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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Monday, October 19

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Davies in the background

Arsenal Women v Tottenham Hotspur Women - Barclays FA Women’s Super League Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Hi, all!

Today at the top is defender Alanna Kennedy, who’s on loan from the Orlando Pride.

Ramble of the Day

In the Tottenham social media universe, the weekend was heavy on featuring Ben Davies. By featuring, I mean he was there but he wasn’t the center of the attention. Let me point you towards two videos, first the one that teased the arrival of Joe Rodon that was really about Gareth Bale.

I’ll make whatever points I want to make about Davies in a moment, but I’d just like to say that this is a small dose of fun that I really enjoyed. The second is from Dele’s Instagram story on Saturday, and it’s mostly about what he does to Matt Doherty.

Seeing these two videos within 24 hours of each other, along with some conversations I had with my sisters while watching All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur brought me to a conclusion: Davies is the perfect background person. He’s the person who symbolizes what you need to know, and sometimes takes the place of the audience in experiencing what you’re experiencing.

Let’s start with the Rodon tease. Davies’ only contribution to this video is his laughter at Bale’s joke, which is funny and also made me laugh. Then there’s the Dele-Doherty video, and he’s the definition of a bystander, but again reacts the way most watching would: with absolute shock. In these, I could call him an extension of the audience but he’s really just the audience member in the front row, but he does express the mood and feel of the moment.

He has a similar role the opening episodes of All or Nothing. If you listed the defining characteristics or events of the 2019-2020 season, close to the top would be the fact that Spurs ran into a complete injury crisis. Davies earned the unfortunate distinction of being the first person injured in the José Mourinho era, and he was out for a while. Just about every episode saw a team meeting, though, and even injured players had to attend those. Without fail, poor Davies was caught on his crutches leaving the meeting almost like a reminder that no matter what storyline dominated that scene or episode, the injury crisis was always there. Davies wasn’t a representation of the audience in that case, but like in the other cases, he was completely representing a mood.

tl;dr: Ben Davies, perfect Tottenham background man.

Stay informed, read this: Roberta Smith on artist Titus Kaphar and his show at the Gagosian Gallery in new York about being a Black parent for The New York Times

Links of the Day

Crystal Palace’s Jordan Ayew and Leipzig’s Amadou Haidara tested positive for COVID-19.

Dortmund’s Youssoufa Moukoko was racially abused by Schalke fans over the weekend.

Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk tore his ACL during the weekend’s match against Everton.

Transfer updates: West Ham signed Saïd Benrahma from Brentford; West Brom signed Karlan Grant from Huddersfield

A longer read: David Hytner on Gareth Bale’s return to Tottenham and his love for the club for The Guardian