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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Monday, November 30

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Schalke and its chaos

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Mark Leech/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Hi, everyone!

Looking at that picture of Sergio Reguilón, I feel like I am once again undecided on how much I dislike this season’s home kit. I am still not in love with the shoulder treatment.

Ramble of the Day

Last week, Stephan Uersfeld wrote a report for ESPN about the state of Schalke, and to put it mildly: it’s horrible. I encourage you to take a few minutes and read it, because there is quite a lot there and a summary would not do it justice.

There is something to say about a club or organization’s plunge into complete chaos, because it frequently ends up being some combination of incompetence that is unquestionably terrible but situations that are so bad that it conveys a little bit of comedy. There were two passages from this piece, and the first one is about former Tottenham midfielder Nabil Bentaleb, who was recently relegated to individual training:

Meanwhile, the club announced that former Tottenham midfielder Bentaleb will leave the club “by summer 2021 at the latest” on the same day of the player’s 26th birthday.

Schalke’s Twitter account had sent a birthday message to the Algeria international but it was soon deleted and the player was suspended later.

I would love to know the sequence of events that led to this. Did a higher up at Schalke tell a person with the Twitter password to delete it? Did the people who run the social media accounts just take it upon themselves? It’s a little bit petty to rescind a happy birthday message, and I think arguably unnecessary. That said, if the tweet was attracting incredibly negative reactions, it’s probably fine to delete.

My favorite thing about Uersfeld’s report, though, comes right at the end and it actually has nothing to do with Schalke. The team is on a horrible run of 25 Bundesliga games without a win in the Bundesliga, and they’re only five away from equaling the record set by Tasmania Berlin. The article includes a quote about that:

“We don’t want to lose that record,” Tasmania director Almir Numic told German wire. “It has been ours for decades now. It belongs to Tasmania’s identity.”

That quote is a launching pad for a quest to know more about the Tasmania Berlin culture. To embrace a great failure is very endearing, in my eyes. I can’t help but respect the sentiment.

Thinking about how Schalke and Tasmania’s paths are suddenly colliding, it’s so fascinating to me to watch one club fully tense about their failures and one embracing theirs. Then again, it’s much easier when the failures you’re talking about are decades old; it’s much harder to like it if you’re in the middle of it.

tl;dr: Checking in on Schalke as the club deletes a Nabil Bentaleb birthday tweet and Tasmania Berlin, as Schalke get close to eclipsing a horrible record they’d like to keep.

Stay informed, watch this: the US women’s national team on their choice to wear Black Lives Matter on their warm up jackets ahead of their Friday win over the Netherlands, the team’s first game since March

Links of the Day

Former Senegal international Papa Bouba Diop died aged 42.

Two more Newcastle players and three more Columbus Crew players tested positive for COVID-19.

The FA is investigating a deleted Instagram story from Manchester United’s Edinson Cavani for racist language.

A Buenos Aires prosecutor is investigating Diego Maradona’s doctor in relation to the player’s death.

A longer read: Paul MacInnes on how EFL clubs are preparing for the return of supporters, and what they’ve had to take into consideration for The Guardian

Bonus longer read: Joel Wertheimer on the idea of points added per shot, a way to evaluate game state