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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Tuesday, May 7

Introducing footballers.

AFC Bournemouth v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Hello, all!

Sorry if you’re still mad at Juan Foyth and me using this picture didn’t make things better.

Ramble of the Day

Perhaps this is a matter of my circumstances as someone born and raised in the United States, but my identity is partly attached to being a “soccer” (football) person. Outside of crowds of people that are also soccer people, I tend to be the resident soccer person. I imagine it’s something many of you have experienced from time to time, and particularly so during World Cup years.

That said, we’ve all been in contact, and all have relationships of some sort, with people who don’t watch football. For example, my two best friends don’t watch football and only know what people my age on the internet would know about the sport without actually watching it. One can’t really dive into the stories that require a bit of explanation; it’s not a big deal, but you don’t really want to make the story you’re telling clunky. Still, if you’re obsessed with something, it’s going to pop up in conversation occasionally, regardless of company, and sometimes, setting up the story is worth the effort.

This leads me to my question: Which footballers have you brought up with your friends that aren’t into the sport because the story was absolutely worth telling? Alternatively, who are the footballers your not-football friends know?

  • Gareth Bale, as told by my sister: She was trading stories about studying for the bar with other lawyers recently, and shared the time she took a break from studying to see the Gareth Bale advertisement in Times Square. (Our mom’s old friend was visiting, and we took her and her family around Manhattan for a bit.) Bale left Spurs several weeks later.
  • Gareth Bale, as told by me: I took a picture with him when Spurs visited the New York area in 2012 and put it on social media. I had friends and classmates ask me who the nice-looking guy I took a picture with was.
  • Neymar: A friend sent me one of those videos of Neymar rolling around in various settings while the World Cup was on last year.
  • Various footballers: I’ve shared stories about players who search themselves on Twitter, or players’ significant others who do this. I don’t think I did much name-dropping, but only because there are so many players to choose from in this category. (This is particularly true in Major League Soccer circles, not so sure about how prevalent this is elsewhere.)

I’m sure I will remember more after this goes to publish, but I hope you get the idea.

tl;dr: Dragging football into a place where it all of a sudden belongs.

Links of the Day

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino will miss the team’s Champions League semifinal second leg against Barcelona with injuries.

Norwich’s bus broke down during the parade held to celebrate the team winning the Championship and being promoted to the Premier League.

Today’s longer read: Mark Bailey interviews five pioneers of English women’s football on shaping the game for The Guardian