Today we have former Tottenham defender Christian Ziege, and yes, I did make sure it was him.
Ramble of the Day
I promise Eric Dier is not the only Tottenham player I pay attention to, but I recently came up with a hypothesis that I must share: I’m pretty sure Dier loses almost every challenge Spurs (or England) ask him to participate in for video content.
To prove this hypothesis, I scoured YouTube: first, II checked Tottenham’s playlist of Dier videos but then used a few different search entries to find some video content from England, and two from Sky Sports. In total, I found 11 videos, the oldest from December 2015 and the newest from January of this year, and the tasks vary greatly.
Let’s start with the highlights. Dier’s greatest triumph is probably in a nutmeg challenge for England from January 2019, in which he beat Harry Winks, but he has shown greatest success in team challenges. Paired with Oliver Skipp in December 2019 for a challenge involving a high speed ball cannon, the two beat Davinson Sánchez and Giovani Lo Celso. Outside of athletics, he teamed up with Dele to beat Toby Alderweireld and Hugo Lloris in a cooking challenge in June 2017.
Dier never demonstrated extreme skill for the cooking asked of him and his teammates, but Alderweireld’s trash talk amounted to nothing — the judge was quite pleased with Dier and Dele’s efforts on both challenges.
Unfortunately for Dier, the research revealed that he was very frequently on the losing side of any given challenge. He has done a lot of head to head challenges, doing everything from trivia to golf to dizzy baseball. He has an even record on team challenges — while he won twice in a team, he also lost twice: in the aforementioned golf challenge with Harry Kane, and in a Hotels.com challenge with Juan Foyth.
The research revealed, though, that individually he has failed frequently, and not just in head to heads. Dier participated in two challenges that involved multiple people competing against each other and lost both — one a score to survive challenge from March 2019 and this Kumho Tires challenge from December 2019.
You’ll notice that Dier really struggled in this one, perhaps unlucky to go first. In the end, an attempt to derail Ben Davies’s turn backfired on Dier — despite the drama of hiding Davies’s tire, Dier finished four seconds behind him. It’s becoming a little bit of a theme in Dier’s performances in such videos — Dier fell flat when it came to reindeer ring toss in a Christmas challenge against Lucas Moura last year, and the score to survive video featured multiple seconds of Dier reacting to poor performances. Additionally, Dele quipped that he could “reverse and still win” as the race got close to its end in the Mario Kart challenge from 2015.
In the end, it was pretty easy to prove my hypothesis correct. In 11 challenges, Dier lost 8 and won 3. In England challenges, he has one win and one loss; for Tottenham, two wins and five losses; and in Sky Sports challenges, he lost two out of two. Not a great conversion rate at all, but I’ll give Dier the credit for at least trying. He participates more than a bunch of his teammates, and is always an entertaining participant.
tl;dr: I tracked down as many challenges for video content Eric Dier has done, and he’s not very good at them.
Links of the Day
Reading furloughed its senior women’s team, but will pay the remaining 20% of their salaries. The men’s U23 team and other non-playing staff have also been furloughed.
Former Leeds defender Trevor Cherry died aged 72.
FIFPro revealed the results of its latest survey of female footballers, in which more than half say their clubs don’t have enough backroom staff.
Manchester United received permission to build safe standing at Old Trafford.
Today’s longer read: David Hytner interviews Tottenham supporter Malcolm Kitts on battling COVID-19 and receiving a video message from Harry Winks afterwards for The Guardian