Look, I’ll be honest — I didn’t even watch the North London Derby until last night due to a pretty crazy schedule the past few days. That gives me a chance to view the match with a fresh set of eyes, but also means I have to crank this player ratings article out quickly since we have the Champions League match against Dortmund coming up today.
So with no really inspirational ideas for today’s theme, it’s time to go back to the well, and that well for me is Star Trek. We’ve rated the franchise in years past, as well as the Enterprise ships, but we’ve never done the obvious — Star Trek captains. With Discovery now in its second season, it’s time to take a look at the command figures who have been in the big chair over the years.
5 stars: Jean-Luc Picard
Kirk was the first, but Jean-Luc was clearly the best. Tough but kind, slightly detached (and probably a bit lonely), tactically astute and a diplomatic genius, Picard became the archetype of what a Starfleet captain should be. It’s no wonder he got to drive the Starfleet flagship around space for so many years. Jean-Luc Picard is a captain’s captain.
Hugo Lloris: Two absolutely immense stops on Saturday — he leaped to palm away Iwobi’s blast that looked destined for the back of the net, and came up huge in Aubameyang’s (bogus) penalty kick at the end of the game. We are lucky to have him.
4.5 stars: Phillipa Georgiou
“But,” you say, “Phillipa Georgiou was only really in two episodes!” I see you fellow nerd, and I don’t care. Michelle Yeoh is incredible and despite her short screen time on Discovery she is warm, affable, tactically astute, and obviously beloved by those under her command. She is my space mom and I will broker no argument on this rating. I even like her evil Mirror Universe counterpart and would gladly watch a show of Yeoh just smiling evilly into the camera and winking at me for an hour.
Moussa Sissoko: Perhaps one of his best games in a Tottenham shirt, Sissoko was strong with the ball at his feet, solid defensively (considering the midfield was basically absent), and should’ve scored late in the first half after Eriksen’s shot was blocked by Leno.
4 stars: Benjamin Sisko
Different in almost every aspect to Picard, Sisko is quick to anger, calculating and sometimes cold while in command... hell, he punched Q! It also made Sisko super entertaining and fun to root for because he’s unlike any other captain in the franchise. He’s also able to straddle a moral line (and sometimes cross it) in the service of what he thought was the right thing to do, which makes him compelling. Picard may be the best captain, but I sure as hell loved watching Sisko in action.
Janby Alderweirtonghen: Super solid defensively for much of the match. Linking their names together is funny but probably does a disservice to Jan, who had a critical block on the second attempt after the Arsenal penalty.
3.5 stars: Hikaru Sulu
We have a short amount of screen time in which we see Captain Sulu in action, but the twerpy conn officer on the original Enterprise turned out to be a pretty darned good captain in his own right, taking command of the Excelsior and preventing a massacre at Khitomer. I would give anything to see a TV show that focused on Sulu and his command and am sad that it will probably never happen. Oh my!
Danny Rose (fullback): Darted up and down the left flank in the first half and generally made a nuisance of himself in and around the box. Pretty good defensively too with 3 tackles.
Son Heung-Min: No, he didn’t score but he was quite good in the first half, pulling Arsenal’s defense out of shape with runs. Disappointed he only got one shot attempt off, though.
Harry Kane: Looked fired up for this match and nearly had two goals but his header in the first half was called back as offside. Still showed a strange hesitancy to pull the trigger at times during the match and is still probably (say it together now) 90% fit.
3 stars: Kathryn Janeway
Janeway is the only Starfleet captain we’ve seen that has a strong background in science, and it gave her character a very different take on how to run a starship. Out of all the captains in this franchise, Janeway is probably the one most dedicated to the ideals of Starfleet, probably out of necessity since she was stranded in the Delta Quadrant for the majority of her career with a crew that was half-crewed with Maquis rebels. It made her character interesting, but could also leave her personality a little bit flat.
Christian Eriksen: Is it tiredness? Came close twice, including his shot that Leno parried away in the first half but still doesn’t look himself. That could be because Spurs still aren’t playing with a midfield and he is shouldering the entire creative burden. My hope is he perks up again with Dele’s return.
Kieran Trippier: No major gaffes this time and had a lovely ball to Kane’s head for the disallowed goal and another chance from a corner kick — but Trips struggled going forward with the ball against Arsenal. In a back three, that’s really the only thing you ask from him. Just 19/26 passing in the attacking third.
Victor Wanyama: I still think he’s crocked as a player, but Vic put in a good shift as a midfield destroyer against Arsenal. A little reckless at times and definitely still rusty, but it’s notable that Spurs looked better in the first half when he was on the pitch.
Erik Lamela: The match didn’t really need any more of an edge, but Erik provided one anyway, coming in as a sub and picking up a yellow card a few minutes later. Worked hard on the day and created one chance.
2 stars: James Kirk
This will probably be my most “fire emoji” and least popular take, but Kirk was a bit of an ass in both Star Trek timelines. William Shatner described his Kirk as “good-pal-the-captain” and that’s a pretty astute description. He can be chummy and personable, but his experiences also made him brash, cocky, prone to disobeying direct orders, and he could be exploitative and self-serving. Yes, he’s a hero, but how many redshirts died on his watch, and how many attractive female Starfleet officers have a #metoo moment they could share?
Davinson Sanchez: This may be a bit harsh as he wasn’t at all catastrophic defensively but Davi’s fluffed header set up Ramsey’s first half goal and he conceded a (super soft) penalty to Aubameyang late in the match. Extremely lucky not to be responsible for two Arsenal goals.
Danny Rose (defensive midfielder): Pochettino opted to put Danny as a holding midfielder instead of bringing on Oliver Skipp. I don’t know if Skippy would’ve done significantly better, but it was bad. Rash challenges, terrible passing. I bit off all my fingernails. Let us never speak of it again.
1 star: Jonathan Archer
A website made a good point that out of all the captains, Archer was the only one who was a true explorer because he was the first one out there in the black. And that’s a fair point, but it was hard to get around a sense of his general ineffectiveness because he didn’t know whether his ship was going to fly apart around him. The end result is a captain that comes across as wishy-washy and somewhat clueless — understandable, but not the most fun thing to watch. I liked his dog, though.
No Tottenham players were as bad as Jonathan Archer.
Tom Carroll Memorial Non-Rating: Christopher Pike
Pike has always been the Marsha Brady of Starfleet captains, but he’s getting his moment in Discovery, and I’m here for it. I’m quite enjoying Anson Mount’s portrayal of the Enterprise captain before Kirk, and hope we get to see a lot more of his career on screen before he eventually ends up crippled and delusional on Talos IV.