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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Tuesday, January 26

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on Frank Lampard’s firing

Wycombe Wanderers v Tottenham Hotspur: The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Hello, all!

I’d like to take this opportunity to mention that I no longer think Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and Matt Doherty look the same.

Ramble of the Day

It’s not weird that Chelsea’s Roman Abramovich has once again fired a manager after a poor run of form, but there seems to be something special about Frank Lampard’s sacking. It seemed to inspire either one of two reactions in people paying attention: you were either upset that Lampard’s tenure was as short as it was, or you think it’s funny the way his tenure played out. I’m almost in the middle because I can be convinced a manager should get a shot to right their ship, but I must admit I have found a lot of this funny.

How could I not? There were a lot of good jokes out there. This one, I think, is the one that made me laugh the most, not out of particular disdain for Mason Mount, but really because it taps into the very specific personality Lampard has created for himself.

Lampard and those around him assign him a lot of seriousness, some of it seemingly misplaced. It’s not that Lampard hasn’t earned some level of seriousness, and that his role inherently hasn’t earned the same; it’s just that perhaps he takes himself too seriously. Frequently, he’s just normal and innocently boring. Take this tweet making fun of Lampard’s speech patterns, which are interesting in their own right but also just normal quirks any person has. (I also think the following tweet is funny without the context.)

Still, the most normal aspects of Lampard do not stop people from the too serious mood that surrounds him. I get it; so many of us are guilty of assigning a little too much to the people that brought us some good times in sport. As a result, it doesn’t matter if the following tweet is a joke or not; I think it does the “show, don’t tell” thing:

This is funny because it’s more serious than it needs to be, but it’s also more serious than it needs to be about an objectively funny situation. I’m sorry! It just is. I’d laugh if this happened at my team (at least a little bit). It’s the perfect opposite reaction to the seriousness that surrounds Lampard — there’s no attempt at seriousness, it’s pure pettiness.

I feel confident Lampard will land on his feet somewhere after what was surely a very difficult moment. Still, for someone I claimed was boring, he managed to create such fascinating discourse in many corners of football Twitter, and that’s quite impressive.

tl;dr: A recap of the discourse around Frank Lampard’s firing, which I meant totally to be just a recap of the jokes but became a space where I called Lampard boring and too serious.

Stay informed, read this: Jonathan Overend argues sports bodies need to tackle the climate crisis that they contribute to for The Guardian

Links of the Day

Eight people tested positive for COVID-19 in the Premier League’s latest round of testing.

The NFL’s San Francisco 49ers increased its ownership stake in Leeds from 15% to 37%.

A longer read: Kathleen McNamee interviews the Washington Spirit’s Trinity Rodman on being the youngest NWSL draft pick and being more than just Dennis Rodman’s daughter for ESPN