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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Monday, May 11


Nilsen beats Hunt to the ball Photo by Sean Dempsey - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

Hello, everyone!

Today we have former Tottenham defender Roger Nilsen, and that’s the only picture Getty had of him playing for the club. Great time to casually share that I’m running low on requests for Hoddle lead images, too.

Ramble of the Day

There is a phrase I have heard too often in my life. I shouldn’t be surprised considering I’m into sports, but I could tell it has gone too far when I heard it on Vanderpump Rules recently. (It was Tom Schwartz using it — incorrectly, of course.) That phrase is chip on the shoulder, and I am here today to ask almost everyone who uses to express themselves in a different way if possible.

I was probably (sort of) traumatized from my days covering the New York Red Bulls, when then-head coach Jesse Marsch (now of RB Salzburg) used it a lot, especially at the beginnings of seasons when he needed to set the tone for his team with a fresh start. It really is a shame no one ever set a counter for the amount of times he said it in a given year, but it might have been a very difficult thing for one person to keep track of. It truly was a lot.

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It’s obviously part of a fairly simple coaching technique, inspiring your players by (at the very least, acting like) their backs are against the wall and are perennial underdogs. I saw someone on Twitter once wonder if Marsch had learned how to say it in German for his current job, and his previous as an assistant in Leipzig. Maybe I’m just a little too nice by nature (but only a little) to want to say this during a ramble in which I’m supposed to be complaining, but I do hope he did.

I could have believed Marsch was the king of the phrase, but he clearly didn’t have enough of a chip on his shoulder because he didn’t feel compelled to get a tattoo for inspiration (as far as I know, anyway).

Naturally, he is not the only one. The Denver Broncos’ Von Miller has the word “chip” tattooed on his shoulder.

In the end, I suppose the problem isn’t that the phrase is overused, necessarily; it’s that some people embrace it just a little bit too much. (Considering its popularity, though, it does make me wonder how Tom Schwartz interpreted it as meaning having baggage, but watching enough Vanderpump Rules means I probably shouldn’t wonder.)

Somehow, I don’t have genuine contempt for it. It’s probably because I figured out how to laugh at it pretty quickly, that it’s generally inoffensive in nature, and perhaps most importantly, that I haven’t really heard it in a while. (It was Tom Schwartz who reminded me of about it while watching a Vanderpump Rules rerun, truth be told.)

tl;dr: “Chip on the shoulder” is annoying phrase, but I don’t have genuine contempt for it, I just think it’s slightly ridiculous.

Links of the Day


The USWNT’s Alex Morgan welcomed her first child, a daughter named Charlie.

Real Madrid’s Luka Jovic picked up a foot injury while training at home.

Today’s longer read: Jonathan Tannenwald on the no-rush approach to bringing back the sport in the U.S., a contrasting approach to those in Europe for The Philadelphia Inquirer