Hey, Tottenham Hotspur won a match, 2-1 over Norwich City at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium! That’s great! We’re gonna talk about the players, but nobody’s gonna really care about that because today we’re talking about bears.
So a couple of weeks ago I did a theme-less player rating article and solicited ideas from the commentariat. I don’t remember who suggested this and I’m too lazy to look it up, but the first one mentioned was bears and quite honestly it’s genius. Because bears are great, so let’s run with this (on cute fuzzy paws).
So if you weren’t paying attention or are new to the ratings system, the community ratings are now in STARS, just like the masthead theme, rounded up or down to the nearest half star. Yes, that probably means that it’ll be rare that a player gets rated high enough in the community rankings to ever get 5 stars, so mentally add in a 1⁄4 star buffer or something, IDK.
Here are your Tottenham Hotspur player ratings to the theme of BEARS, which are good. Except for the non-bears that pretend to be bears, which are good, but aren’t.
5 stars: Look, all bears, really
This is a theme where we’re supposed to rank bears, and we will do that. But can I sit here at my laptop and with a straight face try and convince you that there’s any one actual real bear that isn’t good? I can’t. It’s impossible. Bears are, despite their overall grumpy demeanor and varied propensity for mauling people (xMaul?), fantastic and beautiful critters. Everyone should want to hug a bear. Nobody should actually hug a bear. That’s probably bad.
I mean, check out this extremely good bear. Bears own.
Don’t like grizzlies? You monster. Okay, have a look at this polar bear doing math.
Oh, you want your bears to be smart, huh? Well, I present to you the spectacled bear. And not just any spectacled bear, but a BABY spectacled bear. F—k you, Baby Yoda, who also isn’t a bear.
Do you know about Sun Bears? They are extremely cool bears. Here’s one in a cage for some reason because man is cruel.
Did you know that black bears kill more humans in bear attacks than grizzlies? Well, now you do, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are extremely good. Here are some black bears.
Oh wait, sorry, that’s the University of Maine Black Bears, who are currently 6-14 this season which means they’re GOOD, but they’re NOT good, if you get my meaning. Let’s try that again. Here’s a very good black bear gently mauling an elderly gentleman.
Where are the koalas? Koalas aren’t actually bears, and also they have smooth brains and are extremely dumb. Screw those not-bears. Here’s another cool bear — a sloth bear playing hide-and-go-seek.
Have you ever seen a shaved bear? Of course you haven’t. But now you have, and they look both scary and sad, like elephants with dog faces. This poor, embarrassed, extremely naked, very good bear, you didn’t deserve this.
I could post bear photos all day, and probably should, but also Giovani Lo Celso had a good match.
Giovani Lo Celso (Community — 4.5 stars): Boy, this guy just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t he? Told you so. Finally playing from central midfield, Gio flat-out ran the show and also was fantastic in the press. His best performance by far in a Spurs shirt, and he looks like a STAR.
4 stars: Gummi
Almost certainly the best candy to come out of Germany. Gummy Bears changed the game when they started showing up in America. Flavored bear-shaped super chewy jello candies? What’s not to like? Also, have you ever seen another bear on this list bounce here and there and everywhere, having high adventures that are beyond compare? Didn’t think so.
Serge Aurier (Community — 4 stars): A Serge Aurier who isn’t making dumb mistakes? It’s true! Serge has been pleasantly facepalm-free the past few matches against admittedly inferior opposition. Had some lovely crosses into the box that, if not for finishing, would’ve resulted in more goals.
Dele (Community — 3.5 stars): Dele looked a little sloppy out there in the first half, but fired in a lovely goal to put Spurs up and had the (deflected) assist for Sonny’s header. He looks like he’s still bearing the brunt of the creative burden for this team, but if Gio continues to improve it might open up some additional space for him down the road.
Son Heung-Min (Community — 3.5 stars): His finishing is still off (need one of those “purple patches” we get from him a couple times a year) but he’s getting into the right positions to score. Finishing is temporary and Sonny’s doing the right things.
Harry Winks (Community — 3 stars): Everyone knows how hard we have been on Winksy this season, but to his credit he was progressive and (dare I say it) good before injuring his ankle in the second half.
Toby Alderweireld (Community — 3.5 stars): Pinged a long ball from deep to Sonny (that he missed) and didn’t let Pukki or anyone really bother him too much defensively. Still the best defender we have.
3.5 stars: Smokey
Smokey is a caricature of a grizzly bear, sure, but he’s also out there doing the good work, telling people and especially kids that only you can prevent forest fires and seriously that’s one good-ass pretend bear.
Hugo Lloris (Community — 3.5 stars): Welcome back, skipper. He’s had his moments, sure, but he’s still our club captain and he needs to be out there. Also, watching him run out eight yards to snag a cross out of the air was glorious to behold.
Jose Mourinho (Community — 3 stars): Put out a pretty startlingly offensive starting lineup and worked decently well in the first half. He certainly didn’t set out to defend and counter. I still am not sure what he’s trying to do with this Spurs team, though — maybe he doesn’t know either.
3 stars: Chicago
To be fair, I don’t think the Bears are THAT bad, but in case you disagree here’s our resident Bears expert Sean Cahill with his take on this season.
The Monsters of the Midway have a storied franchise that dates back 100 years and includes nine NFL championships, including one Super Bowl back in the 1985 season. While the ‘85 Bears are one of the greatest to ever play, the current Bears aren’t exactly world-beaters. The defense is good, but the offense could be stopped by a Pop Warner team (looking at you, Mitchell Trubisky) on a bad day. Add in the often frugal ownership of the McCaskey family and the Bears usually find themselves out of the playoffs more often than in them. Last year looks more like a fluke than a trend and god I hate being a Bears fan so much. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to cry into my Walter Payton jersey.
Lucas Moura (Community — 3 stars): He’s still not a striker, but he does some good things on offense, and was again tenacious and good with his tackling. I don’t know if he’s done enough to retain his starting spot when everyone’s healthy, but he wasn’t terrible.
Erik Lamela (Community — 3 stars): Lamela caught a lot of flack for some poor passing, which is fair, but he also was his usual violent presser in midfield and really helped with Spurs’ retention of the ball in the center of the pitch. Forced a nice save out of Tim Krul, too.
2.5 stars: Pandas
Look, Pandas may look all cute and roly-poly and shit, and the fact that they’re endangered by loss of habitat is sad, but they sure aren’t helping themselves by not actually, y’know, having sex. Say what you want about humans but at least we do sex well. Pandas have bizarre mating habits, only have one live birth at a time which is insanely vulnerable and prone to early death. Plus did you know that the Chinese government charges zoos $1m/year for “panda rental”? Seems like a steep price to pay for what are basically bamboo-intolerant monochromatic doofuses.
Christian Eriksen (Community — 2 stars): It’s still kind of amazing to me that Christian Eriksen continues to get minutes for Spurs when he’s obviously checked out. He looked more like he was playing in a testimonial match than one of importance for Spurs’ top four hopes. I guess Tanguy Ndombele just wasn’t ready?
Jan Vertonghen (Community — 3 stars): #FreeDavinson
2 stars: The Bayer Corporation
Bayer bought out the Miles Laboratory, maker of Alka-Seltzer, in the city where I grew up and proceeded to lay off a bunch of people. Bayer is also the parent company of Monsanto, and Monsanto is itself a terrible company. Bayer is bad and their aspirin is overpriced.
Ryan Sessegnon (Community — 2 stars): I still believe that Sessegnon has the potential to be a very good professional footballer but he was pretty at left back against a club that’s likely to be relegated. Gave up a penalty, let Max Aarons run roughshod over him. Not a match to remember.
Erik Dier (Community — 2.5 stars): I’m quite fond of Dier so it gives me no pleasure to say that he has had plenty of opportunities that he’s not a shell of his former self and has not convinced me that is the case. Very suspect defending ahead of Spurs back line in the 2nd half, and made the end of the match a lot nervier than it should’ve been.
1 star: Bear Grylls
The former British marine and TV “survival expert” has seen his show “Man vs. Wild” criticized for supposedly having him stay in hotels in between days when he’s supposed to be out in the wilderness, y’know, surviving. Also got slammed by none other than Sir David Attenborough for allegedly killing animals to make supposedly-compelling television. Dude, if make David Attenborough mad at you, you’re a trash human and don’t deserve the first name “Bear,” which are good.
No Tottenham Hotspur players were as bad as Bear Grylls.
Tom Carroll Memorial Non-Rating