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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Tuesday, March 26

An empanada story.

Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton - U18 Premier League Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Hi, all!

Upon request, Maurizio Pochettino has received his Hoddle debut. Now for that story I said yesterday was worth its own ramble.

Ramble of the Day

Like I mentioned in yesterday’s Hoddle, I was at New York Red Bulls-Orlando City on Saturday. It was a nice night for a number of people: anyone associated with Orlando, since the team picked up its first win of the season, and for those of us in the Red Bull Arena press box, who got to enjoy empanadas.

Food is frequently a topic of discussion in the press box, but hardly the way it was when it was announced earlier in the day that we’d get a halftime treat. For once, I wasn’t the one beginning the food discussion, and that’s because there was an excitement in the air. Some of us had eaten them before, as this wasn’t the first time we had the treat, but everyone was pretty excited.

In a way, it was all anyone would talk about, even once we left the inside work room for the outside press box. Myself and those around me exchanged jokes about how the clock was just keeping time until we could eat empanadas. It was also a joke about how uneventful and low-energy the first half of that game was. When the referee blew the halftime whistle, I had never seen members of the media rush inside faster, and I’ve sat through a few different types of bad weather.

As everyone walked into the work room, they took a glance at the counters where the food usually is. It’s visible from the doorway, and have to pass it to get to an actual seat, and every single person gave it a proper stare. Why? It’s not because the empanadas were there; it’s because they weren’t there. Naturally, it was a topic of conversation. “Where are the empanadas?” was heard. I half-jokingly suggested a riot. For whatever reason, someone played “Despacito” out loud and an empanada joke was made.

Then, the woman responsible for the night’s dinner came in with a cart, and every head turned in her direction. She clearly knew, and made an announcement when she started setting out the beef empanadas. In a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, there was a line of about four people waiting as the chicken empanadas were coming out. I was standing and doing nothing else, so I decided to get on line, and quickly, a long line formed behind me. We exchanged thoughts about the first half — and empanadas.

The first group of people, myself included, grabbed a couple of empanadas and made our ways back to our seats. Getting ready to dig in, someone then let it be known that the second half had officially started. The last few minutes of halftime is usually just people ending conversations to begin making their ways back outside, so a packed room at second half kickoff was a particularly unusual site. A few decided to take their empanadas outside, but many decided to stay inside. I did the second, happily indulging in one beef and one chicken empanada with green sauce before going outside.

There wasn’t a lot of time to chat about empanadas in the second half or post-match, but I can report that everyone was happy and they were worth the wait.

tl;dr: The entrancing nature of the empanada.

Links of the Day

Tottenham Hotspur Ladies’ Renée Hector has been experiencing racist abuse on social media after the January incident that saw Sophie Jones racially abuse Hector.

FIFA will have a hearing for the appeal of Chelsea’s transfer ban on April 11.

The European Union has fined Nike €12.5m after blocking cross-border sale of football merchandise.

ESPN has a quiz to determine which European super club you should play for.

Today’s longer read: Nick Ames on the six Londoners representing Montserrat and fighting for a spot at this year’s Concacaf Gold Cup for The Guardian