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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Monday, December 14

the Premier League Expectation-Embarrassment Index

Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Andrew Coudridge - Pool/Getty Images

Hey, everyone!

Sometimes I wonder how well I’d do in a baking competition show, and I usually come to the realization that the time constraint would kill my chances.

Ramble of the Day

What’s a fun way to spend a Sunday evening? Thinking long and hard about yesterday’s Arsenal loss, trying to measure embarrassment for a Premier League team, and figure out what it encompasses. Quickly enough, I came up with a method that you can all discuss at your pleasure; the working title (and possibly permanent title) is the Expectation-Embarrassment Index.

I came up with a rubric, including some objective and subjective measurements of a team’s success. I accepted that this would be an evolving measurement; it’s not going to reflect one moment of success or failure, but sustained periods. That said, one can grow out of embarrassment or grow into it, so much like the Premier League table, things are subject to change but only as a result of the games left on the schedule. The four areas of judgment, which combine for a score of 50, are:

  • Last five games, all competitions (score out of 15): A pretty easy thing to measure, and a pretty easy judgment of success and embarrassment. You’re probably less embarrassing if you’re winning.
  • Meeting expectations (score out of 25): In a sports context, meeting expectation is mostly the ballgame. Exceeding expectations is a great measure of success, and probably keeps you as far away from embarrassment as you can manage, but meeting expectations isn’t inherently bad if some are exceeding their own expectations. As a result, I awareded 20 points to anyone meeting their expectations and the extra five points one could earn went to teams exceeding expectations.
  • Entertainment value (score out of 5): We may accept that football isn’t about winning pretty, but we love to assign beauty to winners. (I didn’t miss the debate in the Hoddle last week about whether or not José Mourinho’s style is entertaining or not.) If you’re entertaining, you’re definitely not embarrassing, but if you’re boring, people will find a way to put an asterisk next to your victories. At the end of the day, though, it isn’t everything so even if you get a low score here, you’re not losing a ton of points.
  • Can you handle losing? (score out of 5): Again, this isn’t the most valuable thing but if you’re not a good loser, it can look pretty embarrassing. There are a few ways to be bad at losing, too; Jürgen Klopp deflecting and blaming a reporter for his team’s fatigue is not decorating himself in glory, and neither is Mikel Arteta’s delusional talk of crosses.

A note that the criteria is listed in order of tiebreak power: last five games is the first tiebreaker, expectation is second, entertainment value third, and handling a loss last.

Clearly, the more points you have, the more respectable (and further away from embarrassment) you just so happen to be. Without further ado, the Premier League teams per my Expectation-Embarrassment Index:

  1. West Ham United, 47 points
  2. Southampton, 45 points
  3. Tottenham Hotspur, 42 points
  4. Leicester City, 41 points
  5. Aston Villa, 39 points
  6. Newcastle, 36 points
  7. Everton, 36 points
  8. Crystal Palace, 35 points
  9. Leeds United, 33 points
  10. Liverpool, 32 points
  11. Fulham, 32 points
  12. Manchester City, 29 points
  13. Chelsea, 29 points
  14. Burnley, 29 points
  15. Brighton, 28 points
  16. Manchester United, 26 points
  17. Wolverhampton Wanderers, 24 points
  18. West Bromwich Albion, 24 points
  19. Arsenal, 15 points
  20. Sheffield United, 9 points

It’s a lot of information to throw at you at once, so I won’t bombard you with the breakdown of the rankings. I am happy to break it down in the comments, though (and if you really want, just drop the breakdown in there).

tl;dr: Introducing the Premier League Expectation-Embarrassment Index, something I came up with quickly and had a lot of fun compiling.

Stay informed, watch this: Olympic runner Alexi Pappas on her battle with depression, produced by Lindsey Crouse and Alexander Stockton for The New York Times

Links of the Day

Arsenal’s Jen Beattie was diagnosed with breast cancer, and has been playing while receiving treatment.

Borussia Dortmund sacked Lucien Favre, ending his two year spell at the club.

MLS referee Kathryn Nesbitt became the first woman to referee a championship match in men’s professional sports in North America during Saturday’s MLS Cup final.

The Guardian shared its top female footballers of 2020.

A longer read: Ed Aarons and Kale Stockwell on how FIFA is lax on its own transfer policies, allowing exploitation and rule breaking to go unpunished for The Guardian

Another reminder! We’re still raising money ahead of Tottenham’s FA Cup tie at Marine AFC, and all proceeds will now go to charity. Donate here if you want and can.