Tottenham Hotspur didn’t play football on Tuesday, but it turned out to be a very special day. Thanks to Aston Villa defeating Arsenal at 1-0 at Villa Park, Tottenham are now mathematically assured of finishing ahead of Arsenal in the Premier League standings, for the fourth consecutive year.
(Yes, I know Arsenal can still potentially bump Spurs out of Europa qualification if they win the FA Cup. No, this is not a cursed article — jinxes are not real, and stop pretending they are.)
So let’s have some #banterrific fun today. In celebration, and also because Tottenham beat the crap out of a free-falling Leicester City side on Sunday, we’re having a Banter Day Special™. Here are your Tottenham Hotspur player ratings for their 3-0 win over Leicester City this past Sunday to the theme of names for the “holiday” when Spurs finish above Arsenal.
5 stars: Don’t name it at all
This seems to be the default position of a sizable chunk of Tottenham fandom, and for good reason — it drives Arsenal supporters nuts. Acknowledging it but not naming it makes it come across as if Spurs fans not only aren’t “living rent free in Arsenal fans’ heads” but also that it’s just a regular occurrence, not a special holiday. That’s a great reason. Don’t let them have the satisfaction of giving it a name, but raise your pint to those in the know — for everyone else, today’s holiday was simply “Tuesday.”
Harry Kane (Community — 5.0): Real talk, in all the matches I’ve tracked since restarting the community ratings, I’ve never seen a mean player rating high enough that I had to round it up to 5.0. Harry was magnificent in almost every way against Leicester — his goals were brilliant (especially the 2nd which was reminiscent of THAT goal against Arsenal), his passing was outstanding, and he was MAKING RUNS INTO THE BOX. If he can keep this up, I will gladly eat all the crap in the world from Spurs fans and smile about it for saying he was washed up.
Hugo Lloris (Community — 4.5): While Harry made all the offensive fireworks, it was Hugo who saved Spurs’ bacon, making several incredible stops to keep Leicester out and preserve the clean sheet. Solid distribution, too.
Lucas Moura (Community — 4.0): Earned his rating just for that through ball to Kane for his first goal, and looked solid in the final third in addition to continuing to tackle well and play as a defensive winger. Moving him back out wide has been so good for him. After this string of performances, how can you keep him out of the side?
4.5 stars: St. Totteringham’s Day
Look, the “holiday” already has a name, and really it’s a pretty clever one, so why not reclaim it for ourselves? Because after four straight years of finishing behind Spurs, you gotta think a lot of the shine has come off of that name anyway. Sorry Gooners, it’s our holiday now. We’ve taken it from you. F—k off back to Woolwich, etc. etc.
Toby Alderweireld (Community — 4.0): Kept Jamie Vardy in his back pocket for pretty much the entire match. Has formed a pretty solid partnership with Davinson Sanchez as well since returning to the starting XI.
Son Heung-Min (Community — 4.0): Was probably unlucky not to be credited with the own goal after his shot looked like it was on target before taking a wicked deflection. One of his best matches since the restart, and I was especially pleased by his defensive effort.
4 stars: St. Hotspur’s Day
From what I can tell (and this is apocryphal) before St. Totteringham’s Day was a thing, Spurs fans had St. Hotspur’s Day, celebrated when Spurs beat Arsenal in an important cup match or other special occasion. Supposedly, this was the inspiration for the St. Totteringham’s Day name. So sure, if this is true, then it’s historical and therefore good. And if it’s fake, well it’s still a good story.
Davinson Sanchez (Community — 4.0): Once again was the lesser of the Tottenham center backs, but only slightly and only because Toby was so dang good. Flew in to make some critical blocks and dealt with Leicester’s attacking threat well.
Jose Mourinho (Community — 4.0): Look, I still don’t like his tactics or the way his teams play football, and I certainly don’t like giving up most of the possession and getting outshot by a team like Leicester. But I can forgive some of that as long as they win. Spurs won.
3.5 stars: St. Woolwich Day
Yeah, sure, fine. Whatever.
Ben Davies (Community — 3.5): I’ve been critical of Ben for much of the season and still think we need an upgrade there, but while he didn’t do much going forward he was superb defensively against Leicester.
Giovani Lo Celso (Community — 3.5): Played higher up the pitch than we’ve seen him in a while, operating as a #10 behind Kane. Not one of his more exceptional matches, but he did get stuck in on challenges effectively and had 5 tackles.
3 stars: Arsehole’s Day
We don’t need no stinkin’ saints.
Serge Aurier (Community — 3.5): We all process grief differently, and for Serge that meant playing football. Good for him. I won’t say he was especially GREAT against Leicester — he had at least one error that led to a shot — but he did his bit defensively even if he didn’t get forward often.
Harry Winks (Community — 3.5): Still doing his matador impression in central midfield, but we should expect that by now. Had a lovely pass from deep to Sonny, but because Spurs essentially bypassed the midfield in this match his passing volume was way down. He was fine, whatever.
2 stars: Piers Morning
Saw this on Twitter and while it’s a halfway decent pun, naming a banter holiday after Piers Morgan is not something we should do under any circumstances, ever.
Moussa Sissoko (Community — 3.5): Probably one of Sissoko’s poorer games this season. He ran around a lot, but the positives he had from his athleticism and the ground he covers didn’t outweigh his inability to kick a football around the pitch this time. He just doesn’t work when paired in midfield with Harry Winks, unless the goal is to bypass the midfield entirely. In which case, why is he even there?
1 star: Not celebrating finishing ahead of Arsenal because you think fan-centric banter is beneath you
Look, it’s been a pretty rough season, we can all agree on that. While very little has gone according to plan and Spurs won’t end the season in a Champions League qualification spot (much less challenge for the league title), at least we have this. We’ll always have this. Not taking even a little joy out of it because you think it’s beneath you is just silly and makes you look like a curmudgeon. This makes Spurs fans happy, and it’s okay to be happy.
No Tottenham Hotspur players were as bad as not celebrating finishing above Arsenal for the fourth consecutive year.
Tom Carroll Memorial Non-Rating
Erik Lamela (3.0), Steven Bergwijn (3.0), Gedson Fernandes, Oliver Skipp