights with a non-alcoholic daiquiris in one hand and the arm of a smokin’ hot blonde in the other. Pity Johne can’t hit the broad side of a barn with a football.
Rating: 61 overall
Jack Nichardsen (Denmark)
Affectionally referred to as “Jacky Nich” by Spurs fans, Nichardsen is fast becoming one of the most sought-after managers in Europe. He was hired after doing the double with Brøndby IF. In the legendary celebration that followed, he outdrank every supporter in Charlie’s Bar and declared himself the greatest manager in existence. Once punched a referee for telling him he was too cocky to manage.