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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Friday, December 25

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No laughs

Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur - Carabao Cup Quarter Final Photo by Andrew Kearns - CameraSport via Getty Images

Hi, everyone!

I found a little bit of time for a light Christmas day Hoddle for anyone who plans on paying a visit.

Ramble of the Day

I’ve settled into a routine for my lazy Christmas day rambles, and it’s because Tottenham has done a very good job of allowing me to do so by coming out with some content I like to comment on. This year’s edition? A no laugh challenge with two teams: Gareth Bale and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg against Matt Doherty and Joe Hart.

My thoughts, in bulletpoints:

  • The thing about this challenge that’s funny is that none of the jokes are funny. I thought one was slightly clever, but none of these are actually funny. I wasn’t trying to play at all, but I had a very easy time not laughing at these jokes.
  • It’s lovely that Bale is just happy he didn’t screw up very easy instructions. That sounds sarcastic from me, but I’m not; if he’s happy for himself, I’m happy for him.
  • I don’t think smiles should count as laughs in the no laugh challenge.
  • Højbjerg is the teacher’s pet, you heard it from Doherty first.
  • I have to agree with Doherty — Højbjerg’s delivery is pretty good. He’s quite subtle, but never sacrifices the landing.
  • A sportsmanlike gesture from Bale, offering to laugh at Hart’s final joke because it won’t matter in the final score.
  • Bale’s fake laugh is so obvious after an entire video’s worth of these real and full laughs at everything else other than the jokes. Højbjerg doesn’t even do a fake laugh, just a nice smile.

tl;dr: The Tottenham no laugh challenge features no funny jokes, but at least the players had fun.

Stay informed, read this: Lindsay Gibbs on Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer, the new winningest coach in Division I women’s basketball, and her legacy progressing the game by hiring female assistant coaches for Power Plays

Links of the Day

Fulham manager Scott Parker will not be on the touchline for his side’s game against Southampton after a member of his household tested positive for COVID-19.

FIFA announced a new qualifying format for the expanded 2023 World Cup, including a ten team intercontinental tournament to decide the final three spots at the World Cup.

Shelley Kerr stepped down as the Scotland women manager.

The Guardian unveiled its top 100 male footballers, a list including two Tottenham players.

A longer read: Jack Williams on how Plymouth Argyle and other clubs in England have helped some of their supporters during the pandemic for The New York Times