You love to see it. Tottenham got two first half goals from the vaunted Harry Kane - Son Heung-Min partnership and then resolutely defended their lead en route to a 2-0 win over Arsenal in the North London Derby. This is only the second time in 26 years that we’ve beaten the Scum by more than a goal in the league — the other time was the last NLD at the old White Hart Lane.
This is kind of a weird game to evaluate because Arsenal were pretty awful from start to finish — 44 crosses! — and the second half was kind of a disappointing slog to watch, unless you like watching solid defenses and blocked shots. The reality is that Spurs didn’t HAVE to be necessarily great to win, they only had to be better than Arsenal, which they were, pretty comfortably.
So instead, let’s argue about candy. I love M&Ms. Chocolate in a candy shell is one of the great confectioners’ inventions of all time. And now there’s what feels like a million varieties of the suckers. So let’s evaluate them! This list is culled from the available core flavors at mms.com and does NOT include some of the seasonal ones that come and go like “candy corn” or “key lime pie.”
Here are your Tottenham Hotspur player ratings for the North London Derby win over Arsenal to the theme of M&M flavors. Remember, community ratings are rounded to the nearest half star.
5 stars: Peanut
Peanut M&Ms are the zenith of what an M&M can be. They’re big, which is satisfying, but not so big that you can’t still enjoy a handful of them. The chocolate and the candy compliment the flavor of the peanut and give it a satisfying snap when you bite into them, and the balance between the peanut flavor and the chocolate is perfect. Peanut M&Ms are the evolved Pokemon form of the regular M&M and they’re the best.
Son Heung-Min (Community — 4.5): Look, Sonny did one really good thing early in the match, then another good thing that was slightly less good than the first thing he did later on in the first half, and then not much after despite Arsenal being kinda garbage. Normally we might not give him five stars based on pure performance. However, that goal was a fuckin’ banger. Five stars.
Harry Kane (Community — 4.5): Like Sonny, Kane got a smashmouth goal and an assist and then didn’t really have to do too much after that because Arsenal decided to cross 44 times. Are we overrating his contributions in this match? Probably. Do we particularly care? Nope! That goal ruled.
4.5 stars: Pretzel
The combination of chocolate with salty and crunchy is a time-honored and exceptionally tasty combination. Take a pretzel ball, dip it in milk chocolate and then coat it in a candy shell? Sounds amazing! And it is. If I had a quibble, I’d want the chocolate layer to be a little thicker, but these are wonderful for snacking.
Pierre Højbjerg (Community — 5.0): IDK if I’d describe Højbjerg as “a rash” as Alasdair Gold did this week, but I know he’s a consistently good performer and the missing piece that makes Spurs’ midfield run.
4 stars: Dark Mint
Look, my Carty Free colleagues and I vociferously disagreed about Dark Mint’s placement on this ranking list. But I’m writing the damn thing so I’ll put my favorite M&Ms where I want, thank you. These scream Christmas to me and I could eat a whole 1 lb. bag in a single sitting.
Serge Aurier (Community — 4.5): I should really stop being surprised by the fact that Serge Aurier continues to put in good performances. He’s just... good now. I can’t explain it! It’s bizarre! His vision to defuse an Arsenal attack and then immediately make the hockey assist to kick-start a goal-scoring counterattack was magnificent.
Tobric AlDierweireld (Community — 4.5 [Toby], 4.0 [Eric]): Welcome back, portmanteau’d Tottenham defenders! Both were rock solid defensively and had tons of clearances, and both were pretty uhhhhhhhh with their passing (Toby 67%, Dier 74%). Solid performances, but with minor flaws!
3.5 stars: Caramel/Peanut Butter (tie)
In terms of pure sweet candy and without thinking about textural balance, Caramel and Peanut Butter M&Ms own. The flavor combos are both fantastic. However, for my palate they’re both just... too much of everything, with not enough chocolate to make for a good balance. They’re delicious, but you can only eat so many and that pushes them slightly down the list. Also, why have peanut butter when you can just have actual peanuts?
Hugo Lloris (Community — 4.0): Hugo didn’t have a ton to do, but there was that ONE chance from Lacazette and it made me feel so incredibly fortunate that Lloris was there and not Joe Hart.
Jose Mourinho (Community — 4.5): IDK, man. We played pure Mourinhoball and it worked against a pretty bad team. Can’t argue with the results but I wish we had, you know, attacked more. I think we could’ve easily gotten away with taking the match to Arsenal in the second half instead of defending a 2-0 lead. We might have scored six.
Moussa Sissoko (Community — 4.0): Ran around a whole bunch, defended well, tackled some dudes, tried not to pass the ball too much. Verdict: pretty good!
3 stars: Plain
Plain M&Ms suffer compared to their newer, flashier siblings because they’ve been around for so long, but what’s not to love about pure milk chocolate in a candy shell? They’re not anything particularly special, but they’re solid, dependable, and consistent. Kind of like Spurs’ defense. (The mini variety is also good.)
Sergio Reguilon (Community — 4.0): Defense isn’t necessarily Reguilon’s best asset, but he did pretty well sitting deep on Sunday. However, he sure seemed to lose the ball a lot going forward, the rare times that he attempted it.
Steven Bergwijn (Community — 4.0): Worked hard in possession and did a good amount of defensive work too. Got overshadowed a bit late by Lucas’s fresh legs but you can see why Mourinho keeps starting him on that flank.
Gio Lo Celso (Community — 3.5): One of the rare matches where his shithouse tendencies kind of bit him in the ass a bit. Picked up a cheap yellow card and continued to play like a maniac until his sub, but without Lamela-esque assurance that he wasn’t going to get a second.
Ben Davies (Community —3.5) He played 20 minutes. Did he actually do anything? I honestly can’t remember. Whatever, three stars.
2.5 stars: Crispy
Crispy isn’t a flavor, it’s a texture. And unfortunately, when you make the texture taste like a styrofoam packing peanut covered with chocolate and a candy shell, it doesn’t do much for the palate. It’s a good idea, but you already get the crunchy-chocolate combo with pretzels. This is just poor execution.
Really can’t say Spurs had a player that was this bad.
2 stars: White Chocolate
We took regular M&Ms and replaced the chocolate with a mixture of Elmer’s glue and confectioner’s sugar. Let’s see who notices!
No Spurs players were this bad either. Arsenal probably had something to do with that.
1 star: Almond
Why does this need to exist? Almonds are fine, but you already have a nut M&M in peanut that is far superior. Almond’s flavor can’t hold up to the sweetness of the chocolate, and they’re too big. They’re a solution to a problem that nobody asked anyone to solve. If you have a bag of Almond M&Ms, you’re doing it wrong.
No Tottenham Hotspur players were as bad as almond M&Ms.
Tom Carroll Memorial Non-Rating:
Lucas Moura, Joe Rodon